SAT Subject US History Practice Question 749: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 749

10. The Kerner Commission published a report concerning violence in America which stated that

A. immigrants were the source of conflict and should be barred from entry into the United States.
B. unions should be made illegal because they had been infiltrated by the Communist Party.
C. violence is caused by young people, and when the population got older after the baby boom, the level of violence would go down.
D. the death penalty would deter the high levels of violence against police officers.
E. the main cause of the urban riots of the 1960s was the economic and social gulf between races.

Correct Answer: E


The 1968 National Advisory (Kerner) Commission on Civil Disorders convened to discover why there was so much urban violence in the 1960s. Its report stated that America was "two societies separate and unequal" and that the plight of African Americans was largely unknown to whites. However, it concluded that the richest nation on earth could correct these inequalities. The commission reached liberal social and economic conclusions. Thus, it did not blame immigrants (A) or unions (B) or call for the death penalty (D). Young people (C) certainly were participants in the riots, but social and economic factors were the primary causes, according to the report.

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