AP World History : Economic History

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #71 : Economic History

What is the primary goal of OPEC?

Possible Answers:

to restrict freedom of movement in Europe and the Middle East

to control the global price of oil

to prevent the United States from gaining access to Middle Eastern oil

to promote Arab nationalism

to remove barriers to trade and freedom of movement in Europe and the Middle East

Correct answer:

to control the global price of oil

Explanation:

OPEC, or the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, was founded in 1960. The primary goal of OPEC has always been to regulate the supply of oil in the global market and keep prices of oil steady and favorable for the oil exporting nations. Member nations include Algeria, Ecuador, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq.

Example Question #1 : Labor Systems And Economic Systems

In ancient Greek society, slavery was ___________.

Possible Answers:

considered unethical and therefore little practiced

outlawed

practiced only for ritualized, religious purposes

economically unfeasible

integral to the economies of most city-states

Correct answer:

integral to the economies of most city-states

Explanation:

In ancient Greece, many of the city states had populations largely comprised of slaves; slavery was an integral part of these city-states' economies.

Slavery wasn't outlawed by any means.

Although pseudo-religious rituals were an integral part of the institution of slavery, slavery was primarily an economic activity.

Slavery wasn't just economically feasible, the Greek city-states wouldn't have been able to support their upper classes, and their ensuing quest for knowledge and art, without it.

Although some Greeks did consider slavery unethical, it was practiced nearly universally; not that everyone owned slaves, but slavery was an integral part of every society and therefore every citizen worked in a slave economy.

Example Question #2 : Labor Systems And Economic Systems

One of the earliest clear examples of economic specialization, work being the full-time production of goods rather than food by select members of a settled society, was the introduction of __________________.

Possible Answers:

the alphabet

Nile clay as a potter's material

the atlatl

Marl clay as a potter's material

the bow

Correct answer:

Marl clay as a potter's material

Explanation:

Marl clay required much more training and constant supervision than Nile clay, which could be constructed into objects by a local potter who also raised animals or crops.

The bow and atlatl were prehistoric tools created by people who themselves used them to hunt.

The earliest alphabets were invented after Marl clay had been introduced into Egyptian societies.

Example Question #1 : Labor Systems And Economic Systems

Which of these statements about job specialization during the Neolithic Era is most accurate?

Possible Answers:

Job specialization led to a less distinct division of social classes

Job specialization led to increased interdependence in society

Job specialization held back innovation and technological advancement

Job specialization led to a pooling of collective wealth

None of these

Correct answer:

Job specialization led to increased interdependence in society

Explanation:

Prior to the Neolithic Revolution job specialization was fairly simple— if you were a man you hunted, if you were a woman you gathered. However, after the invention of agriculture job specialization increased dramatically. The surplus of food allowed many individuals to pursue different kinds of work. Artists, merchants, craftsmen, scribes, soldiers, and priests emerged. This led to an increased interdependence in society, as each individual relied more on others to provide the essential things needed in life.

Example Question #3 : Labor Systems And Economic Systems

___________ allowed people in early civilizations to specialize in different types of labor, such as merchants, scribes, priests, and artisans

Possible Answers:

Trade

Writing

Surplus food

Patriarchy

Correct answer:

Surplus food

Explanation:

Specialization in early civilizations would have been most influenced by surplus food. Before the advent of agriculture, most humans had to devote their energy to finding and preparing food. With agriculture allowing people to settle and create civilizations, this meant that fewer people were needed to provide food, and others could specialize in other areas.

Example Question #4 : Labor Systems And Economic Systems

How did human societies change throughout the Neolithic Age?

Possible Answers:

Nomadic pastoralism replaced agriculture on most continents

People focused mainly on divine authorities rather than providers as to who their leaders would be

Societies became more settled and saw a growth in specialization in many places

All humans stopped gathering food and began to practice agriculture

Correct answer:

Societies became more settled and saw a growth in specialization in many places

Explanation:

Agriculture, the major transformation of the Neolithic Age, allowed people to settle in one place. It also meant that fewer people were needed for the task of providing food since surpluses could be created, allowing other people to specialize in a variety of other skills.

Example Question #1 : Labor Systems And Economic Systems

What is a sign of a traditional economic system?

Possible Answers:

A surplus of goods being produced to sell for profit

State controlled property

An “invisible hand” that guides the market

Bartering for goods

Frequent shifting of values and practices

Correct answer:

Bartering for goods

Explanation:

Traditional economies are characterized by long standing values and a focus on subsistence rather than profit. The other practices listed are all ideals of more modern economic theories. 

Example Question #1 : Labor Systems And Economic Systems

While the northern provinces of Rome's empire were often towns populated by Celts specializing in enamelwork, the western provinces of Rome's empire, with the exception of Rome itself, were largely ____________________.

Possible Answers:

towns populated by Celts specializing in glass making

steppes populated by nomadic horse archers

impassable jungles of little economic value

rural, with economies based on agriculture

barren wastelands after hundreds of years of Roman onslaught

Correct answer:

rural, with economies based on agriculture

Explanation:

The Western provinces of Rome's empire, with the exception of Rome itself, were largely rural with economies based on feeding the population of Rome.

Rome was the significant glassmaking center of the ancient world, whereas the Celts never produced fine glasswork.

Although Rome dealt brutally with its enemies, Rome had little desire in turning whole provinces of its own empire into barren wasteland.

Steppes where nomadic horse archers traditionally lived are located in Central Asia, not close to the Mediterranean where Rome's empire was situated.

There were little to no jungles in Rome's empire. Roman soldiers had difficulty fighting in wooded areas, let alone dense jungles.

Example Question #1 : Labor Systems And Economic Systems 600 Bce To 600 Ce

In the Roman Empire, slavery was primarily based on ________________.

Possible Answers:

race, with darker skinned people making up the majority of the slaves

debt and warfare

class, with all Plebeians being legally defined as slaves

gender, with all women being legally defined as slaves

religion; those who did not practice Roman paganism were enslaved

Correct answer:

debt and warfare

Explanation:

In the Roman Empire, slavery was an important part of the economy, with most slaves either being born free and then indebted to their masters, or being defeated in war and enslaved by Rome's army.

Although slavery in Rome took into account ethno-linguistic differences, this was largely a result of where Rome's army was fighting; race was never a prerequisite for slavery, in fact for much of the empire's existence most slaves on the Italian peninsula were indigenous.

Although all women lacked political rights, and most women lacked economic rights, many slaves were male, and many women were free.

Plebeians were Romans from low-born families, but they could still be free people even if born into a low caste.

Plenty of free people in ancient Rome practiced all kinds of religions, including monotheistic religions like Judaism.

Example Question #1 : Labor Systems And Economic Systems

At its height the Silk Road connected __________.

Possible Answers:

the Yuan dynasty of the Mongols with the Plantagenet dynasty of England

the Indian empire of the Mughals with the Roman Empire in the west

the Ming dynasty in the east with the Hellenistic Empire in the west

the Imperial empire of Japan in the east with the Nazi empire of Germany in the west

the Han dynasty in the east with the Roman Empire in the west

Correct answer:

the Han dynasty in the east with the Roman Empire in the west

Explanation:

The Silk Road was a long distance trading network that existed during the ancient and classical eras of human history. It connected East Asia with Europe and the Middle East and allowed goods and products to be exchanged over vast distances. At its height the Silk Road connected the Han Dynasty of China with the Roman Empire in the west.

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