SAT II US History : U.S. Social History

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

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #41 : U.S. Social History

The phrase "separate but equal" generally refers to the practice in American history of __________.

Possible Answers:

the role of states towards the Federal Government

the role of the House of Representatives and the Senate in enacting legislation

separate schools for boys and girls

the resources devoted to each branch of the Armed Forces

codified racial segregation

Correct answer:

codified racial segregation

Explanation:

The phrase "separate but equal" was first used in an 1890 Louisiana law (as "equal but separate"), but found greater currency after the Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson, in 1896. The Plessy case held that Jim Crow laws, which codified racial segregation, were valid under the Constitution as long as the different institutions were "equal" for both races. The Plessy case dealt specifically with railroad seating, but was applied broadly. The "seperate but equal" idea was regularly espoused, but almost never actually put into practice, as the "colored" schools, services, and seating on transportation was usually inferior by a great amount.

Example Question #1 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Social History From 1790 To 1898

The Know-Nothing Party was formed around an ideology of ____________.

Possible Answers:

Pro-immigration and pro-Protestantism

Anti-immigration and anti-Catholicism

Pro-immigration and anti-secularism

Anti-immigration and anti-Protestantism

Pro-immigration and pro-Catholicism

Correct answer:

Anti-immigration and anti-Catholicism

Explanation:

The Know-Nothing Party, also called the American Party, was an offshoot of a Nativist, anti-immigration, anti-Catholicism movement in the 1850s. The party claimed that it would purify American politics by removing the influence of Catholicism from government and strictly limiting the number of people who could immigrate to the United States. The ideology of the party reflected a broad fear among Americans at the time, many of whom believed that the arrival of Irish and German Catholics was undermining the ability of the working class to find work. 

Example Question #11 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Social History From 1790 To 1898

Which individual had a tremendous influence on public education in the United States, starting with this his/her actions as secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, where he/she increased state spending on schools, lengthened the school year, divided the students into grades, and introduced standardized textbooks?

Possible Answers:

Maria Montessori

John Dewey

Horace Greeley

Rudolf Steiner

Horace Mann

Correct answer:

Horace Mann

Explanation:

Horace Mann served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate before his appointment as the Massachusetts secretary of education. Mann went on to the U.S. House of Representatives, promoting an agenda of public education and "normal schools" to train teachers. Much of the North reformed its schools along the lines dictated by Horace Mann, and free public schools spread throughout the region. The South, however, made little progress in public education, partly owing to its low population density and a general indifference toward progressive reforms. Mann developed six main principles regarding public education and its troubles: (1) Citizens cannot maintain both ignorance and freedom; (2) This education should be paid for, controlled, and maintained by the public; (3) This education should be provided in schools that embrace children from varying backgrounds; (4) This education must be nonsectarian; (5) This education must be taught using tenets of a free society; and (6) This education must be provided by well-trained, professional teachers.

Example Question #12 : Representative Viewpoints In U.S. Social History From 1790 To 1898

Which of the following best describes the attitude of Nativists towards the influx of immigrants at the turn of the Twentieth Century?

Possible Answers:

Immigration should be heavily capped, and those arriving from places outside of Western Europe should be refused entry

Immigrants will work for lower wages and will not adhere to strikes, therefore weakening the position of the existing American working and lower-middle classes

It was the responsibility of the government to provide financial assistance to newly-arrived Immigrants

All new immigrants should be offered economic incentives to settle the Western territories and states to help fulfill Manifest Destiny, and to ensure those existing communities in the East were not put in jeopardy

It was the duty of all Native-born Americans to provide help and economic assistance to arriving immigrants

Correct answer:

Immigrants will work for lower wages and will not adhere to strikes, therefore weakening the position of the existing American working and lower-middle classes

Explanation:

Nativism, a movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s, was founded on anti-immigrant feeling. Many Americans felt that the arrival of the poor and disenfranchised from other countries would spell trouble for the working classes forcing them to compete and thus lowering the wages that they could expect to receive. Most Nativists did not expect immigration to fully cease, but desired to ensure that those granted immigration would be useful to the future prosperity of America. One product of this was the implementation of a literacy test to test whether arriving immigrants could read and write. 

Example Question #43 : U.S. Social History

Who was the last commander of all Union forces during the American Civil War?

