AP World History : Socioeconomic Classes 1900 to Present

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #98 : Social History

Initially, the breakup of the Soviet Union ___________.

Possible Answers:

created huge gains in quality of life for most citizens

created a class of oligarchs who were able to purchase the majority of the wealth in society for a fraction of the price

cemented a strong middle class

ended class stratification that had been the norm under socialism

had no effect on socioeconomic class

Correct answer:

created a class of oligarchs who were able to purchase the majority of the wealth in society for a fraction of the price

Explanation:

When the Soviet Union collapsed, a small number of powerful people with Western connections both understood the concept of private property better than their compatriots and had the resources to act upon their knowledge, purchasing large companies for pennies on the dollar.

For the rest of society, the fall of the Soviet Union did not have an economically positive effect; quality of life diminished for the vast majority, including the middle class.

The collapse of the Soviet Union had an enormous effect on socioeconomic class in the region; essentially the gulf between the rich and the poor became larger.

Example Question #99 : Social History

From which support base did Mao Zedong draw his greatest power?

Possible Answers:

Army 

Peasants 

Merchants 

Bankers 

Workers 

Correct answer:

Peasants 

Explanation:

Mao Zedong was the leader of the Chinese Communist Party and the founder of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Mao drew much of his support from the peasantry, something of a curiosity amongst Communist movements, as usually the greatest Communist support base is the industrial working class.

Example Question #100 : Social History

Who were the kulaks?

Possible Answers:

Officers of the Czarist Russian military who were purged by Stalin

Independent trade union leaders who were exiled to gulags by Stalin

Prosperous independent farmers in Russia who were heavily repressed during Stalin's collectivization program

High-ranking clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church who were executed in large numbers by the Bolsheviks

Supporters of Leon Trotsky who followed him into exile after Stalin's seizure of power

Correct answer:

Prosperous independent farmers in Russia who were heavily repressed during Stalin's collectivization program

Explanation:

The kulaks were independent farmers who gained some measurement of prosperity after the abolition of serfdom in Russia in 1861. As such, they were considered to be class enemies of the poor peasants by Lenin, Stalin, and other Bolsheviks.

Example Question #1 : Socioeconomic Classes 1900 To Present

According to the Indian Constitution caste-based discrimination is ________________.

Possible Answers:

illegal in government affairs, but legal in personal affairs

an unfortunate, but protected, part of Indian society

prohibited and illegal

an enshrined and necessary part of Indian society

illegal in urban areas, but legal in rural areas

Correct answer:

prohibited and illegal

Explanation:

The caste system has existed in India for thousands of years, as a means of dividing the population and establishing who has power over whom. It was once quite fluid, but a series of invading people (including the British) found it incumbent to reinforce the caste system to keep the population in line. Following Indian independence, and the framing of the constitution, discrimination on the basis of caste was made illegal. However, in India caste discrimination remains extremely common, particularly in rural areas.

Example Question #2 : Socioeconomic Classes 1900 To Present

What impact did World War I have on the Russian Revolution?

Possible Answers:

It made no difference; as the Russian Revolution took place before World War I

It made no difference; as the Russian Revolution took place after World War I

It reduced tensions in Russian society as the people united to defeat their common enemy

It increased tensions in Russian society due to German territorial conquests

It greatly exacerbated tensions in Russian society as the workers and soldiers suffered terribly during the conflict

Correct answer:

It greatly exacerbated tensions in Russian society as the workers and soldiers suffered terribly during the conflict

Explanation:

Russia suffered immensely during the First World War. Casualties on the frontline were catastrophic and Russian soldiers and workers suffered terribly. This contributed heavily to the exacerbation of class tensions in Russian society and led directly to the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917.

Example Question #3 : Socioeconomic Classes 1900 To Present

The Three Principles of the People, as outlined by Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat-Sen, focused on __________.

Possible Answers:

national defense, modernization, and militarization

imperialism, capitalism, and land reforms

nationalism, imperialism, and communism

capitalism, nationalism, and modernization

nationalism, self-determination, and social welfare

Correct answer:

nationalism, self-determination, and social welfare

Explanation:

The Three Principles of the People were developed by Chinese revolutionary leader Sun Yat-Sen. Sun Yat-Sen was the leader of the Chinese revolutionaries who overthrew the Qing Dynasty and established the Republic of China. The three principles can be loosely translated to “nationalism, self-determination, and social welfare.”

Example Question #4 : Socioeconomic Classes 1900 To Present

Which of these groups was targeted most persistently during China’s Cultural Revolution?

Possible Answers:

Religious and spiritual figures

Celebrities and entertainers

Travelers and the urban poor

Peasants and urban workers

Intellectuals and academics

Correct answer:

Intellectuals and academics

Explanation:

China’s Cultural Revolution was aimed primarily at purging China of all forces associated with capitalism or with traditional Chinese culture. This involved a concentrated and prolonged assault on Chinese intellectuals and academics - many of whom were imprisoned, tortured, or executed.

Example Question #5 : Socioeconomic Classes 1900 To Present

Which of these social groups was most angered by Stalin’s forced collectivization of farms during the first Five Year Plan?

Possible Answers:

The soldiers

The peasants

The workers

The Kulaks

The Oligarchs

Correct answer:

The Kulaks

Explanation:

The Kulaks had been Russia’s landowning peasants and the collectivization of farms essentially took away all their economic, political, and social power.

Example Question #6 : Socioeconomic Classes 1900 To Present

Which social sector of the Chinese population was crucial to Mao Zedong’s “mass line” policy?

Possible Answers:

Foreign-educated intellectuals 

Rural peasants 

Young scholars 

Married women 

Factory laborers 

Correct answer:

Rural peasants 

Explanation:

Mao Zedong, as the Chairman (aka top leader) of the Communist Party of China, dictatorially governed the nation from 1949 until 1976. A fervent believer in Chinese Communism, which he described as a mix of Marx-Lenin style communism and his own take on socialism, Mao created the operating principle for the CPC known as “mass line.” According to Mao, the CPC’s leaders and top-tier officials could only truly achieve their Party’s authentic communist goals so long as they avoided becoming tainted by the powers of their government positions. Therefore, in order to avoid such isolation, these leaders should engage in “mass line” communication with China’s most socially-inferior but most numerous social group: the rural peasantry. Only by regularly visiting, talking, and engaging in activities with these peasants, or so Mao believed, could CPC officials truly understand Chinese communism’s most important edicts and aims. Often, Mao enforced the “mass line” principle as a sort of disciplinary punishment, in which insubordinate, under-performing, or otherwise objectionable CPC leaders were forced into lengthy sojourns in the remote countryside, far away from the Party seat of power.

Example Question #7 : Socioeconomic Classes 1900 To Present

Which of the following statements about caste-based discrimination in India is most accurate?

Possible Answers:

Caste-based discrimination is mostly used to prejudice the country’s minority Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist populations.

Caste-based discrimination is no longer common anywhere in India.

Caste-based discrimination is much more common in rural areas than in urban areas.

Caste-based discrimination is much more common in urban areas than in rural areas.

Caste-based discrimination is common everywhere in India.

Correct answer:

Caste-based discrimination is much more common in rural areas than in urban areas.

Explanation:

Caste-based discrimination is illegal according to the Indian Constitution, but still prevails in many aspects of Indian society. In modern India a person is much more likely to experience caste-based discrimination in rural villages, as compared to cities which are extremely diverse.

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