SAT II US History : Cause and Effect in U.S. Political 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. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

This British government interdiction forbade American colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains.

Possible Answers:

The Homestead Act

The Stamp Act

The Boston Port Act

The Townshend Acts

The Proclamation of 1763

Correct answer:

The Proclamation of 1763

Explanation:

The British government's Proclamation of 1763 forbade American colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains.

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

What is considered the most important consequence of the Battle of Saratoga, in 1777?

Possible Answers:

It allowed the British to gain a stranglehold over New York and to push down towards the seat of the Continental Congress. 

It prevented the Continental Army from establishing a base for the winter.

It led to widespread desertion among the Continental Army and forced Washington to hire mercenaries.

It humiliated the British and forced their government to negotiate an unconditional peace.

It convinced the French that the Americans could win and fostered an alliance of convenience.

Correct answer:

It convinced the French that the Americans could win and fostered an alliance of convenience.

Explanation:

The Battle of Saratoga is considered by many historians to be a major turning point in the American War of Independence. During the battle the Continental Army surround their British counterparts and forced its timely surrender. Prior to the battle most European nations had doubted the ability of the colonists to resist the might of the British Empire and had therefore been reluctant to commit troops and naval forces to a lost cause; however, victory at Saratoga finally convinced the French government that the Americans could achieve independence, and they formally entered the war under a Franco-American alliance. The impact that the French armed forces, and its navy in particular, were to have on the war cannot be understated.

Example Question #2 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

What is the significance of the “Power of the Purse” in encouraging democratic principles in the early stages of colonial history?

Possible Answers:

It mandated that a certain proportion of colonial resources be set aside to protect democratic institutions.

It allowed the colonists to expand rapidly and effectively across the region, thus spreading democratic ideals .

It did not encourage democratic principles in the colonies.

It allowed the colonies to survive the early periods of poverty and starvation, which provided the base for a constitutional monarchy.

By ensuring the right of legislators to levy taxes and pay the salaries of governors, the colonial representatives could threaten to withhold payment if a governor refused to comply.

Correct answer:

By ensuring the right of legislators to levy taxes and pay the salaries of governors, the colonial representatives could threaten to withhold payment if a governor refused to comply.

Explanation:

The “Power of the Purse” is the name used to describe the power gained by the Houses and representative governments of the New World over the levying of taxes and control over the payment of the Governor. In the Early Colonial Period the Governor often acted as a supervisor, whose mandate came “directly from the crown”. This mandate often allowed the Governor to act unilaterally, and it was only by ensuring control over the finances that the Representative governments could pass laws that benefitted the colony, as opposed to those that benefitted the Governor. It was extremely important for fostering democracy in the New World. 

Example Question #3 : U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

Which of the following were results of Bacon's Rebellion (1676)?

Possible Answers:

Tobacco became the main cash crop of Virginia, and Britain took control of New York, Boston, and Charleston.

Voting rights were expanded to non-landowning men, and the first colonial militia was formed.

Catholicism became more widely tolerated in the colonies, and abolitionist groups started gaining influence.

Less women decided to move to the colonies, and the Native Americans gained land back from the colonists.

A shift from indentured servant labor in the southern colonies to slavery, and an increase in British control and influence in the colonies.

Correct answer:

A shift from indentured servant labor in the southern colonies to slavery, and an increase in British control and influence in the colonies.

Explanation:

In 1676 Nathanial Bacon and several other small farmers rose up against Virginia's governor William Berkley for a number of reasons. Bacon and his posse wanted to fight off the Natives and take their land (something that Berkley was keeping them from doing). Berkley also delegated most of Virginia's farming land to his cronies. Bacon burned Jamestown and ruled Virginia, looting Berkley's cronies' lands until British forces arrived and unseated the uprising. In the end, 23 of the rebels were hanged. Bacon himself died of dysentery shortly after taking over. 

Following the Rebellion, the colonial elite, not wanting to have to cede lands to anyone, began to rely more heavily upon slave labor and less so on indentured servants.

Berkley's failure to suppress the uprising showed the British that they would need to have tighter control over the colonies to keep similar rebellions from happening in the future.

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

Which English philosopher, whose theories of natural law, articulated in his work Two Treatises of Civil Government, heavily influenced the United States Declaration of Independence?

Possible Answers:

Adam Smith

Thomas Paine

Adam Ferguson

John Locke

Isaac Newton

Correct answer:

John Locke

Explanation:

John Locke's theories of natural law, articulated in his work Two Treatises of Civil Government (1689), influenced Thomas Jefferson, among others, and consequentially influenced the United States Declaration of Independence. The two treatises consist of a critique of patriarchal, aristocratic governments, and a separate outlining of Locke's own theories about an ideal society based on the principles of social contract theory.

Thomas Paine wrote The Rights of Man (1791), in which he defended the French Revolution. Isaac Newton wrote The Principia (1687), in which he outlined the three universal laws of motion. Adam Ferguson wrote An Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767), in which he laid out his theories on division of labor. Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations (1776), in which he laid out his basic theory of a free market economy. Ferguson and Smith were both Scottish, not English.

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