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

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

Which of the following was NOT a reason for the United States’ eventual entry into World War I?

Possible Answers:
The Zimmerman telegram, offering German military support to Mexico for an invasion of America
The Russian Revolution in October 1917
The sinking of the RMS Lusitania
The resumption of submarine attacks on commercial ships by Germany
Intellectual and elite support for the British war effort
Correct answer: The Russian Revolution in October 1917
Explanation:

The immediate cause of the United States’ declaration of war in April of 1917 was the resumption of German submarine warfare in the early part of 1917.  However, the sinking of the Lusitania, the Zimmerman telegram, and general support for Britain all helped.  News from Russia had little impact in American support for war, and the Russian Revolution took place after America had entered the War.

Example Question #1 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

What is the name given to the position of the United States government, in the 1930s, that any territory gained through use of militaristic force should not be officially recognized?

Possible Answers:

Kellogg-Briand Pact

Roosevelt Doctrine

Wolfowitz Doctrine

Monroe Doctrine

Stimson Doctrine

Correct answer:

Stimson Doctrine

Explanation:

The Stimson Doctrine, named after the Secretary of State, Henry Stimson, was issued during the Herbert Hoover administration. It was issued in response to Japan’s invasion of China and the threat of similar territorial expansion in Europe. The Stimson Doctrine states that any territory gained via the use of military force should not be considered valid. It has remained a part of United States’ government policy ever since, although the United States itself has hardly been exempt from using force to expand its territory. It was referenced often as a counter to actions taken by the Soviet Union during the height of the Soviet Empire. Historically, and contemporarily, it has been frequently criticized for achieving little except the alienation of the Japanese. The Kellogg-Briand Pact officially denounced warfare, so could be seen as a reasonable answer here, however it occurred several years earlier and did not specifically refer to how the government should consider territorial gain. The other doctrines generally express ideas contrary to the Stimson Doctrine. 

Example Question #1 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

All of the following were causes of the Iran Hostage Crisis except __________.

Possible Answers:

American troops and officers being stationed across the Middle East, including Iran

distrust of Americans throughout the Middle East

negotiations between Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini and President Jimmy Carter

American support of Shah Reza Pahlavi

the Islamic Revolution in Iran of 1979

Correct answer:

negotiations between Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini and President Jimmy Carter

Explanation:

From 1953 to 1979, Iran was ruled as a monarchy by the Shahs, members of the Pahlavi family, with immense Western backing. Under economic and societal pressures, a revolution broke out against the Shah in 1979, led by Islamic radicals under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Deeply disdainful of Western powers, and responding to anger about the United States' global presence and involvement in the Shah's government, the worker at the American embassy in Tehran were held hostage from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981. The Americans were released despite the unwillingness to negotiate on the Ayatollah's part, only as Ronald Reagan was sworn in at his inauguration.

Example Question #1 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

What was the primary reason given by Woodrow Wilson for declaring war on Germany in 1917?

Possible Answers:

A moral duty, on the part of Americans, to protect the free nations of Western Europe from German occupation

The threat of rising communism in a post-war world and the need for the United States to interfere and quell that trend

The resumption of Germany’s program of unrestricted submarine warfare

Cultural affinity for the English

The fear of a German Empire in Europe that would undermine United States’ political and economic interests

Correct answer:

The resumption of Germany’s program of unrestricted submarine warfare

Explanation:

Germany had, in 1917, resumed its unrestricted submarine warfare in the North Sea and the Atlantic. This threatened United States trade interests and, more significantly, resulted in the deaths of dozens of U.S. civilians when the Lusitania was attacked. Although affinity for the English and economic rivalry with the Germans played a part in the Congressional debates, it was Germany’s use of U-Boats that finally convinced Wilson that war could not be avoided.

Example Question #2 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

The most important effect of Lend-Lease policy was __________.

