AP World History : Political and Governmental Structures 1750 to 1900

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Political And Governmental Structures 1750 To 1900

Contrary to popular belief, during Japan’s sukoku period, the government had relations with foreign powers, specifically China, Korea, the Ryukyus, and the European country of __________.

Possible Answers:

Spain

France

Italy

Portugal

the Netherlands

Correct answer:

the Netherlands

Explanation:

The Japanese authorities allowed for the Dutch to have a trading post on the small island of Dejima because they did not fear the potential for Dutch colonization of Japan.

Japan had no relationship with France until after the industrial revolution.

The Portuguese and Spanish were some of the first Europeans to enter Japan in the 1600s, but the Japanese quickly expelled them when their influence was seen as corrosive and precipitating an invasion and colonization effort.

During the sukoku period, Japan had no relationship with Italy; it was only after the Meiji Restoration that Japanese-Italian relations began.

Example Question #2 : Political And Governmental Structures 1750 To 1900

Conservatives in Europe, during the nineteenth century, generally favored ___________________.

Possible Answers:

gradual change over time and the abandonment of traditional power systems

no change whatsoever and the continuation of traditional power systems

gradual change over time and the continuation of traditional power systems

none of these answers accurately reflect the mindset of conservatives in nineteenth century Europe

radical, immediate and violent upheaval of traditional power systems

Correct answer:

gradual change over time and the continuation of traditional power systems

Explanation:

In nineteenth-century Europe the political philosophies of conservatism and liberalism emerged and dominated political discourse. Conservatives favored very gradual change over time, they abhorred any challenges to the status quo and favored the preservation of traditional power systems. Liberals, on the other hand, favored radical change in a relatively short period of time and the replacement of traditional power systems. These terms are still in use today, although their meaning has changed slightly over time. 

Example Question #1 : Political And Governmental Structures 1750 To 1900

German unification was led by which of these states?

Possible Answers:

Saxony

Bavaria

Bohemia

Moravia

Prussia

Correct answer:

Prussia

Explanation:

Prussia emerged as the most powerful of the German states in the eighteenth century and only grew in power in the nineteenth century after a series of successful wars against France and Austria. It was under Prussian leadership, specifically the leadership of Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, that German unification was achieved in 1871.

Example Question #2 : Political And Governmental Structures 1750 To 1900

Which of the following is NOT an explanation for why most of Africa failed to develop strong centralized states in the pre-colonial period?

Possible Answers:

The drawing of artificial borders

Low population density

Abundant land

Wars were fought over the control of people, not land

Correct answer:

The drawing of artificial borders

Explanation:

The correct answer is the drawing of artificial borders because the question asks about the pre-colonial period and the drawing of artificial borders took place after the pre-colonial period. Abundant land, low population density, and wars fought over the control of people were all factors that contributed to the lack of centralized states in most of Africa. 

Example Question #5 : Political And Governmental Structures 1750 To 1900

Select the primary motivation that led the French monarchy to reconvene the Estates General in 1787-1788.

Possible Answers:

A financial crisis 

King Louis XVI's sudden death 

External pressures from Britain 

Mass popular protests and riots 

An attempted military coup 

Correct answer:

A financial crisis 

Explanation:

The French monarchy and government, led by King Louis XVI, was in a very difficult financial spot in the 1780s. The national treasury was basically depleted, the national debt was increasing at an alarming rate, and the government found itself unable to collect enough taxes and/or revenues to remedy the situation. To make matters worse, France’s financial crisis was not at all new – the country had been experiencing ongoing economic instability ever since the 1760s. At first, King Louis XVI and his financial advisors had attempted to stop the economy’s downward spiral but when neither the King, his advisors, nor the nobility could agree on a solution, the King (whether out of panic or confused apathy) retreated. Louis XVI secluded himself within his palace, continually fired and hired and re-hired advisors, and essentially abdicated from any attempts to resolve his nation’s financial crisis. Unsurprisingly, this approach only made the economic situation even worse and so finally, the new royal Minister of Finance, Charles Alexandre de Calonne, met with the Assembly of Notables (top-ranking clergy and aristocrats) to take matters into their own hands. But by this point, the Notables had lost all patience with the King’s tentativeness and no longer trusted him or Calonne. So, the Notables forced the King to reconvene the Estates General, an archaic legislative institution which hadn’t met at all over the last one hundred and seventy-three years! This might seem counterintuitive – why summon an essentially defunct legislative body? – but this measure speaks volumes as to the dire extent of the Notables, the King, and the entire French government’s desperation.

