SAT II US History : U.S. Economic History

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #101 : U.S. Economic History

__________ was the day when the stock market took its final plunge, leading to the collapse of the financial system.

Possible Answers:

"A date which will live in infamy"

"Black Friday"

"Black Thursday"

"Black Tuesday"

Correct answer:

"Black Tuesday"

Explanation:

Black Tuesday is when the stock market took its final plunge, a precipitating event of the Great Depression. Although there are entire courses on the Great Depression, and stock trading is likely far beyond the scope of your course, a brief overview is helpful. Essentially, many investors and traders were trading stocks “on margin”—that is (basically) using borrowed money to invest. Think of it like this: you borrow $100 dollars in order to invest it. If you get a 10% rate of return, and you lose nothing, you can repay the $100 and you’ve made $10. Think of the flipside, however: what if you borrow $100, invest it poorly, and then lose it all. Now you owe someone $100; it’s almost like borrowing money to gamble (although that would be considerably more risky). When the stock market crashed, the end result was multiplied tenfold by the fact that many people were trading on margin (thus they lost everything, and then were in debt for more money than they could possibly ever repay).

Example Question #102 : U.S. Economic History

What is the name given to the policy employed by British governments in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries of not strictly enforcing laws in the colonies?

Possible Answers:

Salutary neglect

Beneficial carelessness

Acts of Toleration

Virtual representation

Navigation Acts

Correct answer:

Salutary neglect

Explanation:

Throughout the seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth century, the British government employed a policy of lax enforcement of Parliamentary laws. Many British politicians, most notably Prime Minister Robert Walpole, felt that the colonies would flourish if left to their own devices. Many ministers felt that enforcement of the Navigation Acts – which stated that the colonies should only trade with mainland British merchants – would ultimately cause economic stagnation in the colonies and that it was therefore in the best interest of the Empire as a whole to ignore many of the Parliamentary restrictions employed by previous administrations. This is referred to as the policy of salutary neglect.

Example Question #103 : U.S. Economic History

What is the name given to the Spanish colonial system of rotating indigenous workers between different forms of labor?

Possible Answers:

Girarendo 

Repartimento

Encomienda

Tordesillas 

Mestizo

Correct answer:

Repartimento

Explanation:

The Repartimento system of forced labor was prevalent throughout much of Spain’s American Empire during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The system was established whenever a Spanish settlement happened to be set up near an existing native community. The native people were rotated between various jobs, mostly agriculture, construction and mining. Due to the high rate of desertion, the system was largely replaced by the more permanent Encomienda system, which even more closely resembled slavery.

Example Question #104 : U.S. Economic History

During the early period of colonization (1492-1650), French activity was heavily focused on ______________.

Possible Answers:

Establishing networks of trade with the existing Native American communities

Checking the expansion of English and Spanish settlers

Spreading Christianity throughout North America

Plundering Native American lands in the pursuit of wealth

Establishing permanent settlements in Florida and Georgia

Correct answer:

Establishing networks of trade with the existing Native American communities

Explanation:

French settlers primarily occupied the southern regions of what is now Canada, establishing fur trading communities with the Native American tribes who already existed in the region. The French rarely attacked or plundered Native American communities, preferring to establish positive trading rights. Likewise, the French expended little effort to permanently settle new communities, and their objections to English and Spanish settlements were voiced only when the English threatened the lucrative fur trade. 

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