SAT II US History : Representative Viewpoints in U.S. Intellectual and Cultural History from 1899 to the Present

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

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

Which of the following is true about Eleanor Roosevelt? 

Possible Answers:

She campaigned for women in political office.

She divorced Franklin Roosevelt after his very public affair with her social secretary.

She is currently a delegate to the United Nations.

She took a much more public role than any First Lady before her.

She often held press conferences that all reporters were invited to.

Correct answer:

She took a much more public role than any First Lady before her.

Explanation:

Because FDR had debilitating polio, Eleanor Roosevelt often traveled for him, reporting her findings; therefore, she took a much more active role as First Lady than anyone had done before.  

The other answers are all false. She held press conferences that only women reporters were invited to, so as to encourage news outlets to hire female reporters. She was also appointed to the United Nations by President Truman, but no longer holds that position as she passed away from tuberculosis. Additionally, Franklin Roosevelt did have a very public affair, but she did not divorce him for it. 

 

Example Question #2 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

The Red Scare of the 1920s was an American response to                 .

Possible Answers:

Menshevism

Imperialism

Chinese Communism

McCarthyism

Bolshevism

Correct answer:

Bolshevism

Explanation:

The Red Scare, which began in the early 1920s but remained a constant fixture of American political and social life for several decades, is the name given to America's response to the growth of Communism in the Soviet Union. The primary political party behind Communism in the Soviet Union was the Bolshevik Party. The Mensheviks were the rival Communist Party, which were defeated by Lenin and his comrades. Chinese Communism would not arise for another thirty years. And McCarthyism is a name related to America's response to Communism, led by United States Senator Joseph McCarthy—it primarily has connotations of unfair or unfounded accusations of disloyalty directed at U.S. citizens during the Red Scare. 

Example Question #3 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

The Scopes Trial was a reaction to which of the following theories or philosophies?

Possible Answers:

Transcendentalism

Positivism 

Evolution 

Existentialism 

Eugenics 

Correct answer:

Evolution 

Explanation:

The Scopes Trial took place in 1925. The case was made against Tennessee school teacher John Scopes, on the grounds that he had violated Tennessee state law by teaching the theory of evolution in his classroom. The case immediately gained national media attention, especially once former Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan agreed to represent the prosecution and famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow agreed to represent the defense. The case contributed greatly to the growth of both the scientific movement and the anti-evolution movement in the United States.

Example Question #4 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

Who is the author of On the Road?

Possible Answers:

Jack London

Ernest Hemmingway 

Herman Melville

Jack Kerouac

John Steinbeck 

Correct answer:

Jack Kerouac

Explanation:

On the Road is considered the principle novel of the so-called Beat Generation. It was written by Jack Kerouac in the early 1950s, and published for the first time in 1957. The book chronicles Kerouac’s real-life journeys across the United States and reflects the growing dissatisfaction among young people of the time with conventional forms of life. The Beat Generation can be classified a number of ways, but generally it refers to a certain type of youth culture that rejected conformist career and life choices in favor of drug experimentation, spiritual enlightenment, unorthodox sexual behavior, and the gaining of awareness of one’s own human nature. 

Example Question #5 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

The artistic movement known as Pop Art was characterized by __________.

Possible Answers:

focusing on painting landscapes and still lifes instead of people

strictly adhering to traditional principles of fine art

an embrace of abstract forms instead of rigid adherence to naturalism

using geometric shapes and primary colors to break down traditional art

borrowing images and themes from popular culture and advertising

Correct answer:

borrowing images and themes from popular culture and advertising

Explanation:

Pop Art was developed in Great Britain and the United States in the 1950s, and reached its apex in the 1960s with artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Johns. These artists rejected the pre-World War II uses of abstract art, and instead used images culled from comic books, movies, and advertising. Iconic Pop Art pieces include Warhol's "Campbell's Soup Cans" and Johns' "Flag," both of which were paintings of iconic images in American culture.