Example Question #6 : Political And Governmental Structures 1750 To 1900

Select the proper structural makeup of the French Estates General.

Possible Answers:

The First, Second, and Third Estates 

The Assembly of the Clergy and the Assembly of the Notables 

The National Assembly 

A unicameral "Parlement of Paris" 

The First and Second Estates 

Correct answer:

The First, Second, and Third Estates 

Explanation:

The French Estates General was comprised of three groups: the First, Second, and Third Estates (each Estate can be compared to a congressional section within a modern legislative body). Over the course of the late 1780s and early 1790s, the Third Estate would emerge as the single most influential sociopolitical force in pre-Revolutionary France.

Example Question #7 : Political And Governmental Structures 1750 To 1900

Which of the following was NOT one of the groups included in the ranks of the French Third Estate?

Possible Answers:

Clergy 

Lawyers 

Career members of the military 

Prosperous merchants 

Medical professionals 

Correct answer:

Clergy 

Explanation:

The three sections of the Estates General were structured and separated according to social class. The First Estate was entirely made up of members of the clergy, while the Second Estate was comprised of hereditary aristocrats. In theory, the Third Estate was supposed to include representatives from every other sector and class of the French population, but that was inherently impossible in a society as rigidly classist as France. Instead, the Third Estate ended up being filled by prosperous professionals (such as lawyers and doctors), mid-ranking career military men, and wealthy tradesmen, merchants, and other well-off businessmen. This was hardly a representative sample of the general French population, but nevertheless, the Third Estate more accurately strove to represent their fellow countrymen than did the self-centric members of either the First or Second Estates.

Example Question #8 : Political And Governmental Structures 1750 To 1900

Which individual and/or group tried to take control of the French Estates General before that body’s very first meeting?

Possible Answers:

The First Estate 

King Louis XVI 

The Second Estate 

The National Assembly 

The Third Estate 

Correct answer:

The Second Estate 

Explanation:

The political machinations for control over the Estates General began before that body had even had a chance to hold its first official meeting. As the King and the entire membership of the Estates General knew, the legislative body’s first order of business would have to be the establishment of an organized structural system and voting procedures. The aristocrats in the Second Estate were determined to limit the influence of the Third Estate as much as possible, because they believed that any power wielded by the Third Estate would automatically come at the expense of their own power. Accordingly, the Second Estate devised a two-part scheme to suppress the Third Estate: first, they intended to make sure that each Estate would have the exact same number of members (regardless of the respective population sizes that each Estate represented). Secondly, they began to urge that internal Estate voting procedures would be carried out on the basis of “one Estate = one vote.” Such an electoral setup would all but guarantee that the First and Second Estates could combine their two votes and overrule the Third Estate whenever they so desired. Naturally, when news of this plan leaked to the public, the Third Estate, as well as many members of the public, were livid – it appeared as though the Second Estate was already trying to subvert fair play and equitable dealings, all before the Estates General had even held its first assembly. Eventually, the public outcry became so loud that the French government was forced to take countermeasures: they passed a resolution guaranteeing that the Third Estate would include twice as many representatives as the other two Estates.

Example Question #9 : Political And Governmental Structures 1750 To 1900

In the Ottoman Empire, the establishment of the Ministry of Religious Endowments in 1826 had which of the following important effects?

Possible Answers:

Weakened the Ulama (religious scholars and authorities) relative to the state

None of these answers

Increased the Ulama's independence from the state

Strengthened the Ulama (religious scholars and authorities) relative to the state

Decreased the state's presence in religious matters

Correct answer:

Weakened the Ulama (religious scholars and authorities) relative to the state

Explanation:

The Ministry of Religious Endowments provided for the Ottoman state's takeover of the charitable organizations (including properties and assets) of religious leaders. While the Uluma remained active with the charitable organizations, their actions were now channeled through a state institution and over time the Uluma began to lose control of properties and were weakened relative to the state.

Example Question #10 : Political And Governmental Structures 1750 To 1900

The Sultans Selim III and Mahmoud II introduced all of the following modernizing reforms in the Ottoman Empire, except for:

Possible Answers:

Reform of the military

Reform of state financial system

None of these answers

Reform of the bureaucracy

Reform of education

Correct answer:

Reform of state financial system

Explanation:

Despite introducing many modernizing reforms by the early 19th century, the state financial system still relied heavily on borrowing from European financial institutions and during this time incurred a large amount of debt to finance other projects. 

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