SAT II US History : Summary of 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 : Summary Of U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

Which of the following countries was a significant Cold War ally of the United States?

Possible Answers:
Czechoslovakia
Ukraine
East Germany
Cuba
South Korea
Correct answer: South Korea
Explanation:

The small conflicts that were “hot” during the Cold War took place over the entire globe, and generally pitted allies of the United States against allies of the Soviet Union.  An “Iron Curtain” existed in Europe from the partition of Germany, down through Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, east through the Soviet Union itself.  In other conflicts, including Korea and Cuba, the United States and Soviet Union picked sides in Civil Wars, with the Korean War being fought between Soviet backed North Korea and U.S. backed South Korea.

Example Question #1 : Summary Of U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

What event occurred on December 7, 1941 that caused FDR to call the date "A day that will live in infamy?"

Possible Answers:
The German Invasion of Belgium
The Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor
The Invasion of Normandy
The discovery of treason committed by Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
The Battle of Britain
Correct answer: The Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor
Explanation:

In the early morning hours of December 7, 1941, Japanese planes appeared over Hawaii and began bombing Pearl Harbor Naval Base.  The next day, President Roosevelt gave a speech declaring war on the Axis powers and made his famous statement about the Japanese attack.

Example Question #3 : Summary Of U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

What is the name given to Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy of heavy handed diplomacy mixed with a strong military deterrent?

Possible Answers:
Kellogg-Briand Pact
Good Neighbor Policy
Big Stick Diplomacy
New Imperialism
The Square Deal
Correct answer: Big Stick Diplomacy
Explanation:

The idea of peaceful diplomatic negotiation coupled with the implied threat of militaristic intervention summarizes the foreign policy beliefs of Theodore Roosevelt during his time as President. It is generally referred to as Big Stick Diplomacy or Big Stick Policy. It was ultimately reversed by Theodore Roosevelt’s cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, when he instituted the Good Neighbor Policy – which stated that the United States would no longer interfere in the affairs of its Latin American Neighboring countries. 

Example Question #4 : Summary Of U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

The Reagan Doctrine stated that

Possible Answers:
The United States would openly support Anti-Soviet movements throughout the world
The theory of “trickle-down economics” was in the best interest of the nation
The United States would remain uninvolved in Soviet campaigns
Investment in the military was the best way to safeguard American economic interests
None of those mentioned describe the Reagan Doctrine
Correct answer: The United States would openly support Anti-Soviet movements throughout the world
Explanation:

The Reagan Doctrine explicitly stated that the USSR was “the concentration of all modern evil” and that the United States had a duty to curb the spread of Communism and support Anti-Soviet movements throughout the world. Although Reagan would have argued in favor of “trickle-down economics” – the policy that tax cuts on the rich will lead to a trickle-down effect whereby the poor are paid more – this idea is better summarized by the term “Reaganomics.” Likewise, Reagan would have also argued that increased military spending was the surest way to protect American interests; however this idea is not covered by the Reagan Doctrine. 

Example Question #5 : Summary Of U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

In 1915, American troops invaded which Latin American country that was in talks with Germany about an alliance against the United States?

Possible Answers:
Nicaragua
Panama
Haiti
Mexico
Colombia
Correct answer: Mexico
Explanation:

In 1915, US troops invaded Mexico looking for Pancho Villa.  It was also revealed that Germany had tried to form an alliance with Mexico against America, leading to increased tension. Even though Mexico turned down this alliance, relations were strained with the US after the fact. 

Example Question #6 : Summary Of U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

Which of these nations did not fight on the same side as the United States during World War I?

Possible Answers:

Austria-Hungary

Italy

Great Britain

France

Russia

Correct answer:

Austria-Hungary

Explanation:

World War I was fought between the Allied (Entente) Powers of Great Britain, France, and Russia against the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. Italy was originally part of the Central Alliance, but switched sides before committing troops, joining the Allied cause in 1915. In 1917, The United States joined the war on the side of the Allied Powers.

Example Question #7 : Summary Of U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “cash-and-carry” policy was important because

Possible Answers:

It mandated that the United States would provide only financial aid to the allied powers and would remain out of World War Two

It allowed the United States to begin mobilizing for World War Two

It allowed the United States to support the allied powers, but remain effectively neutral 

It helped fund social security programs for the elderly during the Great Depression

It ended several decades of the common practice of paying black employees less than white employees

Correct answer:

It allowed the United States to support the allied powers, but remain effectively neutral 

Explanation:

FDR’s “cash-and-carry” policy was an amendment to the Neutrality Act. Roosevelt pushed Congress to pass the measure so that the United States could support the allied powers without giving up their claims to neutrality. The “cash-and-carry” policy stated that warring nations could purchase arms from the United States, so long as they paid in cash and carried the weapons away on their own ships. 

Example Question #71 : U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

Which United States President opened relations with the Communist Republic of China?

Possible Answers:

Jimmy Carter

John F. Kennedy

Harry S. Truman 

Dwight Eisenhower 

Richard Nixon

Correct answer:

Richard Nixon

Explanation:

Richard Nixon opened relations with Mao’s China when he visited Beijing in 1972. Prior to Nixon’s visit, relations between China and the United States had been extremely negative. The United States recognized the nationalist government of Taiwan as the legitimate government of China. Nixon’s visit, and Kissinger’s diplomacy, reversed this policy. At the time many people believed this to be one of the most important turning points in the Cold War. It did lead, eventually, to a massive growth in trade agreements and social exchange between the two nations and, some historians maintain, helped isolate the Soviet Union and bring about the end of the Cold War.

Example Question #72 : U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

The Dawes Plan                            .

Possible Answers:

recommended the establishment of a Federal department to deal with environmental issues

proposed to dramatically improve internal infrastructure 

Called for the repeal of Prohibition 

tried to assist the recovery of post-war European economies 

demanded that the matter of segregation be settled in the Supreme Court

Correct answer:

tried to assist the recovery of post-war European economies 

Explanation:

The Dawes Plan, proposed in 1924, was an attempt to solve the massive economic and diplomatic problems caused by the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty declared Germany responsible for the outbreak of war and mandated that Germany pay reparations to Great Britain and France. Additionally, Britain and France owed a substantial amount of money to the United States. Germany, due to extreme economic difficulties, was largely unable to pay back the money. The Dawes Plan proposed that United States’ banks would lend money to Germany with a generous payment plan in place. The Germans would then in turn pay reparations to Great Britain and France, and they would pay back their debt to the United States. At the time it was enough to earn Dawes the Nobel Peace Prize; however, as you can imagine with such an obviously circular mechanism, it did not wholly work and was replaced in 1929 with a different plan. 

Example Question #2 : Summary Of U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

The United States diplomatic policy of brinksmanship was most consistently applied to which country in the twentieth century?

Possible Answers:

Japan

China

Germany

Soviet Union

Vietnam

Correct answer:

Soviet Union

Explanation:

Brinksmanship refers to an aggressive form of diplomacy that requires pushing dangerous events to the brink of a declaration of war, in order to gain the most advantageous positing for aggressor. The policy, along with the corollary phenomenon called "Mutually Assured Destruction," defined the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War. The term began to be used during the Eisenhower administration and can be observed in numerous political crises of the twentieth century—for example, the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

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