AP World History : Socioeconomic Classes 1450 to 1750

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Socioeconomic Classes 1450 To 1750

The Samurai of Heian Japan were most similar in social ranking to warriors of which empire?

Possible Answers:

The Roman Empire

Medieval England

The Persian Empire

The Aztec Empire

Samurai were independent mercenaries, they did not have a defined place in society.

Correct answer:

Medieval England

Explanation:

Both Samurai warriors and British Knights held elevated positions in society. They served land-owning nobles, and could rise to political prominence through battle. They were distinctly above the peasants, and made a career of being a soldier. Note that Samurai were, by definition, warriors who served a specific noble. Ronin were masterless samurai, but were considered a fundamentally different class of person in society.

Example Question #2 : Socioeconomic Classes 1450 To 1750

Most Janissaries were __________.

Possible Answers:

traders and merchants who grew extremely wealthy under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent

kidnapped Christian boys from southern Europe

soldiers who rebelled against Ottoman authority during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent

religious leaders in the Ottoman Empire

Ottoman slaves from the Far East

Correct answer:

kidnapped Christian boys from southern Europe

Explanation:

Janissaries were soldiers in the Ottoman Empire who had been kidnapped as young Christian boys, enslaved, and forced to serve in the Ottoman armed forces. Most Janissaries came from Ottoman holdings in southern Europe.

Example Question #3 : Socioeconomic Classes 1450 To 1750

In the Spanish colonial hierarchy who were creoles?

Possible Answers:

Individuals who were born in Spain and then moved to the colonies

Individuals who had European and African ancestry

Individuals who had African and native ancestry

Individuals who had European and native ancestry

Individuals who were born in the colonies to Spanish parents

Correct answer:

Individuals who were born in the colonies to Spanish parents

Explanation:

In the Spanish colonial hierarchy creoles were individuals who were born in the colonies, but who had Spanish parents or grandparents. Creoles were considered second-class citizens and were beneath peninsulares in the social hierarchy. 

Example Question #4 : Socioeconomic Classes 1450 To 1750

In the Spanish colonial hierarchy what were mestizos?

Possible Answers:

Individuals who had European and African ancestry

Individuals who had African and native ancestry

Individuals who had European and native ancestry

Individuals who were born in the colonies to Spanish parents

Individuals who were born in Spain and then moved to the colonies

Correct answer:

Individuals who had European and native ancestry

Explanation:

The Spanish colonial hierarchy was headed by the peninsulares (settlers who were born in Spain), followed by the creoles (individuals whose parents had been born in Spain), and finally Mestizos (individuals who had European and native ancestry). Mestizos enjoyed some rights in Spanish America, but were prejudiced against by the peninsulares and the creoles.

Example Question #5 : Socioeconomic Classes 1450 To 1750

How did Japanese society react to the arrival of Christian missionaries in the sixteenth century?

Possible Answers:

The elites feared the impact of Christianity and banned missionary activity before eventually banning all contact with foreigners

The people initially resisted conversion, but, following the implementation of political reforms, eventually embraced Christianity and converted en masse

The common people embraced Christianity, but the elites viewed the new religion as dangerous and socially destabilizing

The elites were excited by the potential in Christianity for controlling the population and embraced it wholeheartedly

The elites embraced Christianity, but the common people were appalled at the erosion of their cultural traditions

Correct answer:

The elites feared the impact of Christianity and banned missionary activity before eventually banning all contact with foreigners

Explanation:

Christian missionaries began arriving in Japan for the first time in the sixteenth century and had immediate, if limited, success at converting the native population. However, the ruling government feared the mutinous impact of Christianity on the population and banned Christian missionaries from the country. The Japanese government would later ban all contact between Japanese people and foreigners, leading to centuries of Japanese isolationism.

Example Question #6 : Socioeconomic Classes 1450 To 1750

Which of these statements best describes the difference between social interaction in North American colonies compared to social interaction in South American colonies?

Possible Answers:

Europeans and natives in North America mixed often, compared to South America where social interaction between natives and Europeans was almost nonexistent

Europeans in North America directly enslaved the native population, compared to South America where interaction between native and Europeans was almost nonexistent

Europeans in South America focused on converting the native population to Christianity, compared to Europeans in North America who were primarily interested in making a profit

Europeans and natives in South America mixed often, compared to North America where social interaction between natives and Europeans was almost nonexistent

Europeans in North America focused on converting the native population to Christianity, compared to Europeans in South America who were primarily interested in making a profit

Correct answer:

Europeans and natives in South America mixed often, compared to North America where social interaction between natives and Europeans was almost nonexistent

Explanation:

In South American colonial society European settlers tended to mix much more freely with the native population than in North American colonial society. This can be evidenced by words like Mestizo and Mulatto which were used in the Spanish colonial hierarchy to denote those individuals who had been born of mixed European and native ancestry.

Example Question #7 : Socioeconomic Classes 1450 To 1750

What were Millets in the Ottoman Empire?

Possible Answers:

Islamic fundamentalist rebel groups

Interpreters of Islamic law who codified the legal system

Districts ruled by a governor who owed allegiance only to the Sultan

Protected communities of non-Muslim citizens

Christian soldiers in the Ottoman army

Correct answer:

Protected communities of non-Muslim citizens

Explanation:

Millets have a long established history in areas of the world ruled by Islamic governments. Millets pertain to the rights of non-Muslim populations living under Muslim-rule. In the Ottoman Empire Millets were protected communities designed to ensure the legal protection of non-Muslim citizens in the empire.

Example Question #8 : Socioeconomic Classes 1450 To 1750

Which of these groups was at the top of the Spanish colonial hierarchy?

Possible Answers:

Creoles

Mulattoes

Tercios

Peninsulares

Mestizos

Correct answer:

Peninsulares

Explanation:

Peninsulares were at the top of the Spanish colonial hierarchy. Peninsulares were Spanish settlers who had been born in Spain and came to settle in Spanish America. The King kept the peninsulares distinct from the creoles (those who had been born in the colonies to Spanish parents) so as to better ensure his control over the administration of the empire.

Example Question #9 : Socioeconomic Classes 1450 To 1750

Which of the following would not have been considered part of the Vaishyas caste in the Aryan caste system?

Possible Answers:

Merchant

Landowning farmer

Warrior

Moneylender

Artist

Correct answer:

Warrior

Explanation:

The Vaishyas are the third highest of the four broad groupings in the Indian caste system. Of these options, only warriors would not be included as Vaishyas. Soldiers, warriors, and secular rulers would have been in the second caste (beneath the Brahmins) known as the Kshatriya. The Vaishyas were merchants and artisans.

Example Question #10 : Socioeconomic Classes 1450 To 1750

In which part of the world was the status of women most elevated during the medieval period?

Possible Answers:

South Asia

South America

Europe

Sub-Saharan Africa

Mesoamerica

Correct answer:

Sub-Saharan Africa

Explanation:

During the medieval period, the status of women was most elevated in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Africa (outside of the Islamic north) societies were often matriarchal and would trace their lineage matrilineally. In almost every other society on Earth at this time, women were restrained and oppressed either through social custom or by law.

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