SAT Subject US History Practice Question 897: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 897

68. The Smith Act of 1940 and the McCarran Act of 1950 are similar in that they both

A. were used to hamper the activities of the Communist Party.
B. aided the development of suburbs.
C. checked the power of large corporations.
D. were milestones in the struggle for civil rights for African Americans.
E. expanded the rights of people accused of crimes.

Correct Answer: A


The 1940 Smith Act was written to punish spies for the Nazis during World War II, but it stayed on the books and was used to prosecute members of the Communist Party starting in 1949. The McCarran Internal Security Act, passed over Truman's veto in 1950, was used to prevent "subversives" from coming into the United States and to deport immigrants if they belonged to "Communist or Communist Front" organizations. The government encouraged the development of suburbia (B) through programs such as the Federal Housing Administration (1934) and the Veterans Administration (1944). The power of large corporations (C) has largely gone unchecked in U.S. history. The Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 was an attempt to check their power. The Smith Act and the McCarran Act had nothing to do with civil rights for African Americans (D). These acts did not expand civil liberties for those accused of crimes (E). In fact, the McCarran Act was criticized for limiting civil liberties.

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