SAT Subject US History Practice Question 924: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 924

5. The establishment of standard time zones occurred

A. at the time of the American Revolution to standardize measurements in the new nation.
B. in the 1880s to facilitate scheduling of railroad lines.
C. during World War I to coordinate the war effort better.
D. in the 1920s to allow for the coordination of nationally broadcast radio shows.
E. as part of the New Deal efforts at modernization.

Correct Answer: B


Standard time zones were created in 1883. Railroads were frustrated in trying to maintain schedules of train services when each city had a slightly different time. So the railroad companies pressured the government to create standard time zones. At the time, many were alarmed that the railroads were so powerful that they could actually have the "time" changed. Standard time could not have been an issue in 1776 (A), an era before rapid transportation or communication. The other choices, (C), (D), and (E), occurred in the 20th century, well after the creation of "railroad time."

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