SAT Subject US History Practice Question 865: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 865

36. "Sod busters" was a nickname given to

A. New England settlers in the 1600s.
B. cotton growers in Texas in the 1840s and 1850s.
C. frontier farmers on the Great Plains in the 1860s and 1870s.
D. Dust Bowl farmers in the 1930s.
E. Eastern farmers who were displaced by suburban development in the 1950s.

Correct Answer: C


Sod is the thick layer of matted grass and roots that had to be cut through (or "busted") before farming could begin. It is characteristic of the Great Plains. Soil in New England (A) and the East in general (E) does not consist of sod. (The sod used in the suburbs is especially grown for lawns.) Cotton grew in Texas (B) but normally not on soil covered with sod. The farmers of the Dust Bowl (D) were called "Okies," not "sod busters."

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