Possible Answers:

Ulysses S. Grant

George B. McClellan

Robert E. Lee

Ambrose Burnside

Joseph Hooker

Correct answer:

Ulysses S. Grant

Explanation:

 The Union Army saw a succession of commanders through the first three years of the war.  Most of them were easily defeated by Robert E. Lee and the Conderate forces.  Abraham Lincoln did not find a suitable general until Grant, who was made General of the Army in 1864.

Example Question #44 : U.S. Social History

"The aristocracies of the old world are based upon birth, wealth, refinement, education, nobility, brave deeds of chivalry; in this nation, on sex alone; exalting brute force above moral power, vice above virtue, ignorance above education, and the son above the mother who bore him."

This quote most likely reprsents the view of...

Possible Answers:
Sojourner Truth
Abraham Lincoln
Frederick Douglas
Violent Markham
Susan B. Anthony
Correct answer: Susan B. Anthony
Explanation:

The quote appears in a text issued by National Woman Suffrage Association, in the late Nineteenth Century. It has been variously attributed to both Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, although most historians maintain that Susan B. Anthony is the most likely candidate. Susan B. Anthony was an extremely prominent figure in the fight for Universal Suffrage, in particular female suffrage. She began campaigning before the Civil War and was famously arrested in 1872 for voting in the Presidential Election. Susan B. Anthony would die, aged 86, in 1906 - fourteen years before the passage of Nineteenth Amendment which forever guaranteed women in the United States equal voting rights as men. 

Example Question #45 : U.S. Social History

What was the purpose of the poll tax in the Reconstruction-Era South?

Possible Answers:

To remove the previous literary obstacles to political participation

To reduce the ability of the South to compete with the North in Congress

To ensure that all voters had properly considered the direction of their participation

To provide financial support for the growing reconstruction political parties

To limit the political participation of African Americans

Correct answer:

To limit the political participation of African Americans

Explanation:

In the United States, during the Reconstruction Era, the South passed a series of Jim Crow laws, which were designed to resist the integration of freed slaves into the political and social process. Included amongst these was the Grandfather Clause and the Literary requirements, which imposed restrictions on who could vote and who could not. Both were designed to prevent blacks from voting. The poll tax was similarly designed to prevent African-Americans from voting. It required a small payment to be made in order to vote, which had the effect of disenfranchising African-Americans, Native Americans, and poor whites. Poll taxes were not deemed unconstitutional until the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. 

Example Question #46 : U.S. Social History

Who was responsible for establishing humane hospitals for people with mental diseases?

Possible Answers:

Booker T. Washington 

Dorothea Dix 

Ida Tarbell 

Jane Addams

Margaret Sanger

Correct answer:

Dorothea Dix 

Explanation:

Dorothea Dix was a very famous female American activist who campaigned heavily for the humane and conscientious treatment of individuals with mental disabilities. She lobbied state and national institutions throughout the antebellum era and successfully created the first ever American insane asylums. 

Example Question #41 : U.S. Social History

What name was given to the volunteer cavalry organized by Theodore Roosevelt during the Spanish-American War?

Possible Answers:

The Kentucky Wildcats

The Mountain Men

The Texas Rangers

The Rough Riders 

The American Eagles

Correct answer:

The Rough Riders 

Explanation:

The Rough Riders is the name given to a volunteer cavalry organization that was organized by Theodore Roosevelt and Colonel Leonard Wood during the Spanish-American War and the conflict for Cuban independence. They were one of several volunteer organizations that President McKinley set up to help remedy the deficiency of manpower available to the United States military—in the years following the Civil War there was a chronic shortage of men willing to serve in the armed forces. The group was mostly organized in the south and southwest, consisting of men and college-aged boys from Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. The Rough Riders were one of the few volunteer organizations to see action in the conflict, fighting in numerous battles, including the battle of San Juan Hill. 

Example Question #48 : U.S. Social History

Roger Williams founded the colony of __________.

Possible Answers:

Plymouth

Massachusetts Bay

Connecticut

Delaware

Rhode Island

Correct answer:

Rhode Island

Explanation:

Roger Williams was a puritan clergyman who came early to Massachusetts Bay Colony, in February of 1631. Almost instantly, Williams' radical egalitarian theology and politics aroused the ire of Boston's leading citizens. He became a complete separatist, advocating for the cutting off of the "true church" from the Church of England. Massachusetts Bay's leaders exiled Williams from Boston, and initially went north to the small Salem colony, but also had to leave there. Eventually, Williams went south to the are now known as Rhode Island, and established a colony truly based on religious freedom, and offered asylum there to any people fleeing religious persecution.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors