SAT Subject US History Practice Question 665: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 665

16. One reason Woodrow Wilson was able to win the presidency in 1912 was that

A. Americans rallied around him during World War I.
B. a majority of African Americans voted for the Democratic Party.
C. Wilson's humble origins endeared him to working-class Americans.
D. there was a major split in the Republican Party.
E. his opponent died two weeks before the election.

Correct Answer: D


Theodore Roosevelt formed the Progressive Party, also called the Bull Moose Party, in 1912 when he lost the Republican nomination to the incumbent President Howard Taft. Taft's manipulation of the convention, as well as his conservative policies, had convinced Roosevelt and his allies to form a third party. Roosevelt did quite well at the polls, getting more votes and more electoral votes than Taft, but the split in the Republican Party allowed Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the race with just 42 percent of the popular vote. World War I did not start until 1914 (A). African Americans (B) did not abandon the party of Lincoln until 1936, when they overwhelmingly supported the Democratic president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Wilson was not of humble origins (C); he was the son of a minister and went to Princeton and Johns Hopkins. Neither of his opponents died before the election (E).

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