SAT II US History : Representative Viewpoints in U.S. Intellectual and Cultural 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 #261 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

A “Revival of Religion” presupposes a declension. Almost all the religion in the world has been produced by revivals. God has found it necessary to take advantage of the excitability there is in mankind, to produce powerful excitements among them, before He can lead them to obey. 

The above quote exemplifies the beliefs common to __________.

Possible Answers:

atheism.

transcendentalism.

anti-Communism.

the Second Great Awakening.

Enlightenment skepticism.

Correct answer:

the Second Great Awakening.

Explanation:

The above quote, from evangelist Charles Finney, discusses a "Revival of Religion." Revivals of Religion were the key feature of the Second Great Awakening, a widespread religious fervor that spread throughout America in the first decades of the nineteenth century. The Second Great Awakening featured many religious revivals and saw new religions pop up all over the country. The Second Great Awakening made the nation much more religious by the start of the Civil War.

Example Question #31 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History

A chief tenet of transcendentalism was the belief that __________.

Possible Answers:

nature is meant to be conquered and exploited by human beings.

rationality is all that is needed to understand the world.

logic is always superior to emotion and personal feelings.

a revival of religion is the key to the reformation of society.

to fully understand nature one must experience it personally.

Correct answer:

to fully understand nature one must experience it personally.

Explanation:

Transcendentalism, characterized by authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, was an intellectual reaction to Enlightenment values in the early nineteenth century. Transcendentalists did not believe reason and logic alone were sufficient to understand nature and the world. Instead, transcendentalists sought to go out in nature, understand their emotions, and reflect on those feelings.

Example Question #11 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

What was the name of the movement championed by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, which emphasized the natural purity of the individual and the tendency for organized religion and politics to corrupt it?

Possible Answers:

Transcendentalism

Universalism

Unitarianism

Deism

Individualism

Correct answer:

Transcendentalism

Explanation:

Beginning in the late 1820s, the Transcendentalist movement focused on establishing belief and principles through inner, individual spiritual experience. It opposed established and organized religion in favor of an individualized outlook. Its leading proponents were Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Example Question #33 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History

Which of these was not a member of the transcendentalist movement? 

Possible Answers:

Margaret Fuller

Nathaniel Hawthorne 

Henry David Thoreau 

Walt Whitman

Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Correct answer:

Nathaniel Hawthorne 

Explanation:

The Transcendentalism movement arose in the first half of the nineteenth century in opposition to the state of American politics and society at the time. Transcendentalists believe in the core goodness of people, nature, and people in nature. They also opposed organized religion, which they felt corrupted the individual and prevented man from attuning himself to nature. Of these five, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson are the two most famous for their Transcendentalist beliefs. Walt Whitman and Margaret Fuller were both also keen writers in support of the Transcendentalist cause. Nathaniel Hawthorne (author of The Scarlet Letter), however, was a very well known anti-Transcendentalist. His work focused on the deplorable nature of humans and the impious and impure nature of the human spirit. 

Example Question #34 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History

What is manifest destiny?

Possible Answers:

All of these answers are correct

The American belief that America had an [almost] divine right or duty to spread west and bring with them American values and culture for the benefit of everyone they encountered

The name of the most famous ironclad during the Civil War

A jingoistic cry mostly shouted by conscience Whigs in response to all of the country’s many problems during the time

Correct answer:

The American belief that America had an [almost] divine right or duty to spread west and bring with them American values and culture for the benefit of everyone they encountered

Explanation:

Again, this is another straightforward vocabulary question. Manifest destiny was the belief that Americans had a culture of superior values and thus had a quasi-divine mandate to spread across the continent and bring American culture and values to all—willing or not. “A jingoistic cry . . .” may have been a fairly tempting answer due to the buzzwords “jingoistic” and “conscience Whigs,” but if you remember your history (hopefully you do!) you’ll recall that conscience Whigs were against things like the Mexican-American War, and other [in]direct products of manifest destiny.

Example Question #32 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights… all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they were accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

The author of the previous quote was most likely speaking on behalf of             .

Possible Answers:

Free Blacks

Enslaved Blacks

Catholics

Women

Native Americans

Correct answer:

Women

Explanation:

Although the majority of the passage could be referring to any one of a number of disenfranchised groups in American history. The opening line is very similar in character to that of the Declaration of Independence. The only manner in which it differs is to include both men and women as being endowed with certain inalienable rights; therefore, we can confidently suppose that it was written on behalf of women. The quote is taken from Declaration of Sentiments, adopted by the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848—the proscribed purposed of which was to gain the complete enfranchisement for women in the United States. 

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