SAT Subject US History Practice Question 954: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 954

35. The Credit Mobilier scandal of the 1870s and the Teapot Dome of the 1920s are similar in that they both demonstrate the

A. lack of government oversight over the savings and loan industry.
B. cutthroat political competition between the Democrat and Republican Parties, which has often resulted in underhanded campaign practices.
C. prevalence of corrupt municipal political machines in the United States.
D. tendency of an overzealous press to invent stories in order to sell newspapers.
E. willingness of politicians to accept bribes from large corporations in exchange for granting these corporations political favors.

Correct Answer: E


The Credit Mobilier scandal involved illegal profiteering in the construction of western railroads, and the Teapot Dome scandal involved the misuse of oil rich government land. In both cases, politicians accepted large amounts of money to remain silent. The Credit Mobilier occurred during the Grant administration, while the Teapot Dome scandal occurred during the Harding administration. Both administrations are associated with corruption. Troubles in the savings and loan industry (A) began after deregulation in the early 1980s. Many savings and loan companies made questionable investments, leading to over 600 savings and loans going out of business. Both scandals were more about money than politics (B). The Watergate scandal of the 1970s involved political competition. Municipal corruption (C) is usually linked with "Boss" William Marcy Tweed and Tammany Hall, the headquarters of the New York City Democratic Party. In the 1870s, Tammany Hall's pattern of corruption, kickbacks, and fraud became front-page news. As scandals first unfold, the perpetrators of wrongdoing often try to shift the blame to an overzealous press (D), out to increase circulation.

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