SAT II US History : Summary of U.S. Intellectual and Cultural 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 : Summary Of U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

What is the significance of the Haight-Ashbury district in United States history?

Possible Answers:

It was home to many free blacks who escaped via the Underground Railroad

It was the first area in which gold was discovered in California, precipitating the California Gold Rush

It served as the political base of the Free-Soil Party

It was the sight of hydrogen bomb testing

It was the sight of the hippie movement 

Correct answer:

It was the sight of the hippie movement 

Explanation:

The Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco was the spiritual home of the hippie movement that swept through American popular culture in the 1960s. It was the sight of rampant drug use and rock-music culture. The significance of the hippie movement in creating a fractured America cannot be overstated; the next couple of decades would be culturally dominated by the radicals on one side and the reactionaries on the other. 

Example Question #2 : Summary Of U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

Which of these writers is NOT a member of America’s “Lost Generation” of the 1920s?

Possible Answers:

T.S. Elliot 

Ernest Hemmingway

Jack London 

F. Scott Fitzgerald 

Sinclair Lewis

Correct answer:

Jack London 

Explanation:

The term “Lost Generation” was coined by Ernest Hemmingway in his novel The Sun Also Rises. The term refers to the generation of young Americans (and Europeans) who fought in World War One and lost a large proportion of their youth and optimism. Upon returning to America, many of these individuals became disillusioned with the over-commercialized lifestyle for which they had fought. Jack London died during World War One, and he is generally remembered, through his literature, as an avid advocate of unionization and socialism.

Example Question #3 : Summary Of U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

The best summary of the movement known as Black nationalism is __________.

Possible Answers:

an ideology promoting separate black organizations and institutions to advance African-Americans position in American society

arguing for assimilation among the white majority as the best hope for the betterment of African-Americans

a desire acquiesce to the white power structure inherent in American society and deal with the consequences

the arming of all slaves to kill all slave owners with the help of White northern abolitionists

the founding of a separate country for African-Americans in the American west

Correct answer:

an ideology promoting separate black organizations and institutions to advance African-Americans position in American society

Explanation:

Black nationalism is a broad term that helps describe figures ranging from Nat Turner to Marcus Garvey to Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan. At its heart, Black nationalism set itself apart by advocating for African-Americans to empower themselves through creating their own organizations and institutions. Black nationalism has given rise to groups like the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers. Frequently, more mainstream African-American organizations would fight with Black nationalists over most issues.

Example Question #4 : Summary Of U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

What is the primary argument of The Feminine Mystique?

Possible Answers:

The greatest obstacle to female equality is the disparagement of women by other women.

Women are naturally predisposed towards finding happiness in domesticity and motherhood.

Religious influences have affected the image of femininity throughout human history.

Cultural forces conspire to encourage women to seek fulfillment in a domestic life.

Women need to more effectively organize resistance in order to gain equality in American society.

Correct answer:

Cultural forces conspire to encourage women to seek fulfillment in a domestic life.

Explanation:

The Feminine Mystique was written in 1963 by Betty Friedan, a notable member of the women’s rights movement. Friedan’s work focused on interviews with contemporary female housewives and found that many of them were dissatisfied with their lives.

In her book, Friedan concludes that a number of cultural forces have conspired to encourage women to seek fulfillment in domestic life. She contends that if women are to control their own happiness, they must resist these cultural forces and find fulfillment in work that brings out the full capacity of their minds. The Feminine Mystique is often credited with sparking a new wave of feminism.

Example Question #5 : Summary Of U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1899 To The Present

The rise of the "Religious Right" in American politics during the 1970s and 1980s was a reaction to all of the following except ___________.

Possible Answers:

the rise of the Gay Rights Movement

the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision

the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s

the debate over the Equal Rights Amendment

the rise in immigration from Latin American countries

Correct answer:

the rise in immigration from Latin American countries

Explanation:

In the lead up to the 1980 Presidential Election, a variety of conservative Christians, most notably Jerry Falwell and his Moral Majority organization, began to coalesce behind Republican politicians. Many right-wing Christians became animated by a number of issues in domestic politics that they saw as threatening to traditional Christianity, especially the legalization of abortion after Roe v. Wade, the burgeoning gay rights movement, the sexual revolution, and the changing nature of women's roles as exemplified in the debate over the Equal Rights Amendment.

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