AP World History : Ethnic Identities

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP World History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Ethnic Identities 600 Ce To 1450

After the 7th century, the Arabic language ____________.

Possible Answers:

was heavily influenced by the Arabs' new neighbors, the Chinese

became common in Europe

went extinct, only to be resurrected thanks to modern scholars

ceased to be anything but a clerical language

spread far beyond its origins on the Arabian peninsula

Correct answer:

spread far beyond its origins on the Arabian peninsula

Explanation:

In the 7th and 8th centuries the Arabic language became very widespread in North Africa.

Arabic is the clerical language of Islam, but it never ceased to be a spoken language as well.

The Arabic speaking empire never extended to China.

Modern scholars have codified the Arabic language in new ways, but the language never went extinct.

Arabic has never been spoken by more than a small minority or Europeans.

Example Question #2 : Ethnic Identities 600 Ce To 1450

Why did antisemitism emerge in Europe during the High Middle Ages?

Possible Answers:

Jews were given certain favors and advantages by the Holy Roman Emperor.

Christians were forbidden from moneylending.

Jews were blamed by the papacy for the murder of Jesus Christ.

Jews were conscripted into armed militias by the Holy Roman Empire.

None of these answers are correct, antisemitism did not emerge in Europe until the early modern period.

Correct answer:

Christians were forbidden from moneylending.

Explanation:

Antisemitism first began to emerge in Europe during the High Middle Ages. The primary reason for this, other than the growing power of local church authorities, was the simple fact that Christians were forbidden from moneylending. Moneylending is an important part of a functional economy and someone had to step in to fill the void left behind by the Christian prohibition. Jews, in many European societies, grew wealthy as a result of moneylending practices, which in turn made them unpopular and created an antisemitic discourse that persists until this day.

Example Question #1 : Ethnic Identities 1450 To 1750

What were Janissaries in the Ottoman Empire?

Possible Answers:

Interpreters of Islamic law who codified the legal system

Districts ruled by a governor who owed allegiance only to the Sultan

Protected communities of non-Muslim citizens

Christian soldiers in the Ottoman army

Islamic fundamentalist rebel groups

Correct answer:

Christian soldiers in the Ottoman army

Explanation:

Janissaries were soldiers in the Ottoman Empire who had once been Christians, prior to their enslavement and forced service in the Ottoman army. Janissaries were an important component of the Ottoman armed forces and a significant component of Ottoman society.

Example Question #2 : Ethnic Identities 1450 To 1750

The marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella was instrumental in the formation of which of these nations?

Possible Answers:

Italy

France

Spain

Germany

Portugal

Correct answer:

Spain

Explanation:

In the fifteenth century, Spain was not a unified country and was instead divided into a few different kingdoms. With the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, the unification of Spain was effectively complete. Their marriage marked the emergence of Spain as a colonial and global power.

Example Question #1 : Ethnic Identities 1750 To 1900

The prodigious philosopher Herbert Spencer is often remembered for his advocacy of __________.

Possible Answers:

Social Darwinism

the formation of the League of Nations

the formation of the European Union

Utopian socialism

the Zionist movement

Correct answer:

Social Darwinism

Explanation:

Herbert Spencer is often remembered for his passionate belief in Social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is the belief that the biological theory of natural selection can be used to explain geopolitics and the differences between western nations and the rest of the world. It was used to reinforce the legitimacy of European imperialism in the second half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century.

Example Question #2 : Ethnic Identities 1750 To 1900

Most of the ruling dynasties of Persia (Iran) over the last 1000 years are of which language-group origin?

Possible Answers:

Turkic

Indo-European

Slavic

Sumerian

Bantu

Correct answer:

Turkic

Explanation:

Almost all of the ruling dynasties of Persia (Iran) over the last 1000 years have been of Turkic origin. The Pahlavi dynasty, which took power in 1925, ended this long pattern.

Example Question #1 : Ethnic Identities 1900 To Present

To which of these Islamic religions or ethnic groups did Saddam Hussein belong?

Possible Answers:

Shia

Salafist

Wahhabi

Kurd

Sunni

Correct answer:

Sunni

Explanation:

Saddam Hussein was a Sunni Muslim in a country (Iraq) where the population distribution of Shia and Sunni Muslims is roughly even. Sectarian differences between Sunni and Shia have been the cause of much conflict in the Middle East for hundreds of years and are especially relevant today.

Example Question #2 : Ethnic Identities 1900 To Present

Nationalism, as represented in nineteenth century Europe, is best described as the belief ____________________.

Possible Answers:

that citizens of a nation are best ruled by a monarch of their own choosing

in the superiority of people from Northern Europe over ethnicities and races

in the power of democracy to create the fairest and most just form of government

that all people linked by culture, religion, or language should make up one political state

that all people of the globe should be united under one form of government

Correct answer:

that all people linked by culture, religion, or language should make up one political state

Explanation:

After the Napoleonic Wars at the start of the nineteenth century, many states were redrawn and reorganized. Additionally, the romantic and revolutionary movements of Europe in the early nineteenth century highlighted the shared histories of certain peoples. The desire for shared cultural, language, and religious heritages to be united in one state would both create modern Italy and Germany, while also spelling the destruction of multi-ethnic and multi-lingual nations like the Austro-Hungarian Empire by the end of World War I in 1918.

Example Question #3 : Ethnic Identities 1900 To Present

The Wannsee Conference is notable __________.

Possible Answers:

for first proposing the idea of the United Nations

because of the declarations of war made by Italy and Germany against the United States

for Nazi Germany’s betrayal of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

for the implementation of Hitler’s Final Solution

because the allied powers attempted to implement their policy of appeasement to prevent an outbreak of war

Correct answer:

for the implementation of Hitler’s Final Solution

Explanation:

The Wannsee Conference took place near Berlin in 1942. It was a meeting of top Nazi officials to discuss the implementation of Hitler’s Final Solution. The Final Solution was Nazi Germany’s plan to eliminate the Jewish population of Nazi Europe during the Second World War. It culminated in the Holocaust and the execution of six million Jewish people living in Europe.

Example Question #4 : Ethnic Identities 1900 To Present

F. W. De Klerk is notable for __________.

Possible Answers:

ending the government policy of apartheid in South Africa

enacting the government policy of apartheid in South Africa

educating Mohandas Gandhi on the benefits of nonviolent resistance

committing acts of terrorism in the name of ending segregation in South Africa

imprisoning Nelson Mandela

Correct answer:

ending the government policy of apartheid in South Africa

Explanation:

F. W. De Klerk was President of South Africa during the early 1990s and along with Nelson Mandela is credited with ending the government policy of apartheid (legal racial segregation) in South Africa.

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