SAT II US History : Facts and Details in U.S. Political History from 1790 to 1898

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #131 : U.S. Political History

What were the Black Codes?

Possible Answers:

A series of laws passed by ex-Confederate states in 1865 that severely restricted the rights and freedoms of freedmen and women

Regulations that dealt with the punishment for Confederate sailors

Rules and regulations for the treatment of slaves

Regulations that applied specifically to African American Union soldiers

Punishments doled out to Union soldiers for infractions such as desertion and dereliction of duty

Correct answer:

A series of laws passed by ex-Confederate states in 1865 that severely restricted the rights and freedoms of freedmen and women

Explanation:

The Black Codes were laws passed by Southern states in the immediate months after the Civil War ended. The intention behind them was to force freedmen into a labor system that was virtually the same as slavery. For example, a law passed in Mississippi stated that authorities could take children away from parents who allegedly could not support them. The children would then be "apprenticed" to their former slave masters who could perform corporal punishment on them. Outrage over the Black Codes in the North led to increased support for the policies of the Radical Republicans.

Example Question #132 : U.S. Political History

The main consequence of the Homestead Act was _________________.

Possible Answers:

Union soldiers were allowed to vote in the 1864 presidential election.

veterans of the Union Army were given funds to construct homes

women were given the right to vote in all federal elections

slavery was abolished in the United States

millions of acres in the Western United States were opened up for the creation of small farms

Correct answer:

millions of acres in the Western United States were opened up for the creation of small farms

Explanation:

The 1862 Homestead Act was passed to encourage settlement in the Western United States by small farmers. It encouraged the widespread migration of Americans to the West after the Civil War. It also led to increased conflicts between the Federal Government and Native groups like the Lakota.

Example Question #133 : U.S. Political History

The 1863 Battle of Vicksburg was significant because ___________________.

Possible Answers:

it gave the Union forces complete control over the Mississippi River

it led to the fall of Memphis to the Union forces

it allowed General Sherman to begin his march to the sea

it foiled the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania

it led to the fall of New Orleans to the Union Forces

Correct answer:

it gave the Union forces complete control over the Mississippi River

Explanation:

By 1863 Vicksburg, Mississippi was the last city along the Mississippi River that was still under the control of the Confederate forces. It's capture by Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant gave the Union complete control over the Mississippi and cut off Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana from the rest of the Confederacy.

Example Question #134 : U.S. Political History

All of the following events helped lead to the American Civil War except __________________.

Possible Answers:

the election of Abraham Lincoln as President in 1860

the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution

the controversy over the Fugitive Slave Act

the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861

John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia

Correct answer:

the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution

Explanation:

The Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States, was enacted in 1865 after the Civil War ended with the defeat of the Confederacy. The dispute over slavery was the main cause of both Southern secession and the American Civil War.

Example Question #135 : U.S. Political History

The Union possessed each of the following advantages over the Confederacy except ____________________.

Possible Answers:

the Union had a larger population

the Union did not need to invade and conquer a large amount of hostile territory

the Union had more a much more diversified economy that was not reliant on a single commodity like cotton

the Union had more railroads

the Union possessed a much larger navy than the Confederacy

Correct answer:

the Union did not need to invade and conquer a large amount of hostile territory

Explanation:

The Union had to invade and conquer wide swaths of Southern territory in order to defeat the rebellion. It was hoped by Confederate officials that a long and bloody conflict would lead to war weariness in the North and force the United States to recognize Southern independence. 

Example Question #136 : U.S. Political History

Which of the given options would best describe a "Copperhead"?

Possible Answers:

a Northern Democrat who wanted to make peace with the South, even if that peace recognized Confederate independence

a Southerner who supported the Union

a Northern Democrat who supported the American Civil War, but only to restore the Union and not to abolish slavery

a Northern Republican who supported President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation

a former slave who escaped to Union lines

Correct answer:

a Northern Democrat who wanted to make peace with the South, even if that peace recognized Confederate independence

Explanation:

The Copperheads were a faction of Northern Democrats who wanted an immediate peace with the Southern Confederacy, even if that peace meant independence for the rebellious states. A famous Copperhead was Ohio congressman Clement Vallandigham, who was put on trial for treason in 1864.  

Example Question #137 : U.S. Political History

"Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgements [sic] of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

Which prominent leader in the American Civil War said these words?

Possible Answers:

William Tecumseh Sherman

Jefferson Davis

Robert E. Lee

Frederick Douglass

Abraham Lincoln

Correct answer:

Abraham Lincoln

Explanation:

These words are excerpted from the speech that Abraham Lincoln gave for his second inauguration as President in March, 1865. It was becoming clear that the Civil War would end soon in Union victory by the time President Lincoln gave this speech, so he wanted to remind his fellow Americans why the bloody and terrible war had been fought in the first place. Although Lincoln argued for reconciliation between the North and South elsewhere in his speech, he also argued that white Americans owed a tremendous debt to black Americans for the brutal system of slavery.

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