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

Example Question #71 : U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

On July 2nd, 1881, Charles Guiteau shot which President of the United States, causing his death?

Possible Answers:

Abraham Lincoln

James A. Garfield

William McKinley

William Henry Harrison

Ulysses S. Grant

Correct answer:

James A. Garfield

Explanation:

On July 2nd, 1881, Charles Guiteau shot President Garfield, causing his death.  Guiteau acted as a disgruntled seeker of a Federal office who blamed President Garfield for his situation.

Example Question #413 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

Who led the army of Northern Virginia throughout the majority of the Civil War?

Possible Answers:

Ulysses Grant 

Robert E. Lee

Edwin V. Sumner 

Stonewall Jackson

Winfield Scott 

Correct answer:

Robert E. Lee

Explanation:

Robert E. Lee took command of the army of Northern Virginia in June of 1862. The army was the principle Confederate fighting force in the Eastern theatre of the Civil War—fighting in the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, Second Bull Run and many others. The army also included a corps led by Lt. Stonewall Jackson. 

Example Question #414 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

What was the bloodiest and most destructive single-day battle of the Civil War?

Possible Answers:

Shiloh

Chancellorsville 

Gettysburg 

Antietam 

Second Bull Run 

Correct answer:

Antietam 

Explanation:

The battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) was the bloodiest single-day battle of the Civil War, with over twenty thousand casualties. The battle was fought between the Confederate army of Northern Virginia against the Union forces, led by George McClellan. The battle of Antietam ended Lee’s invasion of the North and forced the Confederate army to withdraw to Virginia. Following the culmination of the battle President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle, but it lasted longer than one day.

Example Question #415 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

Which of these United States Presidents is most remembered for his adherence to the “spoils system” of government appointment?

Possible Answers:

Andrew Jackson 

James K. Polk

Martin Van Buren 

John Quincy Adams

John Tyler

Correct answer:

Andrew Jackson 

Explanation:

Andrew Jackson is most often remembered as a President who applied the “spoils system” to the appointment of government officials. Individuals who had supported Jackson throughout his electoral campaign, or who remained loyal to him throughout his political life, were rewarded with positions in government once Jackson became President. Jackson famously broke with his Vice-President John C. Calhoun in 1831 and dismissed a large percentage of his cabinet who he deemed disloyal. He replaced them with his friends and personal advisors, many of whom had little political experience. This collection of advisors has been termed the “Kitchen Cabinet.”

Example Question #416 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

What was the name given to Andrew Jackson’s unofficial cabinet of friends and advisors?

Possible Answers:

The Round Table Conference

The Kitchen Cabinet

The Fireside Committee

The Rough Riders

The Secret Senate

Correct answer:

The Kitchen Cabinet

Explanation:

"The Kitchen Cabinet" was the name given to Andrew Jackson’s collection of friends and advisors that he assembled during his Presidency. The term was used, mostly by Jackson’s opponents, disparagingly. The Kitchen Cabinet came into being following the dismissal of Vice-President John C. Calhoun, along with several other cabinet members. Most historians believe that Calhoun was dismissed for his refusal to support Jackson during the Eaton Affair (a scandal between a widowed woman and Jackson’s close friend Eaton).  

Example Question #417 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

The only president to be elected to two non-consecutive terms was __________.

Possible Answers:

Grover Cleveland

Chester A. Arthur

Benjamin Harrison

Theodore Roosevelt

William McKinley

Correct answer:

Grover Cleveland

Explanation:

In 1884, Grover Cleveland was elected President on a coalition of pro-business "Bourbon Democrats" and reform minded "Mugwump" Republicans. When he ran for reelection in 1888, he lost to Republican Benjamin Harrison. Four years later, Harrison and Cleveland squared off again in the Presidential election, with Cleveland returning to the White House. To date, he is the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms, and is counted as both the 22nd and 24th Presidents.

Example Question #418 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

The disgruntled office seeker Charles Guiteau assassinated President __________.

Possible Answers:

Grover Cleveland

Chester A. Arthur

James A. Garfield

Abraham Lincoln

William McKinley

Correct answer:

James A. Garfield

Explanation:

Charles Guiteau had desired a government job after supporting the candidacy of James Garfield in the 1880 Presidential Election. After repeated requests for a diplomatic post in the early months of 1881, Guiteau was banned from a variety of government buildings. At this, Guiteau turned to taking revenge on the new President, bought a pistol, and stalked Garfield's every movement. On July 2, 1881, Guiteau approached Garfield as he was leaving for vacation at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Terminal. Guiteau shot him in the back, and instantly was arrested. Garfield lay dying for months, and even was transferred to the Jersey Shore to recuperate. On September 19, 1881, Garfield passed away, and Guiteau was hanged on June 30, 1882. The largest consequence of the assassination was the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, that both fulfilled a goal of Garfield's and systematized the hiring of government employees.

Example Question #419 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

The President who oversaw the annexation of Texas was __________.

Possible Answers:

James Buchanan

Martin Van Buren

James K. Polk

John Tyler

Andrew Jackson

Correct answer:

James K. Polk

Explanation:

Texas had been a Republic since 1836, and wanted to become the newest state, making Texas' statehood a most controversial issue in the 1844 Presidential Election. James K. Polk, the first true dark horse in American Presidential politics, won the Democratic nomination and the Electoral College by promising large expansion of American Territory, particularly promising to annex Texas. Texas became a state in 1846, under Polk's auspices.

Example Question #420 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

Which of these Presidents did NOT serve in the armed forces in the Civil War?

Possible Answers:

James Buchanan

Ulysses S. Grant

Rutherford B. Hayes

Chester A. Arthur

James A. Garfield

Correct answer:

James Buchanan

Explanation:

In the decades immediately following the Civil War, the Republican Party held a monopoly on the White House and filled the Presidency with a number of Civil War veterans. Not all of these presidents served similarly. Grant was the final commander of all Union forces.  Garfield and Hayes both served admirably in the field, and Arthur was a quartermaster in the Union forces. Buchanan was a Democrat who was President 1856–1860, immediately preceding the Civil War.

Example Question #421 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

The American, or Know Nothing, Party in American history was based around __________.

Possible Answers:

promotion of machine politics

opposition to slavery

opposition to the Mexican-American War

promotion of American expansion westward

opposition to immigation

Correct answer:

opposition to immigation

Explanation:

The American Party was formed in the 1850s, primarily among Northern cities. Their chief organizing principle was opposition to the recent influx of immigrants, particularly Irish immigrants fleeing the Famine in Ireland. In a time of constant division over slavery and westward expansion, the American Party focused strictly on opposition to immigration. Their nickname came from the supposed response of its members when they were asked if they were members, "I know nothing." By 1860, the Know Nothings became one of the cornerstones of the brand new Republican Party, along with Reform Whigs, Free Soil Democrats, and other smaller parties.

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