SAT Subject US History Practice Question 743: Answer and Explanation
The cartoon above could most accurately be interpreted as
A. criticism of senators from agricultural states who opposed the growth of industry.
B. praise for the Senate for working in harmony with big business.
C. an expression of frustration at the inability of the Democrats and the Republicans to work together to pass meaningful legislation.
D. criticism of the state of politics in which powerful trusts dominated democratic institutions such as the Senate.
E. a call to abolish the Senate in favor of a more democratic House of Representatives.
Correct Answer: D
Many people were concerned over the growing power of trusts, which were a form of monopoly control in business. Trusts seemed to wield nearly limitless power. Early in the 19th century, Southern agricultural states often opposed pro-industry legislation (A), such as the protective tariff, but the cartoon is clearly not sympathetic to business. The juxtaposition of massive trusts and puny senators does not imply equal status or harmony (B). The senators are not identified by party (C). Few people were calling for the abolition of the U.S. Senate (E), although some were calling for the direct election of senators by the voters to make them more responsive to the people.