SAT Subject US History Practice Question 1008: Answer and Explanation
89. A fundamental cause of the urban riots that broke out in many cities during the Lyndon Johnson administration was
A. the rising expectations of African Americans for an improved quality of life.
B. despair of the poor and minorities over the draft for Vietnam.
C. frustration of African Americans over the slow pace of change in the South regarding segregation.
D. anger over the inability of African Americans in the North to vote.
E. a growing feeling among African Americans that affirmative action would never be implemented.
Correct Answer: A
The Kerner Commission on urban violence concluded that it was the rising expectations among African Americans in the North for a wider range of opportunities that caused the riots in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1965 and Detroit in 1967. The draft (B) for Vietnam was not a major issue before 1967, and the riots in African American urban neighborhoods began before that date. The riots were in the North and West, not in the South, (C) in the early 1960s. African Americans were not barred from voting in the North (D). Affirmative Action (E) was not an issue in America until the Nixon administration (after 1969).