SAT II World History : Notable Historic Documents

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #6 : Ethnic Identities

Nationalism, as represented in nineteenth century Europe, is best described as the belief ____________________.

Possible Answers:

that all people linked by culture, religion, or language should make up one political state

in the superiority of people from Northern Europe over ethnicities and races

in the power of democracy to create the fairest and most just form of government

that all people of the globe should be united under one form of government

that citizens of a nation are best ruled by a monarch of their own choosing

Correct answer:

that all people linked by culture, religion, or language should make up one political state

Explanation:

After the Napoleonic Wars at the start of the nineteenth century, many states were redrawn and reorganized. Additionally, the romantic and revolutionary movements of Europe in the early nineteenth century highlighted the shared histories of certain peoples. The desire for shared cultural, language, and religious heritages to be united in one state would both create modern Italy and Germany, while also spelling the destruction of multi-ethnic and multi-lingual nations like the Austro-Hungarian Empire by the end of World War I in 1918.

Example Question #1 : Notable Historic Documents

Which of the following individuals first proposed the Iron Law of Wages?

Possible Answers:

David Ricardo 

John Locke

Thomas Malthus

Jeremy Bentham 

Robert Peel 

Correct answer:

David Ricardo 

Explanation:

The Iron Law of Wages is a long-held economic theory that states that in the long run, real wages always tend towards the bare minimum necessary to keep workers working and alive. There remains some historical debate over who should be given credit for the Iron Law; for the purposes of this test, it is necessary only to know that it was proposed first by David Ricardo, who himself was working on similar, earlier theories espoused by Thomas Malthus. And, indeed, many historians claim Malthus as the original proponent of the Iron Law of Wages. As this is a somewhat controversial question, the test makers will err on the side of caution when presenting it. This means that if you see a multiple-choice question about the Iron Law of Wages, you will not see both Malthus’ and Ricardo’s names, as they could each reasonably be considered the correct answer. Malthus is, however, most commonly remembered for his theory about the unsustainable rate of population growth and his predictions about the disastrous consequences this would have for social and economic progression. Long story short: on many standardized tests, David Ricardo is associated with the “Iron Law of Wages," Thomas Malthus with An Essay on the Principle of Population, which contains many ideas similar to Ricardo’s.

Example Question #2 : Notable Historic Documents

Which book is often said to be the world’s first novel?

Possible Answers:

The Epic of Gilgamesh  

The Tale of Genji 

The Art of War 

Don Quixote 

Robinson Crusoe

Correct answer:

The Tale of Genji 

Explanation:

The Tale of Genji is a Japanese novel dating back to the eleventh century. It is generally considered to be the world’s first novel, although of course this is partially subjective as it can be hard for experts to agree on what exactly qualifies a work as a novel. For the purposes of this test, it is enough to assume that The Tale of Genji is a psychological novel and the world’s first ever. The Epic of Gilgamesh is an ancient era epic poem about the possibly mythical Sumerian king Gilgamesh. The Art of War was written by Sun Tzu and is an important military and philosophical text. Don Quixote is one of the earliest known European novels dating back to medieval Spain. Robison Crusoe is a novel published by Daniel Defoe in the eighteenth century; it is often considered to be the earliest known example of “realistic fiction.”

Example Question #3 : Notable Historic Documents

The Balfour Declaration, which promised to provide for an independent Jewish homeland, was written by the government of __________ to Baron Rothschild. 

Possible Answers:

The United Kingdom. 

The Ottoman Empire. 

The United States. 

France. 

Israel. 

Correct answer:

The United Kingdom. 

Explanation:

The Balfour Declaration, issued in 1917, was a letter written by the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary to Baron Rothschild, a leader of the British-Jewish community. It promised, amongst other things, but primarily, that the British government would provide for a Jewish homeland in the territory of Palestine. It is the official nexus of the state of Israel. However, it is important to understand that it was issued during the worst years of World War One when Britain and France were seeking support from as many groups as possible to aid their desperate, stagnant fight against the Central Powers. 

Example Question #4 : Notable Historic Documents

The Concordat of Worms could reasonably be seen as a precursor to __________________.

Possible Answers:

The Magna Carta

The Treaty of Versailles

The Nicene Creed

The Peace of Westphalia

The Edict of Restitution

Correct answer:

The Peace of Westphalia

Explanation:

The Concordat of Worms was signed in 1122 C.E. between Pope Calixtus II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry V. It brought to an end, temporarily, the struggle for authority between the papacy and the empire. It can reasonably be seen as a precursor to the Peace of Westphalia because it involved the formal recognition of the loose concept of "nation-states" for the first time. The Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War in 1648, is often seen by historians as the formal birth of the concept of "nations" and the right to national autonomy.

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