AP European History : Political History

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP European History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Political Parties; Elites; Ideologies; Mass Politics

"Capitalism has triumphed all over the world, but this triumph is only the prelude to the triumph of labour over capital."

The above quotation is most likely to have been said by an adherent of which major ideology?

Possible Answers:

Conservatism

Liberalism

Fascism

Anarchism

Communism

Correct answer:

Communism

Explanation:

The above quotation, excerpted from V.I. Lenin's The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism (1913), expresses the communist idea that the world's workers must eventually triumph over the capitalists who exploit their labor for personal gain.

Example Question #71 : Political History

Which British monarch abdicated the throne in 1936?

Possible Answers:

George VI 

Oliver Cromwell

George V 

Richard IV

Edward VIII

Correct answer:

Edward VIII

Explanation:

Edward VIII became King of the United Kingdom on January 20, 1936, following the death of his father, George V. After becoming the sovereign he began to dislike some of the aspects of court and eventually proposed to Wallis Simpson, a divorced American. This caused a crisis, as the monarch of the United Kingdom cannot be married to someone who has been divorced. The monarch is the head of the Church of England and so being married to a divorcée would have been very problematic and would have caused a lot of turmoil within Parliament. Edward decided to abdicate rather than try to continue as a monarch who had upset the Parliament and the people. Edward was succeeded by his brother, George VI, and was later created the Duke of Windsor.

Example Question #72 : Political History

Which of the following was not a mechanism employed by Mussolini's Fascist state to keep the Italian people from revolting against the government?

Possible Answers:

Recasting the Italian state as the descendant of the Roman Empire in an effort to glorify the Fascist regime

Using a brutal secret police force to bully any potential political enemies

Distributing racial propaganda

Giving the Italian people the right to vote for parliamentary representatives

Creating leisure organizations that took ordinary Italians to picnics and sporting events in order to keep their minds off of politics

Correct answer:

Giving the Italian people the right to vote for parliamentary representatives

Explanation:

Mussolini's Fascist government used many methods to subdue the Italian population including the establishment of leisure organizations, propaganda about race and the return to the glory of the Roman Empire, and a violent secret police force. The state did not give the people the right to vote for government representatives.

Example Question #71 : Political History

What type of government is most associated with a monarchical leader? 

Possible Answers:

Absolutism

Republicanism

Oligarchy

Anarchy

Correct answer:

Absolutism

Explanation:

Monarchs are most associated with absolutism. This is because monarchs often claimed the divine right of kings in order to justify and maintain absolute power over the nation they ruled. The underlying logic of the divine right to rule lends itself to an absolutist approach to leadership, as opposed to, say, a republic, which is not based on an absolute divine right but on communal human principles. Oligarchs are not monarchs, and anarchy is, by definition, the state of having no government or ruler.

Example Question #72 : Political History

What is "Divine Right?"

Possible Answers:

The right of religious freedom as agreed to after the Thirty Years War

The right of a ruler to select the religion that their subjects had to follow

The belief that a monarch had absolute power because God chose them to rule

The right of the church to rule over the world

Correct answer:

The belief that a monarch had absolute power because God chose them to rule

Explanation:

Monarchs argued that they had the right to absolute power because God had determined that they should be the ruler, as evidenced by their birth into the royal family. Divine right held, basically, that monarchs represented God's will on earth.

Example Question #73 : Political History

Due to the stress of ruling a large empire King Charles V decided to abdicate the throne of the Spanish Empire in 1556. Before he did so he made a momentous decision, what was it?

Possible Answers:

He disbanded the Holy Roman Empire

He created a parliament, thus putting Spain on course to be a democracy.

He divided the Spanish Empire in two, the Spanish and Austrian Hapsburgs.

He granted independence to the Netherlands

Correct answer:

He divided the Spanish Empire in two, the Spanish and Austrian Hapsburgs.

Explanation:

Charles thought the Hapsburg empire had become too large given its possession of Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, the Holy Roman Empire, and colonies around the world. He decided it would be better to split the empire in two. His brother Ferdinand becoming the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Austria, and his son Philip Becoming King of Spain.

Example Question #74 : Political History

What leader did the Parliamentarians place in charge of England following the English Civil War's conclusion?

Possible Answers:

Oliver Cromwell

Robert Devereux (3rd Earl of Essex)

Thomas Fairfax

Edward Montagu (2nd Earl of Manchester)

Correct answer:

Oliver Cromwell

Explanation:

Oliver Cromwell rose to the position of Lord Protector following the declaration of a Commonwealth, and was tasked with suppressing the revolts of Ireland and Scotland against the new Parliamentarian rule.

Example Question #75 : Political History

What nation did William and Mary reside in, and partly rule over, before the Glorious Revolution?

Possible Answers:

Scotland

The Netherlands

Belgium

Ireland

Correct answer:

The Netherlands

Explanation:

William of Orange was one of the lords that ruled over various parts of the Netherlands. His wife Mary was daughter of the King of England, and they were asked by parliament to force May's father from the throne and take it for themselves.

Example Question #78 : Political History

Following the restoration of the English Monarch under the rule of Charles II in 1660, James II took the throne of England after the death of Charles II in 1685. His reign was short lived as he was forced from power in the Glorious Revolution in 1688. 

What event(s) prompted the Glorious Revolution?

Possible Answers:

James' decision to convert to Catholicism, and his disbanding of the Anglican Church

James' decision to have seven Bishops of the Anglican Church arrested for libel against him

James' choice of a Catholic heir, rather than one of his Protestant daughters

James' decision to allow Catholics freedom of religion, coupled with the birth of his son, a Catholic heir

Correct answer:

James' decision to allow Catholics freedom of religion, coupled with the birth of his son, a Catholic heir

Explanation:

James was an open Catholic, but his daughters from his first marriage were Protestant, thus the people of England thought his Catholic eccentricities would be short lived; however, he granted religious freedom to Catholics, allowing them to take public office in 1687, and in 1688 his second wife gave birth to a son who would be raised Catholic, thus meaning there could be a permanent Catholic dynasty ruling over England. These two events caused many influential members of Parliament to invite William of Orange to invade England and take the throne.

Example Question #76 : Political History

What is a Limited Monarchy?

Possible Answers:

A system where a monarch delegates powers to others to more effectively run a nation

A monarch that rules over a confederation of Lords

A constitution or legislative body limits the monarch’s powers

A system of government where a monarch is elected to office

Correct answer:

A constitution or legislative body limits the monarch’s powers

Explanation:

A limited monarchy is one where a monarch must share power with a legislative body (Parliament), or has their power defined and limited by a legal document (Constitution or Bill of Rights). Absolute monarchies are directly ruled by the monarch with no check from a legislative branch.

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