SAT Subject US History Practice Question 1062: Answer and Explanation
1. Which of the following was NOT a major reason for the movement of large numbers of people from the east of the Mississippi River to the west of it during the second half of the 19th century?
A. People were interested in the free land provided by the Homestead Act.
B. The completion of the first transcontinental railroad made doing business out west economically feasible.
C. People were trying to escape the air and water pollution common in the cities of the East.
D. Soil was becoming depleted in the East.
E. Strikes of gold and silver lured prospectors out west.
Correct Answer: C
Though cities were becoming crowded during the last decades of the 19th century, and some people noted the declining air quality of industrial cities, air and water pollution were not major reasons for people to move out west. The other answer choices all accurately describe motivations that people had for leaving the older communities in the East and venturing west.