SAT II US History : Facts and Details in U.S. Economic History 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 #61 : U.S. Economic History

When the people who were hit hardest by the Depression needed a meal, where did they go for one?

Possible Answers:

Bread lines

Churches

Government shelters

Pantries

Correct answer:

Bread lines

Explanation:

The Bread line was a staple of most major cities in America in the 1930's. Each morning many people would line up looking for a meal, which as the name suggest, would usually consist of a piece of bread and possibly some soup. Often the length of these lines would far exceed the amount of food that was available.

Example Question #22 : Facts And Details In U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society is most similar to ______________.

Possible Answers:

Warren Harding's Return to Normalcy 

None of these

Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal 

Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation 

Ronald Reagan's New Federalism  

Correct answer:

Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal 

Explanation:

The Great Society is most similar to the New Deal because they both aim to help poor Americans by creating programs such as Medicare (Johnson) and Social Security (FDR). All of the other answer describe socially and fiscally conservative (some would say regressive) principles.

Example Question #23 : Facts And Details In U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

What legal invention was arguably one of the biggest vehicles for increased industry during the 20th century?

Possible Answers:

The Corporation

The Jury

None of these

The Petite Jury

The Habeas Corpus

Correct answer:

The Corporation

Explanation:

The corporation was arguably one of the biggest reasons behind increased industry during the early 20th century. The corporation, in its original form, originally existed only at the behest of the state legislature; in order to form a corporation, you had to petition the state legislature to grant you a “charter” and, generally, the legislature would only hand out charters for “public interest” businesses (such as a hospital).

Around the turn of the 20th century, however, state legislatures started loosening up restrictions on corporations; currently, all you need to do to create a corporation is to file articles of incorporation with (generally) the secretary of state of the state in which you wish to incorporate—and it can be for ‘any lawful purpose.’

Perhaps the most interesting thing about corporations is that they are limited liability—that is, you cannot be held liable (on the hook monetarily) for more than you put in to the company.

Example Question #24 : Facts And Details In U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

The Federal Reserve Act (1913) is responsible for creating the first Bank of the US.

Possible Answers:

True, the main goal of the FRA was to create the US's first official banking institution

False, the first bank in the US was established far before the FRA, in the late 18th century

None of these

False, the first US bank would not be established until after the Stock Market Crash of 1929

Correct answer:

False, the first bank in the US was established far before the FRA, in the late 18th century

Explanation:

This is a tricky question. To begin with, the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) is an immensely complicated topic, and one that is (mostly) far beyond the scope of your course. More importantly, however, the FRA of 1913 did not create the first Bank of the US. Hopefully you’ll remember that the First Bank of the US was Hamilton’s brainchild, and came into being during the 1790s. The FRA created the Federal Reserve, which—and this is a gross oversimplification—created our central banking system. 

Example Question #25 : Facts And Details In U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

What was the purpose of the Agricultural Adjustment Act?

Possible Answers:

Purportedly, to battle the rampant deflation that drove down agriculture prices

To encourage farmers to “plow under” their own crops

All of these answers are correct.

To battle the hunger issue that the Dust Bowl created

Correct answer:

Purportedly, to battle the rampant deflation that drove down agriculture prices

Explanation:

This is a relatively simple question, although it had the potential to be difficult. At any rate, the purported purpose of the AAA was to artificially raise the rates of agricultural products. Essentially, and for a variety of reasons beyond the scope of this test, the economy happened to converge in such a fashion that there was a glut of agricultural products on the market at a time when demand was lower than usual. This caused the prices of agricultural products to plunge. In an effort to combat this problem, FDR pushed the AAA through Congress. The AAA basically attempted to dry up the supply (and thus raise the prices) by paying farmers to keep crops off of the market.

Example Question #26 : Facts And Details In U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff did which of the following?

Possible Answers:

It increased agricultural and industrial tariffs to the highest level in nearly one hundred years.

It decreased agricultural tariffs to help the farmers during the Great Depression.

It decreased industrial tariffs to help manufacturers during the Great Depression.

None of the other answers is correct.

Correct answer:

It increased agricultural and industrial tariffs to the highest level in nearly one hundred years.

Explanation:

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff increased agricultural and industrial tariffs to the highest level in nearly one hundred years. It was a well-intentioned bill, by all means (although the end result was catastrophic).

Remember: a tariff is a protectionist measure that artificially increases the prices of imported goods (so that they are either on equal footing or more expensive than their home-grown counterparts). The Smoot-Hawley Tariff was, in large part, an attempt to shore up a floundering American agricultural and industrial sector.

Example Question #27 : Facts And Details In U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

Many if not most Americans blamed __________ as the unwitting architect of the Great Depression.

Possible Answers:

Teddy Roosevelt

Herbert Hoover

JFK

FDR

Correct answer:

Herbert Hoover

Explanation:

Unfortunately for Hoover, almost all of America blamed him for the Great Depression, mainly due to the fact that the Depression occurred about eight months into his first term. The Great Depression was the result of a variety of factors, none of which are truly attributable to Herbert Hoover; however, Hoover often takes the fall because he steadfastly refused to take drastic steps to address the Great Depression.

Example Question #28 : Facts And Details In U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

"Supply-side economics" are most closely associated with the policies advocated by President ___________________.

Possible Answers:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Richard Nixon

Jimmy Carter

Ronald Reagan

John F. Kennedy

Correct answer:

Ronald Reagan

Explanation:

During the Great Depression and World War II, the Roosevelt administration spent large on government programs and grants, producing a large post-war economic boom that also produced a long time consensus in economic matters. This consensus began to shift during the large amounts of unemployment and inflation, a condition known as stagflation, in the 1970s. During his 1980 Presidential campaign and during his administration, Ronald Reagan successfully lobbied for Supply Side economics, which favored lowering taxes and deregulating businesses.

Example Question #29 : Facts And Details In U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

The Federal Reserve Act __________.

Possible Answers:

accomplished very little because it was blocked by a Presidential veto

was intended by Woodrow Wilson to bust banking monopolies by creating a Federal institution to supervise banking practices and control currency and credit

called for the creation, within twenty years, of a new government institution to end racial inequality and injustice in the South

mandated that the Federal government had the power to regulate Trusts and monopolies to protect the American people from economic exploitation

greatly enlarged the reserve forces of the United States army so that the nation could call upon a greater number of trained soldiers in future large scale conflicts

Correct answer:

was intended by Woodrow Wilson to bust banking monopolies by creating a Federal institution to supervise banking practices and control currency and credit

Explanation:

The Federal Reserve Act was designed (at least according to most politicians of the time and the majority of modern historians) to bust the banking monopolies of JP Morgan and others. It directed that the banking system should be placed under public control. Banks remained private, but were now to be both supervised and supported by the newly created Federal Reserve Board. This allowed the government to better control currency practices and credit. 

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