SAT Subject US History Practice Question 684: Answer and Explanation
35. An unintended consequence of the implementation of the 1862 Homestead Act was that
A. very few people volunteered to participate in the program.
B. much of the land that was intended for homesteading ended up in the hands of large agricultural firms.
C. the land that was involved in the program was incapable of producing crops.
D. the homesteaders often had clashes with Native Americans.
E. corrupt politicians sold the best land to speculators.
Correct Answer: B
The small entrepreneur was gradually replaced by larger and larger entities-a story that is true of mining and many other American businesses as well. The program was fairly popular, making (A) incorrect. As a whole, the land of the Great Plains, where most homesteads were established, was (and is) incredibly fertile (C). While clashes no doubt occurred (D), the homesteaders usually settled on land that no longer had large Native American populations. There was no large public scandal in regard to the Homestead Act (E), and the land was not sold by the government; it was given away after the recipient paid a filing fee.