Possible Answers:

a reinforcement of the American policy of non-interventionism

a further delineation of America's full neutrality during World War II

the cooling of hostilities with Nazi Germany before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

the furtherance of United States opposition to Great Britain's war aims

the end American neutrality in World War II

Correct answer:

the end American neutrality in World War II

Explanation:

The Lend-Lease policy, officially "An Act to Promote the Defence of the United States," was effectively the end of the United States' neutrality in World War II. While it did not officially enter the war, the Act made the United States firmly support the Allies, Great Britain, Free France, and the Soviet Union, with economic aid and war material. From its enactment in March 1941 to the end of World War II, the US supplied the Allies with over  in aid and supplies.

Example Question #1 : U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

Which of the following events set off a chain reaction that led to WWI?
      

Possible Answers:

The assassination of the Black Hand by Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s secret assassin butler

 The assassination of Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo

 The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a member of the Black Hand

None of these

Correct answer:

 The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a member of the Black Hand

Explanation:

The events leading up to WWI are a little crazy in that, taken piecemeal they seem relatively small, but put together, they created one of the most deadly conflicts in history. At any rate, Gavrilo Princip, a member of the Black Hand assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand (of Austria-Hungary—and, coincidentally, the name of a modestly successful band) and his wife. This led to A-H issuing an ultimatum to Serbia, which led to escalation and war, which led to the various different treaties coming into play, which, in turn, led to countries that were not even remotely involved in the original conflict becoming embroiled in a massive war.

Example Question #143 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

"Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked..."

Midday, on December 8th, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his famous "Day of Infamy" speech to the US Congress which referred to what major event of the day before?

Possible Answers:

The bombing of Hiroshima

The Burma Campaign

The Battle of the Bulge

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

The Battle of Iwo Jima

Correct answer:

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

Explanation:

The entirety of the referenced line reads as follows:

"Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

On December 7th, 1941, the Japanese attacked the US Pacific Fleet, launching America into World War II.

Example Question #1 : U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during whose Presidency?

Possible Answers:

Lyndon B. Johnson's

Dwight D. Eisenhower's

Richard M. Nixon's

Jimmy Carter's

John F. Kennedy's

Correct answer:

John F. Kennedy's

Explanation:

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a showdown between the United States and the Soviet Union over nuclear missiles in Cuban locations during October of 1962.  John F. Kennedy was president from 1961 until his death in November of 1963.

Example Question #1 : U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

John F. Kennedy’s famous proclamation “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”) was a statement indicating what sentiment?

Possible Answers:

That Berlin’s people were on their own in their fight against Communism.

That Kennedy and America stood in solidarity with the citizens of Berlin, who were in a Western Enclave in East Germany, and therefore on the front lines against Communism in the Cold War.

That anyone from Berlin could choose to move to the Soviet Union.

That Kennedy was willing to visit East Berlin, but refused to visit West Berlin.

That America viewed Berlin as an unimportant entity during the Cold War.

Correct answer:

That Kennedy and America stood in solidarity with the citizens of Berlin, who were in a Western Enclave in East Germany, and therefore on the front lines against Communism in the Cold War.

Explanation:

 Kennedy’s line came in a 1963 speech in West Berlin that sought to show solidarity with the “free people” of Berlin.  It was also widely seen as a speech which stood against any sense of Soviet aggression in East Germany.  Kennedy’s marked anti-communism and Berlin’s place in the Cold War are important starting points to rule out answer choices that do not indicate either of those facts.

Example Question #2 : Facts And Details In U.S. Foreign Policy From 1899 To The Present

What was the most direct intention of the Marshall Plan, implemented shortly after World War II?

Possible Answers:
To provide aid and military assistance to Communist countries should they agree to embrace Capitalism and Democracy
To underwhelm the political discourse in the Soviet Union in an attempt to remove Stalin and the Bolsheviks from power
To re-build the United States military to meet the post-war threats of China and the Soviet Union
To stimulate the depressed economies of former Empire in South America, Africa and Asia against Soviet incursion
To re-build the economies and societies of Western Europe, in order to make Communism less appealing
Correct answer: To re-build the economies and societies of Western Europe, in order to make Communism less appealing
Explanation:

Following the culmination of World War II, the economies of Europe were heavily ravaged by the effects of war. The Marshall Plan, implemented in 1948, was designed to assist these countries economically and re-build them to close to their pre-war strength. The intention was to prevent the Western countries from embracing Communism which was taking hold throughout, the even more impoverished, Eastern Europe.

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