SAT II World History : World War I

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : World War I

Whose assassination is considered the tipping point that caused the outbreak of the First World War?

Possible Answers:

Victor Emanuel III

Franz Ferdinand 

Otto von Bismarck 

Tsar Nicholas II

Queen Victoria 

Correct answer:

Franz Ferdinand 

Explanation:

The Archduke of Austria-Hungary, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated in June of 1914 by Gavrilo Princip. After his assassination the Austrian Empire implicated much of the Serbian high command and used the incident as a pretext to invade Serbia. This action disturbed the entangled alliances of Europe and lead directly to the outbreak of World War I a few months later. 

Example Question #2 : World War I

During World War One, Germany suspended its unrestricted submarine warfare ________.

Possible Answers:

because it was turning public opinion on the European continent against the German war effort

due to American pressure after German sinking of the Lusitania 

NONE of these answers are correct; Germany never suspended its unrestricted submarine warfare. 

as a result of a formal plea issued by the King of England to his German cousins

due to condemnation in the British and French press 

Correct answer:

NONE of these answers are correct; Germany never suspended its unrestricted submarine warfare. 

Explanation:

During World War One German U-boats were actively engaged in preventing the British and French from receiving reinforcements and economic assistance from America and the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The most well-known incident occurred in 1915 when a German U-boat sank an American passenger ship called the Lusitania and killed some 200 American civilians in the process. The action was widely condemned, but it never directly lead to a German suspension of its unrestricted submarine warfare. Instead its primary consequence was to help encourage American and Brazilian public opinion to turn in favor of aiding the allies in the Great War. 

Example Question #3 : World War I

All of the following were technical innovations used during World War I, except __________.

Possible Answers:

machine guns

tanks

guided missiles

airplanes

poisonous gases

Correct answer:

guided missiles

Explanation:

The technology for guided missiles developed after World War I, but everything else was a part of warfare from World War I on, and some, like the machine gun, had already been used in earlier conflicts. This was the first war that involved the use of aircraft for fighting that also saw the use of poisonous gases (like mustard gas) and tanks. 

Example Question #4 : World War I

Which of the following did not contribute to growing international tensions in the lead up to the outbreak of World War I?

Possible Answers:

The First Balkan War

The sinking of the Lusitania

All of these developments contributed to growing tensions in the lead up to the outbreak of World War I

The European Naval Arms Race

The Agadir Crisis

Correct answer:

The sinking of the Lusitania

Explanation:

The sinking of the Lusitania occurred in 1915, once the war had already started. The Agadir Crisis, a diplomatic incident between Britain and France on one side and Germany on the other over French influence in Morocco, escalated tensions between the Germany and the growing Anglo-French alliance by increasing British and French fears of German aggression. The European naval arms race of the 1890s-1910s was part of the growing rivalry and militarism among the European powers, especially Britain and Germany, that contributed to the growing tensions of the time. The Second Balkan War of 1913 (between several Balkan states and Bulgaria) increased tensions in the Balkans, a troubled region of Europe where continued ethnic tensions in this period factored into the larger European tensions of the period, and would help directly catalyze the outbreak of war in 1914.

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