SAT II US History : SAT Subject Test in United States History

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

The Supreme Court case Johnson v. M’Intosh established __________.

Possible Answers:

that a private citizen cannot purchase land from Native Americans 

that segregation is inherently unequal and unconstitutional

congressional power to regulate disputes in interstate trade 

the principle of Judicial Review

equality of women’s pay in the work place

Correct answer:

that a private citizen cannot purchase land from Native Americans 

Explanation:

The Supreme Court case of Johnson v. M’Intosh was a landmark case of the Marshall Court. The Supreme Court ruled that a private citizen could not purchase land from Native Americans, as those Natives did not wholly own the land. Rather, a citizen should petition the United States government for a grant to that land. It has remained a quotable and applicable legal precedent throughout the last two-hundred years of American history, although its application and interpretation has changed with subsequent legal battles and the changing perspective of American society over time. 

Example Question #32 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

The Clermont __________.

Possible Answers:

battled the Monitor during the Civil War

was the first abolitionist newspaper

was the first passenger steamship in the United States 

was shot down by German U-Boats during World War One

reported on the mistreatment of Vietnamese prisoners by American soldiers

Correct answer:

was the first passenger steamship in the United States 

Explanation:

The Clermont, also called the North River Steamboat, was the first successfully built passenger steamship in the United States. The Clermont was the product of the work of James Fuller on steam engines and demonstrated conclusively, for the first time, the viability of steam powered travel on water. It operated successfully between Albany and New York and ushered in an era of economic growth propelled by steam power. 

Example Question #33 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

Which of the following was directly caused by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s?

Possible Answers:
A banking boom throughout the United States
Increased food supplies throughout the United States
Increased technological development in industrial farming
Increased productivity of farmland in the Great Plains
Mass migration of people from Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas to California
Correct answer: Mass migration of people from Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas to California
Explanation:

The Dust Bowl of the 1930s was a period of drought which caused massive dust storms and failed crops throughout the Great Plains.  As a result of unproductive farmland, many people moved from Oklahoma, Texas, and California.  If the Dust Bowl is unfamiliar, the 1930s should be a good clue that increased productivity or investment of any sort would be a wrong answer.

Example Question #2 : U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

Which of these was not a consequence of Roosevelt's New Deal program?

Possible Answers:
The expansion of Social Security
All of these were consequences of the New Deal
The development of new ideas about the role and scope of government
Political realignment in the Democratic and Republican Parties
The growth of America into a welfare state
Correct answer: The growth of America into a welfare state
Explanation:

FDR's New Deal program was a massive economic undertaking that focused on three major areas (called the three R's, for simplicity): Relief, for the poor and unemployed; Recovery, for the depressed economy; Reform, of the financial and political system to ensure there would not be a repeat of the Great Depression. It is generally considered a turning point in American history when the bulk of the American people began to believe that Government direct intervention in the economy was a positive, not a negative. For the Democratic Party it ushered in an unprecedented level of popularity - propelling them to victory in seven of the next nine elections. For the Republican Party, it caused fracturing and realignment. It greatly expanded Social Security programs, but what it did not do is turn America into a welfare state. Most historians agree that America is too ruggedly "individualistic" for a true welfare state to govern - as has been evidence in the recent debate over health care in the Twenty-First Century. 

Example Question #34 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

The period of extreme dust storms throughout the American and Canadian prairie lands in the 1930s known as the Dust Bowl caused severe agricultural and ecological damage.  This Dust Bowl was caused by all of the following EXCEPT:

Possible Answers:

Absence of dryland farming techniques

El Niño–Southern Oscillation

Drought

Deep plowing of Great Plain's virgin topsoil

Combine harvesting

Correct answer:

El Niño–Southern Oscillation

Explanation:

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation is a band of warm ocean water that develops off the western coast of South America and has been known to cause climatic change across the Pacific Ocean, but not the plains of America and Canada.

Example Question #4 : U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

Which of the following is true about the Great Depression?

Possible Answers:

The US never went off the gold standard.

In the stock market crash, over 50% of wealth was lost.

Commodity prices increased.

In 1928, the Fed increased the interest rate.

The International Trade Organization banned open market operations.

Correct answer:

In 1928, the Fed increased the interest rate.

Explanation:

The Fed did in fact increase the interest rate in 1928. This led to a decrease in the available credit supply, because businesses would now have to borrow at higher interest rates. 

All other answer choices are false. The stock market crash, even though much talked about, only effected the loss of 10% of all wealth.  The bigger issue here was the lack of trust in banking and government that came from the crash.  America did eventually go off the gold standard. Commodity prices decreased because of a lack of demand. Finally, the International Trade Organization wasn't created until 1945.

Example Question #5 : U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

Rosie the Riveter and other women in industrial jobs joined the workforce due to which of the following reasons?

Possible Answers:

The draft forcing men into military service and departure to war.

The depression in the agricultural economy.

The Rockefeller foundation's support of women working outside the home.

The influence of international Communism.

The skyrocketing unemployment rates.

Correct answer:

The draft forcing men into military service and departure to war.

Explanation:

As World War Two began to enlist more and more men into service, including the draft, the women were left without any means of support. Simultaneously, the push for munitions to supply the war efforts began to reach a higher level of demand. The combination of these two causes allowed women to easily fill the gaps left behind by the departing workforce into battle.

Example Question #6 : U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1929                      .

Possible Answers:

ensured that farmers were able to survive throughout the Great Depression

bought up surplus crops and sold them to foreign markets

kept crop prices low and ensured there was enough food to go around

was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first attempt to reform agriculture, later improved by the Agricultural Adjustment Act

failed to avert the food crisis of the early 1930s 

Correct answer:

failed to avert the food crisis of the early 1930s 

Explanation:

The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1929 was an attempt by President Hoover to ensure the prosperity of the farming industry in uncertain times. Prior to the Act, crop prices had been spiraling downwards and forcing many farmers to go out of business. The Act gave the Federal government mandate to buy up surplus crops. For a short time this stabilized crop prices, but it eventually led to an overreliance on Federal support among the farming industry which helped contribute to the food crisis of the early 1930s—all the food was being bought and stored in warehouses, as opposed to sold or distributed to the poor. Historians generally consider the attempt to be morally sound, but the execution of the program to be disastrous. It was eventually improved upon by the Agricultural Administration Act that was enacted during Roosevelt’s early days in office. 

Example Question #35 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

Which of the following was NOT a contributor to the Great Depression?

Possible Answers:

The Dust Bowl

Protectionist tariffs

The Stock Market Crash of 1929

World War I debt payments

Over investment and speculation

Correct answer:

World War I debt payments

Explanation:

The immediate cause of the Great Depression was the stock market crash of Black Tuesday, October 24, 1929.  Many factors contributed to the worldwide crisis, but World War I debts were paid off as scheduled and the years following the 1919 Armistice were actually an economic boom time.

Example Question #8 : U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff                  .

Possible Answers:

propelled Herbert Hoover to an exalted position in public opinion

helped protect American industry from the worst of the Great Depression

dramatically reduced American imports and exports 

was designed to protect American industry, but ignored American agricultural failings

is considered Franklin D. Roosevelt’s greatest failure

Correct answer:

dramatically reduced American imports and exports 

Explanation:

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was passed in 1930 by the Hoover administration. It was designed to protect American agriculture and industry against foreign competition, but the overall effect was profoundly negative for the United States. The act set record high tariff rates on several thousand goods and greatly discouraged trade with Europe and Asia. United States’ overall exports and imports fell by more than half almost immediately. This heightened the suffering felt during the Great Depression.

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