SAT Subject US History Practice Question 935: Answer and Explanation
16. All of the following are reasons for the anti-immigrant sentiment that resulted in the quota system of the 1920s EXCEPT
A. the demand for unskilled labor in American factories decreased as World War I ended.
B. many Americans perceived that anarchists and socialists were immigrating from Europe and contributing to social unrest in the United States.
C. racist ideas that held Jews, Slavs, and Italians as inferior gained credence in the United States.
D. some Protestants feared that the United States would change for the worse because of the influx of Catholics and Jews.
E. immigrants often took positions as indentured servants, which undermined the earning potential of American wage workers.
Correct Answer: E
Indentured servitude had ended by the middle of the 19th century. Immigrants competed for jobs with American-born workers. Unskilled workers (A) did have a higher rate of unemployment than skilled workers after World War I. Many immigrants were, in fact, socialists and anarchists (B). Nativists, who generally were white Protestants of Northern European heritage, believed that Italians, Slavs, Catholics in general, and Jews (C and D) were inferior peoples who would dilute the Northern European character of American culture.