SAT Subject US History Practice Question 891: Answer and Explanation
62. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were similar in that they both
A. advocated a balance between states' rights and a strong central government.
B. supported the Bank of the United States.
C. believed in rotation of public offices.
D. used the elastic clause to justify actions they had taken.
E. believed that the people were capable of making a decision if they were educated and informed.
Correct Answer: D
Both Hamilton and Jefferson, despite their differing views on interpreting the Constitution, cited the elastic clause (the implied powers clause) of the Constitution to justify their actions. Hamilton cited it in establishing the Bank of the United States, and Jefferson cited it in purchasing the Louisiana Territory. Jefferson supported states' rights; Hamilton supported a strong central government (A). Jefferson opposed the Bank of the United States (B) on the grounds that it would favor urban elites at the expense of farmers and that the Constitution did not grant Congress the power to create a national bank; Hamilton believed that a bank would aid in the economic development of the United States and would create a stable currency. Jefferson favored the rotation of public offices as a democratic measure, while Hamilton believed in retaining qualified people (C). Jefferson had a great deal of confidence in the common man (E), while Hamilton doubted the ability of the masses to decide wisely.