AP European History : Gender

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP European History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Gender

A key transformation of gender roles in the Protestant Reformation was __________.

Possible Answers:

an expansion of political power to women in Protestant ruled lands

the focus in Lutheran preaching on increased freedom for women

a diminution in charges of witchcraft against women in Europe

the elevation of motherhood as the highest ideal of womanhood

the increased ability for women to seek roles of authority in church structures

Correct answer:

the elevation of motherhood as the highest ideal of womanhood

Explanation:

On many social levels, the Protestant Reformation upended the traditional mores and structures of Northern Europe. Regarding gender roles, the Protestant Reformation's chief disruption was to change what was considered the ideal form of womanhood, namely by emphasizing motherhood and the raising of children over against the Catholic ideal of celibate "brides for Christ," better known as nuns. In terms of political power, freedoms, and rights for women, the Protestants did not break very sharply with Catholic teaching.

Example Question #2 : Gender

The persecution of women declined most dramatically in which of these eras of European history?

Possible Answers:

The Industrial Revolution

The Protestant Reformation

The Dark Ages

The Enlightenment

The Renaissance

Correct answer:

The Enlightenment

Explanation:

During the Dark Ages, women were persecuted heavily throughout Europe and were often characterized as agents of the devil. This persisted throughout the Renaissance period as the high-minded ideals of the period rarely penetrated beyond the highly educated (and demographically tiny) social classes. Persecution of women intensified during the Protestant Reformation as the influence of Christianity and the demonization of women was revitalized; many women were executed for witchcraft in this time period. During the Enlightenment era, as Europeans turned away from superstition and towards rational explanations for events, the persecution of women subsided dramatically.

Example Question #3 : Gender

The life of Isabella d’Este demonstrates how __________.

Possible Answers:

the suffrage movement was able to spread in early-twentieth-century Europe due to the death of so many young men

the highest ideal for a Renaissance woman was to be a patron of the arts

Enlightenment-era women were no nearer to gaining emancipation than women had been during the Dark Ages

the role of the Catholic church in the lives of women has often been negative

It was impossible for women to hold positions of authority under ancient Germanic laws that persisted well into the Enlightenment era

Correct answer:

the highest ideal for a Renaissance woman was to be a patron of the arts

Explanation:

Isabella d’Este was one of the most famous women of the Renaissance era. She was a leading figure of the Italian Renaissance and was widely respected for her patronage of the arts. In Renaissance Europe it was generally considered that the highest ideal that a Renaissance woman could attain was to be an active and enthusiastic patron of the arts.

 

Example Question #4 : Gender

Which denomination of Christianity was the first to prominently allow women to speak from the pulpit?

Possible Answers:

Catholics

Calvinists

Quakers

Lutherans

Jesuits

Correct answer:

Quakers

Explanation:

The Quakers were the first Christian group to prominently allow women to speak from the pulpit. The Quakers firmly believed, at least doctrinally, in the spiritual equality of women, although as they grew in number they became less inclined towards extending full equality to women.

Example Question #5 : Gender

Madame Geoffrin is a prominent example of __________.

Possible Answers:

the influence that women exerted in the Enlightenment era through their management of salons

the influence that many women exerted during the Renaissance era as patrons of the arts

None of the other answers is correct.

the widespread persecution of women throughout the Dark Ages

the ability of a mistress to influence the direction of a nation’s foreign policy through a few choice words in the ears of kings and princes

Correct answer:

the influence that women exerted in the Enlightenment era through their management of salons

Explanation:

Madame Geoffrin ran a salon during the Enlightenment era in France. Salons were informal meeting places, particularly in France, where like-minded thinkers could meet freely to discuss radical or revolutionary ideas. Salons were particularly important to spreading the ideas of the Enlightenment and to encouraging new developments. They were very often sponsored by aristocratic women.

Example Question #6 : Gender

Improved gender equality in the second half of the twentieth century in Western Europe has led to all of the following EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

More women in higher education than men

Higher life expectancy

Declining birth rates

Equal wages

All of these answers have been caused by improved gender equality.

Correct answer:

Equal wages

Explanation:

Gender equality has made massive strides in the second half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first in Europe, particularly in Northern and Western Europe. This has led to declining birth rates and smaller families, as women have much greater control over when and if they decide to have children. It has also led to higher life expectancy for women and the fact there are generally more women in higher education than men; however, it has not yet resulted in equal wages being paid to men and women for the same job—men still earn significantly more than women on average.

Example Question #7 : Gender

The primary argument of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication on the Rights of Woman is that __________.

Possible Answers:

Allowing women to hold office will lead to a more peaceful and benevolent political system.

Women only appear less capable than men because they are denied the same access to education.

The degradation of women is an affront to God and to any reasonable and enlightened man.

Allowing women to vote will result in a greater expansion of social welfare programs.

Women and men have natural differences that make them suited to separate spheres of life.

Correct answer:

Women only appear less capable than men because they are denied the same access to education.

Explanation:

A Vindication on the Rights of Women was written in 1792 by Mary Wollstonecraft. It is considered one of the seminal feminist texts of the Enlightenment era. In it, Wollstonecraft argues that women are not actually inferior to men, as was widely believed at the time; rather, they simply appear to be less capable because they are denied the same opportunities and access to education that was generally given to men.

Example Question #8 : Gender

Which of the following events of the French Revolution represents an important exercise of political power by women?

Possible Answers:

The Tennis Court Oath

The March on Versailles

The Storming of the Bastille

The Execution of Robespierre

The Thermidorian Reaction

Correct answer:

The March on Versailles

Explanation:

The March on Versailles, often known as the Women's March on Versailles, was one of the major events that sparked the French Revolution. In the days leading up to the March, bread had become scarce and quite expensive. Thousands of women began to congregate in the marketplaces of Paris seeking food for themselves and their families. Worsening economic conditions led to these congregations sparking riots, and revolutionary advocates in the city persuaded the women to direct their frustrations directly at the King. The market women and their revolutionary allies raided the royal armory in Paris and marched to the royal residence at Versailles. The King had fled to Versailles to avoid the revolutionary pressures building within the city. The Women's March successfully subjected the previously absolutist French monarch to the demands of popular movements and is thus seen as an important event in the demise of the French monarchy.

Example Question #9 : Gender

__________ was a leading baroque artist in the early seventeenth century and was the first woman to be admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence.

Possible Answers:

Sofonisba Anguissola

Mary Shelley

Artemisia Gentileschi

Lavinia Fontana

Laura Cereta

Correct answer:

Artemisia Gentileschi

Explanation:

Artemisia Gentileschi is regarded as one of the leading artists of the baroque period and is generally considered to be one of the most progressive artists of her time period. She made a notable impact regarding gender equality in her native Italy when she became the first woman to be admitted into the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence in the first half of the seventeenth century.

Example Question #10 : Gender

This early Renaissance humanist and feminist wrote a series of letters to other leading philosophical figures in which she attacked the gender bias of her time period.

Possible Answers:

Catherine de Medici

Mary Wollstonecraft

Laura Cereta

Lucrezia Borgia

Diane de Poitiers

Correct answer:

Laura Cereta

Explanation:

Laura Cereta was an Italian woman and leading humanist figure of the early Renaissance. She wrote a series of essays styled as letters to other philosophers and leading humanists in which she attacked the gender bias of her time period and advocated for female education and advancement.

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