SAT Subject US History Practice Question 650: Answer and Explanation
1. The discovery of the New World resulted from the desire of many Europeans to
A. establish a place where they could practice their religion freely.
B. find an all-water route to the East.
C. end the practice of primogeniture.
D. spread Christianity around the world.
E. uplift and civilize other peoples of the world.
Correct Answer: B
As a result of the Crusades in the 11th century, the Europeans had been exposed to the goods available in the East. This paved the way for the Renaissance and the Age of Exploration as the European nations sought to find an all-water route to the East. The discovery of the New World was the direct result of these explorations. Many English Puritans came to the New World to be able to worship freely (A), but that occurred over a century after the discovery of the New World. Primogeniture (C) was the medieval practice by which only the firstborn son could inherit the family wealth. As a result, many men came to the New World in search of their own land and fortune. However, the practice of primogeniture could not be ended by the discovery of the New World. Spreading Christianity (D) was a thought in the minds of the early explorers, but was not the main reason for the beginning of the exploration that led to the discovery of the New World. The desire to "civilize" other peoples (E) developed after the discovery of the New World.