SAT Subject US History Practice Question 965: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 965

46. The U.S. experiment in Prohibition, which lasted from 1920 to 1933, demonstrated that

A. it is difficult for the government to enforce laws that are unpopular with large segments of the public.
B. granting women the right to vote opened the door to a variety of reforms that were previously unthinkable.
C. the Republican Party was more in tune with popular sentiments than the Democratic Party.
D. the power of the federal government can be successfully used to change the public's behavior.
E. the issue of states' rights versus federal power had not yet been resolved.

Correct Answer: A


The 18th Amendment, which outlawed the production, sale, or consumption of alcohol, was a failure. "Bootlegging" (illegally selling alcohol) and "speakeasies" (illegal clubs that served alcohol) became part of the national vocabulary as Prohibition laws were routinely flouted. The 18th Amendment was adopted in 1919, a year before the adoption of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote (B). Also, most historians have acknowledged that women have not voted as a bloc. Both parties avoided taking a strong stand on the Prohibition issue (C). Prohibition attempted to change the public's behavior (D), but it was not successful. Prohibition was a federal initiative (E). It did not revolve around the issue of states' rights.

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