AP Human Geography : Major Historical Migrations

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Major Historical Migrations

All of the following were significant factors in migration to Great Britain's North American colonies from Europe EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

escape from religious persecution

serving criminal punishment

economic and financial necessity

the ability to gain large amounts of wealth

avoidance of political disruptions

Correct answer:

the ability to gain large amounts of wealth

Explanation:

Great Britain's North American Colonies saw a wide variety of people take the opportunity to settle America's Atlantic coast. Due to the wide variety of colonies and locations from which people came, the reasons for traveling to the New World ran the gamut from political and religious reasons to simple economic necessity and serving punishment in the colonies. Almost all of the colonists were middle or lower class individuals seeking a better life, rather than individuals trying to get rich quickly.

Example Question #2 : Major Historical Migrations

The Pilgrims who migrated to America aboard the Mayflower did so in order to __________.

Possible Answers:

settle and colonize lands for the French crown

take advantage of the economic opportunities in the New World

escape the environmental degradation of English farmland and find new fertile pastures

avoid religious persecution in Europe

All of the other answers are correct

Correct answer:

avoid religious persecution in Europe

Explanation:

The Pilgrims who migrated to America in the early seventeenth century did so in order to escape religious persecution in Europe. They were motivated by reasons of political repression and a desire for personal freedom.

Example Question #3 : Major Historical Migrations

The Indian Removal Act, which required hundreds of thousands of Native Americans to move west or face extermination, was passed during the Presidency of __________.

Possible Answers:

Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Jackson

George Washington

Thomas Jefferson

Herbert Hoover

Correct answer:

Andrew Jackson

Explanation:

In the early years of the American republic, white settlers and the native population clashed violently and frequently, often resulting in massacres and atrocities (more frequently, but not exclusively, committed by white settlers). In 1830, the American government passed the Indian Removal Act, which forced a large number of Native Americans (most of whom were living in the South) to migrate west of the Mississippi. The subsequent death march is referred to as the Trail of Tears. This took place during the Presidency of Andrew Jackson.

Example Question #4 : Major Historical Migrations

Aside from Brazil, what was the most common destination for enslaved Africans during the era of the Atlantic Slave Trade?

Possible Answers:

The Caribbean

English colonies in North America

Central America

Bolivia

Argentina

Correct answer:

The Caribbean

Explanation:

Brazil and the Caribbean were by far the most common destinations for enslaved Africans during the era of the Atlantic Slave Trade. This is because the climates of Brazil and the Caribbean were perfect for growing all sorts of different plantation-based cash crops like sugar, rubber, and cotton.

Example Question #5 : Major Historical Migrations

Which of these is not an example of a forced migration?

Possible Answers:

Native Americans migrating west in the early nineteenth century

Refugees fleeing civil war in Syria seeking asylum in Turkey and Lebanon

Aboriginals migrating into the interior of Australia following the arrival of Europeans

Jewish people emigrating to Israel in the 1950s

Religious dissidents emigrating to the Americas in the seventeenth century

Correct answer:

Jewish people emigrating to Israel in the 1950s

Explanation:

All of these are examples of forced migration except the emigration of Jewish people from Europe to Israel in the 1950s. You could easily claim that Jewish people migrating away from Europe in the years before the end of World War Two were forced migrations, but in the 1950s most of the migration was voluntary. The desire to be part of a shared Jewish cultural identity in Israel was the primary driving force.

Example Question #6 : Major Historical Migrations

During the era of the Atlantic Slave Trade, the most common destination for enslaved Africans was __________.

Possible Answers:

Dutch colonies in North America

English colonies in North America

The Dutch Caribbean

Brazil

French colonies in North America

Correct answer:

Brazil

Explanation:

As Americans, we tend to primarily associate the Atlantic Slave Trade with the arrival of enslaved Africans into English colonies in North America; however, this represented a relatively small proportion of the slave trade at the time. The plantations of Brazil, and to a slightly lesser extent, the Caribbean, were the most common destinations for slaves. By some estimates, more than ten million slaves arrived in Brazil during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries.

Example Question #7 : Major Historical Migrations

In the century between the end of the Civil War and the Civil Rights’ Era (1865-1965) many African-Americans migrated __________.

Possible Answers:

West, in search of personal freedom and economic opportunity

to Africa, in search of their ancestors' homelands 

to the Caribbean, in search of personal freedom and a sense of belonging

South, in search of job opportunities and a better climate

North, to industrial centers like New York and Chicago

Correct answer:

North, to industrial centers like New York and Chicago

Explanation:

During the Reconstruction era of American history and up to the Civil Rights’ Era many African-Americans migrated North, to industrial centers like New York and Chicago. They were seeking personal liberty and economic opportunity. Much of the urban ethnic makeup of contemporary America is because of this pattern of migration.

Example Question #8 : Major Historical Migrations

The declining influence of American industry, particularly in the “Rust Belt” area, caused many Americans to migrate __________ during the second half of the twentieth century.

Possible Answers:

north to Canada

south and east 

south and west

east

across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe

Correct answer:

south and west

Explanation:

For many years, industrial centers in the midwest like Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland were home to booming economies and burgeoning populations; however, as American industry began to decline as a global force in the second half of the twentieth century, there were far fewer jobs available. This led many Americans to migrate south and west in search of greater economic opportunity and better weather. The region they left behind became known as the “Rust Belt” to reflect how the heavy machinery was going to rust due to disuse.

Example Question #9 : Major Historical Migrations

The “Cotton Belt” region of the United States has recently been rebranded as the __________ to reflect the migration of many Americans from the North to the South in search of better weather and new job opportunities.

Possible Answers:

Barbecue Belt

Sun Belt

Silver Belt

Gold Belt

Bible Belt

Correct answer:

Sun Belt

Explanation:

The term “Cotton Belt” is how the South in the United States was often referred to, reflecting the region's centuries long dependence on cotton plantations for much of its wealth; however, in recent years, many Americans have been migrating from the Northeast and the Midwest to the South in search of better weather and new job opportunities. This has caused geographers to rebrand the region as the “Sun Belt.” It stretches across most of the Deep South and includes Texas and California.

Example Question #10 : Major Historical Migrations

Over the course of the twentieth century, the origin of most of the immigrants arriving in the United States has shifted from __________ to __________.

Possible Answers:

Europe . . . Africa

Asia . . . Latin America

Latin America . . . Europe

Asia . . . Africa

Europe . . . Latin America

Correct answer:

Europe . . . Latin America

Explanation:

During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, Europe accounted for by far the largest proportion of immigrants arriving in the United States; however, over the course of the twentieth century, this trend changed dramatically. Now, the majority of immigrants to the United States come from Latin America. A significant number also arrive from South and East Asia, particularly from India, China, and Korea.

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