SAT II World History : Technology in the Middle Ages

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Technology In The Middle Ages

The invention of all of the following during the Middle Ages led to an improvement in agricultural production EXCEPT for __________.

Possible Answers:

All of these revolutionized agricultural production in the Middle Ages.

tidal mills 

horseshoes 

the horse collar 

the heavy plow 

Correct answer:

All of these revolutionized agricultural production in the Middle Ages.

Explanation:

All of these inventions occurred during this time period and dramatically improved agricultural production throughout Europe. The heavy plow was able to break up denser soil and broke much less frequently, allowing for greater agricultural efficiency. The horse collar and horseshoes turned horses into extremely efficient tools for agricultural production. The tidal mill allowed communities and farmers to use the power of tides and rivers to fuel water mills and provide energy. 

Example Question #2 : Technology In The Middle Ages

How did cannons revolutionize Medieval warfare? 

Possible Answers:

They allowed armies to be more mobile and cover larger distances.

They allowed armies to defend their positions far more effectively.

They dramatically reduced the importance of standing armies and led to the rise of mercenaries.

They made castles and other defensive fortifications somewhat redundant. 

They brought about the end of the longbow and the crossbow as tools of warfare.

Correct answer:

They made castles and other defensive fortifications somewhat redundant. 

Explanation:

Prior to the invention of the cannon in the fourteenth century, the most useful weapon a lord or a king could have was a castle. Castles were built of stone and could withstand constant barrage from trebuchets and catapults provided they were sufficiently manned; however, the invention and subsequent improvement of the cannon gradually rendered castles obsolete as the additional firepower of a cannon could blast right through the stone walls of a castle. This changed not only military life, but also social, economic, and political life in Europe as the feudal system, predicated in many ways on the protection offered by the lord's castle or stronghold, became gradually obsolete.

Example Question #25 : Europe

Which of the following did not contribute to increased food production in Europe during the High Middle Ages?

Possible Answers:

Reclamation of land from swamps and forests

The seed drill

Improved plows

The collared harness for horses

Warmer climates

Correct answer:

The seed drill

Explanation:

The seed drill was not invented in Europe until the 1700s, centuries after the High Middle Ages ended. The High Middle Ages period (c. 1000-c. 1300) was partly characterized by warmer climates in Europe than in preceding or subsequent periods, and this helped encourage increased food production. Food production was also helped in this period by land reclamation, which expanded the areas of land being cultivated, as well as the collared harness (which allowed more efficient use of horses as draft animals), and improved plows (which better enabled cultivation in a wider variety of soils).

Example Question #3 : Technology In The Middle Ages

Shipbuilding innovations in the eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries allowed which group of people to explore much of the North Atlantic and settle as far as North America?

Possible Answers:

The Picts

The Vikings

The Saxons

The Jutes

The Normans

Correct answer:

The Vikings

Explanation:

The "Vikings" were a Nordic seafaring race from Scandinavia who were influential in European history from roughly the seventh century to the twelfth century. They are most notable for the innovations in shipbuilding which allowed them to travel long distances, pillage coastal communities throughout Europe, and even reach as far as North America.

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