AP World History : Trade, Commerce, and Market Competition

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Trade, Commerce, And Market Competition

The ancient Sumerians invented __________.

Possible Answers:

batteries

storytelling

computers

painting

beer

Correct answer:

beer

Explanation:

Archaeologists have uncovered ancient breweries at Sumerian archaeological sites, and historians have translated numerous Sumerian documents relating to brewing beer.

Computers and batteries were created thousands of years after the Sumerian language went extinct and its people were absorbed into other groups.

Although some of the oldest written fiction we have is Sumerian, storytelling existed in prehistory; prior to the advent of writing in ancient Sumer.

Paintings tens of thousands of years old can be found throughout the world; painting is originally a prehistoric art.

Example Question #2 : Economic History

Basalt drinking vessels have been found in predynastic tombs throughout Egypt, but were mined from a single source near al-Maadi (south of modern Cairo), proof that _______________________.

Possible Answers:

predynastic Egyptians considered basalt to be a material of such special religious significance that they would forgo the use of other materials

the basalt was mined and shipped throughout Egypt

Egypt was already political unified

the conqueror and unifier of the first dynasty was from al-Maadi

predynastic Egyptians could not manipulate many natural materials besides basalt

Correct answer:

the basalt was mined and shipped throughout Egypt

Explanation:

Basalt drinking vessels have been found in predynastic tombs throughout Egypt, but were mined from a single source near al-Maadi (south of modern Cairo), proof that the basalt was mined and shipped throughout Egypt.

While the details of the original conqueror and unifier of Egypt, Narmer, is heavily influenced by legend, what is clear is that southern Egypt conquered and merged with the north, so Narmer cannot be from al-Maadi.

Predynastic Egyptian artisans used many different kinds of materials.

While basalt was a luxury, Egyptians did not forgo the use of other materials.

Egypt was eventually unified under an imperial dynasty; predynastic Egypt, therefore, cannot be unified.

Example Question #1 : Economic History

Predynastic Egyptian communities traded for copper, timber (from cedar), wine, and oils with ____________________.

Possible Answers:

Southwest Asia, especially Mesopotamia

the Shang kingdom in China

Sub-Saharan Africa, especially the Songhai empire in modern Mali

the Athenian empire

the Roman empire

Correct answer:

Southwest Asia, especially Mesopotamia

Explanation:

Predynastic Egyptian archaeological sites prove that even before Egypt was a unified empire, human settlements along the Nile traded for copper, timber, wine, and oils with Mesopotamia and the surrounding area.

The Sahara was a major impediment to trade with the interior of the African continent, and the Songhai empire existed in the late Middle Ages.

The Roman empire was ancient, but still thousands of years after predynastic Egypt.

Likewise, the Athenian empire was ancient but thousands of years after predynastic Egypt.

The Shang kingdom of China was thousands of years after Predynastic Egypt, and too far away to have any sustained trade with north Africa.

 

Example Question #1 : Economic History

How did the Phoenicians come to dominate trade in the Mediterranean?

Possible Answers:

None of these answers adequately describes how Phoenicians came to dominate trade in the Mediterranean

Through military conquest and the subsequent peaceful assimilation of towns into their empire

Through arranged marriages and skillful diplomacy

Through the establishment of city-states and towns throughout the Mediterranean

Through military conquest and violent annexation of territory

Correct answer:

Through the establishment of city-states and towns throughout the Mediterranean

Explanation:

Throughout much of the ancient period, before the rise of Greece, Persia, and Rome, the ancient Phoenicians created an extensive commercial empire in the Mediterranean. They were able to dominate trade due to their sophisticated alphabet and their establishment of settlements throughout the Mediterranean.

Example Question #1 : Economic History

The city-states Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos were once all part of __________.

Possible Answers:

the Hittite empire

the Japanese empire

the Babylonian empire

the Mughal empire

the Phoenician empire

Correct answer:

the Phoenician empire

Explanation:

The city-states of Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos were once all part of the Phoenician empire. The Phoenician empire was a wide-ranging commercial empire that controlled trade in the Mediterranean from about 1,300 BCE until 500 BCE.

Example Question #6 : Economic History

Silk was first produced in large quantities in China during the __________.

