SAT II US History : Facts and Details in U.S. Political History from 1899 to the Present

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #251 : U.S. Political History

On June 19th, 1953, this American couple was executed for passing U.S. atomic weapons secrets to the Soviets.

Possible Answers:

Richard and Cynthia Murphy

John and Elizabeth Bentley

Nathan and Helen Silvermaster

Edward and Anne Bancroft

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Correct answer:

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Explanation:

On June 19th, 1953, two American citizens, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, were executed for conspiracy to commit espionage during a time of war.

Example Question #32 : U.S. Political History From 1899 To The Present

On August 18th, 1919, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, which did what?

Possible Answers:

Repealed the prohibition on the manufacture, sale and transportation of liquor

Established the drinking age at 21

Granted women the right to vote

Prohibited the manufacture, sale and transportation of liquor

Established the voting age

Correct answer:

Granted women the right to vote

Explanation:

On August 18th, 1919, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified which granted women the right to vote. The Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of liquor.

Example Question #33 : U.S. Political History From 1899 To The Present

What landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalized abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy?

Possible Answers:

Roe v. Wade

Oregon v. Mitchell

Goldberg v. Kelly

Lemon v. Kurtzman

Ashe v. Swenson

Correct answer:

Roe v. Wade

Explanation:

It was Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in the U.S. for pregnancies in the first trimester.

Example Question #252 : U.S. Political History

The Twenty-Second Amendment established                              .

Possible Answers:

the right to vote for those aged eighteen years or older

full women’s suffrage

the prohibition of alcohol 

a two-term limit on the Presidency 

that laws affecting the pay of Congress would not take effect until after the next election 

Correct answer:

a two-term limit on the Presidency 

Explanation:

The Twenty-Second Amendment was passed in 1951 in response to the four-term Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It finally codified into law the precedent established by George Washington that no President could serve more than two terms. Roosevelt was the only President to exceed this limit before it became law. The right to vote for eighteen-year-olds came about in the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, women’s suffrage was the Nineteenth, prohibition, the Eighteenth, and congressional pay, the Twenty-Seventh.

Example Question #253 : U.S. Political History

Which Supreme Court case stated that the Fourteenth Amendment could be suspended during times of war?

Possible Answers:

Mapp v. Ohio

Korematsu v. United States 

United States v. Darby

Gideon v. Wainwright

United States v. Butler

Correct answer:

Korematsu v. United States 

Explanation:

The Supreme Court case Korematsu v. United States established that the Fourteenth Amendment does not need to be applied when national security can be shown to be at risk. During World War Two the United States government ordered the forced internment of all Japanese Americans, regardless of citizenship. Korematsu was a Japanese American who was convicted of evading internment and took his case to the Supreme Court, believing that forced internment was in violation of his Fourteenth Amendment rights. By a 6–3 majority the Supreme Court ruled that Korematsu’s individual rights were less important than the need to protect against Japanese espionage during the war.  

Example Question #35 : U.S. Political History From 1899 To The Present

"And so, that is where the money came from. Let me just say this, and I want to say this to the television audience: I made my mistakes, but in all of my years of public life, I have never profited, never profited from public service—I have earned every cent—and in all of my years of public life, I have never obstructed justice. And I think, too, that I could say that in my years of public life, that I welcome this kind of examination, because people have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I am not a crook. I have earned everything I have got."

Which President spoke the preceding lines?

Possible Answers:

Richard Nixon

John F. Kennedy

Bill Clinton

George H. W. Bush

Ronald Reagan

Correct answer:

Richard Nixon

Explanation:

Richard Nixon, entangled in the Watergate Scandal that eventually ended his presidency, spoke the famous lines "I am not a crook."

Example Question #36 : U.S. Political History From 1899 To The Present

In 1896, what did the U.S. Supreme Court decide in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which permitted the Jim Crow laws in the American South?

Possible Answers:

Racial segregation was not constitutional

Black women must also have the right to vote

The races must be educated together

Racial segregation was constitutional

States had the right to determine the constitutionality of segregation

Correct answer:

Racial segregation was constitutional

Explanation:

In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson that racial segregation was constitutional. This decision permitted the Jim Crow laws in the American South until the Brown v. Board of Education decision, in 1954.

Example Question #37 : U.S. Political History From 1899 To The Present

Which of the following Presidents did NOT win election on their own?

Possible Answers:

George H.W. Bush

Lyndon B. Johnson

Harry S. Truman

Gerald R. Ford

Theodore Roosevelt

Correct answer:

Gerald R. Ford

Explanation:

All the Presidents listed among the answer choices rose from being Vice President to the Presidency. Only George H.W. Bush did not succeed after the death or resignation of the President he served under, but outright won a Presidential election (1988) as a sitting Vice President. Roosevelt, Truman, and Johnson all eventually won a term on their own after succeeding upon the death of the Presidents they served under.  Only Ford, who succeeded Richard Nixon upon his resignation in 1974, did not win an election for the Presidency.

Example Question #21 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1899 To The Present

The Teapot Dome Scandal, which involved uncompetitive bidding for government leases by oil companies, happened under which President's Administration?

Possible Answers:

Franklin Roosevelt

Woodrow Wilson

Warren G. Harding

Herbert Hoover

William Howard Taft

Correct answer:

Warren G. Harding

Explanation:

The Teapot Dome scandal was the defining element of the short administration of Warren G. Harding. Harding died in office on August 2, 1923, in the midst of the scandal. Oil companies had been discovered to have bribed Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall, in order to receive permission to drill on government-held oil reserves. Senator Thomas J. Walsh of Montana led Senate hearings, which damaged Harding's posthumous reputation. Fall eventually wound up being sentenced to a year in jail for the bribes in the 1930s.

Example Question #261 : U.S. Political History

The Twenty-Fifth Amendment, adopted in 1967, addresses what issue?

Possible Answers:

The appointment of Senators and Representatives upon death, resignation, or incapacity of a sitting member of Congress

The direct election of Senators by the population of each state

A change to the voting age to 18 years old

Succession of the Vice President to the Presidency upon the death, resignation, or incapacity of the President

The full order of the Line of Succession to the Presidency of the United States

Correct answer:

Succession of the Vice President to the Presidency upon the death, resignation, or incapacity of the President

Explanation:

In Article II, Section I, Clause 6, The U.S. Constitution only provided ambiguous statements about the Vice President becoming "Acting President" upon the death, resignation, or incapacity of the President. Until the adoption of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, during Lyndon Johnson's term of office, no official protocols were in place to allow the Vice President to succeed the President. Despite this, seven Vice Presidents had succeeded the office upon the death of a President. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment codified this precedent into law.

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