SAT Subject US History Practice Question 893: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 893

64. Helen Hunt Jackson's 1881 book, A Century of Dishonor, chronicled the

A. mistreatment of Chinese laborers working on the transcontinental railroad.
B. government's record of broken treaties and promises in regard to Native Americans.
C. destruction of the ecology of the West by settlers and big business.
D. conditions on cotton plantations before the Civil War.
E. history of Spanish misdeeds in Cuba before the Spanish-American War.

Correct Answer: B


This important, and somewhat condescending, book brought to light many of the abuses Native Americans suffered at the hands of the U.S. government. Chinese laborers working on the transcontinental railroad were mistreated (A), and the settlement of the West did bring with it ecological costs (C), but these issues were not the subject of 19th-century books. Many books, most notably the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, described the conditions of slavery (D). Spanish misdeeds in Cuba were widely publicized in lurid newspaper accounts in the years leading up to the Spanish-American War (1898) (E), but no contemporary book was written.

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