AP European History : The Modern State

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP European History

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Political History

The idea of separate, sovereign states was established by what?

Possible Answers:

The Treaty of Paris

The Peace of Westphalia

The Second Vatican Council

The Peace of Utrecht

Correct answer:

The Peace of Westphalia

Explanation:

Initiated in 1848, the Peace of Westphalia was made up of treaties that ended the Thirty Years’ War and the Eighty Years’ War. The Peace of Westphalia helped to create the idea of state sovereignty, where individual states could determine their own laws and other states had to respect the right to do this. While this was not always upheld, it was the first time this had really been established in an international setting. Some of the major points involved giving independence to Switzerland, allowing a sovereign ruler to determine the official religion for the state, protecting Christians if the official religion of their state was a different sect of Christianity than the one they practiced, and overall, recognizing the authority leaders have within their own state.

Example Question #11 : Political History

The United States’ emphasis on scientific and technological advancement in the twentieth century led to __________.

Possible Answers:

Greater cooperation between the people of Europe and the people of the Far East

A brain drain in Europe as many scientists emigrated to America

The declining prestige of Europe’s old universities and educational institutions

A massive growth in the European economy, as American finances poured into the continent

A drain on the natural resources of Europe, as much of it was produced and sold to the United States

Correct answer:

A brain drain in Europe as many scientists emigrated to America

Explanation:

In the years leading up to and following the Second World War the United States took the lead in scientific and technological investment and advancement. This had direct consequences for the countries of Europe as many of the best and brightest scientists of the twentieth century emigrated to the United States, taking their work with them. This is called the “brain drain.”

Example Question #12 : Political History

Which of these countries is not a member of the European Union?

Possible Answers:

Germany.

Romania.

The United Kingdom.

Hungary.

Turkey.

Correct answer:

Turkey.

Explanation:

All of these countries are members of the European Union except Turkey. Turkey has been making overtures to the European Union for several years in the hopes of gaining admittance, but as of 2015 remains excluded from the European Union and the Common Market.

Example Question #12 : The Modern State

In which decade was the European Union formalized by the Maastricht Treaty?

Possible Answers:

1990s.

1950s.

1980s.

1940s.

1970s.

Correct answer:

1990s.

Explanation:

The movement towards the European Union began in the 1950s when the economies of France and Germany (as well as a few other European nations) were integrated under the European Coal and Steel Community. Over the next few decades this arrangement grew in significance and the European Common Market began to emerge as a means to prevent war and promote economic growth throughout Western Europe. With the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s the door was opened for a codified and unified European Union. This was formally established with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993.

Example Question #15 : Political History

In 1991 these two Balkan countries declared independence from Yugoslavia which sparked a bloody and brutal civil war.

Possible Answers:

Bosnia and Kosovo.

Albania and Kosovo.

Slovenia and Slovakia.

Croatia and Slovenia.

Croatia and Serbia.

Correct answer:

Croatia and Slovenia.

Explanation:

Yugoslavia was formed in the years between World War One and World War Two and functioned as a communist country outside of the Soviet Bloc for much of the rest of the twentieth century. However, following the demise of communism elsewhere in Europe the country began to break apart in the early 1990s. In 1991 Croatia and Slovenia were the first two countries to declare independence from Yugoslavia, sparking a brutal civil war that would rage in the Balkans for much of the next decade.

Example Question #12 : Political History

Russia under Vladimir Putin might best be described as __________.

Possible Answers:

An oligarchy in which a few wealthy businessmen control the political direction of the country

A democracy in which detente with the United States and political participation are encouraged

A theocracy in which Russian Orthodoxy is the only accepted religion

A constitutional monarchy in which Putin must adhere to a few restrictions, but is otherwise free to do as he wants

An autocracy in which democracy and human rights are completely subjugated to the whim of the ruler

Correct answer:

An oligarchy in which a few wealthy businessmen control the political direction of the country

Explanation:

Russia under Vladimir Putin has developed into an oligarchy in which a few extremely wealthy businessmen grow richer and richer and have almost complete control over the political direction of the country. Putin came into power promising political reform and peace with the West, but has consistently demonstrated an objection to liberty and a desire to impose Russian hegemony over Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Example Question #17 : Political History

The Soviet invasion of which country in the 1980s contributed to the decline of the Soviet Union?

Possible Answers:

Mongolia

Iran

Finland

Ukraine

Afghanistan

Correct answer:

Afghanistan

Explanation:

The Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s contributed directly to the decline of the Soviet Union. The invasion dragged on for much of the decade and may be likened to the American experience of the Vietnam War. The Soviets' failure to win the war cost them dearly in resources and public opinion. The Soviets finally withdrew from the conflict in 1989; the U.S.S.R. would fracture just a few months later.

Example Question #13 : Political History

The primary obstacle to a lasting peace in the Balkans is __________.

Possible Answers:

the failure of the European nations to integrate the Balkans smoothly into the European Union

the legacy of militarism left behind by the Ottoman Empire

longstanding ethnic hatred

religious disagreement

the economic stagnation that began with the Oil Embargo of 1973

Correct answer:

longstanding ethnic hatred

Explanation:

The Balkans was ruled by the Austrians and then the Ottomans for hundreds of years before the twentieth century. The constant forced migration of people from one area of the Balkans to another and back again, has created a situation in which numerous ethnic groups live amongst one another, each one thinking they have the sole right to claim the territory as their own. The Croats, the Slovenes, the Serbs, the Albanians, and other groups each feel that they have a claim to a territory larger than that which they currently possess. They also feel that the reason they do not have this territory is that it was taken from them by one of the other ethnic groups. As a result, there is longstanding ethnic hatred in some places almost thousands of years old.

Example Question #14 : Political History

Which of the following has had the greatest impact on the growth of women’s rights since the end of World War Two?

Possible Answers:

Each of the other answer choices have arguably had an equal impact on the growth of women’s rights since the end of World War Two.

Ease of access to birth control and control over the reproductive process

European Union mandates that forty percent of the seats in the European parliament be reserved for women

The declining influence of religion in the day-to-day lives of most Europeans

Government policies designed to provide educational opportunities to women

Correct answer:

Ease of access to birth control and control over the reproductive process

Explanation:

While it is certainly true that many women have benefitted from government policies designed to provide educational opportunities to women and that some women have benefitted from the declining influence of religion, the biggest reason why women have made massive strides towards gender equality in the last half-century is the introduction of birth control. Birth control has liberated women in a way previously thought impossible. Women can now control the size of their families, if they will have children, and if so, with whom they will have their children. This has allowed women to plan their lives, educational pursuits, and careers in ways previously only open to men.

Example Question #11 : The Modern State

Which of these European Union countries does not use the Euro as its currency?

Possible Answers:

Italy

Germany

Spain

The United Kingdom

France

Correct answer:

The United Kingdom

Explanation:

All of these countries have a shared common currency called the Euro, except the United Kingdom which retains the pound as its currency. This might be understood as part of Britain’s national understanding of itself as both part of the European continent and also a distinctly separate entity.

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