SAT II World History : North and South America from 500 C.E. to 1500 C.E.

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : North And South America From 500 C.E. To 1500 C.E.

All of the following were features of Mayan civilization EXCEPT which answer choice?

Possible Answers:

Settlements in the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.

The prevalence of a monotheistic religion

A diet that included corn (maize) as a staple

An economy based on agriculture

The construction of large pyramids

Correct answer:

The prevalence of a monotheistic religion

Explanation:

Part of Mayan civilization was polytheism, a religious system in which multiple gods are worshipped. Therefore, "The prevalence of a monotheistic religion" is the correct answer because it was not a feature of Mayan civilization. The other answer choices are true of Mayan civilization.

Example Question #2 : North And South America From 500 C.E. To 1500 C.E.

Pakal is the most famous ruler of which civilization? 

Possible Answers:

Shoshone

Olmec

Aztec

Sioux

Mayan

Correct answer:

Mayan

Explanation:

Pakal reigned for almost seventy years from the city of Palenque in the Mayan civilization. He is remembered as a builder of great works and a recorder of historical events.

Example Question #3 : North And South America From 500 C.E. To 1500 C.E.

Which of these factors is considered the most likely cause of the collapse of the Mayan civilization?

Possible Answers:

Weak administration

Flooding and deforestation

Foreign conquest

Diseases introduced by Europeans

Drought and agriculture failure

Correct answer:

Drought and agriculture failure

Explanation:

The collapse of the classical Mayan civilization has long been considered somewhat mysterious. It happened around the eighth or ninth century CE, so long before the arrival of the Europeans. The leading theory is that drought and agricultural failure led to a massive famine and the loss of much of the population. Once such a large proportion of the population had died, there were not enough people left to maintain the administration of the empire.

Example Question #4 : North And South America From 500 C.E. To 1500 C.E.

Which of these statements about the Aztec Empire is true?

Possible Answers:

They lacked a written language.

They were pacifist and creative.

Their capital was in the mountains of modern-day Peru.

They were defeated following Portuguese invasion.

None of the other answer choices is true.

Correct answer:

They lacked a written language.

Explanation:

The Aztec were a warring civilization who lived in what is now Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century. The Spanish quickly obliterated the Aztec Empire and massacred its people. The Aztecs were certainly not a peaceful people, and they engaged in human sacrifices for religious purposes. It is true that they did not have a written language. 

Example Question #5 : North And South America From 500 C.E. To 1500 C.E.

Cuzco was the capital of __________.

Possible Answers:

the Mayan Empire

the Congolese Empire

the Incan Empire

the Malinese Empire

the Zulu Empire

Correct answer:

the Incan Empire

Explanation:

Cuzco is a city in modern-day Peru. It was once the heart of the sprawling Andean civilization of the Incas. The famous city of Machu Pichu is very close by. The Incans were an imperial civilization who conquered and enslaved neighboring peoples, but they themselves were quickly conquered once the Spanish arrived and brought with them superior technology and disease.

Example Question #6 : North And South America From 500 C.E. To 1500 C.E.

Chichen Itza was a monument to the gods that acted as the centerpiece for a bustling city.  What pre-Colombian civilization built it?

Possible Answers:

Aztecs

Incans

Algonquin

None of these answers are correct

Mayans

Correct answer:

Mayans

Explanation:

Chichen Itza was built by the Maya people in what is known today as Yucatan, Mexico. Its exact date of establishment is unknown, but was abandoned in 1400 AD.

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