SAT Subject US History Practice Question 742: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 742

3. One of the events that led Kansas to be called "Bleeding Kansas" in 1856 was

A. the fight by the free African American, Shadrach, against men enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law.
B. the sack of Lawrence by pro-slavery men.
C. John Brown's storming of a federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry.
D. the Fugitive Slave Law's effect on the carrying out of popular sovereignty.
E. the growth of the Second Great Awakening revival movement in the Burned-Over District.

Correct Answer: B


"Bleeding Kansas" refers to the Kansas Territory during a mini civil war over the fate of slavery. Popular sovereignty, allowing voters to approve or reject slavery, could not resolve the slavery question if people fought instead of voting. About 200 were killed before Kansas became a state in 1862. The first major act was the destruction of the antislavery town of Lawrence (called the sack of Lawrence). John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry (C) was in Virginia in 1859. The Fugitive Slave Law (D) was part of the Compromise of 1850 and had nothing directly to do with Bleeding Kansas. Shadrach (A) was a victim of the Fugitive Slave Law who was kidnapped in Boston in 1851 by his African American friends and spirited away before the magistrate knew what happened. The Burned-Over District (E) was in western New York, not Kansas.

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