SAT II World History : Major World Empires

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #25 : Major Developments

Which of the following is a factor that contributed to the collapses of both the classical empires of Rome and Han?

Possible Answers:

Invasion by the Visigoths

Increases in population

Difficulty collecting taxes

Invasion by the Huns

Decreases in population

Correct answer:

Difficulty collecting taxes

Explanation:

Difficulty in collecting taxes was a major contributing factor to the fall of both the Han and Roman empires. In the Roman Empire, wealthy land owners avoided paying taxes, and tax collectors were often driven away by the private armies of these wealthy landowners. In the Han Empire, scholar officials were not required to pay taxes, and an increase in population led to smaller family farm operations, which in turn made it more difficult for people—especially in the peasant class—to pay taxes.

While the population increase in the Han Empire contributed to its collapse, the collapse of the Roman Empire was partially attributable to population decreases caused by plagues.

Invasion by the Huns and the Visigoths took place only in the Roman Empire, not in the Han Empire.

Example Question #63 : Overarching Themes And Philosophies

In the nineteenth century, rising Balkan nationalism primarily affected the empires of __________.

Possible Answers:

Russia and Japan

Russia and Austro-Hungary

Britain and France

Russia and Britain

Russia and France

Correct answer:

Russia and Austro-Hungary

Explanation:

The Balkan region, like much of Europe and indeed the world, underwent a period of massive growth in nationalist self-identification in the nineteenth century. At the time, the Balkan region was primarily controlled by the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires, and both empires were profoundly affected by the uprising.

Example Question #64 : Overarching Themes And Philosophies

Which of these is in correct chronological order?

Possible Answers:

The death of Alexander the Great; the fall of the Soviet Union; the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre 

The death of Alexander the Great; World War One; the unification of Germany 

the Crusades; the Plague of Justinian; World War Two 

The signing of the Magna Carta; the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre; the unification of Germany 

World War One; the fall of the Soviet Union; World War Two 

Correct answer:

The signing of the Magna Carta; the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre; the unification of Germany 

Explanation:

These types of questions are designed to test whether you can contextualize various important events within the larger scope of human history. Let us tackle this problem by putting all these various events in the order they occurred. First, the death of Alexander the Great occurred in the early classical period, circa 323 BCE; the Plague of Justinian occurred in 541 CE; the Crusades took place over a few hundred years from approximately 1100 to 1400 and were primarily intended to “retake” the Holy Land of Jerusalem from Arab “invaders”; the Signing of the Magna Carta took place in 1215 and is often cited as the beginning of English democracy, although it was really a means by which the Lords and Barons gained slightly more power for themselves at the expense of the desperate King John II; the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre occurred in 1572 and was a targeted religious massacre directed against the Huguenots (French Protestants) by the Catholic population of Paris and much of France; the unification of Germany took place in 1871; World War One was waged from 1914 to 1918; World War Two was waged from 1939 to 1945; and the fall of the Soviet Union occurred in 1990.

Example Question #26 : Major Developments

Geographically speaking, what was the largest empire in the history of civilization?

Possible Answers:

British Empire

Incan Empire

Roman Empire

Umayyad Caliphate

Russian Empire

Correct answer:

British Empire

Explanation:

The British Empire is the largest empire in human history. The empire covered more than 33,700,000 km2 (13,012,000 sq mi) and comprised over 20% of the surface area of the Earth.

Example Question #66 : Overarching Themes And Philosophies

Which of these statements best describes the Pax Mongolica?

Possible Answers:

A period of relative peace, safety, and prosperity that prevailed in Eurasia following the conquests of the Mongolian Empire

A period of tumult and suffering that prevailed in Eurasia following the conquests of the Mongolian Empire

A strategy of the Mongolian army that relied on intimidation, subterfuge, and fear rather than direct military conflict

A foundation myth of the Mongolian people, similar to the American concept of Manifest Destiny, that foretold of a fated Eurasian continent unified under the rule of Mongolia

None of these

Correct answer:

A period of relative peace, safety, and prosperity that prevailed in Eurasia following the conquests of the Mongolian Empire

Explanation:

At the height of it's power in the thirteenth century the Mongolian Empire stretched all the way from eastern China to eastern Europe, down to the Middle East and northern India. At the time it was the biggest empire ever seen in world history. The term Pax Mongolica refers to the period of relative peace, security, and prosperity that prevailed following Mongolian conquest of most of Eurasia. Trade and the exchange of ideas was facilitated greatly by the uniform rule of much of the world.

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