AP World History : Socioeconomic Classes 600 CE to 1450

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Socioeconomic Classes 600 Ce To 1450

Which of the following lists, ordered from roles of greatest to least influence, most closely reflects the feudal hierarchy of Medieval Europe?

Possible Answers:

Clerics, Landowning Farmers, Merchants, Artisans, Slaves

Monarchs, Merchants, Peasants, Knights, Artisans

Nobles, Knights, Free Peasants, Priests, Merchants

Monarchs, Nobles, Knights, Free Peasants, Serfs

Republican Patricians, Merchants, Knights, Tenant Farmers

Correct answer:

Monarchs, Nobles, Knights, Free Peasants, Serfs

Explanation:

The feudal system was organized with Monarchs as the primary rulers, whose rule was supported by Nobles. These nobles then had retinues of knights who served as professional soldiers. Below knights were free peasants who were not tied to the land, unlike the lowest rank of society -indentured peasants or serfs.

Example Question #61 : Social History

Although the Japanese samurai were a social class traditionally associated with swordsmanship, originally they were ______________.

Possible Answers:

infantry pikemen

musketeers

infantry using tridents and nets

cavalry archers

naval officers

Correct answer:

cavalry archers

Explanation:

The samurai were originally cavalry archers.

Although many samurai were proficient with spears and pikes, they were originally cavalry archers.

Although there may have been some individual exceptions, the samurai were not known to ever use nets and tridents.

Eventually the samurai became proficient with firearms like muskets, but only just before their extinction as a distinct social group.

Japan did have a maritime tradition, but the samurai were never a large part of that tradition.

Example Question #62 : Social History

During the High Middle Ages, in Europe, jousting was a good way for ________________.

Possible Answers:

rulers to get rid of excess population

heavy cavalry to prove themselves in an era of increased firearms usage

young warriors to hone their skills

horse archers to prove their worth against lance bearing cavalry

poor people to become rich.

Correct answer:

young warriors to hone their skills

Explanation:

Jousting afforded young knights excellent experience, if they survived.

A tiny proportion of the European population was involved in jousting, the male, aristocratic, warrior youths.

Poor people could not afford the expensive armor needed to joust, let alone the horse and years of training.

Heavy cavalry was well proven during the High Middle Ages. Only in the late Middle Ages did heavy cavalry lose their preponderance on the battlefield, as firearms technology enabled faster, unarmored, pistol bearing cavalry to shoot the slower, heavy horses out from under their riders.

Jousting was done with a lance, never a bow.

Example Question #63 : Social History

What was the result of the new English and French restrictions and taxes upon the peasantry following the outbreak of plague? 

Possible Answers:

Moral opposition from the clergy

Popular peasant uprisings 

Further decline in the peasant population 

Mass peasant migration into cities 

Correct answer:

Popular peasant uprisings 

Explanation:

In an effort to cope with the economic instability caused by the plague, the English and French governments passed a series of restrictive laws and tax increases directed at the peasantry. In particular, France raised “tailles” or taxes specifically upon peasants, while England instituted the Statute of Laborers to prevent any wage increases and to make it as difficult as possible for any peasant to be legally permitted to leave their master’s lands. The two nations hoped that these new policies would bring increased revenue into governmental coffers and would also help preserve the crumbling social system, built upon peasant labor and exploitation, which the Black Death had badly eroded. Instead, as might be expected, these measures had quite the contrary effect – across England and France, outraged peasants, furious at what they saw as government insensitivity and worsening of their suffering, staged mass revolts.

Example Question #64 : Social History

Which social class, in both France and England, suffered the greatest deprivations during the course of the Hundred Years’ War?

