SAT II World History : Historical Figures in the Age of Exploration

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #5 : Age Of Exploration And Protestant Reformation

Which of these explorers was the first European to land in Australia? 

Possible Answers:

Captain James Cook

Vasco da Gama

Sir Francis Drake

Christopher Columbus

Sir Walter Raleigh

Correct answer:

Captain James Cook

Explanation:

Captain James Cook is most famous for a series of explorations of the Southern Pacific Ocean. He was the first European to lead an expedition to mainland Australia; the first European to circumnavigate New Zealand; and the first European to land in Hawaii. He achieved this in the eighteenth century.

Example Question #6 : Age Of Exploration And Protestant Reformation

Which of these historical figures led the first expedition to successfully circumnavigate the world? 

Possible Answers:

Amerigo Vespucci

Marco Polo

Ferdinand Magellan

Captain James Cook

Prince Henry the Navigator

Correct answer:

Ferdinand Magellan

Explanation:

Ferdinand Magellan led the first expedition to successfully circumnavigate the globe from 1519 to 1522. Rather unfortunately for Magellan, he died near the end of the journey, so he is not actually the "first man to circumnavigate the world". However, he is remembered as such as he was the leader of the expedition.

Example Question #7 : Age Of Exploration And Protestant Reformation

For which of the following achievements is the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama remembered?

Possible Answers:

He was the first European to reach India by sea.

He was the first European to sail to the Americas.

He was the first European to sail to the continent of Australia.

He opened Africa up to European colonization.

He was the first European to reach Japan by sea.

Correct answer:

He was the first European to reach India by sea.

Explanation:

Vasco da Gama was a Portuguese explorer in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. He is most famous for being the first European to sail to India. He is thus credited with opening up trade between Europe and the Far East via the ocean, a trend that would propel the Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, French, and English to global prominence.

Example Question #2 : Historical Figures In The Age Of Exploration

Henry Hudson was employed by the Dutch East India Company to find __________.

Possible Answers:

evidence of a Viking settlement in the New World 

trading opportunities on the Atlantic Coast of North America 

an appropriate location for a Dutch settlement in North America

a Northern Passage through the Americas to Asia

a passage through Central America to Asia

Correct answer:

a Northern Passage through the Americas to Asia

Explanation:

Henry Hudson was employed by the Dutch East India Company to find the fabled Northwest Passage to Asia through the continent of North America. He sailed up the Hudson River (named after him) and found a passage into the heart of modern Canada, but could not proceed further because his crew mutinied. The Northwest Passage, was finally successfully completed in 1906 by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen.

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