Sample Presidents Questions (1-12)

George Washington   Andrew Jackson
    • (6 pts.) I delivered my inaugural address on the platform under the eastern portico of the Capitol, starting a trend that has continued to the present. I vetoed far more bills than any previous president. None of my vetoes were overridden by Congress. Most of these vetoes involved bills for building roads or improving harbors.
    • (4 pts.) I rode to see my successor inaugurated in a carriage made of the wood of the frigate Constitution. That successor had been my vice president for my second term.
    • (2 pts.) My wife lacked the social training of earlier First Ladies; she and I had not traveled to Europe, were unacquainted with most of the classics of literature, and were unfamiliar with East Coast drawing room etiquette. As a result, we became the focus of critical gossip and heard our grammar and accents mimicked.

    • (6 pts.) I urged Congress to sweep away just about all the taxes that had been imposed on the American people. During my first term as president, the whiskey tax (as well as other similar, direct taxes) was repealed.
    • (4 pts.) I was so much opposed to show and form in government that I wanted Washington to be inaugurated in 1793 in his house, privately, without show or speech of any kind. I also believed that in America, as opposed to France, women knew their place, which was in the nursery. American women, I said, were content with “the tender and tranquil amusements of domestic life.”
    • (2 pts.) I organized my library into three sections: Memory, Reason, and Imagination. My library later formed the core of the Library of Congress.

    • (6 pts.) At age 26, I was described this way: “His frame is padded with well-developed muscles, indicating great strength … His mouth is large and generally firmly closed, but which from time to time discloses some defective teeth.” The first Congress of my presidency was more than a month late in assembling and officially verifying my election.
    • (4 pts.) During my first year in office, I toured New England alone on horseback for 28 days. In Boston, Governor John Hancock did not welcome me; so I stayed at a boarding house.
    • (2 pts.) With the passing years, my doubts about slavery grew. I noted the parallel between the “arbitrary rule of Britain over the American colonies and the ‘arbitrary sway’ of Virginians over their … slaves.” I provided for the freeing of my slaves at my wife’s death and guaranteed their support. In the 1830s, payments were still being made to my aging freedmen.

    • (6 pts.) My wife and I were the guests of honor at the first inaugural ball held on the day of the inauguration. An Indian uprising in the South brought on the Creek Indian War. Francis Lowell built the first U.S. plant designed to manufacture cloth from raw cotton by power machinery.
    • (4 pts.) I died in the state in which I was born, although I went to college in a different state. During my administration, the pirate Jean Lafitte became a national hero, as did Captain James Lawrence, who uttered the immortal phrase, “Don’t give up the ship!”
    • (2 pts.) In the face of a British invasion, my wife Dolley sent my papers into the country and, as she headed out the door of the White House with the painting of George Washington under her arm, she scooped up a precious copy of the Declaration of Independence.

    • (6 pts.) During my presidency, the Erie Canal opened, construction of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad began, and I went skinny-dipping in the Potomac.
    • (4 pts.) When I ran for president, no party labels were used. Instead candidates came forward on the basis of regional endorsements. None of the candidates received a majority of the electoral vote, and the election was thrown to the House of Representatives.
    • (2 pts.) Like my father, I was no “life of the party.” I described himself as “a man of reserved, cold, and forbidding manners.” And I was notoriously careless about my dress, at one point wearing the same hat for ten years.

    • (6 pts.) I was the first president whose wife died while I was in office. I was the only president to hold office in the Confederacy. Five years after leaving office, I was so poor I was unable to pay a bill for $1.25 until I had sold my corn crop.
    • (4 pts.) Shortly after I became President, Congress passed two bills to create a new Bank of the United States. I vetoed both as unconstitutional, the second amid charges that I had expressed my approval privately before it was passed. An uproar followed where all the members of my cabinet except Daniel Webster resigned in allegiance to Whig Congressional leaders.
    • (2 pts.) I was the one president who was not a U.S. citizen when I died. A native of Virginia, I died in that state as a citizen of the Southern Confederacy.

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