European History : Politics and Society

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for European History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Politics And Society

The temperance movement in Great Britain was based on the idea that _____________.

Possible Answers:

social welfare as the solution to many societal imbalances

sexual licentiousness was the cause of epidemic levels of sexual transmitted disease in the general population

many social ills could be traced back to widespread excessive alcohol consumption

many social ills could be traced back to an increasing tide of secularism moving over the general population

Correct answer:

many social ills could be traced back to widespread excessive alcohol consumption

Explanation:

The temperance movement spread around Britain in the nineteenth century as many religious leaders and middle-class women began to speak out against the evils of alcohol. Many women believed that alcohol was responsible for many of social ills such as the mistreatment of women, the idleness of some men, and the fact that so many young children were growing up on the streets or without a father. Despite early success of the temperance movement, prohibition movements never spread in Britain like they did in the United States.

Example Question #1 : Politics And Society

In 1914, the Russian city of St. Petersburg had its named changed to what?

Possible Answers:

Volgograd

Leningrad

Petrograd

Kaliningrad

Stalingrad

Correct answer:

Petrograd

Explanation:

St. Petersburg was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great. The name was changed in 1914 to Petrograd, again in 1924 to Leningrad, and finally in 1991 back to St. Petersburg.

Example Question #3 : Politics And Society

Which English king was tried and beheaded in 1649 following his defeat in the English Civil War?

Possible Answers:

Charles II

Henry V

James I

George II

Charles I

Correct answer:

Charles I

Explanation:

The English Civil War (1642 - 1651) was fought between the royalists and parliamentarians over the nature of English government. The royalists were led by King Charles I and the parliamentarians were led by Oliver Cromwell.

The forces of Charles I were defeated, and he was tried and found guilty of high treason. He was then beheaded in 1649.

Example Question #4 : Politics And Society

Which of the following established a constitutional monarchy in England?

Possible Answers:

The Magna Carta

The Constitution

The Articles of Confederation

The Mandate of Heaven

The Edict of Milan

Correct answer:

The Magna Carta

Explanation:

The Constitution established the American government as we now know it, so that would not be the best answer. The Articles of Confederation established the first, short-lived U.S. government, so that would not be the best answer. The Edict of Milan was the Roman decree that established tolerance for Christianity, so that would not be a good answer. The Mandate of Heaven was the idea used by Chinese historians to justify the rise and fall of dynasties, so that too would not be a good choice. Lastly, the Magna Carta established the first constitutional monarchy in England, so that would be the correct answer.

Example Question #2 : Politics And Society

What was The Renaissance?

Possible Answers:

An era of industrial growth and technological discovery that took place in the 17th century

A golden age in the culinary history of Greece

An era of rediscovery of classical art, philosophy, literature and science that took place from the 14th to 16th century

A social movement about the rights of workers that swept Europe from 1350-1450

A time of renewed interest in agriculture during the 15th and 16th centuries

Correct answer:

An era of rediscovery of classical art, philosophy, literature and science that took place from the 14th to 16th century

Explanation:

The Renaissance was a time of immense social and cultural change. For centuries, Europe had functioned under a feudal system and life was dominated by tradition and religion. The great works of the Greeks and Romans were revived, studied, and appreciated. People emulated the famous artists, studied the classic sciences, and learned about philosophy in hopes of creating a better society. It was a time that changed the way people thought about the world and themselves. Some historians consider the Renaissance as the beginning of the modern era, in part because so many things were discovered and invented such as: the heliocentric universe, the printing press, mechanical clocks, scales, oil painting, glasses for the near sighted, whiskey, bottled beer, the first submarine, the steam pump, and much more.

Example Question #6 : Politics And Society

The Renaissance was a period that lasted from 1300-1540. Which major city is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance?

Possible Answers:

Florence

Pisa

Milan

Aleppo

Rome

Correct answer:

Florence

Explanation:

Florence was founded in 59 BC by Julius Caesar, he named it Florentia which means “flourishing”. It was situated on a trade route between Rome and northern Italy and grew into a central trade center. They minted their own currency, “the Florian”, and the Medici family made the city a huge banking hub, which attracted immigrants to the city, many of whom were patrons of the many artistic masterpieces brought to life in Florence during the Renaissance.

Example Question #7 : Politics And Society

During the renaissance classical works were “rediscovered”. That could mean studying and reconsidering classic books they already had, but sometimes that meant literally searching for lost texts. Who of the following was well known for recovering lost works of antiquity?

Possible Answers:

Machiavelli

Leonardo Da Vinci

Giordiano Bruno

Petrarch

Machiavelli

Correct answer:

Petrarch

Explanation:

In 1345 Petrarch discovered the lost collection Cicero’s letters. Cicero was considered one of the greatest minds of Rome and was a very influential writer and politician who lived during the 1st century BC. This discovery of these letters is sometimes crediting for triggering the Renaissance. Petrarch was an Italian scholar and is credited as the founder of humanism. He is also said to have coined the phrase “dark ages” in referring to the century before his lifetime.

Example Question #8 : Politics And Society

In Marxist ideology, the workers whom do not own the means of production and must sell their labor power are known as the __________________.

Possible Answers:

Bourgeoisie 

Proletariat

Low-class

Untouchables

Impoverished class

Correct answer:

Proletariat

Explanation:

Karl Marx described the proletariat class as the one that, failing to own the means of production (a business or family inheritance, primarily) must sell their labor to survive. 

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