SAT Subject US History Practice Question 736: Answer and Explanation
87. Herbert Hoover's idea of "rugged individualism" suggested that
A. people were able to survive hard times through their inner strength and resources.
B. the government should give direct aid to the people in hard times.
C. all of the basic needs of the people are the sole responsibility of the government.
D. difficult times called for exceptional individuals to exercise power.
E. the government and the people are partners who must share equal responsibility for the well-being of the populace.
Correct Answer: A
Hoover believed that people could survive the worst of times by helping themselves and helping their communities. He did not believe that it was the role of government to give direct aid to people in hard times (B). Hoover did not believe that the government was solely responsible for the basic needs of the people (C); he believed that these were the responsibility of individuals. The idea that exceptional men must rise to power during difficult times (D) is more akin to fascism than it is to Hoover's ideas. The idea of a government partnership with the people, particularly in regard to the economy (E), was not an idea embraced by Hoover and is not representative of the idea of "rugged individualism."