SAT II US History : Representative Viewpoints 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 #170 : U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Which of the following is NOT one of the reasons President Abraham Lincoln was hesitant to emancipate southern slaves?

Possible Answers:

He was afraid the slaves would rebel against all whites, even those in the north.

He was afraid that emancipating the slaves would hurt international relations because raw good production would decrease.

Lincoln felt that emancipation may have kept the Union from ever being whole.

He feared that slaves would join the Union army and would not be able to stand up to Confederate soldiers.

He did not have the right to emancipate the southern slaves.

Correct answer:

He feared that slaves would join the Union army and would not be able to stand up to Confederate soldiers.

Explanation:

Lincoln's thinking on emancipation evolved greatly over the course of the Civil War. When the war first started, Lincoln had no intention of emancipating the slaves. He was not, necessarily, in favor of slavery, but he recognized it as part of the economy of the south.

Due to the Haitian Revolution, in which the slaves of the nation of Haiti rose against their masters and took over the island, whites in the US were constantly fearing a slave uprising. President Lincoln also worried that if slaves were released they would immediately rise against their masters and take up arms against all white people.

In addition, Lincoln did not have the right to emancipate the slaves. The Constitution forbid the government, in more ways than one, from doing anything that would result in the ending of slavery; however, Lincoln expanded the power of the presidency during the Civil War and through his actions he did, in fact, emancipate the slaves.

Throughout the war the north was afraid that other countries would get involved in the conflict, particularly that they would side with the Confederacy. Since slave labor provided many raw goods that were utilized in Britain and France, the Union was afraid of international involvement if they tampered too much with production.

Lincoln felt that slavery was ingrained in the southern way of life. More than anything he wanted to keep the Union whole. He feared that if he emancipated the slaves than the Confederate states would never rejoin the Union and continue to resist until they won or until they were completely decimated by Union forces.

Example Question #501 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

A cause of many of the political scandals of the Gilded Age was __________.

Possible Answers:

increasing regulations on business and commerce

a lack of partisan politics in the era

the direct election of Senators by a popular vote

the control of political parties by big city "machines"

free and fair elections

Correct answer:

the control of political parties by big city "machines"

Explanation:

"The Gilded Age" was referred to as such because of the increasing wealth held by monopolies, corporations, and successful individuals. These things were the result of a lack of regulation on business and many corrupt politicians who gained favor by sucking up to the new extremely wealthy. These politicians, and their voters, were effectively controlled by big city "machines," political organizations that held great influence and manipulated most elections to their will.

Example Question #31 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Which of these demands was not part of the Omaha Platform adopted by the Populists in 1892? 

Possible Answers:

A new banking system regulated by the Federal government

The direct election of Senators 

A graduated income tax

Eliminating the use of "Free Silver"

Reduction of tariff rates

Correct answer:

Eliminating the use of "Free Silver"

Explanation:

The Ocala Demands were a set of demands issued in 1890 by a group of agricultural institutions. It demanded, among other issues, that there be an amendment to the Constitution providing for the direction election of Senators, a reduction of tariff rates, the establishment of a graduated income tax, that the banking system be reformed and placed directly in the hands of the Federal government, and that “free silver” be used to support inflation in United States currency. In 1892 the Farmer’s Association formed into the Populist Party and the Ocala Demands were accommodated into the Party’s Omaha Platform.

Example Question #32 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

“The great and leading principle is, that the General Government emanated from the people of the several States, forming distinct political communities, and acting in their separate and sovereign capacity, and not from all of the people forming one aggregate political community; that the Constitution of the United States is, in fact, a compact, to which each State is a party, in the character already described; and that the several States, or parties, have a right to judge of its infractions; and in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of power not delegated, they have the right, in the last resort, to use the language of the Virginia Resolutions, “to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining, within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them.”

The above quote best represents which antebellum political viewpoint?

Possible Answers:

Manifest destiny

Populism

Nullification

Abolitionism

Nativism

Correct answer:

Nullification

Explanation:

The belief that states have a right to ignore federal law if they deem it a violation of their own sovereignty is known by the name of nullification.  The author of this quote, John C. Calhoun, was the most prominent advocate of states’ rights and nullification.  Calhoun resigned as Vice President to Andrew Jackson in 1832 due to their disagreement on South Carolina’s attempted nullification of the Tariff of 1832.

