SAT II World History : Notable Historic Figures

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #44 : Major Developments

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote The Communist Manifesto, which inspired which of the following leaders?

Possible Answers:

Leon Trotsky

Ernesto Guevara

Vladimir Lenin

All of these answers are correct

Josef Stalin

Correct answer:

All of these answers are correct

Explanation:

All of the men listed are famous leaders inspired by Engels and Marx's philosophies about socialism and communism. 

Example Question #45 : Major Developments

Which of these was not a request made by Mahatma Gandhi to the Indian people during the movement towards nationalism?

Possible Answers:

Practice non-violent cooperation 

Protect Hindu interests over Muslim interests 

Refuse to purchase British products

Stop attending government schools

Each of the other answer choices was a request made by Gandhi.

Correct answer:

Protect Hindu interests over Muslim interests 

Explanation:

Mahatma Gandhi was the spiritual and, at times, political leader of the Indian nationalist movement working towards independence from the British. Gandhi encouraged the Indian people to practice non-violent cooperation as a peaceful alternative to violent revolution. He also urged the Indian people to work together to achieve self-sufficiency and to realize their Indian identity. According to Gandhi, this could be achieved by refusing to buy British products and instead buying directly from Indians as well as by refusing to attend government schools, as these provided an English type of education. Although Gandhi was devoutly Hindu, he would never have encouraged Indians to protect Hindu interests over Muslim interests; Gandhi was primarily about peace and unity, not about creating discord. 

Example Question #46 : Major Developments

The Salt March was lead by which of the following individuals?

Possible Answers:

Pol Pot 

Jonas Silk 

Mao Zedong 

Vladimir Lenin 

Mahatma Gandhi 

Correct answer:

Mahatma Gandhi 

Explanation:

The Salt March was an important moment in the Indian movement towards independence. It was an act of civil disobedience and nonviolent protest against the British monopoly over salt in India. It was lead by Gandhi, and many historians consider this incident to be the beginning of Gandhi’s dominance of the Indian nationalist movement. Gandhi was shadowed throughout the Salt March by western reporters, something Gandhi insisted on, knowing how the pictures would affect people’s mentalities in Europe and America. The Salt March coverage catapulted Gandhi to international renown.

Example Question #1 : Notable Historic Figures

Who was the leader of the Italian unification movement in Northern Italy?

Possible Answers:

Camillo di Cavour 

Otto von Bismarck 

Francois Mitterrand 

Victor Emmanuel 

Giuseppe Garibaldi 

Correct answer:

Camillo di Cavour 

Explanation:

The two primary leaders of the Italian unification movement were Camillo di Cavour and Giuseppe Garibaldi; however, the two men differed greatly in circumstance and organizational efforts. Whereas Garibaldi was most prominent in Southern Italy and notable for his ability to work “outside of the system,” Cavour was much more significant in Northern Italy and, as Prime Minister of Piedmont, able to work effectively within the system. Cavour was the first Prime Minister of Italy.

Example Question #51 : Major Developments

Which Russian emperor emancipated the serfs?

Possible Answers:

Nicholas II

Alexander II 

Nicholas I

Alexander I

Peter the Great 

Correct answer:

Alexander II 

Explanation:

Tsar Alexander II is generally remembered as a liberalizing monarch who effected widespread social, economic, and political upheaval during his reign. He is most often remembered for his 1861 Emancipation of the Serfs Act. Prior to Alexander’s interference, the Russian economy had functioned much like a European medieval feudal system with the serf-peasantry comprable to slaves.

Example Question #2 : Notable Historic Figures

The Committee of Public Safety was lead by __________.

Possible Answers:

Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

Maximilien Robespierre 

Napoleon Bonaparte 

King Louis XVI

Charles de Gaulle   

Correct answer:

Maximilien Robespierre 

Explanation:

The Committee of Public Safety was the de facto government of Paris, and France, at the height of the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. In December of 1793, the Committee conferred formal executive power to itself and Robespierre became something of a totalitarian dictator, summarily executing any and all suspected opposition. Sadly for Robespierre, the abuses of his reign were too much for the exhausted people of Paris to endure, and he was himself deposed and executed the following year, thus ending the Reign of Terror and the Committee’s power over France.

Example Question #3 : Notable Historic Figures

Who was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974?

Possible Answers:

Lord Cornwalis 

Haile Selassie 

Roberts of Kandahar 

Bokassa I

Marcus Garvey 

Correct answer:

Haile Selassie 

Explanation:

Haile Selassie was the ruler of Ethiopia from 1916 to 1974; he first ruled as regent, then as emperor. Selassie is widely credited with preserving Ethiopia’s independence. He was also an internationally-minded leader who contributed heavily to the founding of the United Nations and ensured Ethiopia’s status as a charter member.

Example Question #54 : Major Developments

Which of these figures was not a national representative at the Congress of Vienna?

Possible Answers:

Metternich 

Castlereagh 

Talleyrand 

Louis XVIII 

Alexander I

Correct answer:

Louis XVIII 

Explanation:

The Congress of Vienna was held in 1815, immediately following the climax of the Napoleonic Wars. The Wars had ended with the defeat of Napoleon and the French Empire, and the victorious European powers sought to ensure a lasting peace in Europe as well as maintenance of the traditional forms of power (monarchy, aristocracy, and suppression of individual freedoms). The Congress was attended by the four major European powers at the time: Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Britain. The French were also invited to attend so long as they abandoned their recent republican tendencies. Russia was represented by Tsar Alexander I, Prussia by Prince Karl von Hardenberg, Austria by Foreign Minister Metternich, Britain by Foreign Secretary Castlereagh, and France by Foreign Minister Talleyrand, who was there representing newly instated King Louis XVIII.

Example Question #4 : Notable Historic Figures

In the fourteenth century, the Chinese Emperor Ming Chengzu commissioned whose voyages of exploration?

Possible Answers:

Qin Shi Huang

Tang Taizong 

Zheng He 

Song Taizu

Sun Tzu 

Correct answer:

Zheng He 

Explanation:

Zheng He was a Chinese naval commander in the fourteenth century who famously explored much of South East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa. He was for a long time forgotten in his own country, but rose to prominence in the twentieth century as is now seen as a Columbus-like figure; indeed, many historians believe it is possible that Zheng He may have arrived in the New World a full century before Europeans did, although this is primarily conjecture.

Example Question #5 : Notable Historic Figures

Thomas Malthus __________.

Possible Answers:

resisted the implementation of liberal policies in British society during the nineteenth century 

None of the other answer choices are correct.

argued for the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people as the most important aim of any government 

contested that the only true legitimacy to rule comes from an electoral mandate of the people

believed that population would outgrow the supply of food without constant warfare and famine to keep the global population down 

Correct answer:

believed that population would outgrow the supply of food without constant warfare and famine to keep the global population down 

Explanation:

Thomas Malthus was a writer and philosopher who lived in England during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He is most widely remembered for his essay titled An Essay on the Principle of Population. In this essay, he states that sooner or later the population of the earth would exceed the supply of resources needed to keep the population alive. In what is known as a "Malthusian catastrophe," he predicted that the continuing rise in population would precede a period of intense warfare and famine, which would then bring the population back to more manageable levels. His views were influential and affected the economic and sociopolitical thinking of his time.

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