SAT II US History : Summary of U.S. Economic History from 1790 to 1898

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Summary Of U.S. Economic History From 1790 To 1898

The process of horizontal integration                    .

Possible Answers:

provided for racial and cultural communion in twentieth-century America

removed obstacles for Native Americans and other minorities to gain office

joined together companies engaged in similar practices to create a monopoly

made it illegal to award government jobs on the basis of personal or political favor

joined together companies that were each involved in either manufacturing or distribution

Correct answer:

joined together companies engaged in similar practices to create a monopoly

Explanation:

The process of horizontal integration refers to the joining together of similar companies in order to eliminate competition, drive up prices, and create an effective monopoly. It differs from vertical integration in the following way: vertical integration is the process of gaining control of every facet of the business of a product. It involves controlling the means of manufacturing and the process of distribution. 

Example Question #2 : Summary Of U.S. Economic History From 1790 To 1898

The establishment of the United States Federal bank was due to the work of which early American politician?

Possible Answers:

Thomas Jefferson

James Madison 

John Adams

Alexander Hamilton

John Jay

Correct answer:

Alexander Hamilton

Explanation:

Alexander Hamilton is the politician who is most associated with the construction of the Federal Bank of the United States. Hamilton had spent much of his early political career studying the banking institutions of Britain and felt that a national bank was necessary to the economic development of the United States. He was opposed by a large proportion of the representatives and it was only due to Hamilton gaining the support of President Washington that the bank was created. 

Example Question #3 : Summary Of U.S. Economic History From 1790 To 1898

Who invented the first steamboat?

Possible Answers:

Alfred Nobel 

George Pullman

George Stephenson 

Robert Fulton

Samuel Colt

Correct answer:

Robert Fulton

Explanation:

The first steamboat was invented by the American engineer and inventor Robert Fulton. Fulton lived and worked in France, England and the United States and is also credited with inventing some of the earliest submersibles and torpedoes. The invention of the steamboat was crucial for the development of the United States economy in the middle of the nineteenth century. It dramatically reduced the time and costs involved in shipping goods, and it created new communities of wealth along the majority of America’s big rivers. The steamboat was particularly useful in the development of cities along the Mississippi River, like Natchez and Vicksburg, as well as opening up new areas of the South to trade and settlement. 

Example Question #4 : Summary Of U.S. Economic History From 1790 To 1898

What did Cyrus McCormick invent in 1831?

Possible Answers:

Mechanical reaper

Cotton gin

Printing press

Steam engine

Steel plow

Correct answer:

Mechanical reaper

Explanation:

The mechanical reaper was first invented by Cyrus McCormick’s father in the late 1820s; however, Cyrus is generally credited by historians as having perfected the device. The invention of the mechanical reaper dramatically changed the nature of society in the United States. It allowed a far greater number of crops to be harvested by a much smaller number of individuals. This led to a surplus of food and, equally importantly, freed up a much larger percentage of the population to work in other industries. 

Example Question #1 : Summary Of U.S. Economic History From 1790 To 1898

All of the following were features of the antebellum southern economy except __________.

Possible Answers:

cooton as the dominant crop

rapid industrialization on a large scale

agriculturally dominant

chattel slavery

large plantations

Correct answer:

rapid industrialization on a large scale

Explanation:

Slavery was the defining feature of life in the antebellum South. The first slaves arrived in the early-seventeenth century, and by the end of the eighteenth-century large plantations dominated the southern economy, principally growing non-food crops like cotton. Until Reconstruction, and even beyond, the South remained dominated by agriculture, and was extremely slow to become industrialized.

Example Question #2 : Summary Of U.S. Economic History From 1790 To 1898

How did the California Gold Rush affect the Panic of 1857?

Possible Answers:

The California Gold Rush had no significant affect on the Panic of 1857

Rapid influx of gold led to inflation 

The settlement of California put too much strain on internal infrastructure

Rapid influx of gold helped stabilize the value of the dollar

The settlement of California caused Mexico to stop trading with the United States

Correct answer:

Rapid influx of gold led to inflation 

Explanation:

The Panic of 1857 is considered by many historians to be the first world-wide economic crisis in human history, due to the interconnectedness of the global economy. The Panic began in Britain after the British government failed to back currency with gold and silver reserves. This caused a massive decline in the international economy at exactly the wrong time for the United States. American businesses had taken great risks and over-expanded during the prosperous years prior to the Panic and were unable to cope with the decline of the international market. The influx of Gold from California exacerbated matters as the rapid growth in gold supply led to immediate inflation. The economy would not recover until after the Civil War. 

Example Question #7 : Summary Of U.S. Economic History From 1790 To 1898

The Supreme Court case Johnson v. M’Intosh established __________.

Possible Answers:

congressional power to regulate disputes in interstate trade 

that a private citizen cannot purchase land from Native Americans 

that segregation is inherently unequal and unconstitutional

the principle of Judicial Review

equality of women’s pay in the work place

Correct answer:

that a private citizen cannot purchase land from Native Americans 

Explanation:

The Supreme Court case of Johnson v. M’Intosh was a landmark case of the Marshall Court. The Supreme Court ruled that a private citizen could not purchase land from Native Americans, as those Natives did not wholly own the land. Rather, a citizen should petition the United States government for a grant to that land. It has remained a quotable and applicable legal precedent throughout the last two-hundred years of American history, although its application and interpretation has changed with subsequent legal battles and the changing perspective of American society over time. 

Example Question #8 : Summary Of U.S. Economic History From 1790 To 1898

The Clermont __________.

Possible Answers:

battled the Monitor during the Civil War

was the first abolitionist newspaper

reported on the mistreatment of Vietnamese prisoners by American soldiers

was shot down by German U-Boats during World War One

was the first passenger steamship in the United States 

Correct answer:

was the first passenger steamship in the United States 

Explanation:

The Clermont, also called the North River Steamboat, was the first successfully built passenger steamship in the United States. The Clermont was the product of the work of James Fuller on steam engines and demonstrated conclusively, for the first time, the viability of steam powered travel on water. It operated successfully between Albany and New York and ushered in an era of economic growth propelled by steam power. 

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