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 #11 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1899 To The Present

The case of Gideon v. Wainwright                     .

Possible Answers:

ruled that state courts are required to provide an attorney to a defendant who cannot afford one 

none of the other answers

outlawed prayer in public schools

legalized abortion in the United States

ruled that segregation was inherently unfair and unconstitutional and ordered Southern states to reintegrate

Correct answer:

ruled that state courts are required to provide an attorney to a defendant who cannot afford one 

Explanation:

Gideon v. Wainwright took place in 1963. It is considered an extremely important case in the earlier stage of the Civil Rights movement. In the case the Supreme Court ruled, unanimously, that state courts were required to provide a defense attorney to any defendant who did not have the means to pay for one. According to the Supreme Court, the existing Fourteenth and Sixth Amendments dictated that such a law was both Constitutional and necessary for upholding the rights guaranteed to all American citizens. 

Example Question #12 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1899 To The Present

In which decade was the National Organization for Women formed?

Possible Answers:

1960s

1940s

1910s

1950s

1930s

Correct answer:

1960s

Explanation:

The National Organization for Women was formed in 1966. It was not the first such institution to campaign for the advancement of women’s rights and equal status, but it has gained prominence in the years since, due to its effective campaigning. The Organization was formed in part by Betty Friedan, the author of The Feminine Mystique, and she went on to become its first acting President. 

Example Question #13 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1899 To The Present

Which of the following groups was NOT a target of the 1920s era Ku Klux Klan?

Possible Answers:

Jews

Catholics

Lutherans

Blacks

Immigrants

Correct answer:

Lutherans

Explanation:

The original Ku Klux Klan, which existed in the Reconstruction era in the South, was a secret-society terrorist organization seeking to frighten newly freed slaves and did not last past the 1870s. The Klan was reformed in 1914 at Stone Mountain, Georgia, with a more political and populist appeal, adding Jews, Catholics, immigrants, anti-prohibitionists, communists, and atheists to its list of enemies. The Second Klan saw widespread popularity in not just the South, but the West and Midwest as well. Well-known Klansmen held political office in many states, and the  conservative Evangelical spin on nativism gained much popular currency throughout the 1920s. After a series of scandals by Klan politicians, and a resumption of terror activity by certain Klan groups, the popularity of the Klan diminished.

Example Question #14 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1899 To The Present

On May 17th, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared what in the case of Brown v. Board of Education?

Possible Answers:

Racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional

Racial segregation in schools is constitutional

Racial segregation in schools is acceptable under certain circumstances

Racial segregation in schools must be gradually phased out

Racial segregation in schools is a state issue

Correct answer:

Racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional

Explanation:

On May 17th, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional.

Example Question #15 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1899 To The Present

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

The excerpted words above were delivered to a crowd of 200,000 during a civil rights march on Washington, D.C. in 1963; who spoke them?

Possible Answers:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thurgood Marshall

Malcolm X

Bayard Rustin

Rev. Jesse Jackson

Correct answer:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Explanation:

The excerpted words were delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from his famous "I have a dream" speech.

Example Question #16 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1899 To The Present

The Twenty-Sixth Amendment established ___________.

Possible Answers:

the direct election of Senators

full female suffrage

the unconstitutionality of a poll tax

the right to vote at age eighteen 

the secession of Presidents as established by President John Tyler

Correct answer:

the right to vote at age eighteen 

Explanation:

The Twenty-Sixth Amendment established that the voting age should be lowered from twenty-one to eighteen. The movement to lower the voting age grew out of student activism during the Vietnam War. Many students, along with many people aged younger than twenty-one, were being drafted to fight in the war, and the slogan “Old enough to fight, old enough to vote” caught on across the country. The Twenty-Sixth Amendment was passed by overwhelming majority in the Senate, the House, and a vote of the States and adopted on July 1st, 1971. 

Example Question #17 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1899 To The Present

The Freedom Riders sought what goal by riding interstate buses through Southern States in 1961?

Possible Answers:

The relief of airline ticket price gouging

The intimidation of civil rights workers throughout the South

The racial integration of public bus lines

The defense of Southern politicians and police forces

The support of striking bus workers

Correct answer:

The racial integration of public bus lines

Explanation:

The Freedom Riders left Washington, D.C. on May 4, 1961, to head to New Orleans on Greyhound and Trailways buses. The Freedom Riders were made up of both black and white activists, led by Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Director James Farmer, seeking to integrate interstate bus lines throughout the South. The Supreme Court had ruled, in Boynton v. Virginia (1960), that racial segregation was illegal on interstate bus lines, but the order was widely ignored throughout the South. In Anniston and Birmingham, Alabama, both the Ku Klux Klan and police forces attacked the bus, while many Freedom Riders were arrested and sent to prison in Mississippi. The Kennedy Administration notably refused to involve itself either on behalf of the Freedom Riders or the local police. The action of the Freedom Riders brought national attention to segregation policies and the brutality of Southern police forces, initiating widespread change in service throughout the South.

Example Question #18 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1899 To The Present

Which famous muckraker exposed the practices of the meat packing industry of Chicago?

Possible Answers:

Upton Sinclair

Lincoln Steffens

Jacob Riis 

Theodore Roosevelt 

Ida Tarbell 

Correct answer:

Upton Sinclair

Explanation:

The term "Muckraker" is used to refer to a series of progressively-minded investigative journalists and authors at the turn of the twentieth century. They focused on exposing social and economic injustices, with the intent to affect change in the government policy of the United States. Upton Sinclair wrote his famous book, The Jungle, in 1906. In it he exposed the illicit practices of the meatpacking industry, in both Chicago and the rest of the country. His work caused a public outcry, and he is generally credited with inspiring the passage of the Meat Inspection Act and the Food and Drug Acts through Congress. Sinclair was also an early American socialist.

Example Question #19 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1899 To The Present

Speakeasies __________.

Possible Answers:

were places for people to procure alcohol during prohibition

threatened to overturn the Sherman Anti-Trust Act

violated the personal property laws established by the Bill of Rights

helped spread Republican ideals during the early years of American history

enabled people to speak freely without fear of violating the Alien and Sedition Acts

Correct answer:

were places for people to procure alcohol during prohibition

Explanation:

A speakeasy is an establishment illegally set up to supply alcohol. Speakeasies were particularly influential in American society during the prohibition years, where they served as the only place in America one could go to drink.

Example Question #20 : Facts And Details In U.S. Social History From 1899 To The Present

Which case established that laws against mixed race marriages were unconstitutional?

Possible Answers:

Muller v. Oregon

Lawrence v. Texas

Bolling v. Sharpe 

Pace v. Alabama 

Loving v. Virginia 

Correct answer:

Loving v. Virginia 

Explanation:

Loving v. Virginia was brought before the Supreme Court in 1967. The Lovings were a married couple, one black and one white, who lived in the state of Virginia and were imprisoned for violating the state’s laws against interracial marriage. In a unanimous verdict, the Court ruled that such laws were inherently unequal and unconstitutional. The case overturned the Pace v. Alabama ruling—which had stated, in 1883, that interracial marriage was not protected under the Constitution. 

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