TAKS logo

Online TAKS Practice

The American Nation, Grade 8

Unit 2: The Revolutionary Era

Benchmark Test

Click on the button next to the response that best answers the question. For best results, review The American Nation: Beginnings Through 1877, chapters 5–8.

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

A map of land claims after the French and Indian War, 1763

After the French and Indian War, the region between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River was
A British territory.
B French territory.
C Spanish territory.
D U.S. territory.


2. The British passed new tax laws in the 1760s and 1770s based on the idea that the colonies
A were established for the economic benefit of Britain.
B had a right to be represented in Parliament.
C needed to practice self-government.
D should expand beyond the Appalachian Mountains.


3. According to the Declaration of Independence, which of the following is an unalienable right that cannot be taken away?
A right to own land
B right to vote
C right to pursue happiness
D right to hold government office


4. The battles of Lexington and Concord were significant because they
A marked the beginning of the American Revolution.
B convinced France to become an ally of the United States.
C forced Washington to retreat from New York.
D brought an end to the American Revolution.


5. Mercy Otis Warren aided the colonial cause by
A organizing protests.
B writing plays that criticized British officials.
C delivering fiery speeches against British policies.
D leading demonstrations.


6. What contribution did women make during the American Revolution?
A They collected taxes from the states.
B They negotiated a peace treaty with Britain.
C They trained soldiers for battle.
D They tended farms and businesses.


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

Graphic Organizer showing how France entered the War

Which of the following convinced France to give military and naval support to American forces?
A conflict between France and Britain
B French and Indian War
C American appeal for support
D American victory at Saratoga


8. The Marquis de Lafayette contributed to the Patriot cause by
A training American troops and cavalry.
B providing shoes and blankets to soldiers.
C tending the sick and wounded.
D building forts and other defenses.


9. Which military leader captured a British ship off the coast of England?
A George Rogers Clark
B John Paul Jones
C Francis Marion
D Nathaniel Greene


10. What geographic factor helped Americans defeat the British at Yorktown?
A Yorktown is on an island that was surrounded by the colonial navy.
B Yorktown is on a peninsula where the British were trapped by colonial and French forces.
C Yorktown is in swampland where colonial troops could use guerrilla tactics.
D Yorktown is in the Ohio Valley where colonial forces captured British forts.


11. Which of the following happened as a result of the Treaty of Paris of 1783?
A Slavery ended in the United States.
B Loyalists were forced to move to Britain.
C Britain recognized the United States as an independent nation.
D U.S. borders extended to the Pacific Ocean.


12. Use the passage and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following question.

"Such a scene of sorrow and weeping I had never before witnessed. . . . We were then about to part from the man who had conducted us through a long and bloody war, and under whose conduct the glory and independence of our country had been achieved."
—Benjamin Tallmadge, recalling Washington's farewell to his troops, 1783

This quote reflects the American soldiers'
A sadness that the war was over.
B dissatisfaction with the outcome of the war.
C respect for George Washington's leadership and military skills.
D fear for the future of the nation.


13. Which of the following statements summarizes why the Articles of Confederation did not work and needed to be revised?
A They divided power between the executive and legislative branches.
B They collected high taxes from states.
C They limited trade with foreign countries.
D They provided a weak national government.


14. The Northwest Ordinance was considered one of the greatest achievements of the Articles of Confederation because it
A established the borders of the United States.
B set the pattern by which new states could join the nation.
C stated the rights of citizens.
D settled the debate over representation in Congress.


15. Which of these events occurred last?
A The United States ratified the Treaty of Paris.
B The Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence.
C The states ratified the Constitution.
D Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance.


16. Use the information in the box and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following question.

Magna Carta
English Bill of Rights
Mayflower Compact
Declaration of Independence
Federalist Papers

Which title is most appropriate for this information?
A Steps Toward Independence
B Influences on the U.S. System of Government
C Arguments in Favor of Dictatorship
D Ways to Limit Individual Rights


17. Which document was signed in 1787?
A Constitution
B Articles of Confederation
C Declaration of Independence
D Mayflower Compact


18. Use the quote and your knowledge of social studies to answer the following question.

"This Constitution is said to have beautiful features, but . . . they appear to me horribly frightful. . . . Your President may become king. . . If your American chief be a man of ambition and abilities, how easy is it for him to render himself absolute!"
— Patrick Henry, 1788

In this speech, Patrick Henry supported the Anti-Federalist argument that the Constitution
A protected the rights of the people.
B gave the national government the power it needed.
C gave the states too little power.
D gave the President too much power.


19. Use the information in the box and your knowledge of social studies to answer questions 19 and 20.

First Amendment: Individual freedoms, such as speech. Second Amendment: Right to bear arms and form militias. Third Amendment: Freedom from having troops housed in one's home. Fourth Amendment: Protection from unlawful searches. Fifth Amendment: Freedom from self-incrimination. Sixth Amendment: Right to a speedy public trial by impartial judge and jury. Seventh Amendment: Right to jury at civil trial. Eighth Amendment: Freedom from excessive punishments from judges. Ninth Amendment: Citizens' freedoms not limited to those covered in the Constitution. Tenth Amendment: People's right of a limited government (all power not belonging to the nation or the state belongs to the people)

Which amendment addressed the following grievance listed in the Declaration of Independence: "For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us"?
A Amendment 1
B Amendment 3
C Amendment 6
D Amendment 8


20. Which amendment would a defendant use as the basis for refusing to testify against himself or herself?
A Amendment 2
B Amendment 4
C Amendment 5
D Amendment 9