SAT II US History : Facts and Details 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

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Example Question #1 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

1.       The delegation that  voted to cut off colonial trade with Great Britain unless Parliament abolished the Intolerable Acts, approved resolutions advising the colonies to begin training their citizens for war, and attempted to define America's rights was known as the

Possible Answers:

The Stamp Act Congress

Sons and Daughters of Liberty

First Continental Congress

Committees of Correspondence

Second Continental congress

Correct answer:

First Continental Congress

Explanation:

These measures were put into place by the First Continental Congress prior to the American Revolution in order to define America’s power with respect to the British government. By this time, aggression had grown between the colonies and Great Britain.

Example Question #1 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

1.       Shays’ rebellion came to symbolize

Possible Answers:

All of the answers

Government’s unresponsiveness to the will of the people

Government’s lack of authority to regulate trade or to collect taxes

Government’s vulnerability to anarchy

The widespread discontent manifested throughout New England during the economic depression that followed the American Revolution.

Correct answer:

The widespread discontent manifested throughout New England during the economic depression that followed the American Revolution.

Explanation:

Shay’s rebellion came about after the heavy taxes imposed on farmers and war veterans to pay for the Revolutionary war. The high taxes sparked a rebellion from farmers in eastern Massachusetts but more importantly brought to light the vulnerabilities of the Articles of the Confederation. Under the Articles, the government had little control over states and imposition of taxes and therefor struggled to pay the war debt.

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

Which one of the following North American colonies was NOT first visited by Columbus during one of his voyages?

Possible Answers:

Puerto Rico

Jamaica

Virginia

Hispaniola

Cuba

Correct answer:

Virginia

Explanation:

Virginia, first discovered in the middle of the sixteenth century, is the only location Columbus never landed on.  An easy way to deduce the correct answer is simple geography.  Columbus only visited the Caribbean Islands, and never touched mainland North America.  With this in mind, it can be easy to figure out the correct answer by identifying the one non-Caribbean locale, Virginia.

Example Question #3 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

The Judiciary Act of 1789

Possible Answers:
Created and outlined the Federal Court system
Provided for the creation of a National Bank
Declared slavery immoral and unconstitutional
Established the principle of Judicial Review
Re-affirmed the principles of the Bill of Rights
Correct answer: Created and outlined the Federal Court system
Explanation:

The Judiciary Act of 1789 was designed to codify into law the sections of the United States Constitution that called for a supreme Judicial Branch. The principle of Judicial Review was not established until 1803, in the landmark Marbury vs. Madison case.

Example Question #4 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

What was the purpose of the 1786 Annapolis Conference?

Possible Answers:
To discuss how best to deal with the Whiskey Rebellion
To protest British violations of the 1783 Peace of Paris
To write the United States Constitution
To amend the Articles of Confederation and to correct inherent weaknesses
To remove Native American people from territory West of the Mississippi
Correct answer: To amend the Articles of Confederation and to correct inherent weaknesses
Explanation:

Very soon after its inception it became clear to many American politicians that the Articles of Confederation was too weak to serve as an effective guiding document for any efficient government. Amongst other weaknesses, it heavily de-centralized Federal power and placed it largely in the hands of states; it offered no mandates to enforce treaties; there was no chief executive who could serve as a proper head of state; it required nine of thirteen states to ratify any laws and states usually voted in blocks of smaller/larger and northern/southern leading to constant stalemate; no power to regulate commerce between states leading to constant economic chaos and confusion. By 1786 it had become clear that the Articles needed to be reformed, although the Representatives had yet to decide to abandon it all together, as they would a few years later. 

Example Question #5 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

What were the territorial consequences of the French-Indian War (1756-1763)?

Possible Answers:
French loss of remaining territory in North America, including Canada and all land East of the Mississippi
French loss of the Hudson Bay to the British
French gain of territory west of the Mississippi from the British
French loss of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to the British
French gain of territory north of the Great Lakes from the British
Correct answer: French loss of remaining territory in North America, including Canada and all land East of the Mississippi
Explanation:

Following the culmination of the French-Indian War, also called the Seven-Years War, the French ceded control of all remaining North American continental territory. The Hudson Bay, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland had already been ceded to the British following conflicts earlier in the Century. The French loss control of lands west of the Mississippi to the Spanish as payment for acquired debts and would not gain control of these lands until the conquests of Napoleon.

Example Question #6 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

The Proclamation Act, issued in 1763...

Possible Answers:
Benefited New England ship builders who no longer had to compete with foreign workers
Forbade colonial settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains
Re-affirmed the principles of Virtual Representation for the colonies in Parliament
Required colonists to house British soldiers during times of war
Repealed the Stamp Act, after widespread protest
Correct answer: Forbade colonial settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains
Explanation:

The Treaty of Paris, which ended the French-Indian Wars, gave the British government control over massive swathes of land in Mid-West America. In an attempt to placate displaced and hostile Native Americans, the British government issued the Proclamation Act of 1763 which forbade any settlement of territory west of the Appalachians. 

Example Question #7 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Which of the following states was not one of the Northwest Territory?

Possible Answers:
Iowa
Indiana
Michigan
Ohio
Illinois
Correct answer: Iowa
Explanation:

The Northwest Territory was one of the first territories settled by the United States after independence and posed issues related to how new States would join the Union.  With the Northwest Ordinance, Congress created official measures for a territory to gain statehood.  The states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin were all created out of the Northwest Territory.

Example Question #8 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

This incident happened on March 5th, 1770, in Boston, then capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay.  British soldiers fired into a crowd of verbally abusive and object-hurling colonists, angered by British Parliamentary legislation they believed to be unfair.  Known by the British as the Incident on King Street, 5 colonists were killed and six others were wounded.  What is this incident called in America?

Possible Answers:

The Death of Innocence

The Massacre on King Street

The Boston Incident

The Boston Massacre

The Boston Tea Party

Correct answer:

The Boston Massacre

Explanation:

The Incident on King Street is known in America as the Boston Massacre.

Example Question #9 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From Pre Columbian To 1789

Nathaniel Bacon led an uprising in 1676, 100 years before the Declaration of Independence. Which of the following is/are true about this uprising?

Possible Answers:
Two of the answer choices are true.
All answer choices are true
Bacon accused the English governor of treason.
It was caused by the mercantilist policies of the English.
The rebellion was successful and Bacon overthrew the English governor.
Correct answer: Two of the answer choices are true.
Explanation:

The colonies were indeed upset by the mercantilist policies of England, which forbade the colonists from trading with anyone but England, and forbade them from crossing the Appalachian Mountains.  Bacon then led an uprising in 1676 in Jamestown, Virginia, during which he accusing the English governor of treason and killed many British and Native Americans.  He was not, however, successful.  Instead, Bacon died from typhus that was brought on by body lice!

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