AP World History : Trade, Commerce, and Market Competition 600 BCE to 600 CE

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Trade, Commerce, And Market Competition 600 Bce To 600 Ce

The Roman empire maintained a network of trade relations between different regions, for example silver was often mined from Hispania and Britannia (modern day Spain and Britain) and ________________.

Possible Answers:

sent to Rome to be given to the orphans of war

sent to the Middle East to be worked into Damascus Steel

sent to silversmith workshops in Rome, Milan, and Ravenna

sold to Egyptians in exchange for grain to feed the Roman army

worked into jewelry and other precious luxury goods in Hispania and Britannia, then sent to the silver markets of Rome

Correct answer:

sent to silversmith workshops in Rome, Milan, and Ravenna

Explanation:

An imperial supply chain facilitated a sophisticated and diverse Roman economy, especially luxuries for the Roman elite like a thriving silver sector based on raw materials sourced from Britannia and Hispania but worked into ornaments and jewelry in Rome, as well as nearby cities on the Italian Peninsula, and certain special cities like Trier, which were nominally equidistant between Britannia, Hispania, and Rome.

Rome's supply chain was a classic colonial enterprise, based on raw materials sourced from the periphery, and luxury goods crafted by artisans in sophisticated workshops in the center of power; raw materials were most often not constructed into ornaments or jewelry in far flung provinces.

Although a minority of silver may have been given to Egyptian officials in exchange for grain, silver retains value whereas grain is consumed; empires are constructed in the process of expanding control by a center of power, and dumping huge amounts of precious substance like silver into Egypt would increase the power of Egypt instead of Rome itself. The Roman elite would have been careful to keep the majority of silver in their own hands.

Although certain members of the Roman elite may have cared for the orphans of war, Roman authorities wanted silver for luxury goods.

Damascus Steel was a type of metal forged in the Middle Ages, not during the time of Ancient Rome.

Example Question #2 : Trade, Commerce, And Market Competition 600 Bce To 600 Ce

The 2nd largest city in the Roman Empire, and the center of grain production, during the time of Julius Caesar was __________________.

Possible Answers:

Troy

Carthage

Alexandria

Sparta

Athens

Correct answer:

Alexandria

Explanation:

Alexandria was the political capital of Egypt at the time, and Egyptian grain, as well as Egypt's navy, were vital to Caesar's attempts at dictatorship.

Sparta was a military power during the Greek Golden Age, a period of well-documented philosophical, architectural, and artistic output.

Athens was a cultural and naval power during the Greek Golden Age, never a major producer of grain.

Carthage was a major antagonist in multiple wars against the Roman Empire.

Troy was a major proponent in the semi-historical Trojan War between the cities of Troy and a league of Hellenes led by Agammemnon.

Example Question #4 : Economic History

At the height of the reach of the Roman Empire, trading and sailing in the Mediterranean ___________.

Possible Answers:

was dangerous and terrifying, as the Mediterranean was patrolled by ruthless and powerful pirate ships

was efficient and relatively safe, due to the lack of enemies and rivals within the empire

was dangerous and inefficient, due to the technological limitations of ships at the time

was efficient and relatively safe, as the Roman navy protected trade and freedom of movement

was dangerous and uncommon, due to the relative cost of shipbuilding in the Roman world

Correct answer:

was efficient and relatively safe, as the Roman navy protected trade and freedom of movement

Explanation:

At the height of its power the Roman Empire effectively controlled the entirety of the Mediterranean. This made trading and sailing relatively efficient and safe (so long as one was a member of the Roman Empire). The Roman navy patrolled the seas and protected traders from the plundering efforts of pirates and rival civilizations.

 

Example Question #3 : Trade, Commerce, And Market Competition 600 Bce To 600 Ce

How did the knowledge of silk production reach Europe?

Possible Answers:

The Chinese gifted silkworms to the Roman Empire in a show of solidarity and friendship

The Mongols brought silkworms to the Middle East following their rapid conquest of Eurasia

Marco Polo brought silkworms back to Italy with him following his trip to China

The British and French invaded China in the nineteenth century and brought silkworms with them back to Europe

Byzantine monks smuggled silkworms back from China

Correct answer:

Byzantine monks smuggled silkworms back from China

Explanation:

Silk production had long been a Chinese state secret when a small group of Byzantine monks smuggled silkworms back from China in the sixth century. This led to the breakdown of the Chinese monopoly and the further growth of the Byzantine Empire as the wealthiest in Europe.

Example Question #4 : Trade, Commerce, And Market Competition 600 Bce To 600 Ce

The Grand Canal, completed during the Sui dynasty, linked which of the following bodies of water?

Possible Answers:

The Nile River and the Persian Gulf

The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

The Yangzi and Huang He (Yellow River)

The North China Sea and the Gulf of Liaodong

The Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea

Correct answer:

The Yangzi and Huang He (Yellow River)

Explanation:

The Grand Canal is the longest canal or artificial river in the world. It starts in Beijing and links the Yangze and the Huang He rivers. It was completed during the Sui dynasty (581-618 CE).

Example Question #5 : Trade, Commerce, And Market Competition 600 Bce To 600 Ce

Which of these statements about overland trade and transport in the classical era is incorrect?

Possible Answers:

None of these statements are incorrect.

Overland trade was cheaper than oceangoing trade.

Overland trade was possible in places without a reliable system of roads.

Overland trade was dependent on caravans of pack animals.

Overland trade was subject to more political disruption that oceangoing trade.

Correct answer:

None of these statements are incorrect.

Explanation:

All of these statements about overland trade and transport in the classical era are correct. Overland trade was typically cheaper than oceangoing trade, but it was more dangerous and much more likely to be subject to political disruption. Overland trade was primarily carried out by caravans of pack animals, like horses and camels. Although trade was more difficult in places without a reliable system of roads, it was hardly impossible.

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