AP European History : Hierarchy and Social Class

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP European History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Hierarchy And Social Class

The emanciation of Russian serfs took place during the reign of __________

Possible Answers:

Nicholas I

Peter the Great 

Alexander I

Catherine the Great 

Alexander II

Correct answer:

Alexander II

Explanation:

The Emancipation of the Russian serfs took place in 1861 during the reign of Tsar Alexander II. 

Example Question #1 : Hierarchy And Social Class

Which of these groups gained significant political leverage following the British Reform Bill of 1832?

Possible Answers:

The rural middle class

The urban middle class

The urban working class

The rural working class

The landed aristocracy

Correct answer:

The urban middle class

Explanation:

The Reform Bill of 1832 was designed to extend voting privileges to the urban middle class by restructuring the representatives in the British Houses of Parliament. Prior to the Reform Bill, there were many so-called “rotten boroughs” where one wealthy aristocrat controlled the election of the official for a district that contained very few actual people. Many urban centers were excluded. The Reform Bill created new districts to match up with the population redistribution brought about by urbanization and the Industrial Revolution. The eligible electorate nearly doubled, and the people who benefitted the most were the urban middle class.

Example Question #3 : Hierarchy And Social Class

Which conflict resulted in the first trial and execution of a reigning monarch in European history?

Possible Answers:

The French Revolution

The War of Austrian Succession

The Peasants Rebellion

The English Civil War

The Thirty Years War

Correct answer:

The English Civil War

Explanation:

The English Civil War, which raged from 1642 to 1649, was fought between the royalists on one side (supporting the King) and the parliamentarians on the other side (supporting Parliament). The conflict arose primarily from two sources of disagreement. First, Charles I believed that Parliament was there to serve him, whereas Parliament believed it was there to serve the people and itself. Second, Parliament was overwhelmingly Protestant, and many believed that Charles planned to return the English Kingdom to the Catholic fold. When the Parliamentarians defeated Charles, he was tried in what we would probably call a “show trial” and promptly executed.

Example Question #4 : Hierarchy And Social Class

Which of these ruling families governed Austria and the Austro-Hungarian Empire?

Possible Answers:

Bourbons

Stuarts

Tudors

Hapsburgs

Plantagenets

Correct answer:

Hapsburgs

Explanation:

The Tudors, Stuarts, and Plantagenets are all historical British ruling families. The Bourbons were a very notable French ruling family. The Hapsburgs were the ruling family of Austria, Austro-Hungary, and the Holy Roman Empire. They are perhaps the most important ruling family in European history in terms of longevity, impact on European and global life, and territorial size.

Example Question #5 : Hierarchy And Social Class

A "hacienda" is __________.

Possible Answers:

a large plantation run by Spanish colonists in the New World

the exclusive right to sell slaves to the Spanish colonies

the Spanish system of exploiting native labor to fuel their colonial ambitions

a Spanish conqueror who arrived in the New World in the early sixteenth century

None of these answers is correct.

Correct answer:

a large plantation run by Spanish colonists in the New World

Explanation:

"Hacienda” is a term for a large plantation that was run by Spanish colonists in the New World. The “hacienda” system was prevalent throughout much of the New World and was particularly prominent in Spanish colonies in the Caribbean, where raw resources and native labor were both abundant.

Example Question #6 : Hierarchy And Social Class

Those given land in the economic and political system of Feudalism by a King, who are then required to owe the King absolute loyalty are called __________.

Possible Answers:

barons

vandals

serfs

vassals

plebeians

Correct answer:

vassals

Explanation:

The system of Feudalism starts from the top. A king or liege lord, who has a large amount of land, gives off portions of his land to lesser lords and nobles. These lesser lords and nobles now have a land of their own, protection from the King, and the means to raise their own army; in exchange they become “vassals.” They owe their allegiance to the King and must come to his aid to protect him from would-be challengers.

Example Question #7 : Hierarchy And Social Class

Louis XIV’s famous proclamation “I am the State” sums up which of these political philosophies?

Possible Answers:

The Social Contract

Marxism

Divine Right of Kings

Natural Rights

Elite and Class Theory

Correct answer:

Divine Right of Kings

Explanation:

For much of the Early Modern Period, Europe was governed by absolute monarchs who believed and contended that their rule was divinely ordained by God and that therefore to criticize their rule was to criticize God. This belief is referred to as the Divine Right of Kings. Louis XIV famously highlighted this belief with his four word summary “L'Etat, c'est moi.”

Example Question #8 : Hierarchy And Social Class

Under the French Ancien Regime, which class of people comprised the First Estate?

Possible Answers:

Intellectuals

The king's immediate family

Knights

The clergy

Merchants and businessmen

Correct answer:

The clergy

Explanation:

Under the French Ancien Regime and other European feudal systems, the administrators and officials of the Catholic church, the clergy, were endowed with incredible political power and many special rights and privileges. Church officials were given disproportionate representation in many political institutions. They were also often exempt from most taxes and for a long time had a monopoly on the education system of France and other Catholic countries.

Example Question #2 : Hierarchy And Social Class

Student protests erupted in France in 1968. What were the students protesting?

Possible Answers:

The continued French military presence in Algeria

French participation in the Vietnam War

The lack of integration of minorities into French society

Rigid and antiquated teaching practices in their nation's universities

The forced integration of minorities into French society

Correct answer:

Rigid and antiquated teaching practices in their nation's universities

Explanation:

At the same time that young Americans were actively protesting against their nation's military involvement in Vietnam, young French students were protesting the strict and outdated teaching practices of university professors. Both of these movements can be seen as part of a wider social trend taking place at the time in the Western world— the growing levels of empowerment and political radicalism among young people.

Example Question #10 : Hierarchy And Social Class

During Vladimir Putin’s reign, as either President or Prime Minister of Russia, __________.

Possible Answers:

universal healthcare has been enacted

the gap between the wealthy and poor has shrunk dramatically

the gap between the wealthy and poor has widened dramatically

students have been taught in their native languages, rather than exclusively Russian as was previously the case

 

military funding has been slashed dramatically in order to fund radical educational reforms

Correct answer:

the gap between the wealthy and poor has widened dramatically

Explanation:

It was actually Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Bolsheviks and later the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, who mandated that schooling be carried out in whichever native language was familiar to the students in that part of the wide-ranging Soviet empire. During Putin’s reign the gap between the wealthy and the poor has widened dramatically. Putin has, infamously, enriched the oligarchs of Russia at the expense of the rest of society. In fairness though, we might note that the gap between the wealthy and the poor has also widened in the United States in recent years. Universal healthcare has been in place in the Russian Federation since 1996, three years before Putin took office.

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