SAT II US History : Cause and Effect in U.S. Economic History from Pre-Columbian to 1789

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II US History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Economic History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Which of these was not a consequence of the British economic policy of Mercantilism in the colonies? 

Possible Answers:
New England shipbuilders benefitted from the protection offered by the Navigation Acts
English and French colonies grew closer, in mutual protest to the manner in which they were being used to serve the metropole.
Certain goods, such as sugar, tobacco and cotton, could only be traded with England – shrinking the market that Southern plantation owners could sell to
All goods bound for the colonies had to be processed first in England, before an import tax was applied, to protect English economic interests
Smuggling grew in usage as colonists illegally sought new markets for their goods
Correct answer: English and French colonies grew closer, in mutual protest to the manner in which they were being used to serve the metropole.
Explanation:

The economic policy of Mercantilism was designed around the premise that the colonies existed to build up the supply of gold in Empire. To achieve this goal a nation had to build up a favorable balance of trade by exporting more than it imported. The primacy of this belief in Europe helped foster the dramatic race for Empire around the globe as each additional resource, manufacturing centre and market helped contribute to the balance of trade. New England shipbuilders benefitted from the Navigation Acts because they protected their enterprise from foreign competition. Southerners found the market for their goods shrinking as it could only be shipped to England, which in turn encouraged smuggling. Conversely, far from being brought closer together, the English and French colonies began to fight extensively in the mid-eighteenth century as English settlers began to spread North and West into French lands. 

Example Question #2 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Economic History From Pre Columbian To 1789

What, primarily, allowed the first English colony at Jamestown to survive and flourish?

Possible Answers:
The establishment of tobacco farms that provided immediate wealth and prosperity to the land-owners
The rivalry with Spanish and French colonies that helped foster a spirit of solidarity and necessity amongst the English colonists
Trade and aid provided by local Native American people
The shipping of goods from the metropole (London)
The constant influx of new colonists that brought with them fresh ideas and resources
Correct answer: The establishment of tobacco farms that provided immediate wealth and prosperity to the land-owners
Explanation:

The establishment, by John Rolfe in 1619, of tobacco as the primary cash crop of the colony lead directly to economic prosperity in Jamestown and helped stem the tide of winter starvations that had previously blighted the colony. Although aid from the Native Americans was important, it was insufficient to prevent the colony slowly atrophying. 

Example Question #3 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Economic History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Which of the following contributed to the declining use of indentured servants in late seventeenth-century America?

Possible Answers:

Shay’s Rebellion

Bacon’s Rebellion 

The Taos Revolt

Nat Turner’s Rebellion

The Whiskey Rebellion

Correct answer:

Bacon’s Rebellion 

Explanation:

Bacon’s Rebellion took place in Virginia, in 1676. It was an armed uprising by indentured servants, poor settlers and slaves against the rule of Virginia Governor William Berkeley. The rebellion began because Berkeley failed to provide for the safety of the colonists against Native American incursions, and because the poorer classes in the colonies—both black and white—were disturbed by the strict hierarchical nature of colonial Virginian society. The makeshift alliance between black slaves and white indentured servants disturbed the ruling classes greatly, and it caused a massive reduction in the use of indentured servants for labor, leading to a hardening of the racial hierarchy of colonial America—particularly in the South.

Example Question #4 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Economic History From Pre Columbian To 1789

What is the primary reason that slavery was more prevalent in the South than in the North?

Possible Answers:

The North's economy didn't rely heavily on agriculture, but the plantation economy of the South required large reserves of workers to turn a profit.

The British government forbade slavery in Northern colonies.

The bicameral legislature of Massachusetts passed a bill outlawing slavery, and the other Northern colonies promptly followed suit.

The personal campaigning of luminaries such as William Penn and Lord Baltimore against slavery gained a following only in New England.

Northern colonists abhorred what they viewed as the backwardness of the South and believed slavery to be morally wrong.

Correct answer:

The North's economy didn't rely heavily on agriculture, but the plantation economy of the South required large reserves of workers to turn a profit.

Explanation:

During the colonial period, neither Northerners nor Southerners held much regard for the rights of blacks. However, in the North the economy was much more heavily based around small land holdings and city life than it was in the South. The South produced the vast majority of America’s cash crops. Southerners believed that they could not keep their plantations operating profitably without the import of black slaves – an opinion that would persist up to, and past, the outbreak of the Civil War.

Example Question #5 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Economic History From Pre Columbian To 1789

The well-documented 1773 political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston was in response to which controversial law(s) promulgated by the Parliament of Great Britain?

Possible Answers:

Coercive Acts

Townshend Acts

Tea Act

Intolerable Acts

Stamp Act

Correct answer:

Tea Act

Explanation:

The 1773 protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston was in response to, and in defiance of, the Tea Act of 1773. The Sons of Liberty protested by destroying shipments of tea sent by the East India Company by throwing them into Boston Harbor.

The Stamp Act was a duty imposed on the revenue of the American Colonies. The Intolerable Acts and the Coercive Acts were colloquial names for the series of rulings made by the British Parliament in response to the 1773 protest. The Townshend Acts referred to a series of acts concerned with the American colonies, passed in 1767.

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