AP European History : Historical Ideologies

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP European History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Historical Ideologies

"It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with."

The above claim is representative of which important Renaissance thinker?

Possible Answers:

Nicholas Copernicus

Leonardo da Vinci

Niccolo Machiavelli 

Lorenzo de Medici

Galileo Galilei

Correct answer:

Niccolo Machiavelli 

Explanation:

Niccolo Machiavelli's 1513 treatise The Prince described how a ruler should maintain political power. Prior to Machiavelli, political theory typically described how rulers ought to rule based on specific moral and Christian principles. In The Prince, Machiavelli instead advocates for a more realistic mode of governance not restricted by such lofty concerns.

Quotation adapted from The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (1513; trans. Mariott 1908)

Example Question #2 : Historical Ideologies

The Chartist movement in nineteenth-century Britain supported all of the following policies EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

educational requirements for members of Parliament

secret election ballots

elimination of property requirements for members of Parliament

universal male suffrage

equal parliamentary constituencies

Correct answer:

educational requirements for members of Parliament

Explanation:

The Chartist movement gained its name from the People's Charter of 1838, which was a large-scale petition effort that found particular success among the burgeoning working classes of Britain's expanding industrial cities. The Chartists fought for Parliamentary reform, as they believed that the previous century's reforms did not go far enough. The Charter contained six specific points about Parliamentary elections: universal male suffrage, a secret ballot, no property requirements for members of parliament, equal parliamentary constituencies, and annual parliamentary elections.

Example Question #3 : Historical Ideologies

“It is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.”

The above quotation can be found in the writings of __________.

Possible Answers:

Robert Owen

Benjamin Disraeli

Bertrand Russell

William Pitt the Younger

Jeremy Bentham

Correct answer:

Jeremy Bentham

Explanation:

The quotation reflects the central tenet of utilitarianism, the core philosophy of the extremely influential British thinker and social reformer Jeremy Bentham. Bentham’s philosophy holds that society, and by extension government, should work towards providing the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people possible. This is the core component of Bentham’s leading philosophy, utilitarianism. Bentham was considered a radical in his time; he advocated for, among other things, economic liberty, individualism, equal rights for women, the abolition of slavery, decriminalization of homosexuality, animal rights, and extensive social welfare.

Quotation adapted from Fragment on Government by Jeramy Bentham (1776)

 

Example Question #4 : Historical Ideologies

Marxist history is predicated on the belief that __________.

Possible Answers:

history is one constant struggle between the economic classes

the British policy of free trade is designed to ensure British supremacy over the world

history is one constant struggle between various ethnicities and nationalities

socialism can only spread around the world once the working classes and middle classes come together against the upper class

religion has played a very minor role in the development of man and that the scientific revolution was the most important event in human history

Correct answer:

history is one constant struggle between the economic classes

Explanation:

Marxist history is based on the belief that history is one constant struggle between the economic classes. Marxist history considers factors like nationality, religious affiliation, ethnicity, and so on to be secondary to the competition between the classes, particularly the competition between the producers (the working class), the consumers (the middle class), and the owners (the upper class). It is based on the writings of Karl Marx.

Example Question #5 : Historical Ideologies

Which of the following individuals is most closely associated with Social Darwinism?

Possible Answers:

Alexander Pope

Herbert Spencer

Bertrand Russell

Benjamin Disraeli

William Gladstone

Correct answer:

Herbert Spencer

Explanation:

Social Darwinism was an interpretation of the theory of natural selection that emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century. Social Darwinism essentially maintains that in human populations, just like in animal populations, natural selection is at work and only the fittest, smartest, and strongest will survive. It provided a convenient excuse for the abuses committed during the New Imperialism era, as it allowed European intellectuals to claim "natural superiority" over other races and defend their otherwise morally reprehensible actions. Of course, Social Darwinism was not universally propounded in this time period, but in the years since, it has come to be widely associated with Herbert Spencer. Spencer was one of the most famous philosophers of his time and an ardent believer in the benefits of competition.

