SAT II US History : Facts and Details in U.S. Social 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 #4 : U.S. Social History From 1899 To The Present

Which of the following best describes the status of Black soldiers in the United States Army during World War I?

Possible Answers:
Black Americans were subject to the draft, but were not allowed to willfully enlist
Black soldiers were fully integrated into existing regiments, serving alongside their white compatriots
Black soldiers were placed in segregated units, generally under the command of a white officer
Black Americans were refused entry into the armed forces
Black Americans were encouraged to enlist, but excluded from the draft
Correct answer: Black soldiers were placed in segregated units, generally under the command of a white officer
Explanation:

Black soldiers were almost exclusively placed in segregated units, away from their white compatriots. These regiments were usually commanded by white officers. Many black soldiers were held away from the primary areas of battle, this was generally a result of the racist view of many Americans that blacks were unfit or unwilling to fight with the same efficacy as their white peers. 

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

What was the Supreme Court Case that outlawed racial segregation in public schools?

Possible Answers:
Baker v. Carr
Miranda v. Arizona
Furman v. Georgia
Plessy v. Ferguson
Brown v. Board of Education
Correct answer: Brown v. Board of Education
Explanation:

The decision in Brown v. Board of Education stemmed from a case brought by an African American family from Topeka, Kansas, challenging that city’s policy of having two school systems, one for white children and one for African-Americans.  The unanimous decision in Brown outlawed racial segregation in public schools throughout the nation as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

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

Which one of the following institutions was fully racially integrated across America first?

Possible Answers:
Public Transportation
State Colleges and Universities
The Armed Forces
Prisons
Public Secondary Schools
Correct answer: The Armed Forces
Explanation:

 On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981, fully integrating every branch and level of the United States Military.  Secondary Schools and State College were not integrated by court order until the 1950s, while public transportation did not get fully integrated nationwide until the 1965 Civil Rights Act.  Prisons in the south were generally segregated until the 1970s.

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

Which amendment repealed prohibition?

Possible Answers:
Sixteenth
Twenty-First
Fifteenth
Twenty-Fourth
Eighteenth
Correct answer: Twenty-First
Explanation:

Prohibition was enacted following the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment. For many Americans it represented an unnecessary intrusion of rural, Protestant ideals on a key aspect of urban, working class life. The lax enforcement of the law, coupled with a significant demand for alcohol created, amongst other things, the rise of the American Mafia and widespread corruption in Politics and Civil Society. It was repealed thirteen years later, in 1933, with the passage of the Twenty-First Amendment. 

Example Question #8 : U.S. Social History From 1899 To The Present

“We come then to the question presented: Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other 'tangible' factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does.”

The above passage is taken from which Supreme Court Case?

Possible Answers:

McCulloch v. Maryland

Gibbons v. Ogden

Plessy v. Ferguson

None of those mentioned

Brown v. Board of Education

Correct answer:

Brown v. Board of Education

Explanation:

That quote is an excerpt from the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) case. The case established that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional in practice, because it was inherently unequal. The case reversed a previous decision made by the Supreme Court, in 1896, in the Plessy v. Ferguson case, which had mandated that “separate but equal” was constitutional. It was a landmark case in the growing civil rights movement of the era.

Example Question #9 : U.S. Social History From 1899 To The Present

In the 1920s, young women who bobbed their hair, wore short skirts, drank, smoked, and communicated disdain for social and sexual mores (often while enjoying jazz) were known as what?

Possible Answers:

Roaring Twenties Gals

Freebirds

Roarers

Flappers

Libbers

Correct answer:

Flappers

Explanation:

Young women of the 1920s who dressed and behaved as such were collectively known as Flappers.

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

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, this term was contemptuously applied to men and women from Oklahoma (and surrounding states), who had migrated to California seeking work.

Possible Answers:

Nogoodniks

Sooners

Carpetbaggers

Muckrakers

Okies

Correct answer:

Okies

Explanation:

Migrants from Oklahoma and nearby states, like Arkansas, were lumped together and called "Okies."

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

What was the significance of Roe v. Wade?

Possible Answers:

Prohibited prayer in public schools

Legalized abortion 

Ensured equal rights for women in the workplace

Overturned Plessy v. Ferguson 

Declared that the Federal government was responsible for enforcing gender equality

Correct answer:

Legalized abortion 

Explanation:

The Roe v. Wade case made abortion legal in the United States. It dictated that a woman had the right to termination provided she was in the first trimester of her pregnancy. That has since been extended to roughly seven months, or whenever the baby could potentially live outside of the woman’s body. The case remains important in the United States today. Throughout the last few decades it has been a major social issue for several different factions and interest groups. 

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

The 1925 trial against John Scopes, a schoolteacher from Dayton, Tennessee, centered on the teaching of what theory in school?

Possible Answers:

Darwinian Evolution

Genetics

Relativity

Communism

Manifest Destiny

Correct answer:

Darwinian Evolution

Explanation:

Throughout the 1920s, controversies raged across the nation regarding whether Charles Darwin's theory of evolution should be taught in public schools. In 1925, the State of Tennessee passed the Butler Act, which specifically prohibited teaching evolution and allowed only creationism to be discussed in classrooms. In the tiny town of Dayton, a schoolteacher named John Scopes was convinced to challenge the law. After the American Civil Liberties Union and the famed lawyer Clarence Darrow came to Scopes' defence, William Jennings Bryan and various fundamentalist Christian groups defended the law. The subsequent trial, known popularly as the "Scopes Monkey Trial," became a celebrated national news story.

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

Who was the first African-American appointed to the Supreme Court?

Possible Answers:

Clarence Thomas

Thurgood Marshall

Earl Warren

Harry Blackmun

Booker T. Washington

Correct answer:

Thurgood Marshall

Explanation:

Before becoming the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall had already made a name for himself in United States’ law and society. He argued convincingly for an end to segregation in Brown v. Board of Education, and many historians credit him with helping sway the Court in favor of ending segregation. He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1967, having been nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Marshall was a firm advocator for civil rights, constitutional amendment, and the reform of criminal procedure. He retired in 1991 and was replaced by Clarence Thomas, who became the second African-American Supreme Court Justice. 

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