AP European History : Political Protest; Reforms; Revolution

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP European History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Political Protest; Reforms; Revolution

A key distinction between the February Revolution and the October Revolution in Russia in 1917 was __________.

Possible Answers:

the February Revolution resulted in a communist government and the October Revolution resulted in a democratic government

the February Revolution resulted in armed conflict in the streets and the October Revolution resulted in a peaceful settlement

the February Revolution resulted in a democratic government and the October Revolution resulted in a communist government

the February Revolution resulted in parliamentary monarchy and the October Revolution resulted in a democratic republic

the February Revolution resulted in the overthrow of the Tsar and the October Revolution resulted in the reinstatement of the Tsar

Correct answer:

the February Revolution resulted in a democratic government and the October Revolution resulted in a communist government

Explanation:

The 1917 Russian Revolution was really two revolutions, with the later October Revolution building on developments of the February Revolution. The February Revolution grew out of street protests against the Tsarist government's war policies and food shortages; it resulted in the overthrow of the Tsar and the creation of a provisional republican government. The October Revolution was largely organized by the Soviet socialist groups who had gained power since the overthrow of the Tsar; these groups, led by Joseph Stalin, created a centralized, communist state that would become known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the USSR).

Example Question #2 : Political Protest; Reforms; Revolution

Oliver Cromwell held what position that he also helped to establish?

Possible Answers:

Lord Protector of the Commonwealth

Prime Minister of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Governor of Ireland

King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Bishop of Glasgow

Correct answer:

Lord Protector of the Commonwealth

Explanation:

Oliver Cromwell was a fervent Puritan who served as a military commander and leader in the English Civil War that overthrew King Charles I of England. After the king was deposed and executed, England became a commonwealth that was led by the Rump Parliament, and in 1653, Cromwell was declared Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, essentially becoming a dictator with unlimited power. Upon his death in 1658, he was briefly succeeded by his son, Robert, but Robert lacked the strength of his father and the monarchy was restored in 1660 to King Charles II.

Example Question #1 : Political Protest; Reforms; Revolution

Which prison was taken by rebels in an uprising during the French Revolution?

Possible Answers:

The Bastille

Falkland Prison

The Palace of Versailles 

Windsor Castle

Fort Saint-Germain

Correct answer:

The Bastille

Explanation:

The Bastille was a military fort in Paris that was converted into a prison, primarily for political prisoners. To many ordinary people, it represented the monarchy’s unlimited power and its ability to oppress those who disagreed with the monarch. The Bastille also contained gunpowder and other weapons that the people needed to fight the royal army. This need combined with the symbolism of the prison led it to be sacked by Parisians on July 14, 1789, when the citizens captured the prison, killed the governor and soldiers, and gained weapons. This conflict is regarded as the primary start of the French Revolution, as the citizens were able to defeat the monarch’s forces and show their power.

Example Question #4 : Political Protest; Reforms; Revolution

Following the overthrow of Napoleon I, which royal family was placed into power?

Possible Answers:

The House of Aquitaine

The House of Bourbon

The House of Medici

The House of Lafayette

The House of Avignon

Correct answer:

The House of Bourbon

Explanation:

The House of Bourbon controlled the monarchy before the French Revolution, with the king and his family being executed in 1793 during the revolution. After various dysfunctional governments ruled, Napoleon took power as emperor in 1804. While in charge, he continually expanded France, much to the disdain of other European powers. In 1814, Napoleon was defeated by Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, who placed King Louis XVIII on the throne of France due to indication of some support for the monarchy. Louis enacted many of the provisions that had been initiated during the revolution and agreed to a constitutional monarchy. Napoleon attempted a comeback in 1815, forcing Louis to give up the throne, but Napoleon was permanently defeated at Waterloo on June 18, 1815. Louis was then put back on the throne, but was held up by the allies who had defeated Napoleon until Louis XVIII died in 1824.

Example Question #5 : Political Protest; Reforms; Revolution

Which Pope is credited with helping to bring about the downfall of communism?

