SAT II US History : U.S. Social History

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #891 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

Which of the following statements is true about the early settlers of the Jamestown colony?

Possible Answers:

The Jamestown colonists had civil and peaceful relations with the neighboring Native American tribes.

Jamestown's colonists sought to have significant ties with other English colonists.

The Jamestown colonists were mostly from wealthy families who were trying to increase their prestige.

Very few colonists survived for a significant length of time at Jamestown.

Religion was a significant motivating factor for most of the Jamestown colonists.

Correct answer:

Very few colonists survived for a significant length of time at Jamestown.

Explanation:

After its foundation in 1603, Jamestown was plagued with a number of issues, including frequent attacks from Native American groups, disease, and bad harvests. Jamestown was founded as a business venture, which did little to help the colony prosper. In its first few decades, Jamestown witnessed the death of most people who arrived from England and was significantly detached from English culture and other North American colonies.

Example Question #11 : Facts And Details In Social History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

Which of the following groups was not a supporter of the Patriot cause in the American Revolution?

Possible Answers:

Merchants

Lawyers

Middle-class professionals

Farmers

Slaves

Correct answer:

Slaves

Explanation:

The Patriots were a vast majority of American colonists in 1775 and 1776, although it was not true that every colonist was a Patriot. The key groups that remained Loyalists were colonial officials, non-English colonists, and slaves, who were promised emancipation by British officials if they fought for the British government.

Example Question #141 : U.S. Social History

Free blacks were rare in the Colonial period, which of these is not a way that enslaved blacks could legally gain or maintain freedom?

Possible Answers:

If their owners freed them

If their mothers were white

If they escaped from a territory that allowed slavery, to one that did not

If they were descendants of early indentured servants

If they bought their freedom with savings earned from outside jobs

Correct answer:

If they escaped from a territory that allowed slavery, to one that did not

Explanation:

Free slaves numbered only in the thousands in the Colonial period, but they were an important social factor, being both reminders of the humanity of blacks and as a symbol to those blacks still enslaved. A slave could gain freedom if their mother was white, if their owner freed them or if they were able to buy their freedom (almost impossible). Those who were descendants of indentured servants had been brought over at a time when slavery had not yet been embraced and maintained their freedom, legally, throughout their lives. However, those slaves that escaped from a slave owning territory to one in which slavery was illegal were still considered property of their masters and legally had to be returned.

Example Question #21 : U.S. Social History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

Maryland Colony was first founded as a haven for which of the following groups?

Possible Answers:

Huguenots

Quakers

Puritans

Loyalists

Catholics

Correct answer:

Catholics

Explanation:

Maryland Colony was founded in the 1630s by the Calverts, a prominent family of English Catholics, as a haven for persecuted Catholics from Britain. Massachusetts was the colony founded by and for the Puritans, while Pennsylvania was the colony founded by and for the Quakers (also other religious groups were welcome there). Huguenots started to migrate to North America in large numbers decades after Maryland was founded, and they settled in several colonies. Loyalists only became a distinct, persecuted group once the colonies revolted and gained independence in the late 18th century, and creating a haven for them had nothing to do with the founding of Maryland roughly 150 years earlier.

Example Question #22 : U.S. Social History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

Which of these reasons best describes why roughly one-third of the colonists wished to remain loyal to the British during the Revolutionary War?

Possible Answers:
The belief among much of the wealthy that the decline of British rule would mean chaos and loss of property
Fear that the end of British rule would mean an end to the institution of slavery
Belief that the Republican principles were a ruse and that an independent America would mean autocracy
Fear of Native American attacks in the absence of British protection
Lack of belief that the Americans could be victorious
Correct answer: The belief among much of the wealthy that the decline of British rule would mean chaos and loss of property
Explanation:

In the early stages of Revolutionary War, roughly one-third of the country openly supported full rebellion (Patriots), one-thid remained loyal to the Crown (Loyalists), and the final one-third erred on the side of caution. As the war raged on and American success grew more and more likely these numbers shifted dramatically in favor of the Patriot cause. The Loyalists at the beginning of the war were predominantly wealthy, land-owning families and city merchants. They feared that the end of British rule would see the "rebels" free to take their property and disrupt their business. At the end of the war, many of the remaining Loyalists fled North to Canada, or else back to England. 

Example Question #23 : U.S. Social History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

Shays’ Rebellion took place primarily in which state?

Possible Answers:

New Jersey

Massachusetts

Virginia 

Georgia

Ohio

Correct answer:

Massachusetts

Explanation:

Shays’ rebellion took place primarily in the state of Massachusetts in 1786 and 1787. It was brought about largely due to economic difficulties and widespread poverty in post-revolution Massachusetts. The rebellion took place during the last years of the Articles of Confederation and helped demonstrate the limitations of the Articles to those at the Constitutional Convention. 

Example Question #24 : U.S. Social History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

What was the main difference between the colonists of Plymouth (1620) and those of Massachusetts Bay (1630)?

Possible Answers:

The Plymouth Colonists owned slaves, while the Massachusetts Bay colonists were against slavery.

The Plymouth colonists were from Spain, while the Massachusetts Bay colonists were from England.

The Plymouth colonists sought religious freedom, while the Massachusetts Bay colonists sought new economic opportunities.

The Plymouth colonists were separatists who wished to separate from the Church of England, while the Massachusetts Bay colonists were Puritans who wished to purify the Church of England from within.

The Plymouth colonists sought new economic opportunities in America, while the Massachusetts Bay colonists sought religious freedom.

Correct answer:

The Plymouth colonists were separatists who wished to separate from the Church of England, while the Massachusetts Bay colonists were Puritans who wished to purify the Church of England from within.

Explanation:

Both sets of colonists were English religious dissenters who wanted to find a place to worship according to their beliefs.  Largely from similar backgrounds, the only real difference between the two groups was their approach to the Church of England.  As separatists, the Plymouth colonists wanted to separate themselves from the Church of England entirely.  The Massachusetts Bay colonists instead wanted to reform the Church of England.

Example Question #901 : Sat Subject Test In United States History

Daniel Boone explored the territory of __________.

Possible Answers:

New Mexico

Oregon

Texas

Louisiana 

Kentucky

Correct answer:

Kentucky

Explanation:

Daniel Boone was the prominent American frontiersman who famously established the first trail into Kentucky. He also founded the first community in Kentucky. Boone became an important figure in popular culture, even within his own lifetime, and soon the legend of Boone eclipsed the reality. Now the history of his life is largely unremembered, but he remains an important figure in American popular culture. 

Example Question #26 : U.S. Social History From Pre Columbian History To 1789

Why was Anne Hutchinson banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony?

Possible Answers:

She was not banished; Anne Hutchinson left Massachusetts Bay willingly to form a new community.

She was accused and convicted of witchcraft.

She argued that the fate of individual was predetermined by God. 

She argued for the complete separation of Church and State.

She believed mankind could communicate with God without the assistance of the clergy.

Correct answer:

She believed mankind could communicate with God without the assistance of the clergy.

Explanation:

Anne Hutchinson was an important member of the Antinomian Controversy that swept through the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1630s. She was heavily associated with the popular preacher and orator John Cotton, and together they espoused a different interpretation of mankind’s communion with God. Hutchison argued that individuals could commune with God through the Bible and prayer, without the assistance of the clergy. She called this a “covenant of grace”, as opposed to the practices of the clergy, which she called a “covenant of works”. Due to her popularity, she threatened the religious experiment of the Pilgrims and was tried and exiled. She is credited by many historians with helping advance the cause of religious freedom in early colonial America.

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