SAT II US History : U.S. Intellectual and Cultural History from 1790 to 1898

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #31 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.”

The above quote could most likely be attributed to __________.

Possible Answers:

Theodore Roosevelt

Nathaniel Hawthorne 

Henry David Thoreau 

Mark Twain

John D. Rockefeller 

Correct answer:

Henry David Thoreau 

Explanation:

The above quote was spoken by Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau is generally remembered as an important figure in the Transcendentalist movement of the nineteenth century; however, he also wrote and spoke excessively on the importance of civil disobedience. To Thoreau it was right and necessary to resist injustice in government through disobedience.  

Example Question #32 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

Who authored On the Equality of the Sexes?

Possible Answers:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton 

Judith Sargent Murray 

Susan B. Anthony 

Mary Wollstonecraft 

Harriet Beecher Stowe 

Correct answer:

Judith Sargent Murray 

Explanation:

Judith Sargent Murray is one of the most notable early American feminists. She was born in 1751 and did most of her writing at a time when few other women were speaking out against subservience to men. She authored On the Equality of Sexes in 1790—in the essay she outlined why women could be as capable of achieving intellectual greatness and economic independence as men. Murray has served as an inspirational figure for many later American feminists.

Example Question #33 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

The term “Noble savage” was primarily used to describe?

Possible Answers:

None of those mentioned 

Catholics 

Native Americans 

African-Americans 

Mexicans 

Correct answer:

Native Americans 

Explanation:

The term “Noble savage” was predominantly used to describe Native Americans in United States society. A “Noble savage” became somewhat of an idealized character in American culture, a mythical “other” figure that any encountered real-life Native American individual could be compared to. It was also a term used frequently in European and American literature to portray the natural virtues of man outside of “civilization”. 

Example Question #34 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

A “Revival of Religion” presupposes a declension. Almost all the religion in the world has been produced by revivals. God has found it necessary to take advantage of the excitability there is in mankind, to produce powerful excitements among them, before He can lead them to obey. 

The above quote exemplifies the beliefs common to __________.

Possible Answers:

anti-Communism.

transcendentalism.

Enlightenment skepticism.

atheism.

the Second Great Awakening.

Correct answer:

the Second Great Awakening.

Explanation:

The above quote, from evangelist Charles Finney, discusses a "Revival of Religion." Revivals of Religion were the key feature of the Second Great Awakening, a widespread religious fervor that spread throughout America in the first decades of the nineteenth century. The Second Great Awakening featured many religious revivals and saw new religions pop up all over the country. The Second Great Awakening made the nation much more religious by the start of the Civil War.

Example Question #35 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

A chief tenet of transcendentalism was the belief that __________.

Possible Answers:

a revival of religion is the key to the reformation of society.

logic is always superior to emotion and personal feelings.

nature is meant to be conquered and exploited by human beings.

to fully understand nature one must experience it personally.

rationality is all that is needed to understand the world.

Correct answer:

to fully understand nature one must experience it personally.

Explanation:

Transcendentalism, characterized by authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, was an intellectual reaction to Enlightenment values in the early nineteenth century. Transcendentalists did not believe reason and logic alone were sufficient to understand nature and the world. Instead, transcendentalists sought to go out in nature, understand their emotions, and reflect on those feelings.

Example Question #36 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

What was the name of the movement championed by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, which emphasized the natural purity of the individual and the tendency for organized religion and politics to corrupt it?

Possible Answers:

Individualism

Unitarianism

Universalism

Transcendentalism

Deism

Correct answer:

Transcendentalism

Explanation:

Beginning in the late 1820s, the Transcendentalist movement focused on establishing belief and principles through inner, individual spiritual experience. It opposed established and organized religion in favor of an individualized outlook. Its leading proponents were Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Example Question #37 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

Which of these was not a member of the transcendentalist movement? 

Possible Answers:

Nathaniel Hawthorne 

Walt Whitman

Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Henry David Thoreau 

Margaret Fuller

Correct answer:

Nathaniel Hawthorne 

Explanation:

The Transcendentalism movement arose in the first half of the nineteenth century in opposition to the state of American politics and society at the time. Transcendentalists believe in the core goodness of people, nature, and people in nature. They also opposed organized religion, which they felt corrupted the individual and prevented man from attuning himself to nature. Of these five, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson are the two most famous for their Transcendentalist beliefs. Walt Whitman and Margaret Fuller were both also keen writers in support of the Transcendentalist cause. Nathaniel Hawthorne (author of The Scarlet Letter), however, was a very well known anti-Transcendentalist. His work focused on the deplorable nature of humans and the impious and impure nature of the human spirit. 

Example Question #38 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

What is manifest destiny?

Possible Answers:

The American belief that America had an [almost] divine right or duty to spread west and bring with them American values and culture for the benefit of everyone they encountered

The name of the most famous ironclad during the Civil War

All of these answers are correct

A jingoistic cry mostly shouted by conscience Whigs in response to all of the country’s many problems during the time

Correct answer:

The American belief that America had an [almost] divine right or duty to spread west and bring with them American values and culture for the benefit of everyone they encountered

Explanation:

Again, this is another straightforward vocabulary question. Manifest destiny was the belief that Americans had a culture of superior values and thus had a quasi-divine mandate to spread across the continent and bring American culture and values to all—willing or not. “A jingoistic cry . . .” may have been a fairly tempting answer due to the buzzwords “jingoistic” and “conscience Whigs,” but if you remember your history (hopefully you do!) you’ll recall that conscience Whigs were against things like the Mexican-American War, and other [in]direct products of manifest destiny.

Example Question #39 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights… all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they were accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

The author of the previous quote was most likely speaking on behalf of             .

Possible Answers:

Native Americans

Catholics

Free Blacks

Enslaved Blacks

Women

Correct answer:

Women

Explanation:

Although the majority of the passage could be referring to any one of a number of disenfranchised groups in American history. The opening line is very similar in character to that of the Declaration of Independence. The only manner in which it differs is to include both men and women as being endowed with certain inalienable rights; therefore, we can confidently suppose that it was written on behalf of women. The quote is taken from Declaration of Sentiments, adopted by the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848—the proscribed purposed of which was to gain the complete enfranchisement for women in the United States. 

Example Question #40 : U.S. Intellectual And Cultural History From 1790 To 1898

The Idea that the United States has a divinely ordained right to spread West and colonize Native lands is best expressed as?

Possible Answers:
The Frontier Movement
Popular Sovereignty
The California Gold Rush
Manifest Destiny
"54-40 or fight!"
Correct answer: Manifest Destiny
Explanation:

In the Nineteenth Century, many Americans believed that the United States was ordained by God to expand westwards and occupy all the lands of North America, between the Atlantic and the Pacific. This ideology was expressed as Manifest Destiny. Although never universally accepted, it was a strong influencing factor in the way many American’s looked at the future of their nation. And, it was variously co-opted by political factions to support war with Mexico and territorial disagreement with Great Britain. The key terminology in the question here is “divinely ordained” for Manifest Destiny expressly stated that America’s westward expansion was a part of God’s will. 

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