SAT II US History : Cause and Effect in U.S. Political History from 1790 to 1898

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

The Bleeding Kansas conflict was precipitated by which Congressional act?

Possible Answers:
The Fugitive Slave Act, which required all runaway slaves be returned to their masters, even if they were found in a Free State.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed the new states to be admitted into the Union to decide by popular sovereignty whether or not they would permit slavery.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War and brought large amounts of land into the possession of the United States of America.
The Compromise of 1850, which settled which parts of the territory acquired in the Mexican-American War could enter as Free or Slave States.
The Annexation of Texas, which brought a new Slave state into the Union, unbalancing the representation in Congress of Slave and Free States.
Correct answer: The Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed the new states to be admitted into the Union to decide by popular sovereignty whether or not they would permit slavery.
Explanation:

“Bleeding Kansas” is a term that refers to the armed conflict between Free Soil settlers and Pro-Slavery settlers to determine the composition of the state’s populace between 1854 and 1858.  The makeup of the population became important because the Congress had allowed new states to decide whether to be Free or Slave states with the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Example Question #2 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Although the Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24th, 1814, to end this war, the slowness of trans-Atlantic communication meant that the two hostile sides would still meet in battle at New Orleans on January 8th, 1815.

Possible Answers:

The Mexican-American War

The War of 1812

The American Revolutionary War

The Spanish-American War

The French and Indian War

Correct answer:

The War of 1812

Explanation:

Although the Treaty at Ghent was signed in 1814, it still needed to be ratified by Congress; this was done in February of 1815.  Still, the Battle of New Orleans, which resulted in an American victory might have been avoided were communications of the era quicker.

Example Question #3 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Passed in 1820, primarily to regulate slavery in the western territories, the Missouri Compromise intended to balance the number of “free” and “slave” states.  It resulted in the formation of what New England “free" state?

Possible Answers:

Rhode Island

Massachusetts

Vermont

Maine

New Hampshire

Correct answer:

Maine

Explanation:

Maine, which was then a northern region of Massachusetts, was admitted to the Union as a result of the Missouri Compromise.

Example Question #4 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Nathaniel "Nat" Turner's ultimately unsuccessful slave rebellion, on August 21st, 1831, in the state of Virginia, resulted in all of the following EXCEPT:

Possible Answers:

New legislation throughout the South prohibiting the education of slaves and free blacks.

Restrictions on the rights of assembly for free blacks.

The requirement that white ministers attend black church services.

Restrictions on various civil rights for free blacks.

Newspaper coverage throughout the South largely sympathetic to the slave rebels.

Correct answer:

Newspaper coverage throughout the South largely sympathetic to the slave rebels.

Explanation:

Following Nat Turner's slave rebellion, which resulted in the deaths of 55 whites, and no fewer than 100 blacks, there was no largely sympathetic newspaper coverage in the South.

Example Question #5 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation                 .

Possible Answers:

freed slaves in all US territories

freed all slaves in the United States

made slavery illegal

caused soldiers to leave the army

freed slaves in the rebelling states but not in the bordering Union states

Correct answer:

freed slaves in the rebelling states but not in the bordering Union states

Explanation:

The Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Confederate held states that were rebelling. The border states of Missouri, Kentucky, Delaware, and Maryland were not affected. All Union states had either already freed their slaves, or would do so in separate state and federal actions. Slavery was not actually illegal until the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, however. 

Example Question #6 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Which of the following most closely summarizes the direct consequences of the War of 1812?

Possible Answers:

It resulted in a decisive American victory.

It resulted in a stalemate.

It resulted in a British victory.

It brought about the beginning of the decline of the British Empire.

It catapulted Federalists to a position of dominance in American politics.

Correct answer:

It resulted in a stalemate.

Explanation:

The War of 1812 ended without major gains having been made by either side. In fact, the political and territorial situation after the war was much the same as it was before the war; therefore, it is best considered a stalemate.

Rather than catapulting the Federalist Party to a position of dominance in precipitated their decline—due to the timing of the peace treaty and the Battle of New Orleans—public opinion in America viewed the war as a victory, and the Federalists who had opposed it were disparaged by the American population. Likewise, it very clearly did not result in the decline of the British Empire, which had yet to reach the height of its influence and would not experience decline until after World War Two.

Example Question #7 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Founded in 1854, the Republican Party (of which President Lincoln was a member) was principally concerned with what?

Possible Answers:

Securing the borders

Slavery

Women's right to vote

Taxes

International Trade

Correct answer:

Slavery

Explanation:

The Republican Party was founded in opposition to slavery and its expansion throughout the United States.

Example Question #8 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry resulted in all of the following EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

celebration of Brown's cause by abolitionists in the North

Brown's capture and execution

the immediate start of the American Civil War

a fear of slave revolts throughout the South

an increase in militias throughout the south

Correct answer:

the immediate start of the American Civil War

Explanation:

The ardent abolitionist John Brown led an attack on the Federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) on October 16, 1859, with the hopes of gaining weapons and support for a widespread slave uprising. In actual fact, Brown's 20 men were quickly counterattacked by local militia, and U.S. troops under Colonel Robert E. Lee managed to kill 10 of Brown's men (including two sons) and capture Brown. Brown was hanged on December 2, 1859, but the event stirred passions North and South regarding issues of slavery. In late December, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union, which helped the country on the road to Civil War.

Example Question #9 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

John Wilkes Booth stated reason for assassinating Abraham Lincoln was __________.

Possible Answers:

to end the Civil War decisively and cause the Union to surrender to the Confederacy

to cause a crisis in the United States' government, and resuscitate the failing Confederate cause

to provoke a slave uprising throughout the Confederate States of America

to place Vice President Andrew Johnson into the Presidency

to martyr himself as the last gasp of the Confederacy

Correct answer:

to cause a crisis in the United States' government, and resuscitate the failing Confederate cause

Explanation:

John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln on April 15, 1865, less than a week after Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate Army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, and nearly three weeks after the fall of the Confederate capital at Richmond, VA. Booth was an ardent Southern supporter and white supremacist who believed Lincoln was a tyrant and race traitor. Booth developed a conspiracy to kill not only Lincoln, but Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State Edwin Stanton as well. Neither of those men were killed, as Johnson's assassin backed out and Stanton's was stopped by the Secretary's family. Booth managed to escape, but was instantly villified; he was tracked down by Union troops less than two weeks later. Booth refused to surrender and was shot by a Union soldier.

Example Question #10 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

The involvement of the United States in the Spanish-American War is significant because __________.

Possible Answers:

it showed the United States how weak its Navy was in comparison with European militaries

it represented the US becoming an Imperialist country and becoming more of a global power

it was the first time people in the United States protested a war effort

it was the first time the United States had fought a European nation since the American Revolution

it set Spain up to have an antagonistic relationship with the United Stated throughout the twentieth century

Correct answer:

it represented the US becoming an Imperialist country and becoming more of a global power

Explanation:

At the end of the Spanish-American War, the United States gained territory in the Caribbean and the Philippines. Though the United States refused to name these territories as colonies, they essentially treated them as such. Thus joining the Imperialist nations.

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