SAT Subject US History Practice Question 1081: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 1081

4. Alfred Mahan is best known in American history for his argument that

A. the Philippines should have been granted independence after the Spanish-American War.
B. non-Anglo-Saxon peoples are genetically inferior and, therefore, incapable of self-rule.
C. the United States should develop its naval power and establish overseas colonies if it hoped to be a world power.
D. Jim Crow laws served the interests of both African Americans and whites in that they maintained social order and harmony.
E. the power of the industrial giants needed to be reigned in if America were to maintain its democratic government.

Correct Answer: C


Admiral Mahan urged the United States to build up its naval strength and to become an imperialist power. He and Josiah Strong are often cited as promoters of U.S. imperialism. An anti-imperialist, such as Carl Schurz or Mark Twain, would have taken the position in choice (A). Choice (B) was an argument made by many Americans, such as Josiah Strong and proponents of social Darwinism. The Democratic Party, more than the Republicans, held the position expressed in choice (D) during the period between Reconstruction and the New Deal. Choice (E) is a position taken by Socialist Eugene V. Debs and muckraker journalists of the Progressive Era.

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