AP World History : Social History

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Gender From Prehistory To 600 Bce

In prehistory and early history, women _____________.

Possible Answers:

could work as long as they pretended to be men

worked but were confined to their homes

did not work and were confined to their homes

were often soldiers and fighters

worked a variety of jobs

Correct answer:

worked a variety of jobs

Explanation:

In prehistory and early history, women worked a variety of jobs including gathering, agriculture, and midwifing. They were not confined to their homes as that would have made much work, such as farming, impossible. There was very little cultural bias against women working, so they did not have to pretend to be male in order to work, as became a necessity in later eras. Women have sometimes been soldiers and fighters, but female warriors are the exception rather than the rule.

Example Question #2 : Gender From Prehistory To 600 Bce

Research shows that prehistoric women in hunter-gatherer societies ___________.

Possible Answers:

contributed greatly to the economic well being of their communities

comprised the majority of soldiers and warriors

had their feet bound

lived lives of leisure and idleness

were unable to leave their homes without a male family member as an escort

Correct answer:

contributed greatly to the economic well being of their communities

Explanation:

Female members of prehistoric communities were often gatherers, responsible for ensuring members of the community could eat regularly, especially when the hunt wasn't successful.

They worked very hard, and certainly didn't lives we would consider full of leisure today.

In prehistoric societies women needed to be outside the home to work, which required women to have a family member as a male escort would make the idea that they could not leave without a male escort impracticable.

Feet binding was a practice for extraordinarily wealthy women in post-medieval China; in any prehistoric society it would have been impossible.

In any society, a minority of women fight as soldiers and warriors but in prehistoric societies, as in contemporary ones, men comprised the majority of soldiers.

Example Question #1 : Prehistory To 500 C.E.

Which of the following was a result of the Neolithic Revolution?

Possible Answers:

Decreased trade

Job specialization

A decrease in the world population

Equality of gender roles

Shortages in the food supply

Correct answer:

Job specialization

Explanation:

The Neolithic revolution was marked by innovations in agriculture. As a result, not all people needed to be farmers; instead, they began to specialize in different jobs. The answer choice "job specialization" is correct.

This period led to an increase in the food supply (rather than shortages), an increase in the world population (not a decrease), and increased trade (rather than decreased). Furthermore, work done outside the home—such as herding—was typically performed by men and began to be valued more highly than work done inside the home, which was typically performed by women, leading to increased gender inequality.

Example Question #2 : Gender From Prehistory To 600 Bce

Which of these statements about women in ancient Mesopotamian society is most accurate?

Possible Answers:

Women were generally less powerful than men, but had many rights not seen elsewhere - such as the right to own property

Women were of equal status to men and enjoyed all the same rights that men did

Women were much less powerful than men and had few rights of their own

Women were generally more powerful than men; they were more likely to be educated and played a crucial role in religious ceremonies

None of these

Correct answer:

Women were generally less powerful than men, but had many rights not seen elsewhere - such as the right to own property

Explanation:

Women in Mesopotamian society were generally less powerful than men; however, they enjoyed certain rights and privileges which were uncommon elsewhere in the world. Women had the right to own property and businesses, for example.

Example Question #1 : Gender From Prehistory To 600 Bce

Which of these statements most accurately describes gender relations during the Paleolithic Era?

Possible Answers:

Men and women served different functions in tribes, but neither was considered superior to the other

Men and women served different functions in tribes, and men tended to dominate the tribal hierarchy

Men and women served similar functions in tribes, but men tended to dominate the tribal hierarchy

Men and women served similar functions in tribes, and neither was considered superior to the other

Men and women served different functions in tribes, and women tended to dominate the tribal hierarchy

Correct answer:

Men and women served different functions in tribes, but neither was considered superior to the other

Explanation:

In human society, during the Paleolithic Era, men and women served different functions within their tribes. Men were generally responsible for hunting, whereas women were generally responsible for gathering as well as caring for children and preserving tribal harmony. In Paleolithic society, although there was a clear delineation of roles, men and women were largely equal in status. It was not until the Neolithic Revolution that men began to take more and more control over human society.

