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 #63 : U.S. Economic History

When did the Stock Market crash, sending the United States, and the world, into the Great Depression? 

Possible Answers:

December 1929

October 1929

May 1929

January 1930

Correct answer:

October 1929

Explanation:

October of 1929 would see the start of the largest economic decline in American History. Once the stock market crashed, it started a series of events that would cause the accumulated wealth of most Americans to evaporate.

Example Question #64 : U.S. Economic History

What were the groups of people who artificially raised the price of stocks for their own profit, which ultimately lead to the stock market crash were called?

Possible Answers:

Traders

Mobs

Cartels

Gangs

Correct answer:

Cartels

Explanation:

The Cartels were groups of people who sold stock in companies they knew to be worthless that way the demand for those stocks would rise. This is when they would sell their own stocks at a huge profit, but leave all the people who had bought these stocks with nothing as they figured out the company they bought into was a sham.

Example Question #65 : U.S. Economic History

What were the rundown villages of shacks set up in many cities where the destitute lived during the Depression called?

Possible Answers:

Shanty Towns

Hoovervilles

Ramshackle 

Ghettos

Correct answer:

Hoovervilles

Explanation:

Hoovervilles were named after the President who many blamed for their woes. President Hoover's response to the Depression was considered slow, and when he did respond, inadequate. He generally did nothing to ease the suffering of American workers, and when he did do something it often only made matters worse.

Example Question #66 : U.S. Economic History

October 29, 1929 is famous for what event?

Possible Answers:

End of World War I

Election of Franklin Roosevelt

Stock market crash

Rise of Hitler

Correct answer:

Stock market crash

Explanation:

The Stock Market Crash was not as many people think, the cause of the Great Depression, it simply signaled the start of the deep decline that was caused by a host of factors.

Example Question #67 : U.S. Economic History

When the people who were hit hardest by the Depression needed a meal, where did they go for one?

Possible Answers:

Pantries

Churches

Government shelters

Bread lines

Correct answer:

Bread lines

Explanation:

The Bread line was a staple of most major cities in America in the 1930's. Each morning many people would line up looking for a meal, which as the name suggest, would usually consist of a piece of bread and possibly some soup. Often the length of these lines would far exceed the amount of food that was available.

Example Question #68 : U.S. Economic History

President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society is most similar to ______________.

Possible Answers:

Ronald Reagan's New Federalism  

Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation 

None of these

Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal 

Warren Harding's Return to Normalcy 

Correct answer:

Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal 

Explanation:

The Great Society is most similar to the New Deal because they both aim to help poor Americans by creating programs such as Medicare (Johnson) and Social Security (FDR). All of the other answer describe socially and fiscally conservative (some would say regressive) principles.

Example Question #69 : U.S. Economic History

What legal invention was arguably one of the biggest vehicles for increased industry during the 20th century?

Possible Answers:

None of these

The Corporation

The Habeas Corpus

The Petite Jury

The Jury

Correct answer:

The Corporation

Explanation:

The corporation was arguably one of the biggest reasons behind increased industry during the early 20th century. The corporation, in its original form, originally existed only at the behest of the state legislature; in order to form a corporation, you had to petition the state legislature to grant you a “charter” and, generally, the legislature would only hand out charters for “public interest” businesses (such as a hospital).

Around the turn of the 20th century, however, state legislatures started loosening up restrictions on corporations; currently, all you need to do to create a corporation is to file articles of incorporation with (generally) the secretary of state of the state in which you wish to incorporate—and it can be for ‘any lawful purpose.’

Perhaps the most interesting thing about corporations is that they are limited liability—that is, you cannot be held liable (on the hook monetarily) for more than you put in to the company.

Example Question #70 : U.S. Economic History

The Federal Reserve Act (1913) is responsible for creating the first Bank of the US.

Possible Answers:

True, the main goal of the FRA was to create the US's first official banking institution

False, the first bank in the US was established far before the FRA, in the late 18th century

False, the first US bank would not be established until after the Stock Market Crash of 1929

None of these

Correct answer:

False, the first bank in the US was established far before the FRA, in the late 18th century

Explanation:

This is a tricky question. To begin with, the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) is an immensely complicated topic, and one that is (mostly) far beyond the scope of your course. More importantly, however, the FRA of 1913 did not create the first Bank of the US. Hopefully you’ll remember that the First Bank of the US was Hamilton’s brainchild, and came into being during the 1790s. The FRA created the Federal Reserve, which—and this is a gross oversimplification—created our central banking system. 

Example Question #71 : U.S. Economic History

What was the purpose of the Agricultural Adjustment Act?

Possible Answers:

To battle the hunger issue that the Dust Bowl created

All of these answers are correct.

Purportedly, to battle the rampant deflation that drove down agriculture prices

To encourage farmers to “plow under” their own crops

Correct answer:

Purportedly, to battle the rampant deflation that drove down agriculture prices

Explanation:

This is a relatively simple question, although it had the potential to be difficult. At any rate, the purported purpose of the AAA was to artificially raise the rates of agricultural products. Essentially, and for a variety of reasons beyond the scope of this test, the economy happened to converge in such a fashion that there was a glut of agricultural products on the market at a time when demand was lower than usual. This caused the prices of agricultural products to plunge. In an effort to combat this problem, FDR pushed the AAA through Congress. The AAA basically attempted to dry up the supply (and thus raise the prices) by paying farmers to keep crops off of the market.

Example Question #72 : U.S. Economic History

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff did which of the following?

Possible Answers:

It decreased agricultural tariffs to help the farmers during the Great Depression.

It increased agricultural and industrial tariffs to the highest level in nearly one hundred years.

It decreased industrial tariffs to help manufacturers during the Great Depression.

None of the other answers is correct.

Correct answer:

It increased agricultural and industrial tariffs to the highest level in nearly one hundred years.

Explanation:

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff increased agricultural and industrial tariffs to the highest level in nearly one hundred years. It was a well-intentioned bill, by all means (although the end result was catastrophic).

Remember: a tariff is a protectionist measure that artificially increases the prices of imported goods (so that they are either on equal footing or more expensive than their home-grown counterparts). The Smoot-Hawley Tariff was, in large part, an attempt to shore up a floundering American agricultural and industrial sector.

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