AP European History : Colonialism; Imperialism; Decolonization; Globalization

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP European History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #29 : Political History

The "White Man's Burden" was a phrase used to indicate the sentiment among Europeans that __________.

Possible Answers:

dealing with non-Christian religions in Africa and Asia was challenging

the hardship of life for workers in industrialized Europe was increasing

"non-white" cultures were impinging upon the established societies of Europe

only Europeans were able to civilize other cultures through colonization

dealing with non-European cultures through colonization was difficult

Correct answer:

only Europeans were able to civilize other cultures through colonization

Explanation:

The phrase "White Man's Burden" comes from a poem with that title written by Rudyard Kipling in 1899, which commented on the United States' war in the Philippines and Cuba against Spain. The poem urges "white men" to take "civilization" to non-white peoples around the globe for their benefit. This idea was then taken up by many Europeans in their colonization efforts throughout Africa and Asia.

Example Question #30 : Political History

Henry the Navigator encouraged global exploration for which country?

Possible Answers:

Portugal

England

The Netherlands

France

India

Correct answer:

Portugal

Explanation:

Henry was a Portuguese prince who lived from 1394 to 1460 and who believed in the importance of exploring foreign lands. He helped to set up a school to train explorers and also was interested in exploring the coast of Africa. His efforts helped to make Portugal a powerful and rich nation due to its ability to gain resources, conquer lands, and engage in global commerce.

Example Question #31 : Political History

Christopher Columbus’ famous voyage to the New World in 1492 was funded by which European monarch(s)?

Possible Answers:

Charles V

Maria I

Isabella and Ferdinand

Louis XIV

William and Mary

Correct answer:

Isabella and Ferdinand

Explanation:

The voyage of Christopher Columbus was funded by the Spanish monarchy of Isabella and Ferdinand. Hence Columbus, who was Italian, “discovered” the New World for the Spanish. Isabella and Ferdinand had recently united the Spanish houses of Castile and Aragon and expelled the Moors (the Arab population of Spain at the time) and Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. The newly formed Christian country of Spain sought the opportunity to become an Empire and looked West for opportunities for exploration.

Example Question #1 : Colonialism; Imperialism; Decolonization; Globalization

The state of Virginia is named after __________.

Possible Answers:

Sir Walter Raleigh

King Henry VIII

Queen Elizabeth I

Sir Francis Drake

Queen Anne Boleyn

Correct answer:

Queen Elizabeth I

Explanation:

The territory that comprises the state of Virginia was “discovered” by Sir Walter Raleigh in the late sixteenth century (presumably the city of Raleigh in North Carolina is named for him). When Raleigh returned and informed Elizabeth that she ruled a territory with a Native American name she reportedly changed it to “Virginia” to reflect her famous status as the “Virgin Queen” of England.

Example Question #33 : Political History

Which of these statements about the role of missionaries in European imperialism in the nineteenth century is most accurate?

Possible Answers:

When missionaries were attacked by the local population they provided the European governments with an excuse to establish military control over the territory.

None of these statements are accurate.

Many missionaries were able to subjugate the local population without the governments of European countries needing to get involved.

They were instrumental in inspiring religious fervor and devotion on the mother continent, as well as in the rest of the world.

Most missionaries came from the United States and often undermined European interests.

Correct answer:

When missionaries were attacked by the local population they provided the European governments with an excuse to establish military control over the territory.

Explanation:

The nineteenth century witnessed a noticeable resurgence of Christian thinking that led to a global mission project to convert all the people of the world to Christianity. This was particularly pronounced in the African continent. On numerous occasions missionaries would try to establish contact with native populations only to be rebuffed and attacked. This gave public support to politicians in the mother country who were then able to establish military control over a new territory with the backing of the people.

Example Question #34 : Political History

The construction of the Suez Canal was vital for __________.

Possible Answers:

Undermining French trading interests in North Africa and the Middle East

Increasing the flow of trade between Europe and the Far East

Encouraging peace and mutual prosperity in the Middle East

Protecting British interests in North Africa during the Second World War

Ensuring British dominance over the Russians in the Crimean War

Correct answer:

Increasing the flow of trade between Europe and the Far East

Explanation:

The Suez Canal was built through Egypt to allow ships to pass from the Arabian Sea into the Mediterranean. Previously ships had had to sail around the Southern horn of Africa in order to bring goods from the Far East to Europe. The construction of the Suez Canal dramatically shortened the time needed to transport goods and thus increased the flow of trade between Europe and the Far East.  

Example Question #35 : Political History

Which of these territories came under French control in the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries?

I. Algeria

II. Egypt

III. Sudan

IV. Tunisia

V. Morocco

 

Possible Answers:

II and III.

I, II, and III.

IV only.

I only.

I, IV, and V.

Correct answer:

I, IV, and V.

Explanation:

Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco all came under French administration in the time period mentioned. Algeria, in particular, would have profound implications for the French imperial experience for the next several decades.

Example Question #36 : Political History

How did extraterritoriality function with regard to Europeans living in China in the nineteenth century?  

Possible Answers:

It meant that Europeans could not be punished under Chinese laws and were instead subject to the laws of their own country.

It served as a tax on the peasant population that required them to provide a portion of their crops to sustain the colonial population.

It allowed Europeans the right to practice their religion and undergo missionary work.

It allowed Europeans to employ Chinese peasants as effective slaves.

It granted various European countries exclusive trading rights to separate and specific areas.

Correct answer:

It meant that Europeans could not be punished under Chinese laws and were instead subject to the laws of their own country.

Explanation:

The term “extraterritoriality” means exempt from local laws, subject to laws of one’s home country as opposed to the country one currently resides in. So in the context of Europeans in China it meant that they were legally free from the constraints of the Chinese legal system and were only subject to the laws of their home country. This, naturally, greatly angered much of the local Chinese population and was a source of consistent tension.

Example Question #37 : Political History

This dictator fought a long and brutal war of resistance against Dutch control over Indonesia in the decade that followed the end of the Second World War.

Possible Answers:

Ho Chi Minh.

Pol Pot.

Sukarno.

Chiang Kai-Shek.

Tito.

Correct answer:

Sukarno.

Explanation:

The Dutch controlled the territory of Indonesia until their defeat to the Japanese in the Second World War. Following the end of the Second World War the Dutch tried to re-implement control, but met with fierce and organized resistance. Sukarno led the resistance against the Dutch until Indonesian independence was formalized in 1954. Sukarno would continue to rule as a military dictator for another decade or so.

Example Question #2 : Colonialism; Imperialism; Decolonization; Globalization

European global hegemony effectively came to an end with __________.

Possible Answers:

The end of World War Two

The Berlin Conference

The Vietnam War

The end of World War One

The rise of the Great Depression

Correct answer:

The end of World War Two

Explanation:

The end of World War Two brought to an end the unprecedented period of European global hegemony which had been building from the fifteenth century and reached its height in the years from 1870-1918. By 1945 and the end of the Second World War the major imperial nations of Europe were economically devastated and unable to hold on to their overseas colonies. This inadequacy combined with a rising international support for independence and national self-determination led to the rapid break up of European imperialism in the twenty years that followed the Second World War.

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