SAT Subject US History Practice Question 741: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 741

2. The period from 1781 to 1787 is often called the Critical Period because

A. the United States lacked strong leaders.
B. the Articles of Confederation had created a weak government that threatened the continued existence of the United States.
C. the British presence in the United States remained a powerful force that threatened the country.
D. French Huguenots had moved into the Ohio Valley, threatening American settlements there.
E. of continuous attacks by Native Americans on western settlements, slowing westward expansion.

Correct Answer: B


The Critical Period is particularly associated with the problems involved in the establishment of a new government for the newly freed colonies. The Articles of Confederation established a loose league of friendship that created a weak central government. The absence of an executive and a judiciary jeopardized the existence of the United States because of the inability of Congress to enforce and interpret laws. There were many strong leaders at the time (A). Although British troops retained a presence in the United States after the French-American victory at Yorktown in 1781, these troops were not influential in the establishment of a government for the new colonies (C). The French (D) were not a threat to American settlements at the time. Although some hostility between settlers and Native Americans did exist (E), this was not particularly pronounced or critical during this period.

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