Example Question #6 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

"One-third of the population of the South is of the Negro race. No enterprise seeking the material, civil, or moral welfare of this section can disregard this element of our population and reach the highest success. I but convey to you, Mr. President and Directors, the sentiment of the masses of my race when I say that in no way have the value and manhood of the American Negro been more fittingly and generously recognized than by the managers of this magnificent Exposition at every stage of its progress. It is a recognition that will do more to cement the friendship of the two races than any occurrence since the dawn of our freedom."

The above quote best represents the views of __________.

Possible Answers:

Frederick Douglass

W.E.B. DuBois

Marcus Garvey

Harriet Tubman

Booker T. Washington

Correct answer:

Booker T. Washington

Explanation:

The Reconstruction and Post-Reconstruction era saw a retrenchment of racial animosity towards newly freed slaves throughout the South. Many different black leaders proposed a variety of solutions and ways to better the status of African-Americans. Booker T. Washington became notable for advocating educational and societal improvements among African-Americans, rather than a direct engagement with segregationist policies, as reflected in the quote provided in the question.

Example Question #7 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

Who authored The Other America, a book depicting a less than ideal version of American life in the 1950s?

Possible Answers:

Michael Harrington 

Isaac Asimov 

Alice Adams

Jack Finney

Gary Jennings 

Correct answer:

Michael Harrington 

Explanation:

The Other America was written by Michael Harrington. Harrington was disillusioned with the ignorance of his fellow Americans to the plight of the urban and rural poor in the United States. At a time when most Americans were enjoying significant economic growth and prosperity, Harrington argued that there was an “other America” that was being left behind. He argued that greater than a quarter of the population was still living in poverty and that the government had a moral obligation to alleviate suffering. The book was hugely influential in the United States, and many historians credit it with, at least in part, inspiring Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”

Example Question #8 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

Which of the following best describes the goals of the America First Committee?

Possible Answers:

To promote the ideals of the White Citizens' Council

To limit immigration from non-European nations

To enforce the post-Civil War Reconstruction laws throughout the South

To prevent the spread of Communism after the Bolshevik Revolution

To keep the United States neutral in the European theater of World War II

Correct answer:

To keep the United States neutral in the European theater of World War II

Explanation:

The America First Committee was founded in September of 1940, as American sympathy started to turn towards favoring Britain in its war against Nazi Germany. The leaders of the America First Committee all desired for America to remain out of foreign wars and to avoid conflicts like World War I. The America First Committee saw its popularity decline in June of 1941 after famed aviator and prominent Committee leader Charles Lindbergh gave a speech which defended and even seemed to promote Nazi Germany. The America First Committee formally disbanded just days after the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941.

Example Question #9 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

How did the philosophies of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois differ over how racial equality could be achieved in America? 

Possible Answers:

Dubois argued for violent uprising, whereas Washington contended that only by peaceful protest could change be affected

Dubois and Washington held largely the same opinion on how best to achieve racial equality in America

Dubois believed that it was wisest to remain patient, whereas Washington demanded immediate change through political agitation

Washington believed that it was wisest to remain patient, whereas Dubois demanded immediate change through political agitation

Washington argued for violent uprising, whereas Dubois contended that only by peaceful protest could change be affected

Correct answer:

Washington believed that it was wisest to remain patient, whereas Dubois demanded immediate change through political agitation

Explanation:

Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois were both major political activists for the African American community in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. However, they disagreed heavily on how best to affect social equality for African Americans. Washington believed that economic equality was sufficient, and that if the African American community remained patient and peaceful, social and political equality would eventually follow suit. Conversely, DuBois vehemently believed that immediate change was needed, he argued that for too long blacks had been disenfranchised in America and that if African Americans did not have political equality, than they would never be socially or economically equal. Although he rarely went so far as to call for violence, DuBois was a big believer in the power of political agitation for affecting change. 

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: