SAT Subject US History Practice Question 705: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 705

56. During the Gilded Age, the U.S. economy

A. faltered because industries failed to convert from wartime production to peacetime production after the Civil War.
B. grew at a rapid pace, but the gap between the wealthy and poor widened.
C. was characterized by a growing agricultural sector and a back-to-the-land movement.
D. suffered because of the nation's overdependence on the slave trade.
E. was cut off from the world economic system due to high tariffs and isolationist policies.

Correct Answer: B


During the era, the slums of New York's Lower East Side existed just a few miles from the lavish mansions of Fifth Avenue. This gap between rich and poor characterized the era. The Gilded Age saw a great deal of economic growth, as the United States produced massive amounts of manufactured goods for both domestic and foreign consumption. The country carried out the transition from wartime production to civilian production quite successfully, making (A) incorrect. There was no "back-to-the-land movement" during the Gilded Age (C); in fact, many rural people moved to the city to work in industry. By the Gilded Age, slavery and the slave trade had been abolished (D). High tariffs and isolationist policies were characteristics of the 1920s (E).

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