AP Human Geography : Devolution of Countries: Centripetal & Centrifugal Forces

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Devolution Of Countries: Centripetal & Centrifugal Forces

An example of a centripetal force in politics is __________.

Possible Answers:

a terrorist attack on a major city

partisan political debates that upset balances of power

one region of a country getting preferential treatment over another

a paramilitary group specifically targeting an ethnic minority

religious divisions among major regions

Correct answer:

a terrorist attack on a major city

Explanation:

A centripetal force in politics is any action that unites the people of a nation as one singular political unit. Events that create division or push people in a nation away from each other is known as a centrifugal force. A classic example of a centripetal force is any kind of attack on a nation, as it usually serves to create a mentality that the entire country was attacked.

Example Question #2 : Devolution Of Countries: Centripetal & Centrifugal Forces

Which of the following is a forward capital?

Possible Answers:

Brasilia, Brazil

Berlin, Germany

Beijing, China

Cairo, Egypt

London, United Kingdom

Correct answer:

Brasilia, Brazil

Explanation:

A forward capital is a symbolically relocated capital city, usually because of either economic or strategic reasons. The former capital of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, was located on the coast, and the residents of the interior felt distant from the government. The Brazilian government built a new capital, Brasilia, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest to try to unite the country. All the other capitals were not made capitals for this reason.

Example Question #2 : Devolution Of Countries: Centripetal & Centrifugal Forces

Nationalistic forces that tend to bind a country together are called __________.

Possible Answers:

centrifugal

devolutions

exclaves

centripetal

frontiers

Correct answer:

centripetal

Explanation:

Nationalistic forces that bind a country together are called “centripetal forces.” Common examples of “centripetal forces” include a shared sense of common history, a shared language, reliable national institutions, and government legitimacy. The opposite of “centripetal forces” are “centrifugal forces,” which divide a country.

Example Question #2 : Devolution Of Countries: Centripetal & Centrifugal Forces

The term “Balkanization” refers to __________.

Possible Answers:

The co-operative unification of smaller countries into a larger state

The deliberate creation of a buffer state to prevent two powerful states from attacking one another

The restructuring of state boundaries to reflect the nationalities of various regions

The hostile fragmentation of a large state into several smaller countries

The process of forming an international alliance by renouncing certain elements of sovereignty

Correct answer:

The hostile fragmentation of a large state into several smaller countries

Explanation:

The term “Balkanization” comes from the Balkans region of Southeastern Europe. For many hundreds of years, the Balkans have been home to a large number of disparate and often hostile nationalities, usually governed under the administration of one empire (Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, Yugoslavian). In the 1990s, this all disintegrated as each nationality sought its own state and control over the other nationalities. The term “Balkanization” has come to mean the hostile fragmentation of a large state into several smaller countries. Although it does not technically have to be wholly hostile, it generally is.

Example Question #3 : Devolution Of Countries: Centripetal & Centrifugal Forces

Centrifugal forces tend to __________.

Possible Answers:

fall apart when faced with any form of uncertainty or animosity

provide protection for a smaller country that feels threatened by a much larger country

pull a country apart from the inside

bind a country together with a shared sense of identity

aid the ambitions of empire-builders

Correct answer:

pull a country apart from the inside

Explanation:

“Centrifugal forces” are forces within a country that work to pull that country apart. They are more common in larger states, particularly states that contain a large number of different nationalities competing for control and/or self-determination.

Example Question #4 : Devolution Of Countries: Centripetal & Centrifugal Forces

Pakistan recently moved its capital from Karachi, in the South, to Islamabad in order to encourage growth in the country and in the region around Islamabad in particular. Islamabad is therefore a __________.

Possible Answers:

enclave

rezoned metropolis

forward-thrust capital

satellite state

exclave

Correct answer:

forward-thrust capital

Explanation:

A “forward-thrust capital” is a capital that is deliberately located, or relocated, to a specific region within a country. Islamabad in Pakistan and Brasilia in Brazil are the two most notable examples of “forward-thrust capitals."

Example Question #4 : Devolution Of Countries: Centripetal & Centrifugal Forces

Brazil moved its capital from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia in order to __________.

Possible Answers:

meet the environmental obligations of the United Nations

further centralize the country and reduce Brazil’s dependence on the Amazon River Basin

encourage economic growth in other regions of the country

isolate the Brazilian government from attacks from the governments of Argentina and Paraguay

take advantage of the rich mining opportunities in the region surrounding Brasilia

Correct answer:

encourage economic growth in other regions of the country

Explanation:

For much of Brazil’s history, its economic development has been largely concentrated in the coastal regions, and more specifically in the southeastern coastal region where Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, and other wealthy Brazilian cities are located. In an effort to accelerate the growth of the interior of the country, and to further unify the disparate regions of the vast Brazilian territory, the government moved the capital from Rio to Brasilia in 1960.

Example Question #4 : Devolution Of Countries: Centripetal & Centrifugal Forces

Which of the following Canadian provinces routinely seeks self-determination and independence?

Possible Answers:

New Brunswick

Newfoundland

Ontario

Quebec

Nova Scotia

Correct answer:

Quebec

Explanation:

Quebec is the French-speaking province of Canada that contains the important cities of Montreal and Quebec City. Due to its status as a majority French-speaking province within an English-speaking state Quebec has many distinct cultural features that distinguish it from the rest of Canada. Quebec routinely seeks self-determination through referendums and political movements. After a very slim referendum victory in 1998, support for the separatist Bloc Quebecois has slipped, as has that party's power in the national parliament.

Example Question #3 : Devolution Of Countries: Centripetal & Centrifugal Forces

Which of the following is not a centripetal force?

Possible Answers:

Common language

Nationalism

Shared culture

Mountain range that cuts across the country

Correct answer:

Mountain range that cuts across the country

Explanation:

Centripetal forces pull a country together- like a common language, shared culture, or spirit of nationalism do. Centrifugal forces pull a country apart- often ethnic or ideological differences, but geographic features like mountain ranges as well, since they physically divide people within the country and can make communication difficult.

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