Possible Answers:

The landed nobility

The clergy

The peasantry

Small landowners

Correct answer:

The peasantry

Explanation:

Although the Hundred Years’ War inflicted pain upon the entirety of both the French and English populations, in both countries, the peasantry was the most devastated of all social groups. This is largely due to the fact that prior to the war’s outbreak, the peasants were already the most vulnerable and troubled social class – their lowly status, coupled with their confinement to their masters’ lands, a lack of education, and chronic malnutrition, meant that any sufferings brought on by the war would already weaken them even further. Furthermore, the French and English governments compounded the peasants’ suffering by recruiting (either willingly or unwillingly) nearly every male of fighting age into the army – and the category of fighting age was set rather low. The national governments also raised taxes on the peasants and forced them to provide more services (such as food and raw materials) for either a reduced price or entirely for free, with the excuse of the necessity of the war effort as justification.

Example Question #65 : Social History

What name is given to the Japanese feudal code of conduct that resembles the European concept of chivalry?

Possible Answers:

Bushido

Hokkaido

Seppuku

Shogunate

Daimyo

Correct answer:

Bushido

Explanation:

The Japanese feudal code Bushido closely resembles the European concept of chivalry. Bushido means “way of the warrior” and it refers to a set of codes which define the values of Japanese samurai - stressing honor and loyalty above all other values. Both bushido and chivalry were necessary concepts to provide legitimacy to the feudal system.

Example Question #2 : Socioeconomic Classes 600 Ce To 1450

Which of these statements about merchants in the Byzantine Empire is most accurate?

Possible Answers:

Merchants were relegated to an inferior class due to the supposedly unpleasant nature of their work

Merchants were condemned due to their supposedly ungodly practices

Merchants were held in high esteem due to the importance of trade to the empire

Merchants were widely respected due to their role in protecting the port

Merchants were exiled by the extremely austere and severe Byzantine government

Correct answer:

Merchants were held in high esteem due to the importance of trade to the empire

Explanation:

Trade was vital to the power and growth of the Byzantine Empire - situated as it was at the center of the known world, between North Africa, Europe, and Asia. As a result merchants in the Byzantine Empire were held in very high esteem and many contributed to the governing of society.

Example Question #67 : Social History

The Mamluk concept of furusiyya might be compared to __________.

Possible Answers:

the Chinese concept of Mandate of Heaven

the Aboriginal concept of dreamtime

the French concept of Divine Right of Kings

the Indian concept of karma

the European concept of chivalry

Correct answer:

the European concept of chivalry

Explanation:

Furusiyya is a Mamluk code of behavior that emerged when the Mamluks served as slave-warriors for the Abbasid Caliphate and was strengthened after they gained their independence and formed the Mamluk Sultanate. Furusiyya was a code of behavior for knights and warriors and was comparable to the European concept of chivalry.

Example Question #68 : Social History

In which of these societies were merchants most esteemed during the medieval era?

Possible Answers:

Southeast Asian

Ottoman

Indian

Chinese

European

Correct answer:

European

Explanation:

The status of merchants rose in European society during the medieval era more quickly than the status of merchants elsewhere. In European society, merchants were only behind the aristocracy and knights in the social hierarchy, whereas elsewhere they might be behind civil servants, scholars, priests, artisans, or even peasants.

Example Question #69 : Social History

Which of these best describes the relationship between traditional elites and merchants during the early medieval period?

Possible Answers:

None of these answers accurately describes the relationship between elites and merchants during the early medieval period.

Elites generally viewed merchants with disgust and believed that trade should be illegal.

Elites generally viewed merchants with disdain and were reluctant to welcome them into the upper class.

Elites generally viewed merchants favorably and were eager to profit from the growth of trade.

Elites generally viewed merchants favorably and engaged in many trading ventures of their own.

Correct answer:

Elites generally viewed merchants with disdain and were reluctant to welcome them into the upper class.

Explanation:

During the early medieval period, the upper classes of societies had generally already been established. The elites in society were the landowning classes. During this period, however, the growth of trade meant that some merchants grew immensely wealthy. The elites, in the vast majority of societies, viewed merchants disdainfully and were very reluctant to welcome merchants into the upper class.

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