SAT II World History : Gunpowder

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Gunpowder

Gunpowder was first invented in __________.

Possible Answers:

China

the Netherlands

Arabia

India

Congo

Correct answer:

China

Explanation:

Gunpowder was invented in China during the Song Dynasty, likely in the ninth century. Existing from the ninth to the eleventh centuries, the Song Dynasty was a very innovative society; many inventions are credited to China during this time period. Gunpowder spread slowly westward and was a part of European society by the twelfth or thirteenth century.

Example Question #2 : Gunpowder

The Battle of Nagashino is considered a major turning point in the history of Japanese warfare and society because __________.

Possible Answers:

it resulted in the destruction of the Japanese imperial army by the American navy, ushering in an era of American and British dominance over Japan 

None of these answers is correct; the battle saw China repel a Japanese invasion of Manchuria 

it was the first time gunpowder was used in a battle on the Japanese mainland

it was the first time rotating volleys of gunfire were used in a Japanese battle, to devastating effect

it resulted in the end of the Samurai feudal system

Correct answer:

it was the first time rotating volleys of gunfire were used in a Japanese battle, to devastating effect

Explanation:

The Battle of Nagashino is often considered to be a turning point in Japanese social and military history. It is also often wrongly claimed to be the first time gunpowder was used in a Japanese battle. The correct answer is that it was the first battle in which rotating volleys of fire were used by an organized group of well-trained soldiers under the leadership of the infamous Oba Nobunaga. This revolutionized Japanese society because it changed the rules about who could fight a battle effectively. Suddenly the Samurai, with their lifetime of dedicated training, were less useful than a well-drilled regiment firing in a rotating fashion. The Feudal System would begin to erode as a result, at least until firearms were banned among the peasantry of Japan.

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