Example Question #6 : Historical Ideologies

The French school of history known as the Annales School focuses on __________.

Possible Answers:

long-term and comprehensive analysis with a view to historical problem solving

the influential role of religion, particularly Christianity, in the direction taken by European civilization

the role of capitalism and big business in the direction of democratic governments

the rising class tensions caused by industrialization and urbanization

the detrimental effects of ethnic self-identity and nationalism to European peace and prosperity

Correct answer:

long-term and comprehensive analysis with a view to historical problem solving

Explanation:

The Annales School of historiography developed in the first half of the twentieth century in France and is widely influential to the study of history to this day. It focuses on a long-term and comprehensive analysis of historical trends, particularly social and economic history, with a view to finding simple solutions to historical conundrums.

Example Question #7 : Historical Ideologies

Eurocentrism and Orientalism have which of the following in common?

Possible Answers:

They are both primarily concerned with European military imperialism and the difficulties caused by rapid decolonization.

They have both been heavily criticized for refusing to discuss the effect of racial differences in history.

They are both predicated on Western ideas of supremacy over the Eastern world.

They are both primarily focused on understanding why European society developed so much faster than the rest of the world.

They were both developed in the nineteenth century before falling out of favor in the twentieth.

Correct answer:

They are both predicated on Western ideas of supremacy over the Eastern world.

Explanation:

These two historical theories are each predicated on the West viewing the East through the lenses of racism and supposedly inherent Western superiority. Eurocentric interpretations of history give inordinate focus to European events, traditions, and interpretations of society in a global context, and Orientalist works eroticize the East and portray it as backwards and/or exotic.

Example Question #8 : Historical Ideologies

The ideology known as Jacobitism was centered on the belief that __________.

Possible Answers:

the Irish people should no longer be under the control of the British monarchy

the male line heirs of James II were the rightful monarchs of England, Scotland, and Ireland

the return of Anglicanism to the status of official state church in England

the Scottish church should return to Roman Catholicism

the throne of Scotland should be decoupled from the throne of England

Correct answer:

the male line heirs of James II were the rightful monarchs of England, Scotland, and Ireland

Explanation:

The ideology of Jacobitism was first and foremost centered on returning the male Stuart line to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland. While this touched on issues of religion (all the Stuart pretenders were Catholic and England and Scotland were officially Protestant) and saw its greatest support in Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland, Jacobitism's only real unifying element was loyalty to the Stuart line.

Example Question #9 : Historical Ideologies

Which term describes the set of ideals that, beginning in the Early Modern period, aimed to merge political sovereignty with the person of an autocrat with unlimited power within a political realm?

Possible Answers:

Constitutionalism

Absolutism

Divine Right

Monarchy

Fascism

Correct answer:

Absolutism

Explanation:

Absolutism, as exemplified by rulers such as Louis XIV of France, was a movement toward political centralization in Europe. As trade from overseas imperial holdings and expensive, gunpowder dependent-armies grew in importance, they increasingly transferred an edge to the crown in the old feudal struggles. Absolute rulers curbed the rights and privileges granted to smaller feudal nobles, and as a result contributed to the general breakdown of local variation and the rise of nationalism within Europe.

Example Question #10 : Historical Ideologies

Romanticism, as a literary movement, was primarily driven by a(n) __________.

Possible Answers:

None of the other provided answers is correct.

affirmation of the social norms of the Western world in the mid-twentieth century

unshakeable faith in the progression of human society towards some utopian end

religious reawakening in Western Europe, particularly France

desire to return to deliberately realistic artistic expressions

Correct answer:

None of the other provided answers is correct.

Explanation:

Romanticism, as an literary movement, emerged in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It was primarily focused on celebrating human emotions and the qualities of human nature. Early Romantic poets, most notably William Wordsworth, also emphasized a return to the common speech of lower-class people, as opposed to higher-flown "poetic" or courtly language. Romanticism sought to take the emphasis away from logic and scientific inquiry, and focus instead on the natural beauty of humanity and the world.

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