AP US History : Work, Exchange, and Technology 1491–1607

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Work, Exchange, And Technology 1491–1607

Triangular trade

 

Which of the following statements is best supported by the information provided in the diagram above?

Possible Answers:

In search of power and profit for themselves and their nation, conquering explorers laid waste to large parts of Central and South America, disrupting long-standing civilizations

Violent conflicts occurred between European explorers and the Native Americans, whom the Europeans perceived as racially and culturally inferior

Improved economic and political stability in Europe paved the way for rapid exploration and settlement of the New World

The importation of slaves from Africa to the Americas supplied forced labor to conquering Europeans in the wake of decimation of native populations as a result of disease

One of the goals of European colonization of the Americas and subjugation of Native Populations was religious conversion

Correct answer:

The importation of slaves from Africa to the Americas supplied forced labor to conquering Europeans in the wake of decimation of native populations as a result of disease

Explanation:

Note: the diagram was created by the question writer.

While all of the statements are true, the diagram depicts the Columbian exchange, which led to the formation of the Triangular Trade network. The decimation of native populations due to introduced diseases and race-based violence from the colonizing forces led to a labor shortage, leading European explorers to import slaves from Africa. Note that the question asks which statement is best supported by the provided source, so just because an option is true does not make it the correct answer.

Example Question #2 : Work, Exchange, And Technology 1491–1607

Triangular trade

Which of the following events was most directly caused by the exchange network depicted in the diagram?

Possible Answers:

The rise of capitalism among European nations

The spread of Christianity across the Americas

The intermarriage of Spanish conquerors and native women

The development of the encomienda system

The Reformation in Europe

Correct answer:

The rise of capitalism among European nations

Explanation:

Note: the diagram was created by the question writer.

Mineral wealth in the form of gold and silver facilitated the European shift from feudalism to capitalism. While the other events did occur in the selected time period (late 15th century - 16th century), the shift towards capitalism can be the most directly tied to the Columbian exchange.

Example Question #3 : Work, Exchange, And Technology 1491–1607

In 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (published in 2011), the historian Charles H. Mann describes the effects of the Columbian exchange: the unwitting transfer of plants, animals, and microbes between the New World and the Old which transformed life on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

According to Mann, among the living things exchanged were tomatoes, potatoes, sugarcane, horses, corn, smallpox, measles, cacao, vanilla, tobacco, rice, onions, and bananas.

Which of the following was a direct, long-term effect of the European arrival in the Americas?

Possible Answers:

All of the answers are correct.

The arrival of horses changed the hunting habits of many North American tribes.

Sugarcane became a cash crop in Caribbean plantations.

Large numbers of the native population died from diseases for which they had no immunity.

Correct answer:

All of the answers are correct.

Explanation:

All of the answers are correct. Although the disease toll of the Columbian exchange is well known, the ecological effects of Europe's arrival in the Americas were no less impactful.

Example Question #4 : Work, Exchange, And Technology 1491–1607

In 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (published in 2011), the historian Charles H. Mann describes the effects of the Columbian exchange: the unwitting transfer of plants, animals, and microbes between the New World and the Old which transformed life on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

According to Mann, among the living things exchanged were tomatoes, potatoes, sugarcane, horses, corn, smallpox, measles, cacao, vanilla, tobacco, rice, onions, and bananas.

Which of the following statements best describes the goals of Europeans traveling to the New World in the 1400s and 1500s?

Possible Answers:

escaping religious persecution

establishing new settlements for European prisoners

finding new sources of wealth and spreading Christianity

expanding knowledge by discovering new territories

Correct answer:

finding new sources of wealth and spreading Christianity

Explanation:

Although eventually colonies in the New World would be settled for all these reasons, the initial motives of Columbus and other early explorers were evangelism and the pursuit of riches.

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