SAT II US History : Representative Viewpoints in Social History from Pre-Columbian History to 1789

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Representative Viewpoints In Social History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

Which of these reasons best describes why roughly one-third of the colonists wished to remain loyal to the British during the Revolutionary War?

Possible Answers:
The belief among much of the wealthy that the decline of British rule would mean chaos and loss of property
Lack of belief that the Americans could be victorious
Fear that the end of British rule would mean an end to the institution of slavery
Fear of Native American attacks in the absence of British protection
Belief that the Republican principles were a ruse and that an independent America would mean autocracy
Correct answer: The belief among much of the wealthy that the decline of British rule would mean chaos and loss of property
Explanation:

In the early stages of Revolutionary War, roughly one-third of the country openly supported full rebellion (Patriots), one-thid remained loyal to the Crown (Loyalists), and the final one-third erred on the side of caution. As the war raged on and American success grew more and more likely these numbers shifted dramatically in favor of the Patriot cause. The Loyalists at the beginning of the war were predominantly wealthy, land-owning families and city merchants. They feared that the end of British rule would see the "rebels" free to take their property and disrupt their business. At the end of the war, many of the remaining Loyalists fled North to Canada, or else back to England. 

Example Question #146 : U.S. Social History

Shays’ Rebellion took place primarily in which state?

Possible Answers:

Massachusetts

Virginia 

Georgia

New Jersey

Ohio

Correct answer:

Massachusetts

Explanation:

Shays’ rebellion took place primarily in the state of Massachusetts in 1786 and 1787. It was brought about largely due to economic difficulties and widespread poverty in post-revolution Massachusetts. The rebellion took place during the last years of the Articles of Confederation and helped demonstrate the limitations of the Articles to those at the Constitutional Convention. 

Example Question #2 : Representative Viewpoints In Social History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

What was the main difference between the colonists of Plymouth (1620) and those of Massachusetts Bay (1630)?

Possible Answers:

The Plymouth colonists sought new economic opportunities in America, while the Massachusetts Bay colonists sought religious freedom.

The Plymouth colonists were separatists who wished to separate from the Church of England, while the Massachusetts Bay colonists were Puritans who wished to purify the Church of England from within.

The Plymouth Colonists owned slaves, while the Massachusetts Bay colonists were against slavery.

The Plymouth colonists sought religious freedom, while the Massachusetts Bay colonists sought new economic opportunities.

The Plymouth colonists were from Spain, while the Massachusetts Bay colonists were from England.

Correct answer:

The Plymouth colonists were separatists who wished to separate from the Church of England, while the Massachusetts Bay colonists were Puritans who wished to purify the Church of England from within.

Explanation:

Both sets of colonists were English religious dissenters who wanted to find a place to worship according to their beliefs.  Largely from similar backgrounds, the only real difference between the two groups was their approach to the Church of England.  As separatists, the Plymouth colonists wanted to separate themselves from the Church of England entirely.  The Massachusetts Bay colonists instead wanted to reform the Church of England.

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