AP Human Geography : Colonialism & Imperialism

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

Example Question #7 : Evolution Of Political Patterns

Transportation of which of the following was NOT part of the Atlantic Triangular Trade of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries between the Americas (American colonies and the Caribbean), Europe, and Africa?

Possible Answers:

Tobacco from Europe to the Americas

Molasses from the Caribbean to Europe

Slaves from Africa to the Caribbean

Rum from the American colonies to Europe

Manufactured items from Europe to Africa

Correct answer:

Tobacco from Europe to the Americas

Explanation:

The Atlantic Triangular Trade of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries featured the transportation of trinkets from Europe to Africa, slaves from Africa to the Caribbean, molasses from the Caribbean to Europe, and rum from New England to Europe. The trade did not feature the transportation of tobacco from Europe to the Americas. Rather, tobacco was transported from the Americas, particularly from the American colonies, to Europe.

Example Question #8 : Evolution Of Political Patterns

The attempt by one country to impose political control over another country is called __________.

Possible Answers:

self-determination

colonialism

sovereignty

diffusion

irredentism

Correct answer:

colonialism

Explanation:

Colonialism is when a more powerful country attempts to assert its power and influence over a weaker country. Self-determination is the process by which a country determines its own statehood and forms its own allegiances and governments. Sovereignty is the authority of a state to govern itself. Diffusion is the spreading of culture from one area to another. Irredentism refers to the belief that territory outside a given state should be made part of the state due to a large amount of people living there of the same ethnicity as live in the state in question or due to the state having historically been in possession of the territory.

Example Question #1 : Colonialism & Imperialism

The term Neo-colonialism is used to refer to __________.

Possible Answers:

None of these answers is correct.

the spread and globalization of western, particularly American, culture

the continued economic dependence of colonies on their former occupiers

the dependence of many of the world’s poorest countries on the United States of America for food and aid

the brand of aggressive, militaristic colonialism that emerged in the second-half of the nineteenth century

Correct answer:

the continued economic dependence of colonies on their former occupiers

Explanation:

The term “Neo-colonialism” has emerged in recent years to refer to the continued economic dependence of colonies on their former occupiers. The implication of the term is that, although the colonial powers no longer exert political or militaristic control over the former colonies, they are still able to control the population of these countries to variable degrees through economic and cultural processes.

Example Question #1 : Colonialism & Imperialism

France is currently by far the biggest trading partner of Algeria, this is most accurately described as __________.

Possible Answers:

Neo-Colonialism

Fragmentation

Gerrymandering

Devolution

Imperialism

Correct answer:

Neo-Colonialism

Explanation:

Algeria was once a major colony of France and was under French control until the 1960s. Despite having achieved independence half a century ago the economy of Algeria remains closely tied to the economy of France. Whilst Algeria accounts for a little over one-percent of French trade (making it relatively insignificant to France), France accounts for a quarter of Algerian trade (making it extremely significant to Algeria). This form of economic control over a former colony is known as “Neo-colonialism.”

Example Question #2 : Colonialism & Imperialism

Mercantilism is best defined as __________.

Possible Answers:

an economic theory that emphasizes favorable balance of trade and the accumulation of precious metals

a political theory that emphasizes personal liberty and autonomy, but also competition and antagonism

a political theory that emphasizes cooperation and communalism and the suppression of individuality

None of these answers is accurate.

an economic theory that emphasizes freedom from government intervention

Correct answer:

an economic theory that emphasizes favorable balance of trade and the accumulation of precious metals

Explanation:

“Mercantilism” was the prevailing economic theory during the first few centuries of European expansion and colonialism. It emphasized maintaining a favorable balance of trade and the accumulation of precious metals. In practice this meant stripping the colonies of their raw resources, bringing them back to Europe, and either storing them or using them in manufacturing. Mercantilism was eventually replaced by free-market capitalism as the dominant economic theory in Europe and much of the world.

Example Question #4 : Colonialism & Imperialism

Which of these European imperial powers is not correctly matched with an African territory it received in the Berlin Conference or conquered during the Scramble for Africa?

Possible Answers:

Germany and Tanzania

Belgium and The Congo

Italy and Libya

Great Britain and Mozambique

Portugal and Angola

Correct answer:

Great Britain and Mozambique

Explanation:

During the last few decades of the nineteenth century, and the early twentieth century, the European imperial powers carved the continent of Africa among themselves. This was done uncooperatively though the so-called “Scramble for Africa” and cooperatively with the Berlin Conference in 1884-1885. Of these countries, all are correctly labeled except Mozambique and Great Britain. Mozambique was under the control of Portugal.

Example Question #3 : Colonialism & Imperialism

The Treaty of Tordesillas primarily concerns the division of __________ between two colonial powers.

Possible Answers:

Africa

the Indian subcontinent

South America

North America

Australia

Correct answer:

South America

Explanation:

The Treaty of Tordesillas was signed between the empires of Spain and Portugal in 1494. It effectively divided the continent of South America between a Spanish-controlled empire and a Portuguese-controlled empire. This distinction remains important to this day, even since independence, because it represents a cultural and linguistic distinction. Those that fell on the Portuguese side of this arbitrary line now live in Brazil and continue to speak Portuguese; those that fell on the Spanish side live in the rest of South America and continue to speak Spanish.

Example Question #6 : Colonialism & Imperialism

Which of the following is not an issue typically associated with colonialism?

Possible Answers:

Environmental degradation

Mass migration of colonized peoples into the colonizing country

Exploitation of indigenous peoples

Introduction of diseases into "virgin" territory

Correct answer:

Mass migration of colonized peoples into the colonizing country

Explanation:

Colonialism refers to the process by which one nation exercises near complete control over another country which they have settled and taken over. Often, the governing country uses the colony for its resources, taking what is useful without regard to the original inhabitants. This often leads to mistreatment of the original inhabitants, degradation of the local environment, and introduction of previously unknown diseases.

The correct answer is the opposite of what is typically expected in colonialism. The colony is usually the recipient of colonists from the colonizing country, not the other way around. Typically, there is a mass migration of people from the colonizing country into the colony. This helps to solidify control of the colony.

Example Question #7 : Colonialism & Imperialism

Indochina, a region that now includes the modern-day countries of Vietnam and Cambodia, was ruled by which of these Empires until the decolonization period that followed World War II?

Possible Answers:

French

Portuguese

German

Dutch

British

Correct answer:

French

Explanation:

Indochina, often called French Indochina, was a colonial possession of the French Empire until the decolonization period that followed World War II. It was conquered by the Japanese during the war but returned to France following the conclusion of the war. In the 1950s, part of a wider global movement away from imperialism and political colonization, the countries that made up Indochina gained their independence.

Example Question #4 : Colonialism & Imperialism

The Berlin Conference was primarily concerned with __________.

Possible Answers:

organizing a combined western European resistance against the Ottoman and Russian Empires

preventing German attempts at achieving hegemonic control over the European continent

establishing trading ports in Japan and China for the European imperial powers

ensuring Germany would respect the territorial sovereignty of France and Belgium in western Europe and Africa

dividing the continent of Africa among the various European imperial powers without an outbreak of war between those powers

Correct answer:

dividing the continent of Africa among the various European imperial powers without an outbreak of war between those powers

Explanation:

The Berlin Conference was convened in 1884 with the intention of dividing up the continent of Africa among the various European imperial powers (Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Italy). It is one of the most significant events during the age of imperialism (circa 1870-1914).

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