SAT Subject US History Practice Question 411: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 411

32. Southern farmers who could not afford slaves sup ported the institution of slavery primarily because

A. slaves allowed poor white farmers to prosper
B. slavery gave poor whites status and a stake in society
C. slaves needed overseers and Southern whites knew the job was well paid
D. slaveowners lent slaves in slow times to poor farmers to help work their land
E. farmers knew that competition would help the Southern economy in the long run

Correct Answer: B


Only about one-third of Southern whites owned slaves yet poor whites without slaves willingly died for the Confederacy in the Civil War. Slavery (and racism) gave status to poor whites and was sufficient to compensate them for their lack of political or economic power in the South.

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