U.S. History Standards Questions: Depression, WWII

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US History Quizzes & Trivia

This quiz helps prepare students for the California U. S. History STAR test. It covers the Depression, New Deal, and WWII periods.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    Poor policy making by the Federal Reserve Board contributed to the Great Depression. The Federal Reserve Board had been established in 1913 by Congress to
    • A. 

      Investigate companies and issue “cease and desist” orders against companies engaging in unfair trade practices.

    • B. 

      Regulate the economy by raising and lowering interest rates in hopes of avoiding economic crises.

    • C. 

      Regulate the establishment and collection of individual and corporate income tax.

    • D. 

      Investigate the accounting procedures used by companies.

  • 2. 
    Which of the following was a principle cause of the Great Depression?
    • A. 

      Over-investment by U.S. banks in foreign companies throughout the 1920s

    • B. 

      Under-production of both factory and farm goods in the United States throughout the 1920s

    • C. 

      Maintenance of low interest rates by the Federal Reserve Board, which encouraged speculation throughout the 1920s

    • D. 

      Lack of consumer credit available to Americans throughout the 1920s

  • 3. 
    The Dust bowl refugees suffered terribly during the Great Depression. Which of the following combinations of factors most contributed to their plight?
    • A. 

      Economic depression, unchecked Bull market, unwise New Deal policies

    • B. 

      Natural disasters, unwise agricultural practices, economic depression

    • C. 

      Unwise New Deal policies, natural disasters, prejudice

    • D. 

      Unchecked Bull market, unwise agricultural practices, economic depress

  • 4. 
    Which of the following best describes the short- and long-term effects of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First and Second New Deal programs on the United States?
    • A. 

      The New Deal programs enabled the U.S. to recover from the Depression and laid much of today’s infrastructure.

    • B. 

      The New Deal programs had no effect on the U.S.’s recovery from the Depression but laid much of today’s infrastructure.

    • C. 

      The New Deal programs enabled the U.S. to recover from the Depression but had little impact on today’s infrastructure.

    • D. 

      The New Deal programs neither enabled the U.S. to recover from the Depression nor had any impact on today’s infrastructure.

  • 5. 
    Which of the following statements about organized labor in the United States is true?
    • A. 

      The 1935 National Labor Relations Act, which guaranteed workers the right to organize, led to a series of strikes.

    • B. 

      By 1900 the majority of non-agricultural workers in the United States belonged to strong, organized labor unions.

    • C. 

      During President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administrations and the implementation of the First and Second New Deals there was little labor unrest in the United States.

    • D. 

      Most early labor unions embraced women workers.

  • 6. 
    Which of the following describes the United States’ position in World War II prior to the Japanese attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor?
    • A. 

      The United States was already at war with Germany.

    • B. 

      The United States was sending much needed aid to Great Britain.

    • C. 

      The United States was following a strictly Isolationist policy.

    • D. 

      The United States had entered into a Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviet Union.

  • 7. 
    General MacArthur’s “island-hopping” strategy was central to Allied success in which theater of the war?
    • A. 

      The South Pacific

    • B. 

      The North Atlantic

    • C. 

      Midway Island

    • D. 

      North Africa

  • 8. 
    Which of the following accounts for the fact that the armed forces remained segregated until 1948 even though African American units such as the Tuskegee Airmen and the 761st Tank Battalion distinguished themselves in World War II?
    • A. 

      Military strategy

    • B. 

      Military bureaucracy

    • C. 

      Racial discrimination

    • D. 

      Racial inclusion

  • 9. 
    As war raged in Europe in the late 1930s, President Roosevelt and many Americans felt that recovery from the Great Depression should be America’s first priority.  When did Roosevelt begin pushing for more direct involvement in the European war, particularly with his “Four Freedoms” speech?
    • A. 

      After Germany invaded Poland

    • B. 

      While campaigning for a third term in office

    • C. 

      After winning his third presidential campaign

    • D. 

      After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor

  • 10. 
    The United States declared war on Japan after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Why did the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor?
    • A. 

      To draw U.S. military forces away from the European theater of war

    • B. 

      As revenge for the sinking of the Reuben James

    • C. 

      To prepare for an invasion of California

    • D. 

      To cripple the U.S. Pacific fleet, which could hamper their aggression in Southeast Asia

  • 11. 
    The stress of World War II had an impact on many different levels domestically. Which of the following is an example of racial unrest on the home front during World War II?
    • A. 

      The zoot suit riots

    • B. 

      Internment of Japanese Americans

    • C. 

      1943 Detroit riots

    • D. 

      All of the above

  • 12. 
    Which of the items listed below were used to full effect for the first time during World War II?
    • A. 

      Aircraft carriers and amphtrac vehicles

    • B. 

      Jet engines and troop-transport ships

    • C. 

      Machine guns and telegraphs

    • D. 

      Machine guns and penicillin

  • 13. 
    President Truman’s decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan was primarily motivated by which of the following?
    • A. 

      An unwavering hatred of the Japanese

    • B. 

      A desire to avenge the attack on Pearl Harbor

    • C. 

      A desire to spare the lives of Japanese civilians

    • D. 

      A desire to spare the lives of U.S. servicemen