AP Human Geography : Origin of Cities

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Origin Of Cities

Organize the following human communities from least to most heavily populated:

City, Town, Hamlet, Megalopolis, Village

Possible Answers:

Hamlet, Village, Town, City, Megalopolis

Town, Village, City, Hamlet, Megalopolis

Village, Town, Hamlet, City, Megalopolis

Hamlet, Village, Town Megalopolis, City

Town, Village, Megalopolis, Hamlet, City

Correct answer:

Hamlet, Village, Town, City, Megalopolis

Explanation:

Hamlets are predominantly agricultural areas with some sparse human settlements, while villages are small aggregates of dwellings forming communities. Towns are larger aggregates of dwellings, while cities are even larger settlements. A megalopolis is formed when when urban expansion results in an overlap in development by cities in close proximity to one another, resulting in a network of high-density human settlements.

Example Question #1 : Origin Of Cities

The Feudal System __________ the growth of cities.

Possible Answers:

inspired

had little effect on

assisted

eliminated

significantly hindered

Correct answer:

significantly hindered

Explanation:

The Feudal System, which prevailed in Europe and other parts of the world throughout the Medieval Period, significantly hindered the growth of cities. In order for Feudalism to work, a large proportion of the population has to be tied to the land in the form of serfs, or peasant farmers. This hinders urbanization because there is little surplus labor and no established middle class.

Example Question #2 : Origin Of Cities

Mexico City, one of the most populous cities in the world, sits on the same site as the capital of which of these American Empires?

Possible Answers:

Shoshone

Mayan

Nazca

Incan

Aztec

Correct answer:

Aztec

Explanation:

Mexico City, the largest city in Mexico and one of the most densely populated cities in the world, rests on the same site as the capital city of the Aztec Empire, called Tenochtitlan.

Example Question #3 : Origin Of Cities

Which of these was a necessity for the settlement of the earliest cities?

Possible Answers:

A surplus of food

A standing army

A system of government

Religious institutions

A shared language

Correct answer:

A surplus of food

Explanation:

A surplus of food was necessary for the establishment of the world’s earliest cities. A surplus of food means that there is enough food to support population growth and, just as importantly, to support non-agricultural laborers and citizens. In order for buildings to be constructed, government to emerge, and a standing army to arise in a city a society must be able to support a proportion of the population in non-agricultural work.

Example Question #4 : Origin Of Cities

Which of these best describes the development of cities during the Renaissance Era (1400-1600)?

Possible Answers:

Rapid growth throughout the world

Slight growth in the Americas and Europe; rapid decline elsewhere

Slight growth throughout the world, but rapid decline in Africa

Rapid growth in the Americas; slight growth elsewhere

Rapid growth in Europe; sporadic decline elsewhere

Correct answer:

Rapid growth in Europe; sporadic decline elsewhere

Explanation:

During the Renaissance Era of European history, European cities experienced dramatic growth. Urbanization took place at a fast pace and colonial riches began to support a burgeoning middle class. However, throughout the rest of the world the impact of European conquest and disease led to sporadic and sometimes disastrous decline for many cities and civilizations. Cities like Tenochtitlan in modern-day Mexico and Cusco in modern-day Peru are two classic examples.

Example Question #5 : Origin Of Cities

Most of the world’s first cities arose __________.

Possible Answers:

in the northern hemisphere

in close proximity to agricultural hearths

in the southern hemisphere

in temperate climates

in close proximity to religious hearths

Correct answer:

in close proximity to agricultural hearths

Explanation:

Human civilization began with the Neolithic Revolution, also called the First Agricultural Revolution, several thousand years ago. The first cities arose in close proximity to agricultural hearths like the Nile River because these regions could provide enough food to sustain a large population.

Example Question #1 : Origin Of Cities

Which of these was not a function of an ancient city?

Possible Answers:

educational center

trade center

center of power

religious center

agricultural center

Correct answer:

agricultural center

Explanation:

Agriculture occurred mainly in rural areas surrounding the ancient city. Agricultural producers could then bring their crops and animal products to the ancient city to sell or trade, but they would not produce within the ancient city.

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