AP World History : Political and Governmental Structures 600 BCE to 600 CE

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #31 : Political History

Who are generally referred to as the "Five Good Roman Emperors?"

Possible Answers:

Hadrian, Antonius Pius, Nerva, Commodus, Vespasian

Tragan, Antonius Pius, Galba, Otho, Vitellius 

Augustus, Tragan, Hadrian, Tiberius, Claudius

Nerva, Tragan, Hadrian, Antonius Pius, Marcus Aurelius

Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Tragan, Hadrian

Correct answer:

Nerva, Tragan, Hadrian, Antonius Pius, Marcus Aurelius

Explanation:

The so-called Five Good Emperors (Nerva, Tragan, Hadrian, Antonius Pius and Marcus Aurelius) are referred to as such because they are generally considered to have ruled Rome at the height of the empire's power.  Each was the adopted son of the last, and only when Commodus succeeded Marcus Aurelius did Rome face crises put off for a century. Each added to Rome in their own way, from Tragan's military accomplishments and Hadrian's architectural achievements to Marcus Aurelius' longstanding philosophical reach. 

Example Question #32 : Political History

Which of these Chinese dynasties succeeded the Shang Dynasty?

Possible Answers:

Xia

Zhou

Yuan

Han

Ming

Correct answer:

Zhou

Explanation:

The Shang Dynasty was succeeded by the Zhou Dynasty. In some capacity or another the Zhou ruled over China from approximately 1050 BCE until approximately 250 BCE. The period of Zhou rule is divided into two phases, first the period of the Western Zhou, when the Zhou Dynasty controlled almost all of what was then called China. This was followed by the rule of the Eastern Zhou, when the Zhou government was much less powerful and had to compete with rival states during the Warring States Period.

Example Question #33 : Political History

Which of these most accurately describes the term polis?

Possible Answers:

An authoritarian regime in Ancient Greece

A democratically elected regime in Ancient Greece

A system of philosophical thought developed in Ancient Greece

A system of government, common in Ancient Greece

A city-state in Ancient Greece

Correct answer:

A city-state in Ancient Greece

Explanation:

A polis is the name given to a city-state in Ancient Greece. Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Corinth, and Thessaloniki are all examples of polis’.

Example Question #34 : Political History

Which of these statements best describes the changes made to the Roman Republic as a result of the actions of Lucius Sulla?

Possible Answers:

The Roman Republic was terminated and replaced with a constitutional Roman monarchy

The Roman Republic became more inclusive and power was shared between the wealthy and the plebeians

The military of the Roman Republic was reformed, paving the way for the conquests of the Roman Empire

The Roman Republic was terminated and replaced with an authoritarian Roman Empire

The Roman Republic became more conservative and power was further concentrated in the hands of the wealthy

Correct answer:

The Roman Republic became more conservative and power was further concentrated in the hands of the wealthy

Explanation:

Lucius Sulla led an armed march on the city of Rome during the Roman Civil Wars and had himself crowned as emperor. His actions would eventually contribute to the decline of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire, but the initial consequences were that the Roman Republic became far more conservative as power was further concentrated in the hands of the wealthy few.

Example Question #35 : Political History

The ancient Athens Pericles is known for __________.

Possible Answers:

all of these answers

ordering renovation of the Acropolis and other ancient monuments

promoting the growth of arts and literature in Athens

fostering Athenian democracy and expanding the electorate

organizing the defense of Athens in the early years of the Peloponnesian War

Correct answer:

all of these answers

Explanation:

Pericles is probably the most famous and esteemed statesman of ancient Athenian society. He lived in the fifth century BCE. The time of Pericles, between the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, is often referred to as the Golden Age of Athens. Pericles encouraged the growth of Athenian democracy and expanded the electorate; he promoted the growth of arts and literature; he organized the renovation of Athens’ ancient monuments, like the acropolis; and he contributed to the defense of the city from Spartan invasion.

Example Question #36 : Political History

What was the role of tribunes in the Roman Republic?

Possible Answers:

To protect the rights and privileges of the soldiers

To protect the interests of the plebeians

To represent the interests of the landed elite

To elect a temporary dictator in times of crises

To amend the constitution in times of crises

Correct answer:

To protect the interests of the plebeians

Explanation:

Tribunes were elected officials in the ancient Roman Republic. The role of tribunes was to protect the interest of the plebeians (lower class) and act as a check on the power of the Roman Senate (which primarily served the interests of the aristocracy).

Example Question #37 : Political History

Which of these statements about dictators in the Roman Republic is most accurate?

Possible Answers:

The Roman Republic was governed by dictators who ruled for five-year terms

The Roman Republic appointed temporary dictators in times of crisis or civil unrest

Dictators and authoritarian rule was strictly prohibited under the constitution of the Roman Republic

The Roman Republic was governed by a body of aristocrats with dictatorial powers, who ruled for ten-year terms

The Roman Republic was governed by dictators who ruled for two-year terms.

Correct answer:

The Roman Republic appointed temporary dictators in times of crisis or civil unrest

Explanation:

The Roman Republic frequently elected temporary dictators in times of crisis or civil unrest. They were given extraordinary individual power to put down rebellions or defeat invading armies or restore order to the Senate. This practice was stopped following the Second Punic War with Carthage.

Example Question #38 : Political History

The Second Triumvirate of Rome was comprised of Marcus Lepidus and which two more famous men?

Possible Answers:

Pompey the Great and Scipio Africanus

Mark Antony and Augustus Caesar

Pompey the Great and Scipio Asiaticus

Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great

Mark Antony and Julius Caesar

Correct answer:

Mark Antony and Augustus Caesar

Explanation:

The Second Triumvirate of Rome was comprised of Marcus Lepidus, Mark Antony, and Octavian (later Augustus Caesar). The rise of the Second Triumvirate marks the final end of the Roman Republic. Together the triumvirate governed Rome for ten years with the consent of the Roman Senate. In 33 BCE relations deteriorated and Octavian defeated the forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra in battle and consolidated Roman power in his sole authority.

Example Question #39 : Political History

Which of these statements about consuls in the Roman Republic is inaccurate?

Possible Answers:

Two consuls ruled together at the same time

Consuls were elected for one-year terms

Consuls wielded supreme executive power

Consuls wielded supreme legislative power

Consuls were chosen by an assembly of aristocrats

Correct answer:

Consuls wielded supreme legislative power

Explanation:

Consuls were the highest ranking elected officials in the Roman Republic. Two Consuls were generally elected at the same time, to rule concurrently. They were elected for one-year terms and were chosen by an assembly of aristocrats. Consuls had a great deal of power in the Roman Republic, but they were not dictators and were still answerable to the Senate and the tribunes.

Example Question #40 : Political History

Immediately before the rise of the Roman Empire in 27 BCE, what was the form of government practiced by the Roman people? 

Possible Answers:

A constitutional monarchy

An anarchistic collective

A republic

A democracy

An absolute monarchy

Correct answer:

A republic

Explanation:

The correct answer is "A republic". The Roman Republic immediately preceded the founding of the empire, and it existed from approximately 509 to 27 BCE. As for the other answers: democracy was invented and famously practiced in the Greek city state of Athens, and the period of the Roman kingdom is largely based on legends, and by any standard it existed before the Republic, so neither "absolute monarchy" nor "constitutional monarchy" would be good answers. Lastly, 'anarchism' was not considered to be a practiced form of social organization in this time or place.

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