TAKS logo

Online TAKS Practice

America: Pathways to the Present, Grade 11

Unit 7: Continuity and Change

Benchmark Test

Click on the button next to the response that best answers the question. For best results, review America: Pathways to the Present, Modern American History, chapters 25–27.

You may take the test as many times as you like. When you are happy with your results, you may e-mail your results to your teacher. Please obtain your teacher's permission before e-mailing.


Your First Name Only:
Your Class Period:


1. What was one way in which President Nixon interfered with the progress of the Civil Rights movement?
A He outlawed protests at the nation's capitol
B He opposed busing, which was how many schools were integrated.
C He put many civil rights leaders in jail.
D He did not allow the hiring of African Americans for government jobs.


2. What were two of the administration's main policies during the Nixon era?
A deficit spending and New Federalism
B deregulation and affirmative action
C supply-side economics and bilingual education
D affirmative action and New Federalism


3. What was one of the causes of improved U.S.–China relations in the early 1970s?
A The Soviet Union invited the two countries to a summit.
B Communism ended in China.
C China released American prisoners.
D The United States ended a trade embargo, opening up new markets for Chinese and American products.


4. Use the timeline and your knowledge of social studies to answer questions 4 and 5.

Watergate Time Line. This timeline begins in 1972 and ends in 1974. The following items appear on the timeline: Item #1: June 1972: Five men arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Item #2: April 1973: Nixon denies knowledge of break-in. Item #3: May 1973: Senate committee begins hearings. Item #4: June 1973: Former Nixon aide John Dean tells committee Nixon approved the cover-up. Item #5: August 1974: Nixon forced to release tapes of White House conversations which prove his role in cover-up. Item #6: August 1974: Nixon resigns.

What event happened during the same month as Nixon's resignation and furnished proof of his guilt?
A The Senate began hearings on the break-in.
B John Dean told the Senate committee that Nixon was involved in the cover-up.
C Nixon was forced to release tapes of his conversations.
D Five men were arrested for breaking into the DNC headquarters.


5. Which of the following events began the Watergate scandal?
A The Senate began hearings on the break-in.
B John Dean told the Senate committee that Nixon was involved in the cover-up.
C Nixon was forced to release tapes of his conversations.
D Five men were arrested for breaking in to the DNC headquarters.


6. How did President Ford's ability to send and keep United States forces overseas differ from Lyndon Johnson's?
A Congress gave Johnson total control over U.S. involvement in Vietnam, but took much of that control away from Ford with the War Powers Act.
B Congress allowed Ford to send and keep troops overseas for as long as he wished, while Johnson had only 60 days before having to ask permission from Congress.
C Congress allowed Ford to take whatever action he thought necessary without declaring war; Johnson could not move troops into an area unless war was declared by Congress.
D Johnson never sought control over the movement of troops, while Ford did and won the respect of Congress.


7. Use the map and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following question.

A map illustrating the Presidential Election of 1976. Jimmy Carter won the election with an electoral vote of 297 to Gerald Ford's 240. Carter won a close election, in spite of Ford's strong support in the Midwest and West.

In what part of the country did every state's electoral votes go to the incumbent in 1976?
A the Northeast
B the Great Lakes region
C the South
D the West


8. During the Reagan era, what was the prevailing characteristic of the powerful political coalition called the "New Right"?
A a strong desire to expand social programs
B a distrust of capitalism
C a desire for a smaller government
D a fear of religion


9. According to Ronald Reagan, how does supply-side economics spur economic growth?
A By buying more supplies from businesses, the government stimulates the economy.
B By giving more control to state and local governments to control social programs, the government allows money to be spent where it is most needed.
C By allowing businesses to pay less in taxes, the government frees them to use the money to produce more goods and hire more workers.
D By spending more on social programs, the government allows local economies to grow stronger.


10. Use the chart and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following question.

A graphic summary of the Savings and Loan Scandel of the 1980s. Item #1: Savings and Loan banks, or S&Ls, make loans to individuals. Item #2: Reagan administration deregulates S&Ls, allowing them to make riskier investments. Item #3: Officials at some S&Ls take advantage of new laws by making risky real estate investments, hoping for huge profits. Item #4: Real estate markets cool down in the late 1980s, S&Ls lose $2.6 billion from people's savings accounts. Item #5: Because bank accounts are insured by the government, taxpayers have to make up for the billions of dollars lost. Item #6: Several S&L officials are prosecuted for their role in the scandal and their efforts to cover it up.

