AP European History : Elite and Popular Culture

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP European History

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Elite And Popular Culture

Father Georgy Gapon is famous for __________.

Possible Answers:

encouraging the rural peasants to support Lenin during the Russian Revolution

forming the provisional government during the Russian Revolution

protecting the interests of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the devout common man, during the early years of the Soviet Union

leading a popular working class movement against the Tsar in 1905

assassinating members of the Russian royal family in 1917

Correct answer:

leading a popular working class movement against the Tsar in 1905

Explanation:

Father Georgy Gapon was a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church who enjoyed great popularity among the common people. In 1905 he led a march of hundreds of thousands of peasants and workers on the Winter Palace of the Tsar. Troops opened fire, killing many of the protestors, in an event usually called “Bloody Sunday.” Gapon was assassinated a year later in mysterious circumstances.

Example Question #12 : Elite And Popular Culture

The artistic movement Futurism, which took off among the elites of fascist Italy, emphasized all of the following except __________.

Possible Answers:

All of these were emphasized

the significance of youth

opposition to tradition

the speed of change

the violence of the industrial era

Correct answer:

All of these were emphasized

Explanation:

Futurism was an artistic movement that emerged in the early twentieth century in Italy (and to a much lesser extent in Russia and Britain). It was intertwined with elite culture and fascism within a decade. Futurism emphasized the violence of industrial life and the speed of change in early twentieth-century Europe. It also focused on the significance of youth and energy, and reflected an opposition to traditional values. Futurism's focus on a fast pace of industrial development, and its relative lack of emphasis on humanist social thinking, placed it in opposition to radical left-wing artistic and political movements of the same period.

Example Question #11 : Elite And Popular Culture

Why is popular culture generally more challenging for historians to reproduce than elite culture?

Possible Answers:

elite culture involved a greater proportion of the population

historians are more interested in elite culture.

popular culture left far fewer written records

elite culture is more closely tied to religion.

popular culture is generally uniform and unremarkable.

Correct answer:

popular culture left far fewer written records

Explanation:

Much of the history that has been written is based almost entirely on an understanding of elite culture. Only recently has popular culture been discussed as being of equal importance. The primary reason why popular culture is more challenging for historians to reproduce is that popular culture was often not recorded in writing (especially prior to the invention of the printing press) and was instead passed down orally. Elite culture was much more likely to be written down, and thus survived for centuries to be examined by historians in great detail.

Example Question #14 : Elite And Popular Culture

How was popular culture in Europe changed in the immediate aftermath of World War I?

Possible Answers:

Nationalism faded and the notion of a communal European working class began to emerge.

Educational opportunities were taken away and literacy declined for a generation.

Society became more rigid and reactionary, specifically in terms of gender politics.

None of these answers is correct; popular culture was totally unchanged by World War I.

Women's presence in the workplace became more commonly accepted, and in general social customs became less strict.

Correct answer:

Women's presence in the workplace became more commonly accepted, and in general social customs became less strict.

Explanation:

World War I brought about death, disfigurement, and permanent psychological damage to millions of young men (the “lost generation”). This would have unexpected consequences for those Europeans who survived the war. Women's roles in workplaces, which, while economically vital, had been largely ignored and restricted to specific kinds of labor previously, began to emerge (women's suffrage was passed in many European countries in 1918 and 1919), and social customs and rules became less strict. For the next decade (“the roaring twenties”), society became more open.

Example Question #13 : Elite And Popular Culture

Hitler was able to assume power in Germany by playing on all of the following except __________.

Possible Answers:

German fear of Soviet militarization

dissatisfaction with democracy and capitalism

discontent with the government of the Weimar Republic

anger at the terms of the Treaty of Versailles

a long-standing history anti-Semitism

Correct answer:

German fear of Soviet militarization

Explanation:

Adolf Hitler was by all accounts a weird and intensely dislikeable man: he was paranoid and delusional, racist and sociopathic, and unquestionably sociopathically egomaniacal. How then was he able to assume power in a democratic society (of sorts) and inspire the love and devotion of millions of common people? When trying to answer this question, historians focus on two aspects, one being Hitler’s “dark charisma,” his ability as an orator; the other explanation is contingent on understanding the Germany of Hitler’s time. The German economy was ravaged by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, and the effects of inflation and the Great Depression. This led to years of extreme financial depression, and widespread suffering for working people across Germany. The people blamed democracy, the Weimar Republic, Jewish people and other minorities, and the other major European powers. Hitler played on this anger and aroused the latent power of German nationalism. All of these answers were relevant except the fear of Soviet militarization; if anything, it was the militarization of Germany that inspired fear in the rest of Europe.

