SAT II US History : Representative Viewpoints 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

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

In the Supreme Court case Muller v. Oregon,the Court ruled that __________.

Possible Answers:

individual rights in the Constitution do not apply to tribal governments 

the Eleventh Amendment prevents a citizen of a U.S. state from suing that state in Federal court

None of those mentioned represent the decision of the Court in Muller v. Oregon.

the United States judicial system can hear cases regarding polygamy, even if it is a feature of religious belief 

women could not work excessively long hours for fear they might damage their bodies for motherhood 

Correct answer:

women could not work excessively long hours for fear they might damage their bodies for motherhood 

Explanation:

The Supreme Court case of Muller v. Oregon upheld the state law of Oregon to limit the number of hours women could work, in order to protect their health. In the majority verdict the court stated that the physical well-being of women was an object of public interest, in order that the strength and vigor of the American people should be sustained.

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

What did Samuel Gompers hail as “the working man’s Magna Carta”?

Possible Answers:

The Clayton Anti-Trust Act

William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech 

The passage of the Seventeenth Amendment

Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points

The repeal of prohibition 

Correct answer:

The Clayton Anti-Trust Act

Explanation:

The Magna Carta is a famous document from English history, written in 1215. It helped ensure limited democratic participation for a collection of prominent English barons against the tyrannical rule of King John. It is often hailed as one of the earliest assurances of democratic process in western history; however, it applied only to a very slim percentage of the population—only the highest of the upper classes. When Samuel Gompers called the Clayton Anti-Trust Act “the working man’s Magna Carta” he was echoing a commonly held belief that, after the passage of the Act, the working man was finally as free and enfranchised as the wealthy class. The Clayton Anti-Trust Act was designed to ensure fair competition in the workplace and marketplace, along with competitive wages and benefits for the working class. Whether or not it achieved this in practice is up for debate, as many businesses fused into a single corporations and were able to derive the benefits of a cartel in a legal fashion. What is certain, however, is that the Clayton Anti-Trust Act was a significant event in the correcting of social and economic injustices in early twentieth-century America. 

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

Marcus Garvey __________.

Possible Answers:

successfully argued for the protection of Native American land

was the first African-American Supreme Court Justice

helped ensure the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, granting women the right to vote 

sponsored a movement to encourage the return of Blacks to Africa

advocated for the end of alcohol prohibition 

Correct answer:

sponsored a movement to encourage the return of Blacks to Africa

Explanation:

Marcus Garvey was a prominent member of the movement to advance the status of blacks in America, and indeed the world. He believed strongly in Black Nationalism and advocated for the return of America’s black population to Africa, as well as the removal of European colonial influence on that continent. Garvey was a controversial figure throughout his political life—he staunchly opposed W.E.B. Dubois and the NAACP, once meeting with the leader of the Ku Klux Klan: calling the Klan’s racism the most honest form of white supremacy.

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

Which First Lady was behind the sexual and drug abstinence campaign called Just Say No?

Possible Answers:

Hilary Clinton 

Barbara Bush

Lady Bird Johnson 

Nancy Reagan

Jacqueline Kennedy

Correct answer:

Nancy Reagan

Explanation:

The Just Say No campaign was a reaction to the growth of drug use and the emergence (into public knowledge) of sexually transmitted diseases—most notably HIV—in the 1980s and 1990s. It aimed to prevent young people from experimenting with drugs or engaging in unprotected sex. The campaign was created and championed by First Lady Nancy Reagan. 

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

. . . But the great glory of American democracy is the right to protest for right. My friends, don’t let anybody make us feel that we [are] to be compared in our actions with the Ku Klux Klan or with the White Citizens Council. There will be no crosses burned at any bus stops in Montgomery. There will be no white persons pulled out of their homes and taken out on some distant road and lynched for not cooperating. There will be nobody amid, among us who will stand up and defy the Constitution of this nation. We only assemble here because of our desire to see right exist. . .

— Martin Luther King, Jr., December 1955

What is the main idea of this quotation by MLK Jr? 

Possible Answers:

In every society, there is and will always be revolution

Violence is how to create change

The Ku Klux Klan will keep attacking black people who protest

The government will protect the black protesters from the Ku Klux Klan

Sometimes, civil disobedience is a necessity to create change

Correct answer:

Sometimes, civil disobedience is a necessity to create change

Explanation:

MLK was a supporter of civil disobedience and acts of nonviolence to bring about change. He is advocating assembling nonviolently to gain rights. Dr. King's fundamental argument expressed in this passage, was that to disobey and unjust and inhumane law was not to be socially disruptive, but socially progressive.

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