SAT II US History : Facts and Details in U.S. Intellectual and Cultural History from 1899 to the Present

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Facts And Details In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

In the late nineteenth century, William Randolph Hearst's newspaper, New York Journal, and Joseph Pulitzer's New York World were involved in a competition for the highest readership.  In order to increase their circulation, both newspapers sensationalized the news.  This sensationalizing of the news became known as what?

Possible Answers:

Risqué Reportage

Coarse Journalism

Bawdy Journalism

New York Fare

Yellow Journalism

Correct answer:

Yellow Journalism

Explanation:

Yellow Journalism is a term still used today to condemn reporting that is seen as unprofessional or unprincipled.

Example Question #2 : Facts And Details In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

Who was the American author, known for his novels The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952) among other works, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962?

Possible Answers:

Arthur Miller

Henry Miller

Ernest Hemingway

John Steinbeck

Herman Melville

Correct answer:

John Steinbeck

Explanation:

John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.  He is also known for his novella, Of Mice and Men.

Example Question #3 : Facts And Details In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

Who was the author of the muckraking book The History of the Standard Oil Company?

Possible Answers:

Upton Sinclair

John D. Rockefeller 

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Ida Tarbell 

William Randolph Hearst 

Correct answer:

Ida Tarbell 

Explanation:

The History of the Standard Oil Company was written by Ida Tarbell in 1904. The Standard Oil Company was owned by John D. Rockefeller (at the time the richest man in the United States). The book exposes much of the improper practices in the company and paved the way for a wave of other “muckraking” books that would contribute to the anti-trust movement in America in the early twentieth century. The term muckraking refers to a type of progressive journalist who performs investigative work for the sake of promoting change.

Example Question #4 : Facts And Details In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

Who made the first controlled and sustained flight in a heavier-than-air aircraft?

Possible Answers:

Charles Lindbergh

Ernest Archdeacon

Manfred von Richthofen

Amelia Earhart

The Wright Brothers

Correct answer:

The Wright Brothers

Explanation:

On December 17th, 1903, the Wright Brothers made such a flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, ushering in the age of modern aviation.

Example Question #5 : Facts And Details In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

On July 20th, 1969, who became the first person to set foot on the moon?

Possible Answers:

James A. Lovell, Jr.

Neil Armstrong

Edwin Aldrin, Jr.

Frank F. Borman, Jr.

Chuck Yeager

Correct answer:

Neil Armstrong

Explanation:

American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon.

Example Question #6 : Facts And Details In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

Malcolm X is most closely identified with the organization known as __________.

Possible Answers:

the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

the Universal Negro Improvement Association

the Nation of Islam

Correct answer:

the Nation of Islam

Explanation:

Formerly known as Malcolm Little, a former street hustler and ex-convict, Malcolm X gained notoriety in the 1950s as the leading speaker for the Nation of Islam. The Nation was a religious movement begun in the 1920s as a spin on traditional Islam, but with a distinct black nationalist message and a theology that considered all white people to be the children of Satan.

Malcolm X's spiritual change lifted him out of poverty and prison, but also made him a leading voice for black separatism. In 1965, Malcolm X began having issues with the Nation's leader, Elijah Muhammad, both because of Malcolm's controversial statements and because of Muhammad's philandering. Malcolm X converted to traditional Sunni Islam in late 1964, and was assasinated by disgruntled Nation members on February 21, 1965.

Example Question #3 : Facts And Details In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

The counterculture of the 1960s was exemplified by all but which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Development of new popular musical styles

A deep respect of authority figures

Opposition to the Vietnam War

More adventurous approaches to drugs

Support of the women's rights movement

Correct answer:

A deep respect of authority figures

Explanation:

The counterculture of the 1960s developed as the post-World War II Baby Boom generation grew into their teens and twenties. A wide majority of this generation began defining themselves in opposition to their parents' generation. In particular, the burgeoning music scenes and "hippie culture" in metropolitan areas of the U.S. made acceptance of drugs and recreational sex more common. Politically, the counter culture moved increasingly to the left, with an anti-authoritarian streak and opposition to the Vietnam War, standing beside support of African-American Rights, Women's Rights, and the nascent Gay Rights Movements.

Example Question #8 : Facts And Details In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

What is the name of the first satellite launched by the United States during the Space Age?

Possible Answers:

Augusta I

Voyager I

Explorer I

Intrepid I

Sputnik I

 

Correct answer:

Explorer I

Explanation:

The first satellite launched by the United States during the Space Age was named Explorer I. Explorer I was launched in January of 1958, a few months after the launch of Sputnik 1 and 2 by the Soviet Union. The launch of Explorer I marked the beginning of the Cold War era Space Race between the U.S.S.R and the United States. 

Example Question #4 : Facts And Details In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

Who developed the first reliable polio vaccine in 1955?

Possible Answers:

Karl Slotta 

Jonas Salk 

Ferid Murad 

Orange Judd

Thomas Edison

Correct answer:

Jonas Salk 

Explanation:

Jonas Salk was the first scientist to develop a reliable vaccine for polio. Prior to Salk’s breakthrough in 1955 polio was generally considered one of the most terrifying public health problems in the post-war United States. Epidemics frequently broke out during the summer, and the disease heavily affected young children. In 1952, the worst epidemic on record, more than three thousand people died, and tens of thousands were left with debilitating illnesses. Salk forsook personal profit and refused to patent his idea—in his time he was hailed as a national hero, but is largely forgotten today. 

Example Question #10 : Facts And Details In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

What was the name given to the investigative journalists of the early 1900s who advocated change and reform?

Possible Answers:

Busybodies

Muckrakers

Charlatans

Yellow Journalists

Crusaders

Correct answer:

Muckrakers

Explanation:

These early investigative journalists were called muckrakers.

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