SAT Subject US History Practice Question 882: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 882

53. "Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came."

-Abraham Lincoln,

Second Inaugural Address, 1865

Which of the following statements is an accurate interpretation of the above quote?

A. The North was to blame for the war.
B. The South wanted to fight a war more than it wanted to preserve slavery.
C. The North wanted the South to perish.
D. The war started due to the actions of both sides.
E. Both sides wanted to preserve the union.

Correct Answer: D

Explanation:

Lincoln believed that the actions of both sides started the war and the positions of both sides produced the war. He really did not blame either side; they both deprecated war, but nevertheless "the war came." It might be true that the South wanted independence more than slavery (B), but it lost both at Appomattox and the quote does not refer to slavery. The North "accepted" war (A), so it did not start it. The North did not want the South to perish (C). Rather, the North wanted to preserve the Union, but the South did not (E).

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