Possible Answers:

Pope Gregory III

Pope Francis I

Pope Leo the Great

Pope John Paul II

Pope Benedict VII

Correct answer:

Pope John Paul II

Explanation:

Pope John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyla, was a Polish cardinal who became pope in 1978. At the time, the USSR still had tremendous influence and power throughout Europe, particularly Poland. Poland was in turmoil as many workers were angry at the incompetent communist government and the poor economy. The pope went back to Poland in 1979, where he spoke about how each person had rights and helped to unite and inspire the people. The Catholic church then became an active participant in the fight against communism and worked to unify workers against communist regimes. It was through the church’s influence and involvement that many people turned against communism, with Pope John Paul II leading the fight.

Example Question #6 : Political Protest; Reforms; Revolution

Why is the Revolution of 1688 referred to as "the Glorious Revolution"?

Possible Answers:

The revolution restored a Catholic monarch to the throne of Great Britain.

The revolution resulted in the establishment of a Lutheran state.

The revolution involved relatively little bloodshed during the transfer of power from the Catholic James II to the Protestants William of Orange and Mary.

The revolution helped to unite the Kingdoms of Scotland and England.

The revolution set off a wave of nationalism throughout Europe.

Correct answer:

The revolution involved relatively little bloodshed during the transfer of power from the Catholic James II to the Protestants William of Orange and Mary.

Explanation:

The Glorious Revolution came about because of dissatisfaction in England with King James II, a Catholic monarch. The king was overthrown in favor of Mary, the Protestant daughter of James II, and her husband, William of Orange (a Dutch nobleman), who assumed a joint monarchy. The name "the Glorious Revolution" is somewhat misleading due to the fact that there was fighting, but it was minimal compared to the normal conflict that usually ensued during a transition of power in England. The fact that the movement was carried out by Parliament helped to legitimize the transition and quell violence. Overall, this revolution was far more organized and less violent than previous ones.

Example Question #7 : Political Protest; Reforms; Revolution

Who brought Martin Luther to the Diet of Worms in 1521?

Possible Answers:

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor 

King Henry V of England

Cardinal Newman 

Pope Alexander III

Jan Hus

Correct answer:

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor 

Explanation:

Charles V was Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (which spanned central Europe and, most notably, Germany) and had significant influence in Europe. When Luther was summoned to appear at the Diet of Worms, he initially refused because he believed that the church would arrest him on his way there; that is what the church had done before with people who vocally opposed it. Frederick of Saxony advocated on Luther’s behalf and convinced Charles to provide Luther with an escort to the Diet under the Emperor’s flag, meaning that he would be completely safe. It was only through Charles’ protection that Luther agreed to appear before church and secular leaders.

Example Question #2 : Political Protest; Reforms; Revolution

The Reign of Terror took place during the __________.

Possible Answers:

Spanish Civil War

English Civil War

Glorious Revolution

French Revolution

War of Austrian Succession

Correct answer:

French Revolution

Explanation:

The Reign of Terror was a period of time during the French Revolution when violence and summary executions took place throughout France. The guillotine became synonymous with the Revolution, as tens of thousands of people were sent to their deaths.

Example Question #3 : Political Protest; Reforms; Revolution

1848 is significant in European history as the year of __________.

Possible Answers:

plague and famine

Napoleon’s defeat

revolution and upheaval

peace and prosperity

decolonization

Correct answer:

revolution and upheaval

Explanation:

1848 is known as the "Year of Revolutions" in European history. A series of ad hoc coalitions in several different European countries formed. They sought the overthrow of the established political order and the implementation of a more liberal and democratic system of government. The revolutions were unsuccessful, at least in the immediacy, as the reactionary forces were able to defeat the revolutions pretty much everywhere. There were lasting consequences and real concessions in some places, however. More importantly, from a progressive-narrative approach to history, the revolutions were one of the most significant movements from absolutism to republicanism in European history.

Example Question #4 : Political Protest; Reforms; Revolution

The Corn Laws were widely despised in England because they __________.

Possible Answers:

made it much harder for farmers to make a profit

threatened the survival of the Anglican church

made it nearly impossible for the poor to afford sufficient sustenance

contributed to rising unemployment during the Industrial Revolution

threatened the interests of the landed aristocracy

Correct answer:

made it nearly impossible for the poor to afford sufficient sustenance

Explanation:

The Corn Laws were introduced in England in 1815 and were immediately controversial and widely despised. The Corn Laws raised the price of importing corn and were intended to protect the interests of the landed aristocracy; however, they had the negative effect of making it very difficult for the poorest to afford enough food to feed themselves. This led to an outbreak of rioting and political unrest until the laws were repealed in 1846.

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