SAT II US History : U.S. Social History

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

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Example Questions

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

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light--
One if by land, and two if by sea--
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

American Poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, wrote the poem from which this excerpt is taken in 1860.  About which famous Revolutionary War patriot was Longfellow writing?

Possible Answers:

Alexander Hamilton

Patrick Henry

Paul Revere

George Washington

John Adams

Correct answer:

Paul Revere

Explanation:

The first stanza of Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride" famously reads,

"Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year."

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

The discovery of gold in Coloma, California, on January 24th, 1848, resulted in roughly 300,000 people rushing to California via sea and over land.  What was the name of this massive influx of people to the Golden State?

Possible Answers:

The Coloma Calling

The Gold Migration

The Call of the Wild

The Forty-Niners Rush

The California Gold Rush

Correct answer:

The California Gold Rush

Explanation:

The 300,000 men and women lured to California by the prospect of gold resulted in the California Gold Rush.

Example Question #3 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1790 To 1898

This escaped slave became a Conductor on the Underground Railroad and helped hundreds of slaves to freedom in the North.

Possible Answers:

Frederick Douglass

George Washington Carver

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom

Harriet Tubman

Correct answer:

Harriet Tubman

Explanation:

Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman escaped and then committed her life to helping others escape the horrific institution.  She even served as a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War.

Example Question #4 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1790 To 1898

In 1859, this abolitionist captured the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia along with 21 followers in an unsuccessful attempt to start a slave revolt.

Possible Answers:

Nat Turner

John Brown

Thomas Clarkson

Frederick Douglass

William Lloyd Garrison

Correct answer:

John Brown

Explanation:

The abolitionist was John Brown captured Harper's Ferry and was tried and hanged for his unsuccessful raid.

Example Question #5 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1790 To 1898

From the early-to-mid-nineteenth century, this wagon route from the Missouri River to Oregon permitted hundreds of thousands of immigrants to settle the West. What was its name?

Possible Answers:

The Appalachian Trail

The Oregon Valley

The Oregon Trail

The Northwest Passage

The Western Route

Correct answer:

The Oregon Trail

Explanation:

Before the Transcontinental Railroad, the Oregon Trail from the Missouri River to Oregon permitted hundreds of thousands of immigrants to settle the West.

Example Question #11 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1790 To 1898

In 1871, which American city suffered a fire that left at least 90,000 people homeless?

Possible Answers:

Chicago

Cleveland

Atlanta

New York City

Boston

Correct answer:

Chicago

Explanation:

In 1871, from October 8th to the 9th, Chicago suffered a fire that left at least 90,000 people homeless and killed 300.

Example Question #11 : U.S. Social History

What Native American woman helped Lewis and Clark with their expedition in the Louisiana territory?

Possible Answers:

Pocahontas

Lozen

Sacagawea

Walking Spirit

Queen Anne

Correct answer:

Sacagawea

Explanation:

The Lewis and Clark Expedition was the first attempt by an American government to map and cross the entirety of the unknown West. It was commissioned by President Jefferson shortly after the purchase of the Louisiana territory. Lewis and Clark, along with many others under their command, set out from St. Louis in 1804, crossing thousands of miles of terrain before arriving at the Pacific Ocean, two years later; however, without the aid of a young Native-American woman, named Sacagawea, it likely would not have been possible. She worked as a translator for the expedition and helped broker safe passage through potentially hostile lands; her knowledge of the area they were travelling through—in Wyoming and Idaho in particular—ensured that the expedition did not get lost, and her understanding of the native plants prevented the expedition from starving during the more arduous stretches of the journey. She is now, quite rightly, commemorated on the U.S. Dollar Coin and is the symbol of the National American Women’s Suffrage Movement. 

Example Question #12 : U.S. Social History

The gathering at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869, celebrate the completion of __________.

Possible Answers:

hostilities in the Civil War

the Pony Express

the Panama Canal

the first transcontinental railroad

the Mormon settlement of Utah

Correct answer:

the first transcontinental railroad

Explanation:

On May 10, 1869, railroad tycoon Leland Stanford drove in a special "Golden Spike" to cermonially complete the first transcontinental railroad in North America. A collaboration of three different companies, the railroad system linked Sacramento, California with the Eastern U.S.'s rail system in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Although it was not a complete coast to coast trip, the railroad finally offered Americans a manageable overland rail trip from the East Coast to the West Coast. Throughout the later ninteenth Century, many new railroads came and provided other transcontinental routes.

Example Question #14 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1790 To 1898

Immigration patterns of the 1890s were characterized by immigrants from all of the following EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

Poland

Great Britain

Russia

Italy

Eastern European Jews

Correct answer:

Great Britain

Explanation:

In the aftermath of the Civil War, the makeup of American immigrants changed significantly. Dominated by Germans, Irish, and other Western Europeans in the early-nineteenth century, immigrants in the late-nineteenth century saw a large number of southern and eastern Europeans arrive in America. In particular, a large influx came from Italy, Russia, and Poland. Additionally, large numbers of Jews from Eastern Europe arrived fleeing widespread persecution.

Example Question #15 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1790 To 1898

The largest influx of German immigrants to America came during the time period of __________.

Possible Answers:

1700–1750

1850–1900

1950–2000

1900–1950

1750–1800

Correct answer:

1850–1900

Explanation:

Immigration to the United States in total was at its highest peak in the late-nineteenth century. While German immigration was always high from the colonial period, it too peaked in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Whereas most earlier German immigrants were Protestants from Northern Germany, Southern German Catholics added to the immigration numbers in the late-nineteenth century.

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