What did the Reagan administration do that allowed the Savings and Loan Scandal to happen?
A It deregulated the Savings and Loan industry.
B It covered up the bad loans.
C It didn't cover the insurance of bank accounts.
D It hired the people in charge of the Savings and Loans.


11. Which of the following is true of Sandra Day O'Connor's historic contribution to American society?
A She is a foreign policy analyst.
B She is the most successful female newspaper publisher.
C She is the first woman to have been appointed to the Supreme Court.
D She argued the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas before the Supreme Court


12. Why did George H.W. Bush prefer not to confront China over the Tiananmen Square incident?
A He wanted to preserve the trading status that the two countries shared because China is such a large market.
B He did not believe that Chinese officials had done anything wrong.
C The American people did not care about the incident.
D He was afraid that he might incite a war.


13. Use the chart and your knowledge of social studies to answer questions 13 and 14.

The graphic shows two boxes with an arrow pointing from the first to the second. The first box contains two bullet points. The first bullet point says: Anti-communist movements gain force in Eastern Europe. The second bullet point says: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev encourages Eastern European leaders to adopt more open policies. The second box has four bullet points. The first bullet point in the second box says: Reform leaders come to power after free elections in Poland and Czechoslovakia. The second bullet reads: New governments take charge in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Albania. The third bullet point says: Berlin Wall falls, East and West Germany are reunified. The fourth bullet point says: Soviet Union breaks apart.

Which of the following titles best fits the chart?
A Germany Reunified
B The Collapse of Communism
C A Free Czechoslovakia
D The End of the Soviet Union


14. What effect did Mikhail Gorbachev's encouragement of more open policies in Eastern Europe have?
A The Soviet Union stayed united.
B Communist governments were embraced by Eastern Europeans.
C Many Eastern European countries changed governments and broke away from the Soviet Union's sphere of influence.
D Nothing changed.


15. How was the U.S. Constitution's principle of checks and balances employed in the presidential election of 2000?
A Congress voted the new President into office when the electoral vote was deadlocked.
B The Supreme Court decided who would become President when there was a dispute about vote-counting.
C Congress endorsed the Contract with America to limit voting in mostly Democratic states.
D Clinton vetoed the congressional vote for President.


16. Which of the following events happened first?
A Clinton is investigated for the Whitewater affair.
B Clinton compromises with Congress on a welfare-reform program.
C Clinton is involved in an impeachment trial.
D Clinton tries to enact a new health care plan for the nation.


17. How were improved relations with China and the North American Free Trade Agreement intended to affect the U.S. free enterprise system?
A U.S. jobs would be safer because businesses were not allowed to open manufacturing plants in other countries.
B U.S. businesses would not have competition for the money spent by U.S. consumers.
C U.S. businesses would be freer to conduct business in other countries and have larger markets for their goods.
D U.S. consumers would have fewer choices.


18. Which generalization is true about the 1990s?
A Many countries made political changes, and the world economy improved.
B Most regions of the world were torn apart by war.
C Countries and companies were generally in favor of cutting themselves off from the rest of the world.
D Countries became less democratic, and the world economy declined.


19. Describe a change for businesses that has occurred as a result of the Internet.
A Businesses can reach a world-wide market.
B Businesses have more trade restrictions.
C Businesses must be big to compete on the Internet.
D Businesses need fewer educated workers.


20. Use the pie charts and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following question.

The changing ethnic composition of the United States. There are two different pie charts showing the changing ethnic composition of the United States. The first pie chart shows the ethnic composition in 1994. Looking at the chart clockwise, it shows Hispanic Origin= 10%, Asian= 3%, Native American= 1%, African American= 12%, and White= 74%. The second pie chart shows the projected ethnic composition in 2050. Looking at the chart clockwise it shows: Hispanic Origin= 22%, Asian= 10%, Native American= 1%, African American= 14%, and White= 53%.

What ethnic group will shrink as a percentage of total Americans between 1994 and 2050?
A Asians
B Hispanics
C Whites
D African Americans