European History : Political Parties; Elites; Ideologies; Mass Politics

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for European History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Political Parties; Elites; Ideologies; Mass Politics

Nicolae Ceaușescu was the Communist dictator of which European country from 1967 to 1989?

Possible Answers:

Bulgaria

Albania

Yugoslavia

Romania

Hungary

Correct answer:

Romania

Explanation:

Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Communist politician who became the head of state of Romania in 1967.

He became famous later in his rule for his extremely strict policies regarding free speech and the press and his brutality against those who held anti-government sentiments. He was overthrown in 1989 when he ordered his forces to open fire on protestors. Eight days later, both he and his wife were captured and executed by firing squad.

Example Question #2 : Political Parties; Elites; Ideologies; Mass Politics

Which European leader delivered the infamous line "We will bury you!" in a famous televised speech?

Possible Answers:

Benito Mussolini

Nicolae Ceaușescu

Nikita Khrushchev

Joseph Stalin

Winston Churchill

Correct answer:

Nikita Khrushchev

Explanation:

The phrase was uttered to western ambassadors by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev at the Polish embassy in Moscow, 1956.

It has been contended that the phrase was a mistranslation from Russian into English by Khrushchev's translator, suggesting that a more accurate translation would have been "We shall outlive you."

Example Question #3 : Political Parties; Elites; Ideologies; Mass Politics

Which political ideology views human history primarily as a struggle between economic classes and predicts that the working class will eventually revolt and overthrow the wealthy?

Possible Answers:

Totalitarianism

Republicanism

Fascism

Marxism

Calvinism

Correct answer:

Marxism

Explanation:

Karl Marx explained this ideology in The Communist Manifesto. Communism, or Marxism, describes human history as a constant struggle between the rich and poor, and predicts the eventual uprising where the working class (the proletariat) rebels and seizes control.

Totalitarianism is a political system in which the government controls every facet of society and individuals liberties are nearly non-existent.

Fascism is the brand of totalitarianism that developed in European nations such as Germany, Italy, and Spain in the 1920's and '30's, which is also characterized by intense government propaganda to create loyalty to a charismatic leader.

Calvinism is not a political ideology, but a religion. It is a form of Protestantism that differs from other Christian sects in its belief in pre-determination, the idea that one's destination in the afterlife is already determined at birth.

Republicanism is an ideology in which the government is run by representatives elected by the citizens.

Example Question #4 : Political Parties; Elites; Ideologies; Mass Politics

"All mankind... being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions."

"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains."

The above quotes are most closely associated with which movement?

Possible Answers:

The Crusades

The Protestant Reformation

The Enlightenment

The Renaissance

Mercantilism

Correct answer:

The Enlightenment

Explanation:

The two quotes (from John Locke's Second Treatise on Government (1689) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's The Social Contract (1762)) voice the Enlightenment ideal that all men are born with the same natural rights.

Example Question #5 : Political Parties; Elites; Ideologies; Mass Politics

Before the French Revolution, the First Estate referred to which of the following groups?

Possible Answers:

The press

The clergy

The aristocracy

The commoners

Correct answer:

The clergy

Explanation:

The First Estate referred to the clergy in France, so that would be the best answer. The aristocracy was the Second Estate, so that would not be the best choice. The commoners were the Third estate, so likewise that would not be the correct answer here. The free press is sometimes referred to as the Fourth Estate to signify its importance to society, but it was not officially recognized as such before the French Revolution, so that would not be the best answer.

Example Question #6 : Political Parties; Elites; Ideologies; Mass Politics

Before the French Revolution, the Second Estate referred to which group of people?

Possible Answers:

The aristocracy

The press

The commoners

The clergy

Correct answer:

The aristocracy

Explanation:

The clergy were referred to as the First Estate, so that would not be the correct answer here. The commoners were known as the Third Estate, so that too would not be a correct choice. The free press is sometimes called the Fourth Estate, however that term was not in use before the French Revolution, so that would not be the best answer here. Lastly, the aristocracy were referred to as the Second Estate, so that would be the best answer to this question.

Example Question #7 : Political Parties; Elites; Ideologies; Mass Politics

Before the French Revolution, the Third Estate referred to which group of people?

Possible Answers:

The press

The aristocracy

The clergy

The commoners

Correct answer:

The commoners

Explanation:

The free press is sometimes called the Fourth Estate but that term was not in use before the French Revolution, so that would not be the correct choice. The clergy were known as the First Estate, so that would not be the best answer here. The aristocracy were known as the Second Estate, so that is not the correct choice either. Lastly, the commoners were known as the Third Estate, so that would be the best answer.

Example Question #8 : Political Parties; Elites; Ideologies; Mass Politics

The citizen-commoners of the Roman Republic were known as which of the following?

Possible Answers:

The Second Estate

The First Estate

Plebeians

The Third Estate

Patricians

Correct answer:

Plebeians

Explanation:

The Patricians were the ruling class of the Republic, so that would not be the best answer here. The First Estate referred to the clergy in pre-Revolution France, so that would not be a good answer. The Second Estate referred to the aristocracy in France before the Revolution, so that would not be the correct choice. Similarly, the Third Estate referred to the commoners in France, so that would not be the best choice here. Lastly, Plebeians was the term given to the citizen-commoners in the Republic, so that would be the best choice for this question.

Example Question #9 : Political Parties; Elites; Ideologies; Mass Politics

Which of the following was the most powerful family during the Renaissance era?

Possible Answers:

The House of Spinosa

The House of Petrucci

The House of Medici

The House of Este 

The House of Sforza

Correct answer:

The House of Medici

Explanation:

The Medici family was an extremely powerful Italian family that controlled the largest bank in Europe during the Renaissance and helped contribute to the great artistic works of the time. Between 1430 and 1470 they spent the equivalent of 500 million dollars commissioning paintings, sculptures, city squares and buildings. Several of Lorenzo Medici’s court members would become some of the world’s most famous artists, such as Piero, Leonardo da Vinci, and Sandro Botticelli. Even Michelangelo, painter of the Sistine Chapel, lived with Lorenzo for 5 years and was a close friend of the family.

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