Possible Answers:

Shang Dynasty

Han Dynasty

Yuan Dynasty

Ming Dynasty

Zhou Dynasty

Correct answer:

Shang Dynasty

Explanation:

Silk was first produced in China during the Shang Dynasty. For the next thousand years, China enjoyed an effective monopoly on silk production (as they were the only people who knew how to do it). This contributed to the growing wealth of the Chinese emperors as silk was traded extensively with empires in Europe (such as the Romans) and the Middle East (such as the Persians).

Example Question #7 : Economic History

The ancient Phoenician empire was centered around modern-day __________.

Possible Answers:

Italy

Lebanon

Tunisia

Armenia

France

Correct answer:

Lebanon

Explanation:

The ancient commercial empire of Phoenicia was established in modern-day Lebanon approximately 1,500 BCE.

Example Question #2 : Trade, Commerce, And Market Competition

The Roman empire maintained a network of trade relations between different regions, for example silver was often mined from Hispania and Britannia (modern day Spain and Britain) and ________________.

Possible Answers:

worked into jewelry and other precious luxury goods in Hispania and Britannia, then sent to the silver markets of Rome

sent to Rome to be given to the orphans of war

sent to the Middle East to be worked into Damascus Steel

sold to Egyptians in exchange for grain to feed the Roman army

sent to silversmith workshops in Rome, Milan, and Ravenna

Correct answer:

sent to silversmith workshops in Rome, Milan, and Ravenna

Explanation:

An imperial supply chain facilitated a sophisticated and diverse Roman economy, especially luxuries for the Roman elite like a thriving silver sector based on raw materials sourced from Britannia and Hispania but worked into ornaments and jewelry in Rome, as well as nearby cities on the Italian Peninsula, and certain special cities like Trier, which were nominally equidistant between Britannia, Hispania, and Rome.

Rome's supply chain was a classic colonial enterprise, based on raw materials sourced from the periphery, and luxury goods crafted by artisans in sophisticated workshops in the center of power; raw materials were most often not constructed into ornaments or jewelry in far flung provinces.

Although a minority of silver may have been given to Egyptian officials in exchange for grain, silver retains value whereas grain is consumed; empires are constructed in the process of expanding control by a center of power, and dumping huge amounts of precious substance like silver into Egypt would increase the power of Egypt instead of Rome itself. The Roman elite would have been careful to keep the majority of silver in their own hands.

Although certain members of the Roman elite may have cared for the orphans of war, Roman authorities wanted silver for luxury goods.

Damascus Steel was a type of metal forged in the Middle Ages, not during the time of Ancient Rome.

Example Question #9 : Economic History

The 2nd largest city in the Roman Empire, and the center of grain production, during the time of Julius Caesar was __________________.

Possible Answers:

Sparta

Athens

Carthage

Troy

Alexandria

Correct answer:

Alexandria

Explanation:

Alexandria was the political capital of Egypt at the time, and Egyptian grain, as well as Egypt's navy, were vital to Caesar's attempts at dictatorship.

Sparta was a military power during the Greek Golden Age, a period of well-documented philosophical, architectural, and artistic output.

Athens was a cultural and naval power during the Greek Golden Age, never a major producer of grain.

Carthage was a major antagonist in multiple wars against the Roman Empire.

Troy was a major proponent in the semi-historical Trojan War between the cities of Troy and a league of Hellenes led by Agammemnon.

Example Question #2 : Economic History

At the height of the reach of the Roman Empire, trading and sailing in the Mediterranean ___________.

Possible Answers:

was efficient and relatively safe, as the Roman navy protected trade and freedom of movement

was dangerous and terrifying, as the Mediterranean was patrolled by ruthless and powerful pirate ships

was efficient and relatively safe, due to the lack of enemies and rivals within the empire

was dangerous and uncommon, due to the relative cost of shipbuilding in the Roman world

was dangerous and inefficient, due to the technological limitations of ships at the time

Correct answer:

was efficient and relatively safe, as the Roman navy protected trade and freedom of movement

Explanation:

At the height of its power the Roman Empire effectively controlled the entirety of the Mediterranean. This made trading and sailing relatively efficient and safe (so long as one was a member of the Roman Empire). The Roman navy patrolled the seas and protected traders from the plundering efforts of pirates and rival civilizations.

 

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