SAT Subject US History Practice Question 837: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 837

8. One reason President Franklin D. Roosevelt was not a strong advocate of civil rights for African Americans was that he

A. believed that the separation of the races was in the best interests of all concerned.
B. resented the fact that African Americans voted for the Republican Party in 1936.
C. believed the role of the federal government in society should be minimal.
D. believed that Progressive-era reformers had successfully addressed the problem of segregation.
E. feared losing the support of the Southern Democrats in Congress.

Correct Answer: E


FDR reasoned that if he pushed for civil rights and antilynching legislation, he would lose the support of the Southern wing of the Democratic Party and would not be able to implement New Deal programs. Roosevelt was not a segregationist (A), but Eleanor Roosevelt addressed the issues of civil rights, while FDR did not. Starting in 1936, the majority of African Americans were no longer voting Republican (B), as they had since the days of Lincoln. The New Deal was a program involving massive intervention into American society (C). Progressive reformers did not eliminate segregation from American society. In fact, they did not even address the issue (D).

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