SAT II World History : Elizabethan England

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Elizabethan England

Which of these represented the greatest threat to Elizabethan England? 

Possible Answers:

Wars with Sweden and Germany

Sedition and hatred among the common people of England

The loss of colonies in the New World

The invasion of the Spanish Armada

Rebellions in Scotland and Ireland

Correct answer:

The invasion of the Spanish Armada

Explanation:

In 1588, England came perhaps the closest it has ever come to being conquered by another European power. The mighty Spanish Armada sailed for England with the hope of establishing control of the Channel Sea and landing troops in Southern England. This represented a great threat to Queen Elizabeth, who had fewer ships and fewer troops than the Spanish; however, fortunate weather and brilliant tactics by the naval defenders ensured that the complete destruction of the Spanish Armada occurred before it could wreak havoc in England.

Example Question #2 : Elizabethan England

In what year did the Spanish Armada launch its attack on England?

Possible Answers:

1688

1588

1605

1666

1611

Correct answer:

1588

Explanation:

Only one of these answer choices, the earliest one, falls within the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, so if you know enough about the Elizabethan Era you can easily determine the correct answer from that alone. 1588 was the year that the infamous Spanish Armada sailed for England to try and defeat the English navy and establish a landing base that Spain could use to conquer the British Isles. A combination of terrible weather, poor tactics, and brilliant English defensive strategy led to the complete annihilation of the Spanish Armada, an event often considered the high water mark of the Elizabethan era.

Example Question #3 : Elizabethan England

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, England was a predominantly __________ kingdom. 

Possible Answers:

Humanist

Catholic

Protestant

Feudal

Democratic

Correct answer:

Protestant

Explanation:

Although Queen Elizabeth I is often warmly regarded by historians as someone who extended rights and powers to Parliament, to call her autocratic monarchy "democratic" would be stretching the word to its very limits; however, it is impossible to dispute that her kingdom was a Protestant one. Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII, a devout Protestant, and head of the Church of England.

Example Question #4 : Elizabethan England

As Queen, Elizabeth I was also head of __________.

Possible Answers:

the Catholic Church

the Anabaptists

the Church of England

the Reformed Lutheran Church

the Jesuits

Correct answer:

the Church of England

Explanation:

As Queen of England Elizabeth I was also head of the Church of England. The Church of England was founded by King Henry VIII during the English Reformation when Henry broke away from the Catholic Church, essentially, because the church would not let Henry marry who he wanted. 

Example Question #5 : Elizabethan England

Which of these is not a reason why Elizabethan England is considered a golden era in British history? 

Possible Answers:

Political stability

Military victory

Economic prosperity

Religious toleration

Flourishing of the arts

Correct answer:

Religious toleration

Explanation:

The Elizabethan era is often considered a golden era of English history. It was a time of relative economic prosperity and political stability, particularly when compared to the time periods surrounding it. It was also a time where the arts flourished, most notably through the writings of Shakespeare. And, finally, it was a time when England achieved one of its most celebrated victories: the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. It was not a period of religious toleration; following shortly after the English Reformation, the Anglican Church was the state church and the Queen was head of the church of England. Catholics were not universally persecuted, but they were hardly tolerated.

Example Question #6 : Elizabethan England

Which of the following individuals is an English explorer who was instrumental in establishing colonies in Virginia and famously popularized tobacco in England?

Possible Answers:

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Francis Drake

Sir Edmund Hillary

Lord Baltimore

Roberts of Kandahar

Correct answer:

Sir Walter Raleigh

Explanation:

Sir Walter Raleigh was a British explorer (as well as many other things) in the Elizabethan era. He is most famous in England for introducing tobacco to the English people; however, his most notable achievement was the exploration of Virginia, which led to English colonization of the territory shortly after.

Example Question #7 : Elizabethan England

Which of these is NOT a reason why the Spanish King Philip II despised the English Queen Elizabeth I?

Possible Answers:

She was not Catholic.

She supported the Dutch Revolt against Spanish dominion.

She was a daughter of King Henry VIII.

She allowed and even encouraged piracy.

All of these were reasons.

Correct answer:

All of these were reasons.

Explanation:

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the biggest empire in the world was Spanish, and the most powerful country in Europe was Spain under the rule of King Philip II. Spain was a Catholic kingdom, and Philip was determined to convert the Kingdom of England to Catholicism. He first tried marrying the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I, who refused, knowing it would mean the loss of her power and the end of the Tudor Dynasty. So, Philip II launched an attack with the Spanish Armada. The Armada was repulsed by the English navy; this is often seen as a turning point in English and world history. Philip also despised Elizabeth because she supported the Dutch Revolt against Spanish dominion and because she allowed privateers and pirates to pillage and rob Spanish ships headed home from the New World.

Example Question #8 : Elizabethan England

The English navy employed __________ to devastating effect in the battle against the Spanish Armada.

Possible Answers:

galleons

privateers

caravels

galleys

fireboats

Correct answer:

fireboats

Explanation:

In the battle between the Spanish Armada and the English navy, the English navy was somewhat helplessly outnumbered, but they had the advantage of defending and favorable weather. They also had fireboats. The English employed fireboats to devastating effect. They would fill an unmanned ship with gunpowder and other explosives, light it, and ensure it raced towards Spanish ships. The effect of this was mass carnage, with no net loss for the English.

Example Question #9 : Elizabethan England

What was the name of the site where most of Shakespeare's plays were performed during the Elizabethan Era?

Possible Answers:

The Globe Theatre

The Anglican Court

The Majestic Theatre

The Saxon Theatre

The Royal Stage

Correct answer:

The Globe Theatre

Explanation:

The Globe Theatre was built in 1559, the second year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. It was the site of many of Shakespeare's plays and was frequented often by the Queen, as well as the common people of London. Plays were a major social and cultural event in the Elizabethan Era.

Example Question #10 : Elizabethan England

Why did Queen Elizabeth I never marry?

Possible Answers:

She wanted to retain her power as ruler of England.

She tried to marry twice, but both times the would-be suitors were assassinated by Protestant conspirators, who feared their new king would be Catholic.

She was uninterested in love or procreation.

The English people were tired of the abuses of kings and would not allow her to marry.

England, as a Protestant Kingdom, was isolated from the rest of Europe, and the Queen could find no viable suitors.

Correct answer:

She wanted to retain her power as ruler of England.

Explanation:

Queen Elizabeth I never married because she feared that her marriage would transfer power to a man; by not marrying, Elizabeth ensured the end of the Tudor Dynasty, which led to the emergence of the Stuarts. James I was the first Stuart monarch to sit on the throne. James I was also James VI of Scotland. Scotland and England remained separate kingdoms during his reign, but were under the personal control of one man. James was an advocate for unifying the two parliaments.

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