Example Question #33 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

“I will not be a liar, a poltroon, or a hypocrite, to accommodate any party, to gratify any sect, to escape any odium or peril, to save any interest, to preserve any institution, or to promote any object. Convince me that one man may rightfully make another man his slave, and I will no longer subscribe to the Declaration of Independence. Convince me that liberty is not the inalienable birthright of every human being, of whatever complexion or clime, and I will give that instrument to the consuming fire.”

The above quote best illustrates what political movement?

Possible Answers:

Abolitionism

Temperance

Nativism

Populism

Suffrage

Correct answer:

Abolitionism

Explanation:

The quote is a perfect illustration of abolitionism, the movement to end slavery, espoused by one of its chief proponents, William Lloyd Garrison. 

Example Question #34 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

How did the Wade-Davis bill differ from Lincoln’s policies on how best to reincorporate the South into the Union after the end of the Civil War?

Possible Answers:

The Wade-Davis bill was supported by Lincoln.

The Wade-Davis bill declared all Southern states could immediately regain their status as states.

The Wade-Davis bill proposed that greater leniency be shown to Southern states seeking re-entry.

The Wade-Davis bill argued that Lincoln was too lenient with the Southern states and called for harsher restrictions on re-entry.

The Wade-Davis bill argued that Southern states should not be allowed back into the Union without payment of reparation and the execution of all Southern war time leaders.

Correct answer:

The Wade-Davis bill argued that Lincoln was too lenient with the Southern states and called for harsher restrictions on re-entry.

Explanation:

Following the end of the Civil War, Lincoln favored a quick and easy process of reconciliation with the South. He contended that once 10% of a Southern state's electorate took oaths to establish an abolitionist government, that state could gain re-entry. The Wade-Davis bill argued that Lincoln was too lenient and proposed a much higher percentage of the electorate to take oaths. Lincoln, believing the Wade-Davis bill would only cause greater disharmony, used his pocket veto to block its passage. 

Example Question #35 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Which group was most responsible for the addition of the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution in order to ensure the provision of basic liberties to the public?

Possible Answers:

Democrats

Republicans

Libertarians

Anti-Federalists

Federalists

Correct answer:

Anti-Federalists

Explanation:

The Anti-Federalists were composed largely of farmers, lower class individuals, and those who favored state power over centralized federal power. Their primary concern with the Constitution was its lack of a Bill of Rights ensuring basic liberties. The Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian parties had not yet come to be at that point in time.

Example Question #36 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Which of the following is not true about the Know-Nothing Party?

Possible Answers:

It was Anti-Catholic

It was formally known as the American Party

It was a nativist movement that reached its height during the 1850s

It was Anti-Immigration

It was a movement exclusively found in the North

Correct answer:

It was a movement exclusively found in the North

Explanation:

The American Party (more commonly known as the Know-Nothing Party) was a nativist movement most popular during the early 1850s that primarily sought to curb immigration and the growing influence of Catholicism brought in by immigrants. It origininated in the North, but it quickly gained a nationwide presence, even boasting a chapter in California. It died out almost entirely by the time of the Civil War and was absorbed into other parties by the end of it.

Example Question #37 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

The Radical Republicans sought all of the following as a goal of Reconstruction except __________.

Possible Answers:

voting rights for freed slaves

involvement in the United States Congress by ex-Confederates

limitation on political rights for ex-Confederates

prosecution of former Confederate leaders for wartime offences

full citizenship for former slaves

Correct answer:

involvement in the United States Congress by ex-Confederates

Explanation:

The "Radical Republicans," who were opposed during and after the Civil War by the moderate wing of their own party, controlled Congress during Reconstruction and implemented many harsh and sweeping measures on former Confederates. The Radical Republicans sought citizenship and voting rights for all newly freed slaves, the political exclusion of former Confederates, and the prosecution of Confederate leaders for their actions during the Civil War.

Example Question #38 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Who wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, respectively?

Possible Answers:

Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry

John Adams and Alexander Hamilton

Thomas Jefferson and John Jay

James Madison and Thomas Jefferson 

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson

Correct answer:

James Madison and Thomas Jefferson 

Explanation:

The Virginia Resolution was written by James Madison. The Kentucky Resolutions (note the plural) were written by Thomas Jefferson. 

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