SAT II US History : Representative Viewpoints in U.S. Foreign Policy 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 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

What was the general aim of Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points speech given in January of 1918?

Possible Answers:
To declare American neutrality in any European conflict, no matter the political or economic ramifications for those nations
To announce American support for any nation in the Western Hemisphere that might be invaded by a European nation.
None of the other answers
To criticize Allied war goals in their conflicts with the Central powers as too idealistic and moralistic
To state clear aims and goals for America’s involvement in World War I, apart from the nationalistic or territorial aims of many European powers fighting the war.
Correct answer: To state clear aims and goals for America’s involvement in World War I, apart from the nationalistic or territorial aims of many European powers fighting the war.
Explanation:

Wilson’s Fourteen Points speech was delivered months after the United States entered the war on behalf of the Allied Powers in April of 1917.  Facing political blowback about reasons for joining a nationalistic war, Wilson constructed a pro-war argument based around the need for a new form of diplomacy post-war and sovereignty for specific European populations.

Example Question #2 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

"Speak softly and carry a big stick."

This phrase refers to which American president's foreign policy of civil negotiations with the threat of military might?

Possible Answers:
Dwight Eisenhower
Woodrow Wilson
Theodore Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Franklin Roosevelt
Correct answer: Theodore Roosevelt
Explanation:

First used in a speech before he assumed the presidency, Theodore Roosevelt's Big Stick diplomacy was his belief that intelligent forethought must be coupled with military muscle.

Example Question #3 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

"It must be the policy of the US to support the free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressures." 

The above quote can most reliably be attributed to which President?

Possible Answers:
George Bush
Harry S. Truman
Dwight Eisenhower
Richard Nixon
George W. Bush
Correct answer: Harry S. Truman
Explanation:

The so called “Truman Doctrine” argued that it was the responsibility of the post-war United States to support the extension or maintenance of freedom, personal liberty and democratic ideals throughout the world. The quote comes from a speech given by Truman, to Congress, when he was calling for funds to support those people in Turkey and Greece who favored democracy. 

Example Question #4 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

How did the Nye Committee affect America’s involvement in global conflict in the 1930s?

Possible Answers:
It stated that United States banks and corporations, in order to gain personal profit, had tricked the American people into entering World War One and therefore the United States should remain a neutral state in future conflict
It suggested that the American military was the strongest and best armed in the world and therefore the United States should not fear military intervention in Europe or Asia
It contended that the Japanese were preparing a series of large scale attacks aimed at disrupting American economic might and that the government should enlarge the armed forces so as not to be caught unprepared
It argued that the British and French had a very small chance to resist the might of the German military and therefore the United States should remain neutral so as to avoid joining the losing side
It declared that Hitler represented a threat to the entirety of the free world and, as a result, the United States had a moral imperative to enter the war on the side of the allies
Correct answer: It stated that United States banks and corporations, in order to gain personal profit, had tricked the American people into entering World War One and therefore the United States should remain a neutral state in future conflict
Explanation:

The Nye Report was a Senate report issued during World War One that stated that American banks and corporations had tricked the American people into supporting a war so that they could gain profit from the sale of arms, post-war reconstruction projects and the elimination of foreign competitors. The report was widely quoted as a very significant reason for avoiding conflict in Europe and Asia in the 1930s and persisted into the early 1940s, as a reason not to join World War Two on the side of the allied forces

Example Question #90 : U.S. Foreign Policy

Who among the following people was not responsible for the imperialist expansion of teh United States in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries? 

Possible Answers:

Theodore Roosevelt

Grover Cleveland 

William McKinley

Woodrow Wilson

William Taft

Correct answer:

Grover Cleveland 

Explanation:

The correct answer is Grover Cleveland. Taft, Roosevelt and McKinley all initiated conflicts or invasions that advanced American interests abroad. All three believed that the United States needed to expand its influence around the world to serve national interests. Wilson, who was staunchly against European Imperialism and ideologically opposed to America’s interference in foreign nations, still managed to send American troops into Nicaragua in 1914 to occupy the country and Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the years immediately after. Thus, Wilson can be seen as an Imperialist in practice if not in ideology. Grover Cleveland, on the other hand, came to the Presidency in the years shortly before Imperialist ideology took over the office, and once out of office he was a devoted member of the American Anti-Imperialist League. The Anti-Imperialist League believed that Imperialism violated the republican principles that America had been founded on, and they fiercely objected to any forced occupation of foreign lands. 

