AP European History : Political History

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP European History

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Example Questions

Example Question #13 : Colonialism; Imperialism; Decolonization; Globalization

Why have former British colonies generally fared better than the former colonies of other European nations in the years since decolonization?

Possible Answers:

The British encouraged local people to participate and control the administration of their territories.

The British were more careful to leave the economies of former colonies in a viable condition.

The British have committed to the practice of stationing troops in former colonies to promote peace and stability.

The British have lent money, without interest, to many of their former colonies to encourage economic growth.

None of these answers are correct; former British colonies have fared no better or worse than other former colonies.

Correct answer:

The British encouraged local people to participate and control the administration of their territories.

Explanation:

It is generally accepted by many historians that former British colonies have fared better than the former colonies of other European powers. This is primarily attributed to the British commitment to encourage the local population to participate in and control the administration of their territory. This, it is said, better prepared the colonial people for self-rule following the end of European rule.

Example Question #14 : Colonialism; Imperialism; Decolonization; Globalization

Decolonization of the French Empire was marked by __________.

Possible Answers:

war between France and the rising hegemonic powers of the United States and the Soviet Union

determined resistance in French Indochina and Algeria

interference from the Americans and the British

peace and an unwillingness to encourage bloodshed

None of the other answers is correct.

Correct answer:

determined resistance in French Indochina and Algeria

Explanation:

The French did not give up their colonies without a fight in the years following World War Two. The French left Indochina in the mid-1950s following their defeat to the forces of resistance. Likewise, the French tried desperately to hold onto their territory in Algeria, but were eventually overwhelmed by the strength of nationalist resistance in the country.

Example Question #15 : Colonialism; Imperialism; Decolonization; Globalization

The Geneva Accords ___________.

Possible Answers:

reaffirmed Swiss neutrality during the early years of the Cold War

created a Jewish state in the British territory of Palestine

divided the former French colony of Vietnam into a communist North Vietnam and a capitalist South Vietnam

provided international support for French and British interference in the Suez Canal Crisis

established the Soviet Union’s control over Eastern Europe and the Far East

Correct answer:

divided the former French colony of Vietnam into a communist North Vietnam and a capitalist South Vietnam

Explanation:

The Geneva Accords divided Vietnam, formerly a part of French Indochina, into a communist North Vietnam and a capitalist South Vietnam. The intention was to prevent conflict, but as the Cold War escalated, conflict became almost inevitable. 

Example Question #41 : Political History

How did the New Imperialism of the second half of the nineteenth century differ from the style of imperialism that came before it?

Possible Answers:

European nations focused their efforts on establishing trading posts.

It was focused almost exclusively on the African continent.

All of these were differences between New and Old Imperialism.

Religion played a much more significant role.

European nations took more direct military control.

Correct answer:

European nations took more direct military control.

Explanation:

The New Imperialism of the second half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century differed from the style of imperialism that came before it in a few noticeable ways. Most significantly, in the earlier period of imperialism and overseas colonization, the European powers focused a lot of their efforts on establishing trading posts and ruling through proxy control of the local powers. The New Imperialism model was focused a lot more heavily on using military force to establish direct control over other territories. Although a lot of this New Imperialism was focused on the African continent, it was also practiced in Asia and South America. Religion played a deeply important role in both periods of European imperialism.

Example Question #17 : Colonialism; Imperialism; Decolonization; Globalization

This territory was once part of the Ottoman Empire, but was taken over by the Italians in the 1910s.

Possible Answers:

Saudi Arabia

Libya

Sudan

Ethiopia

Algeria

Correct answer:

Libya

Explanation:

Having once been a part of the Ottoman Empire, Libya was colonized by the Italians in the 1910s. The Italians would also forcibly occupy Ethiopia before their failures in the Second World War cost them their African colonies.

Example Question #18 : Colonialism; Imperialism; Decolonization; Globalization

Which of these statements about the Belgian Congo is true?

I. It was administered with profound cruelty and apathy towards the local population.

II. It provided extremely lucrative quantities of rubber for Belgium.

III. It was ruled, for a time, under the personal control of King Leopold II.

Possible Answers:

I, II, and III

II and III

II only

III only

I only

Correct answer:

I, II, and III

Explanation:

The Belgian King Leopold II wanted Belgium to be a major imperial power like many other European nations and so carved out for himself a personal fiefdom in Central Africa. The Belgian Congo was several times larger than Belgium itself and ruled under the personal control of Leopold until his manifest crimes caught up to him. The Congo provided extremely lucrative quantities of rubber as well as many other raw resources; however, it was administered with profound cruelty and apathy towards the safety and health of the local population. Some modern estimates put the number of people who died during Belgian control of the Belgian Congo in the tens of millions.

Example Question #42 : Political History

The Sepoy Mutiny occurred in __________.

Possible Answers:

British occupied China

Portuguese occupied India

British occupied India

French occupied Algeria

French occupied Indochina

Correct answer:

British occupied India

Explanation:

The Sepoy Mutiny occurred in 1857 when Hindu and Muslim troops in the army of the British East India Company revolted against their imperial masters. The causes are often debated, but popular history tends to blame British disregard for Hindu and Muslim religious customs. The Mutiny was suppressed and led to the end of the British East India Company’s control over the Indian subcontinent to be replaced by direct control of the British government. This period of Indian history is known as the British Raj.

Example Question #19 : Colonialism; Imperialism; Decolonization; Globalization

Which of the following East Asian countries was unique in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for being the only country to resist European imperialism?

Possible Answers:

Laos

Japan

China

Vietnam

India

Correct answer:

Japan

Explanation:

All of these countries came under the control of European imperialism in the nineteenth century except for Japan, which was able to maintain its independence. Japan even famously defeated the Russians in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. China was divided into spheres of European influence; India was under the direct control of the British government; and Vietnam and Laos were controlled by the French as part of the colony of French Indochina.

Example Question #43 : Political History

In 1898, the Spanish Empire was effectively ended after being defeated in war by which nation?

Possible Answers:

Russia.

Great Britain. 

Germany. 

France. 

The United States.

Correct answer:

The United States.

Explanation:

The defeat of the Spanish in the Spanish-American War (1899-1902) led to the independence of Cuba and the United States taking control over most of the remaining remnants of the once mighty Spanish Empire. The Americans took direct administration of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.

Example Question #44 : Political History

Which of the following leaders came to power during World War II?

Possible Answers:

Adolf Hitler

Benito Mussolini

William Lyon Mackenzie King

Neville Chamberlain

Winston Churchill

Correct answer:

Winston Churchill

Explanation:

All of the figures named were leaders during World War II, but of them only Winston Churchill came to power AFTER the war had started. Neville Chamberlain was the Prime Minister of Britain until 1940, at which point Churchill took over.

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