SAT Subject US History Practice Question 682: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 682

33. The constitutionality of the Bank of the United States was upheld in the Supreme Court decision in the case of

A. McCulloch v. Maryland.
B. Marbury v. Madison.
C. Plessy v. Ferguson.
D. Dred Scott v. Sanford.
E. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

Correct Answer: A


The decision of McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), which dealt with the Bank of the United States and upheld its constitutionality, established that the states could not nullify actions taken by the federal government. Stating that the "power to tax is the power to destroy," Marshall upheld the right of the national government to establish the Bank of the United States. Marbury v. Madison (1803) established the right of the Supreme Court to exercise judicial review (B). This case resulted from the Midnight Appointments under the administration of John Adams. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) established the doctrine of separate but equal when it came to racial matters (C). The Dred Scott Case (1857) established the idea that slaves were property, inflaming the abolitionist's cause (D). Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka reversed the Plessy decision, stating that separate but equal was "inherently unequal" (E).

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