SAT II US History : Representative Viewpoints in U.S. Intellectual and Cultural History from 1790 to 1898

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. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

“What a prodigious growth this English race, especially the American branch of it, is having! How soon will it subdue and occupy all the wild parts of this continent and of the islands adjacent. No prophecy, however seemingly extravagant, as to future achievements in this way [is] likely to equal the reality.”

Prophecy in this Rutherford B. Hayes quote very probably refers to what widely held nineteenth-century American belief?

Possible Answers:

The American Supremacy Doctrine

Liberalism

The Annexation Principle

Western Frontier Ideology

Manifest Destiny

Correct answer:

Manifest Destiny

Explanation:

In nineteenth-century America, manifest destiny was the popular belief that American settlers were meant to expand across the continent; it was their destiny.

Example Question #2 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

“American social development has been continually beginning over again on the frontier. This perennial rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward with its new opportunities, its continuous touch with the simplicity of primitive society, furnish the forces dominating American character. The true point of view in the history of this nation is not the Atlantic Coast, it is the Great West.”

The author of this passage would most likely not have approved of             .

Possible Answers:

The Louisiana Purchase

The establishment of Indian reservations

The construction of the Pacific Railroad

The California Gold Rush

The Mexican War

Correct answer:

The establishment of Indian reservations

Explanation:

The author of this passage is Frederick Jackson Turner. Turner was a late-nineteenth-century historian who wrote extensively on the primacy of the Frontier in American culture. He would have agreed with any action that aided the spread of the American people west across the continent, so we can reliably say he would have supported the Mexican War, the construction of the railroads, the Louisiana Purchase, and the consequences of the California Gold Rush. He would not, however, have supported the establishment of specific protected territory for Native Americans—as this would have prevented the American domination of the continent. 

Example Question #3 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

The Cult of Domesticity suggested that              .

Possible Answers:

Women were supposed to be virtuous mothers and subservient to their husbands.

Women are naturally pure and superior to men.

In order for the United States government to be less corrupt, more women had to hold office.

Women were taking their place in a new egalitarian world and were no longer bound in obedience to their husbands.

Women are naturally impure and inferior to men.

Correct answer:

Women were supposed to be virtuous mothers and subservient to their husbands.

Explanation:

The Cult of Domesticity was the prevailing social attitude towards women in nineteenth-century America – particularly among white, Protestant society. The Cult of Domesticity states that it is the responsibility of women to be pure, pious, domestic and submissive. The woman’s proper place was said to be “in the home.” Generally, the Cult of Domesticity supported the supposed virtue of women as natural care givers to children. The impact of the Cult of Domesticity—which dictated that it was not feminine to accept paid labor—was often extremely negative. By the turn of the twentieth century, less than five-percent of married women were employed and, if a middle-class family lost the male bread-winner the consequences were often disastrous. 

Example Question #4 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

Who was the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Women?

Possible Answers:

Mary Shelley

Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

Susan B. Anthony

Judith Butler

Mary Wollstonecraft 

Correct answer:

Mary Wollstonecraft 

Explanation:

A Vindication of the Rights of Women was written by British feminist, Mary Wollstonecraft, in 1792. Wollstonecraft argued against the educational and political theorists of her time who argued that women should be given solely a domestic education. She believed it was important, both for society at large (as women raised children and could be companions to their husbands) and for the dignity of women, that all women be treated as the equals of men. The book was an important contribution to early American feminist thought, as well as to the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. 

Example Question #5 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

“The people of Massachusetts have, in some degree, appreciated the truth, that the unexampled prosperity of the State—its comfort, its competence, its general intelligence and virtue—is attributable to the education, more or less perfect, which all its people have received . . . Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men.”

The above quote can most plausibly be attributed to               .

Possible Answers:

Benjamin Franklin

Thomas Paine

Herman Melville 

Thomas Jefferson

Horace Mann

Correct answer:

Horace Mann

Explanation:

The quote is an excerpt from a piece written by the educational reformer Horace Mann in 1848. Mann argued that universal public education was the best way to ensure a virtuous, hard-working, and Republican population. His ideas won some acceptance throughout his time period, but it was a century later when the public school system began to receive widespread recognition for its role in altering the nature of the American population, and even, leading to victory in the Space Race and perhaps (more of a stretch) the Cold War. 

Example Question #6 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

Which of these was not a goal of the Hudson River School?

Possible Answers:

Depicting American landscapes as pastoral 

Promotion of Native American lifestyle 

Promoting the inherent divinity of landscapes

Idolizing the wilderness 

Showing human beings and nature in beneficial co-existence

Correct answer:

Promotion of Native American lifestyle 

Explanation:

The Hudson River School is a term applied to a form of art popular in the New York area in the mid-nineteenth century. It later spread throughout the country, as second generation artists took up the pursuit. Its proponents focused on a positive depiction of the American landscape as pastoral and beautiful. They believed that humans and nature could, and indeed should, co-exist peacefully; however, they were not known as promoters of Native American culture or lifestyle. 

Example Question #7 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

Which American author coined the term “Gilded Age”?

Possible Answers:

F. Scott Fitzgerald

John Steinbeck

Mark Twain

Jack London

Nathaniel Hawthorne 

Correct answer:

Mark Twain

Explanation:

The term “Gilded Age” was coined by Mark Twain in The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today. It refers to the period following the end of the Civil War and leading up to the end of the nineteenth century. Twain used the term to highlight the perceived injustices of society at the time. He believed that the thin veneer of American prosperity and growth was covering up massive social and economic iniquity. Indeed, whilst it was a time of great economic growth for the United States, it was also a time when the economy was very top-heavy. Massive industrial conglomerates controlled a huge proportion of the wealth whereas the majority of families lived on or below the poverty line.

Example Question #8 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.”

The above quote could most likely be attributed to __________.

Possible Answers:

John D. Rockefeller 

Nathaniel Hawthorne 

Mark Twain

Henry David Thoreau 

Theodore Roosevelt

Correct answer:

Henry David Thoreau 

Explanation:

The above quote was spoken by Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau is generally remembered as an important figure in the Transcendentalist movement of the nineteenth century; however, he also wrote and spoke excessively on the importance of civil disobedience. To Thoreau it was right and necessary to resist injustice in government through disobedience.  

Example Question #9 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

Who authored On the Equality of the Sexes?

Possible Answers:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

Harriet Beecher Stowe 

Susan B. Anthony 

Mary Wollstonecraft 

Judith Sargent Murray 

Correct answer:

Judith Sargent Murray 

Explanation:

Judith Sargent Murray is one of the most notable early American feminists. She was born in 1751 and did most of her writing at a time when few other women were speaking out against subservience to men. She authored On the Equality of Sexes in 1790—in the essay she outlined why women could be as capable of achieving intellectual greatness and economic independence as men. Murray has served as an inspirational figure for many later American feminists.

Example Question #10 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

The term “Noble savage” was primarily used to describe?

Possible Answers:

Catholics 

Native Americans 

African-Americans 

Mexicans 

None of those mentioned 

Correct answer:

Native Americans 

Explanation:

The term “Noble savage” was predominantly used to describe Native Americans in United States society. A “Noble savage” became somewhat of an idealized character in American culture, a mythical “other” figure that any encountered real-life Native American individual could be compared to. It was also a term used frequently in European and American literature to portray the natural virtues of man outside of “civilization”. 

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