SAT II US History : U.S. Economic History from 1899 to the Present

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #7 : Facts And Details In U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

The Underwood Tariff Act                            .

Possible Answers:

reduced the tariff rate

raised the tariff rate

established a graduated income tax

both reduced the tariff rate and established a graduated income tax

both raised the tariff rate and established a graduated income tax

Correct answer:

both reduced the tariff rate and established a graduated income tax

Explanation:

The Underwood Tariff Act, also known as the Revenue Act of 1913, was signed into practice by President Wilson. It lowered the existing tariff rate from forty-percent to twenty-five percent, in an effort to encourage foreign trade. It also established a graduated income tax following the passage of the Sixteenth Amendment (which had established the constitutional right of the Federal government to levy income taxes).

Example Question #1 : Facts And Details In U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

The Taft-Hartley Act, passed in 1947                     .

Possible Answers:

expanded Social Security 

assisted American war veterans in finding work once they returned to the United States

raised the income tax threshold 

restricted the authority of labor unions 

prosecuted individuals suspected of harboring Communist sympathies

Correct answer:

restricted the authority of labor unions 

Explanation:

The Taft-Hartley Act was passed to restrict the ability of American labor unions to organize for better wages and treatment. It was supported by the majority of Republicans in Congress and managed to pass despite President Truman’s veto attempt. Many historians believe that the Taft-Hartley Act was passed in response to the unprecedented level of strikes that the post-war United States witnessed in 1946. During, the war the vast majority of unions had agreed to refrain from strikes over wages and benefits to assist the war effort; however, with the war ended and wages falling across the country, strikes consistently broke out in almost all major American industries. 

Example Question #21 : U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

On March 25, 1911, one of the worst industrial disasters in American history occurred. 146 garment workers perished in a fire as a consequence of locked doors and exits.  This disaster is known by what name?

Possible Answers:

The Great Chicago Fire

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

The Haymarket Massacre

The Garment Workers' Tragedy of 1911

The SOHO Conflagration

Correct answer:

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Explanation:

The managers of The Triangle Waist Company routinely locked exit doors and doors leading to the stairwells in order to prevent thieving.  When a fire broke out at the factory, the mostly female garment workers were unable to evacuate.  146 workers died in the fire.

Example Question #22 : U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

John F. Kennedy’s Trade Expansion Act                .

Possible Answers:

removed embargoes that had been placed on many Communist nations during the previous administration

failed to pass Congress due to Southern Democrats siding with Republicans

lowered tariffs to increase foreign trade 

called for the construction of internal infrastructure, roads, and railroads to improve the economy

raised tariffs to protect American business interests

Correct answer:

lowered tariffs to increase foreign trade 

Explanation:

JFK launched an ambitious attempt to re-energize the economy and provide for greater social equality. Much of this New Frontier legislation met with opposition in Congress, as Republicans and Southern Democrats blocked a great deal of laws from passing; however, the Trade Expansion Act did pass Congress. It gave the executive branch the ability to lower existing tariffs by as much as fifty percent. The intention was to stimulate the economy.

Example Question #11 : Facts And Details In U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

What was one of the key elements of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "100 Days" economic plan?

Possible Answers:

Creation of Medicare to help the elderly with medical care

Establishment of Social Security to provide retirement for American workers

Federal insurance for money held in banks

A large tax cut for businesses

Reform of stock market trading practices

Correct answer:

Federal insurance for money held in banks

Explanation:

During his 1932 election campaign, Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised that within his first 100 days in office he would pass numerous measures through Congress that would address the economic issues brought about by the Great Depression. Most of these were immediate fixes, focused on helping people's immediate economic plight. Chief among these was a measure of insurance for money held in American banks, which protected banks and allowed them to stay open while also guaranteeing that citizens would have money available to them.

Example Question #51 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

Poor farming techniques and bad weather led to what event?

Possible Answers:

The Dust Storms

The Great Famine 

The Famine of 1933

The Dust Bowl

Correct answer:

The Dust Bowl

Explanation:

The Dust Bowl was caused by farming techniques that stripped the Great Plains of their top soil. This mixed with a severe drought meant that the winds blowing across the plains cause massive dust storms that choked towns and cities, and destroyed the few crops that would still grow. This meant a mass migration of people would follow.

Example Question #23 : U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

Massive overproduction of many farm goods and certain crops meant what happened?

Possible Answers:

Major export markets were developed

Loss of entire crops deemed useless

Farms unable to sell their goods

Deflation of prices

Correct answer:

Deflation of prices

Explanation:

The massive overproduction meant that markets in America for these goods had a huge oversupply. This led to the prices of these goods to fall to incredible lows. This meant farmers could not make a profit off their harvests and many lost their farms.

Example Question #14 : Facts And Details In U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

What President came up with the New Deal?

Possible Answers:

Herbert Hoover

Franklin Roosevelt

Harry Truman

Teddy Roosevelt

Correct answer:

Franklin Roosevelt

Explanation:

FDR was voted into office for one reason, to help the nation recover from the Depression. His plan to pull the nation out of the economic hole it was in was to create a series of direct relief programs and reforms called the New Deal.

Example Question #15 : Facts And Details In U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

Following the start of the Great Depression, President Hoover rejected calls for direct relief. What is direct relief?

Possible Answers:

Giving money to average citizens with the hope they would spend it and stimulate the economy

Giving money to major businesses to keep them from going out of business 

Giving money to banks so they could continue operating normally

Cutting taxes so people would have more money

Correct answer:

Giving money to average citizens with the hope they would spend it and stimulate the economy

Explanation:

Direct Relief is an economic principle where a government attempts to help an ailing economy by giving citizens assistance in the form of money either as a handout or in the form of a job. The idea being that if an average person has a few extra dollars to spend, they will spend it, thus getting money flowing through the economy again.

Example Question #24 : U.S. Economic History From 1899 To The Present

What was President Hoover's reason for refusing to use direct relief to help the people of the U.S. during the Great Depression? 

Possible Answers:

He was ideologically opposed to it

He did not want the government to interfere in business matters

He wanted to give aide to businesses instead

He did not want to run a budget deficit 

Correct answer:

He did not want to run a budget deficit 

Explanation:

Hoover ran for president on the platform that government should not spend more than it takes in. As the Great Depression was in full swing, the government was bringing in much less in taxes than it needed to spend in order to operate. This meant the government could barely afford to support itself, never mind give relief to citizens, so Hoover decided to stick to principles and allow the economy to right itself.

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