Example Question #5 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

Which of these was not one of President Wilson’s “Fourteen Points”?

Possible Answers:

The reduction of national armaments

The dismantling of the defeated Austro-Hungarian Empire 

Universal freedom to navigate and trade on the seas

The creation of an association of nations to promote peace 

The removal of international economic barriers to trade

Correct answer:

The dismantling of the defeated Austro-Hungarian Empire 

Explanation:

Woodrow Wilson explained America’s participation in World War One as an intervention of necessity. Peace and stability needed to be provided for in Europe and the world. Many of his fourteen points dealt with the maintenance of territories or the creation of new nation-states. However, he did not argue for the dismantling of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, instead he wished to incorporate them into a peaceful post-war world. In addition, he demanded a reduction of army size and strength and the removal of barriers to free trade and navigation of the seas. Finally, he called for the creation of a League of Nations, to co-operate on the maintenance of peace and prosperity. The fourteen points were generally viewed positively by European people, but negatively by European heads of state. 

Example Question #6 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

In which country did the Boxer Rebellion take place?

Possible Answers:

Russia

Japan

United Kingdom 

China

United States

Correct answer:

China

Explanation:

The Boxer Rebellion took place in China at the turn of the twentieth century. Chinese nationalist forces had long held grievances against the spheres of influence held by various European nations, and the United States, in Chinese territory. The rebellion was largely fought to remove the influence of foreign powers from China and to dispel Christian missionaries who were attempting to convert the population. The Rebellion ended in defeat for the Boxers and an increase in protected trading rights for the Imperial powers in Chinese territory. 

Example Question #7 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

The America First Committee                     .

Possible Answers:

opposed America getting involved in World War Two 

wanted additional restrictions on the number of people who could immigrate to the United States

called for economic reforms and helped elect Franklin D. Roosevelt

pressured Roosevelt to declare war on the Axis powers in 1940

deplored the influence of religion and Catholicism on United States government policy

Correct answer:

opposed America getting involved in World War Two 

Explanation:

The America First Committee was set up in 1939 and 1940 in order to prevent the United States from becoming embroiled in the “European war.” The committee argued that President Roosevelt was deceiving the American people with promises of neutrality. They argued that Roosevelt was aiding the Allied powers and drawing America closer and closer to conflict with Germany. The America First Committee reflected the general mood of the American public in 1939—the vast majority of whom wished to avoid conflict; however, with the Pearl Harbor attacks in 1941, the America First Committee rapidly disbanded and American public opinion reversed. 

Example Question #8 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

William Taft’s foreign policy is best characterized by the belief that                       .

Possible Answers:

America was best served economically and politically by remaining isolationist 

American investment abroad would secure global stability 

the American military should be deployed to protect interests in foreign nations

the “civilized” nations of the world had a duty to assist the Third World

the United States should spread diplomacy throughout Europe and Asia

Correct answer:

American investment abroad would secure global stability 

Explanation:

The foreign policy initiatives enacted during the Presidency of William Taft are generally referred to under the phrase “Dollar Diplomacy.” Taft believed that, in order to advance America’s economic and diplomatic interests and encourage global stability, the United States should encourage private American investment in foreign nations.

Example Question #9 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

Support and advocacy of the Vietnam War was largely predicated on __________.

Possible Answers:

stopping the spread of Communism

fighting against French colonial interests

to protect Vietnam from a Russian invasion

gaining access to Vietnam's natural resources

adding Vietnam as a United States Territory

Correct answer:

stopping the spread of Communism

Explanation:

Vietnam had been a French colony until World War II, when it was invaded by Japan.  After the war, the country was split into two nations, the Communist (and Soviet backed) North Vietnam, and the Democratic (and Western backed) South Vietnam. While America had always backed South Vietnam in the ongoing conflict between the two, in 1964, the U.S. officially declared War against North Vietnam after the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The reason given for this involvement from President Lyndon Johnson and hawks in Congress was that the spread of communism had to be stopped, and that Vietnam was crucial to this effort.

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