Example Question #4 : Gender From Prehistory To 600 Bce

The transition from the Paleolithic Era to the Neolithic Era led to ______________.

Possible Answers:

a decline in the status of women as society became more hierarchical

a decline in the status of women as society became more violent

an improvement in the status of women as society became more hierarchical

a decline in the status of women as society became more religious

an improvement in the status of women as society became more inclusive

Correct answer:

a decline in the status of women as society became more hierarchical

Explanation:

During the Paleolithic Era women had generally served different roles to men, but were considered equal members of society. The transition to the Neolithic Era, however, reduced the status of women. Agricultural settlements and the growth of cities meant that, for the first time, societies had surpluses and territory to protect. Many societies coalesced around the strongest and most aggressive individuals who could best protect the community from invasion. This led to the rise of men as dominant leaders of society and the decline in the status and equality of women.

Example Question #1 : Gender From Prehistory To 600 Bce

Which of these was not one of the rights held by women in ancient Egyptian society?

Possible Answers:

the right to manage a business

the right to divorce

women, generally, had all of these rights in ancient Egyptian society

the right to own property

the right to practice and preach religion

Correct answer:

women, generally, had all of these rights in ancient Egyptian society

Explanation:

Women in ancient Egyptian society enjoyed substantial rights that would have been unfamiliar to women in most of the rest of the world. Women could seek a divorce, own property and businesses, and practice and preach religion. The status of women in paleolithic, mesolithic, and neolithic societies was sometimes better than we might expect, it was only after the rise of civilizations and the rule of might that the status of women began to decline around the world.

Example Question #1 : Gender 600 Bce To 600 Ce

According to the Indian custom of Sati __________.

Possible Answers:

the only way to transcend the caste system is through good karma and reincarnation

after a high caste man dies, his wife is expected to throw herself on his funeral pyre

any woman who commits adultery is to be stoned to death

any man who commits adultery forfeits his marriage and his property

a man may legally buy and sell women, so long as the woman in question is of a lower caste

Correct answer:

after a high caste man dies, his wife is expected to throw herself on his funeral pyre

Explanation:

The Indian custom of Sati was practiced in India all the way up to the twentieth century. According to this custom, after a high caste man dies his widow is expected to throw herself on his funeral pyre and burn to death.

Example Question #2 : Social History

What tradition subjugated women to men by forcing them to be kept in the home, often sharing quarters with other wives or concubines? 

Possible Answers:

Harem

Zakat

Hijab

Salat

Hajj

Correct answer:

Harem

Explanation:

Harem derives from the Arabic phrase meaning "forbidden place" referring to the part of the home where women were to be kept. Islam viewed it as immodest and inappropriate for women to be in public unescorted, or having their faces or heads uncovered. The other terms listed are also Arabic words relevant to the Islamic faith, but don't refer to the same concept as a harem. 

Example Question #1 : Social History

What was the status of Mongol women during the Yuan Dynasty of China?

Possible Answers:

Mongol women were prevented from hunting and martial activities but maintained some power over their households.

Mongol women lost status due to adoption of Confucian ideals that advocated a strict gender hierarchy.

Mongol women adopted Chinese culture, including the practice of foot-binding.

Mongol women suffered from political and cultural isolation as Mongol men adopted a preference for women who had undergone foot-binding.

Mongol women remained relatively independent and retained their property ownership rights.

Correct answer:

Mongol women remained relatively independent and retained their property ownership rights.

Explanation:

In Mongolian society, women had several rights related to property ownership and also played roles in the political and martial spheres. Many women were trained as warriors and the wives of several Mongolian leaders, including Chingghis Khan's wife Borte, gave their husbands political advice. They maintained this status during the Yuan period and did not adopt the practice of foot-binding.

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