SAT II World History : Absolutism and Constitutionalism

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Absolutism And Constitutionalism

French participation in what conflict helped spur the French Revolution?

Possible Answers:

The Napoleonic Wars

The War of the Spanish Succession

The Thirty Years War

The American Revolution

The Peninsula War

Correct answer:

The American Revolution

Explanation:

The French King Louis XVI sought to help the American colonies revolt against Great Britain to take advantage of weakening his chief rival. Many Frenchmen, however, appreciated the notions of liberties, rights, and democracy that were being fought for in America. As a result, many French intellectuals and commoners saw the American Revolution as an example when they grew more infuriated with their monarch's power in 1789.

Example Question #2 : Absolutism And Constitutionalism

The 1815 Congress of Vienna was primarily concerned with which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Restoring the balance of power in Europe and protecting the rule of Europe's monarchies

Restoring Austro-Hungarian supremacy over Europe and encouraging the transition to Republicanism

Restoring Austro-Hungarian supremacy over Europe and protecting the rule of Europe's monarchies

Restoring the balance of power in Europe and encouraging the transition to Republicanism

Punishing Napoleon and protecting the rule of Europe's monarchies

Correct answer:

Restoring the balance of power in Europe and protecting the rule of Europe's monarchies

Explanation:

The 1815 Congress of Vienna took place in the immediate aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. Its primary concern was establishing what has come to be called "The Concert of Europe." Essentially, this means balancing the territory of all the major European nations to discourage them from engaging in warfare with one another (restoring the balance of power). Its secondary concern was ensuring the continued rule of Europe's absolute and constitutional monarchs and preventing the transition towards Republicanism.

Example Question #3 : Absolutism And Constitutionalism

In what year did the French Revolution begin? 

Possible Answers:

1789

1905

1848

1803

1815

Correct answer:

1789

Explanation:

The French Revolution began in 1789. It is widely considered one of the most important events in European history, particularly in the history of European transition from absolutism to constituional monarchy to republicanism; however, like many revolutions, it ended up consuming itself and resulting in a dictatorship.

Example Question #4 : Absolutism And Constitutionalism

Which of these Enlightenment philosophers stated that all men have a inalienable right to life, liberty, and property?

Possible Answers:

John Locke

Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Jefferson

Immanuel Kant

Rene Descartes

Correct answer:

John Locke

Explanation:

While its true that Thomas Jefferson did write in the Declaration of Independence that all men have a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," he was taking his ideas from the earlier writings of John Locke. Locke argued against governmental absolutism and firmly believed in the rights of men to govern themselves. He argued that the only legitimate form of government came from the consent of the people and that all men have a right to life, liberty, and (private) property.

Example Question #5 : Absolutism And Constitutionalism

The Congress of Vienna occurred after which major European conflict?

Possible Answers:

World War One

The Seven Years' War

The Crimean War

The Napoleonic Wars

The Franco-Prussian War

Correct answer:

The Napoleonic Wars

Explanation:

The Congress of Vienna was a meeting of various European heads of states in 1815 in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. The Congress was focused on two major issues: reordering Europe and protecting the "balance of power," and ensuring the continued legitimacy of the absolutist and constitutional monarchs of Europe.

Example Question #6 : Absolutism And Constitutionalism

In which century did Thomas Hobbes write Leviathan?

Possible Answers:

The sixteenth century

The seventeenth century

The nineteenth century

The nineth century

The eighteenth century

Correct answer:

The seventeenth century

Explanation:

The Leviathan was published in 1651 and was written by English philosopher Thomas Hobbes. In Leviathan, Hobbes argues that mankind is inherently selfish and inclined towards aggression and disorder. He purports that there exists a “state of nature” of mankind that is, primarily, the “war of all against all.” In order to prevent mankind from constantly warring with one another, Hobbes argues for an absolute monarch and a rigidly structured social order. Hobbes can be seen as the philosophical opposite of John Locke, who argued that mankind was inherently good and that absolute government corrupted those in power into serving solely their own interests. These two political philosophies have clashed ever since, particularly in Europe, and both remain deeply influential in contemporary political thought. 

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