SAT Subject US History Practice Question 829: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 829

90. Of the following ideas, which was NOT part of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision?

A. Education is the most important function of local government.
B. The original intent of the 14th Amendment was to end school segregation.
C. The doctrine of "separate but equal" fosters feelings of inferiority in African American children.
D. Schools should be integrated "with all deliberate speed."
E. Education is the basis of success in our society.

Correct Answer: B


Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was not decided on the basis of the original intent of the 14th Amendment. There was segregation in 1868 when it was passed, and the 14th Amendment was not intended to end the practice. Psychological studies by Dr. Kenneth Clark, among others, showed that black children had feelings of inferiority (C) caused by segregation. The general social questions of the importance of education, the opportunities it provided for success in society (E), and the importance of local government in controlling education (A) were key points in the decision. The final ruling stated that segregation should be eliminated "with all deliberate speed" (D)-a contradiction that gave permission for both the movement toward desegregation and its slow speed.

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