SAT II US History : U.S. Political History

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #21 : Cause And Effect In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

The event that directly prompted the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 was the ___________________.

Possible Answers:

assassination of President William McKinley

assassination of President James Garfield

assassination of President Abraham Lincoln

non-consecutive election of Grover Cleveland

impeachment of President Andrew Johnson

Correct answer:

assassination of President James Garfield

Explanation:

Charles Guiteau shot President James A. Garfield on July 2, 1881, at the Sixth Street Station as Garfield was boarding a train, because Guiteau was dissatisfied that he did not receive a job in the Garfield Administration. Garfield would survive for two more months, but in an incapacitated state, and was replace by his Vice President Chester A. Arthur. Although Arthur benefited and promoted the "spoils system," giving influential positions to political supporters, he encouraged the Congress to pass the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Acts in response to Guiteau's motivations. The Act required open applications and civil service exams for government positions.

Example Question #22 : U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Which of the following did not contribute to Andrew Jackson’s successful 1828 Presidential campaign?

Possible Answers:

The extension of greater suffrage rights to the common man

The growth of the population in the western and southern areas of the country

Jackson’s insistence that he had lost the election of 1824 due to a “corrupt bargain” between Adams and Henry Clay

The unity of the Democratic-Republican Party 

Jackson’s status as a hero of the War of 1812

Correct answer:

The unity of the Democratic-Republican Party 

Explanation:

In the Election of 1824 Andrew Jackson garnered the majority of the popular vote, but not an electoral majority. As a result, the case was decided in the House and John Quincy Adams was chosen as President, due in large part to Henry Clay throwing his support behind Adams’ campaign. Adams promptly appointed Henry Clay to the position of Secretary of State. Jackson cried foul, declaring a “corrupt bargain” had been struck, and he issued a massive propaganda response. By the time of the election of 1828 the Democratic-Republican Party had all but fractured and this worked to Jackson’s advantage. He gained full support of the new Democratic Party. Additionally, it is important to understand that the suffrage rights of several western states had changed dramatically over the last decade and by the election of 1828, a much higher percentage of the “common man” had a direct say in the electoral process. Finally, Jackson was deeply popular in the South and the West for his role in the War of 1812 and for his standing as a man taken from their own ranks. 

Example Question #1 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

James Bowie and Davy Crockett died during what battle waged from February 23rd to March 6th of 1836 near modern-day San Antonio, Texas?

Possible Answers:

The Battle of Antietam

The Battle of San Jacinto

Custer's Last Stand

The Battle of Little Bighorn

The Battle of the Alamo

Correct answer:

The Battle of the Alamo

Explanation:

During the Texas Revolution, Mexican General Santa Anna laid siege to the Alamo Mission for a period of 13 days before finally launching an attack killing all of the Texian defenders.  "Remember the Alamo" became a rallying cry for the Texians inspiring their eventual victory over the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto.

Example Question #1 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

1.       One result of the Missouri Compromise was?

Possible Answers:

Missouri would be given to the Indian nations

All new states created by the Louisiana Purchase that were North of the Southern border of Missouri would be free states

Missouri was denied joining the Union as a slave state

Missouri would be admitted as a slave state making more slave states than free in the union

The United States gained Missouri as a new territory

Correct answer:

All new states created by the Louisiana Purchase that were North of the Southern border of Missouri would be free states

Explanation:

The Missouri Compromise stated that Missouri would be admitted as a slave state and Maine would be admitted as free in order to keep a balance between states. It also stated that new states admitted out of the Louisiana Purchase would be free if they were north of the Southern border of Missouri.

Example Question #21 : U.S. Political History

Referred to as “Alphabet Soup” agencies such as, the SEC, FHA, and TVA were created under the presidency of?

Possible Answers:

Harry Truman

Dwight Eisenhower

Herbert Hoover

Franklin Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

Correct answer:

Franklin Roosevelt

Explanation:

Franklin Roosevelt. The agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission were created out of the New Deal legislation during FDR’s presidency.

Example Question #1 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

The Emancipation Proclamation had what effect on slaves in Border Slave States that remained loyal to the Union?

Possible Answers:

Immediately freed all slaves held in Border States.

None, as the Proclamation only affected states “in open rebellion.”

Gave slave owners a one year period to free slaves on their own before slavery was abolished in America.

Made slaves in Border States easier to loan for work needed by people other than their masters.

Allowed slave owners to keep only 10 or fewer slaves.

Correct answer:

None, as the Proclamation only affected states “in open rebellion.”

Explanation:

The Emancipation Proclamation only abolished slavery in territories currently held by the Confederacy, and would free those slaves when the territories were conquered by the Union army, and was issued in the middle of the war on New Year’s 1863.  The Proclamation’s lack of attention to the Border Slave States necessitated the Thirteenth Amendment, which banned slavery throughout the nation, in 1865.

Example Question #2 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

According to the Emancipation Proclamation slaves were to be made "forever free" in which of the following areas?

Possible Answers:

Confederate territory still in rebellion

The Border States

All territory controlled by the Union Army

All of the United States

All territory controlled by the Confederate Army

Correct answer:

Confederate territory still in rebellion

Explanation:

In his initial Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln specifically made slaves free only in territories that were still in open rebellion against the Union. The primary reason for doing so was Lincoln's pragmatic desire not to alienate those slave-owning territories and individuals that were fighting on behalf of the Union. However, the issuing of the Proclamation set the cause in motion and with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, at the end of the war, slavery was declared unconstitutional in all United States territory. 

Example Question #1 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Which of these states was not one of the original seven states to secede from the Union?

Possible Answers:
South Carolina
Texas
Kentucky
Georgia
Mississippi
Correct answer: Kentucky
Explanation:

In December of 1860, following the election of Abraham Lincoln, the governing body of South Carolina voted unanimously for secession. Soon after, in early 1861, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, Lousiana, Mississippi, Virginia, Arkansas and Tennessee followed suit. Secession recieved the majority of popular support in the states of Missouri and Kentucky, but their pro-Union governments prevented this from happening. Lincoln declared the secession legally "void" and thus began the Civil War. 

Example Question #1 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Which of the following was NOT a major component of Henry Clay’s American System?

Possible Answers:
Support for the Bank of the United States
Maintaining high public land prices
Support for internal improvements such as canals and railroads
An increased amount of tariffs
Expansion of slavery throughout the west
Correct answer: Expansion of slavery throughout the west
Explanation:

Henry Clay’s American System was a wide ranging economic plan developed and advocated by Clay throughout the 1820s while he was a member of the House of Representatives and the Senate.  The key features were attempts to actively promote economic activities through raising revenues with tariffs and land prices, and economic improvements like the Bank of the United States and building canals and railroads.

Example Question #2 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Which of the following slave states did not secede from the Union and join the Confederacy?

Possible Answers:
Georgia
Florida
Kentucky
South Carolina
Texas
Correct answer: Kentucky
Explanation:

 Four slave states remained in the Union during the secession crisis of 1860-1861, all of which were the most northern states.  The deep south states were the first states to secede, but Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, and Delaware all remained in the Union despite being slave states.

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