American Sphinx Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Joseph Ellis
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What is the reason the author gives for the contradiction between Jefferson's opinion of slavery and his owning of slaves?
(a) He believes in human dignity for those that are of European descent, as long as they do not own slaves.
(b) He is against slavery but owns them because he feels pressure to do so.
(c) He believes in human dignity and freedom, as long as it does not conflict with his own wealth and comfort.
(d) He enjoys an easier life by owning slaves, therefore he is pro-slavery.

2. What is the end result of this planting?
(a) Failure.
(b) A successful harvest.
(c) Plentiful fields.
(d) The purchasing of more slaves to harvest the crop.

3. What is a key facet of Jefferson's personality?
(a) His sense of humor.
(b) His abhorence of slavery.
(c) His lifelong avoidance of conflict.
(d) His fatherly love.

4. What do many slave owners require of their slaves?
(a) An education.
(b) Disobedience.
(c) Sexual services.
(d) Tutoring.

5. What do both William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow claim about Jefferson?
(a) He is a great man.
(b) He shares their architectural style.
(c) He shares their views of evolution and creation.
(d) He shares their views about human dignity.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Ellis call flexibility and others might call hypocrisy?

2. With whom did Jefferson engage in vile public clashes?

3. Why does the audience not ask questions regarding Jefferson's slave ownership and relationship with Sally Hemings?

4. Why is it difficult for Patsy to love her husband?

5. Who is reportedly the father of Sally Hemings?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Jefferson claimed by many individuals with opposing beliefs?

2. What is the reason for the lack of pomp in his arrival to the Capitol?

3. What is ironic about Jefferson's approval of the separation of church and state?

4. What story does Jefferson glamorize to benefit himself?

5. How are Jefferson's views of slavery at this point in his life?

6. Although Jefferson believes that slavery should be abolished, what does he feel about the issue of equality?

7. Why might, by the standards of Jefferson's day, having an affair with a slave and fathering children by her be considered unethical?

8. Why does Madison let Jefferson know that his name is being put forth as the Republican Party's candidate for president through coded letters?

9. Why does Martha force Jefferson to promise to never remarry?

10. Why does Jefferson make the Louisiana Purchase?

(see the answer keys)

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