SAT Subject US History Practice Question 903: Answer and Explanation
74. A major factor leading to U.S. imperialism in the 1890s was
A. a political shift as the Democratic Party gained power at the expense of the Republican Party.
B. the opportunity created for the United States as European powers began to move away from imperialist expansion and focus on internal development.
C. the desire for new markets as industrial production outpaced domestic consumption.
D. the need to find new lands to absorb the expanding population of the United States.
E. a desire for fertile land, as farmland on the American mainland was becoming depleted.
Correct Answer: C
Most historians look at economic factors as most important in understanding why the United States became an imperialist power. Industrialization produced a desire for new markets and a need for raw materials. Throughout the 1890s, the Republicans held onto the White House (A), implementing an aggressive imperialist policy. European powers were heavily engaged in imperialism (B) as well. There was plenty of land in the continental United States both to absorb its growing population (D) and to farm (E).