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 #41 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Which United States Amendment abolished slavery?

Possible Answers:

Fifteenth 

Eighteenth 

Thirteenth 

Fourteenth 

Eleventh 

Correct answer:

Thirteenth 

Explanation:

The Thirteenth Amendment was one of three amendments passed immediately following the Civil War. Collectively these three amendments are called the Reconstruction Amendments. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery; the Fourteenth Amendment addresses and guarantees citizenship rights and equal protection regardless of race; the Fifteenth Amendment prohibits the Federal and (crucially) State governments from denying the right to vote for reasons of race. 

Example Question #42 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Who was the ninth President of the United States, who died in office from pneumonia complications after having served only 32 days?

Possible Answers:

Martin van Buren

James K. Polk

Zachary Taylor

William Henry Harrison

John Tyler

Correct answer:

William Henry Harrison

Explanation:

The ninth President of the United States who died in office from pneumonia complications after having served only 32 days was William Henry Harrison. Harrison was, until Ronald Reagan, also the oldest person ever to assume the office of President.

Example Question #71 : U.S. Political History

On July 2nd, 1881, Charles Guiteau shot which President of the United States, causing his death?

Possible Answers:

Ulysses S. Grant

James A. Garfield

Abraham Lincoln

William McKinley

William Henry Harrison

Correct answer:

James A. Garfield

Explanation:

On July 2nd, 1881, Charles Guiteau shot President Garfield, causing his death.  Guiteau acted as a disgruntled seeker of a Federal office who blamed President Garfield for his situation.

Example Question #52 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Who led the army of Northern Virginia throughout the majority of the Civil War?

Possible Answers:

Stonewall Jackson

Winfield Scott 

Edwin V. Sumner 

Ulysses Grant 

Robert E. Lee

Correct answer:

Robert E. Lee

Explanation:

Robert E. Lee took command of the army of Northern Virginia in June of 1862. The army was the principle Confederate fighting force in the Eastern theatre of the Civil War—fighting in the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, Second Bull Run and many others. The army also included a corps led by Lt. Stonewall Jackson. 

Example Question #53 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

What was the bloodiest and most destructive single-day battle of the Civil War?

Possible Answers:

Shiloh

Antietam 

Gettysburg 

Chancellorsville 

Second Bull Run 

Correct answer:

Antietam 

Explanation:

The battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) was the bloodiest single-day battle of the Civil War, with over twenty thousand casualties. The battle was fought between the Confederate army of Northern Virginia against the Union forces, led by George McClellan. The battle of Antietam ended Lee’s invasion of the North and forced the Confederate army to withdraw to Virginia. Following the culmination of the battle President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle, but it lasted longer than one day.

Example Question #54 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

Which of these United States Presidents is most remembered for his adherence to the “spoils system” of government appointment?

Possible Answers:

James K. Polk

Martin Van Buren 

John Tyler

Andrew Jackson 

John Quincy Adams

Correct answer:

Andrew Jackson 

Explanation:

Andrew Jackson is most often remembered as a President who applied the “spoils system” to the appointment of government officials. Individuals who had supported Jackson throughout his electoral campaign, or who remained loyal to him throughout his political life, were rewarded with positions in government once Jackson became President. Jackson famously broke with his Vice-President John C. Calhoun in 1831 and dismissed a large percentage of his cabinet who he deemed disloyal. He replaced them with his friends and personal advisors, many of whom had little political experience. This collection of advisors has been termed the “Kitchen Cabinet.”

Example Question #54 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

What was the name given to Andrew Jackson’s unofficial cabinet of friends and advisors?

Possible Answers:

The Kitchen Cabinet

The Rough Riders

The Secret Senate

The Fireside Committee

The Round Table Conference

Correct answer:

The Kitchen Cabinet

Explanation:

"The Kitchen Cabinet" was the name given to Andrew Jackson’s collection of friends and advisors that he assembled during his Presidency. The term was used, mostly by Jackson’s opponents, disparagingly. The Kitchen Cabinet came into being following the dismissal of Vice-President John C. Calhoun, along with several other cabinet members. Most historians believe that Calhoun was dismissed for his refusal to support Jackson during the Eaton Affair (a scandal between a widowed woman and Jackson’s close friend Eaton).  

Example Question #55 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

The only president to be elected to two non-consecutive terms was __________.

Possible Answers:

Theodore Roosevelt

Benjamin Harrison

Chester A. Arthur

Grover Cleveland

William McKinley

Correct answer:

Grover Cleveland

Explanation:

In 1884, Grover Cleveland was elected President on a coalition of pro-business "Bourbon Democrats" and reform minded "Mugwump" Republicans. When he ran for reelection in 1888, he lost to Republican Benjamin Harrison. Four years later, Harrison and Cleveland squared off again in the Presidential election, with Cleveland returning to the White House. To date, he is the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms, and is counted as both the 22nd and 24th Presidents.

Example Question #57 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

The disgruntled office seeker Charles Guiteau assassinated President __________.

Possible Answers:

James A. Garfield

William McKinley

Grover Cleveland

Abraham Lincoln

Chester A. Arthur

Correct answer:

James A. Garfield

Explanation:

Charles Guiteau had desired a government job after supporting the candidacy of James Garfield in the 1880 Presidential Election. After repeated requests for a diplomatic post in the early months of 1881, Guiteau was banned from a variety of government buildings. At this, Guiteau turned to taking revenge on the new President, bought a pistol, and stalked Garfield's every movement. On July 2, 1881, Guiteau approached Garfield as he was leaving for vacation at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Terminal. Guiteau shot him in the back, and instantly was arrested. Garfield lay dying for months, and even was transferred to the Jersey Shore to recuperate. On September 19, 1881, Garfield passed away, and Guiteau was hanged on June 30, 1882. The largest consequence of the assassination was the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, that both fulfilled a goal of Garfield's and systematized the hiring of government employees.

Example Question #56 : Facts And Details In U.S. Political History From 1790 To 1898

The President who oversaw the annexation of Texas was __________.

Possible Answers:

James Buchanan

John Tyler

James K. Polk

Martin Van Buren

Andrew Jackson

Correct answer:

James K. Polk

Explanation:

Texas had been a Republic since 1836, and wanted to become the newest state, making Texas' statehood a most controversial issue in the 1844 Presidential Election. James K. Polk, the first true dark horse in American Presidential politics, won the Democratic nomination and the Electoral College by promising large expansion of American Territory, particularly promising to annex Texas. Texas became a state in 1846, under Polk's auspices.

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