Example Question #11 : Elite And Popular Culture

Civilian deaths outnumbered military deaths for the first time in which of these European conflicts?

Possible Answers:

World War II

The Crimean War

The Seven Years’ War

World War I

The Napoleonic Wars

Correct answer:

World War II

Explanation:

For most of European history, the vast majority of deaths during wartime came either from disease or from the battlefield; civilians were only ever involved in conflict if the community they lived in was sacked or besieged. This changed in the twentieth century with the advent of “total war.” World War I brought loss of life on an unprecedented scale, and many millions of civilians died, but many millions more soldiers died in the brutal trench fighting of Western Europe, or the rampant destruction of Eastern Europe. In World War II, however, the advent of new technologies (particularly bombers) meant that for the first time in European history, the majority of casualties in a war were civilians. Cities like Dresden in Germany, Stalingrad in Russia, and London in England were bombed mercilessly by the enemy and civilians died by the millions.

Example Question #17 : Elite And Popular Culture

Legislative assemblies called __________ were formed en masse by workers, soldiers, and common people during the March Revolution in Russia.

Possible Answers:

Dumas

Cominterns 

Mensheviks

Pogroms

Soviets 

Correct answer:

Soviets 

Explanation:

The term “Soviet” originally refers to a series of localized legislative assemblies of lower-income workers and soldiers that were formed during the March Revolution. The name “Soviet Union” comes from the idea that all of these various assemblies of workers would come together to form one collective socialist Soviet Union. In some older history texts, the March Revolution is referred to as the February Revolution. The events did, in fact, mostly take place in March, 1917, and the March Revolution is now the commonly accepted name for these events.

Example Question #12 : Elite And Popular Culture

Which of these statements about popular culture in early European history is most accurate?

I. Due to low literacy rates, much of popular culture was passed down orally.

II. Religious dissent and reformation was most likely to begin with the common people.

III. The common people were less likely to embrace vernacular languages.

Possible Answers:

I, II, and III

None of the answers is correct

II only

III only

I only

Correct answer:

I only

Explanation:

Throughout early European history, religious dissent and reformation was much more likely to begin among the educated elite, or members of the clergy, than it was to begin with the common people. The reasons for this are obvious and many. The lives of many European peasants were not materially comfortable, nor stable enough, to allow them time to organize dissent. The main factor, however, was the low rates of literacy common throughout Europe in its early history. Unable to access, or to read, materials of dissent such as leaflets, political tracts, or dissenting religious texts, most people non-nobles were instead focused on subsistence and survival.  Also, the common people were far more likely to embrace the use of the vernacular in literature because the common people were already speaking in the vernacular. It is accurate to say that popular culture was passed down orally, in the form of verbal storytelling, because the vast majority of common people could not read until the last couple of centuries.

Example Question #16 : Elite And Popular Culture

Elite culture in Europe has revered __________ for several centuries.

Possible Answers:

Ancient Rome and Greece

the Papacy 

Republican values

the Vikings and the Saxons

Middle Eastern and Chinese innovations

Correct answer:

Ancient Rome and Greece

Explanation:

Elite culture in Europe, since at least the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, has revered the intellectual and philosophical traditions of Ancient Rome and Greece. The renewed appreciation for the societies of Ancient Rome and Greece in the early years of the Renaissance contributed directly to the rise of Humanism; however, it is important to note that this reverence was experienced almost exclusively by the nobility. Due to the low levels of literacy among common people throughout Europe, and the lack of public education systems, for much of European history this appreciation of Ancient writing and philosophy was largely restricted to cultural and social elites.

Example Question #17 : Elite And Popular Culture

Which of the following was the first war involving the entirety of the civilian population of Europe, and in which propaganda was used by the elites to promote self-sacrifice and civic commitment among lower-income labor forces?

Possible Answers:

The Seven Years War

The Napoleonic Wars

World War II

The Thirty Years War

World War I

Correct answer:

World War I

Explanation:

World War I is sometimes referred to as the first “total war” in European history. The phrase “total war” means a war in which the entirety of the population is mobilized to contribute to the war effort. Those who were not fighting were expected to sacrifice and work hard to keep the country going forward. During World War I, the population of Europe experienced extreme rationing of resources and lower socioeconomic classes suffered greatly from disease and malnutrition. Propaganda, in a modern sense of the word, was employed by the governments of Europe to ensure loyalty and industry among their lower-income labor forces.

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