European History : Cultural and Intellectual History

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for European History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Cultural And Intellectual History

What year did Vikings first land on the shores of Britain?

Possible Answers:

1175

1209

793

876

1066

Correct answer:

793

Explanation:

The first Viking raiding party to land in England occurred in 793 AD in the town of Lindisfarne. Lindisfarne was an island inhabited mainly by monks in a monastery. The monks were either killed or taken away as slaves.

This event marked the beginning of the Viking migration which culminated with William the Conqueror successfully invading Britain in 1066, almost 300 years later.

Example Question #1 : European History

Which of the following was the treaty that divided the newly discovered lands outside of Europe between Spain and Portugal?

Possible Answers:

The Treaty of Paris

The Treaty of Versailles

The Treaty of Tordesillas

The Geneva Convention

Correct answer:

The Treaty of Tordesillas

Explanation:

The Geneva Convention refers to a series of treaties about humane treatment during wartime, so that would not be the best answer here. The Treaty of Paris was between America and Great Britain and it ended the Revolutionary War, so that too would not be the best answer choice. The Treaty of Versailles was one of the agreements that ended World War I, so that would not be the correct answer to the question. Lastly, the Treaty of Tordesillas divided the newly discovered non-European lands between Spain and Portugal, so that would be the best answer.

Example Question #2 : European History

Which of the following countries was the first to establish a colonial empire?

Possible Answers:

Portugal

The Netherlands

France

Spain

England

Correct answer:

Portugal

Explanation:

The Kingdom of Portugal began exploring the coast of Africa and the Atlantic archipelagos in the early 1400s. As the Portuguese explored new lands, they established forts and trading posts, the first markers of colonialism. They were followed by the Spanish and the English later in the fifteenth century. 

Example Question #2 : Cultural And Intellectual History

Who was considered the wealthiest and most powerful man in Florence, Italy during the Renaissance?

Possible Answers:

Lorenzo de' Medici

Pope Leo X

Tycho Brahe

Leonardo da Vinci

Niccolò Machiavelli

Correct answer:

Lorenzo de' Medici

Explanation:

Lorenzo de' Medici was a member and leader of one of the most influential families during the Renaissance, using his wealth and political prowess to effectively rule the Florentine Republic. Although the other answers refer to important figures of the Renaissance, they are incorrect due to their differing professions which did not afford them as much wealth or power as enjoyed by the Medici family.

Example Question #1 : European History

Ludwig van Beethoven, John Keats, Lord Bryon, Victor Hugo and Eugene Delacroix are associated with what artistic movement?

Possible Answers:

Impressionism 

Surrealism

Expressionism

Realism

Romanticism 

Correct answer:

Romanticism 

Explanation:

Romanticism was an artistic movement that emphasized emotion, individualism, history and nature. It originated in Europe in the late eighteenth century and peaked in the period from 1800-1850. These artists exemplify the tenets of the Romantic movement in painting, writing and music.  

Example Question #2 : European History

One key difference between Renaissance art and medieval art is that Renaissance art ____________________.

Possible Answers:

was not supported by the Catholic Church

featured more realistic and natural depictions of the human form

was produced by and for the middle class

focused on landscapes and nature scenes

rarely featured religious subjects

Correct answer:

featured more realistic and natural depictions of the human form

Explanation:

Renaissance painters and sculptors created realistic, multi-dimensional depictions of the human form. In contrast medieval art typically featured less realistic renderings of people.

Example Question #3 : European History

Which French ruler first instituted state-wide universal education?

Possible Answers:

Charles de Gaulle

Louis Adolphe Thiers

Louis XIV

Napoleon Bonaparte

Correct answer:

Napoleon Bonaparte

Explanation:

As a part of his sweeping reform of French domestic policy, Napoleon made universal state-sponsored education available to the masses for the first time in the early nineteenth century. Napoleon believed the introduction of universal state-sponsored education would both help the people of France and allow him to recruit more and better military officers.

Example Question #1 : Cultural And Intellectual History

The increase in literacy among Europeans starting in the 15th century is most closely with which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Dr. Theodor Geisel

None of these

The Glorious Revolution

The Enlightenment

The Gutenberg printing press

Correct answer:

The Gutenberg printing press

Explanation:

The Gutenberg printing press introduced movable type and made it possible to mass-produce books that were previously scribed by hand and therefore took a very long time to reproduce. The greatly increased availability of books contributed to a large increase of the number of people who learned to read.

The Enlightenment was a political and philosophical movement in the 1700's, centered on the belief in universal human rights that helped inspire democratic reforms in government and the American and French Revolutions.

The Glorious Revolution was the bloodless overthrow of England's King James II in 1688.

Dr. Theodor Geisel wrote children's books and is better known by his pen-name, Dr. Seuss.

Example Question #1 : European History

What was the scientific revolution?

Possible Answers:

A time when the common people revolted and burned all the scientific works with which they disagreed

A time when many important discoveries were made that changed how people observed the world

A movement to make science available to everyone in Italy

An era in which scientists shifted their focus from general science to military science

A time when people persecuted scientists because they were afraid of their power

Correct answer:

A time when many important discoveries were made that changed how people observed the world

Explanation:

During the Middle Ages (500-1350 CE), scientific knowledge did not evolve very much. Scholars studied the works of the old scientific thinkers, and accepted their findings as true without question. They began to ask questions and do experiments and found that the results did not always match up to the old accepted theories. This led to an explosion in scientific innovation and methodology which resulted in inventions and discoveries like the telescope, the barometer, the thermometer, the microscope and the scientific revolution. Scientific inquiry, observation and experimentation as we know it today was pioneered by the leaders of the scientific revolution- Francis Bacon, Robert Boyle, Nicolas Copernicus, Rene Descartes, Galileo and others.

Example Question #1 : European History

Other than its masterful execution, what was unique about Michelangelo’s David?

Possible Answers:

The quality of the marble was noteworthy

David was all alone

It was completed in record time

It was much smaller than most sculptures of the time

Usually David was portrayed as older

Correct answer:

David was all alone

Explanation:

The story of David and Goliath was a well known story which was often the subject of paintings and sculptures at the time. However, usually the artist depicted David victorious after battle or valiantly fighting during it. Everyone was shocked when Michelangelo chose to David all alone, looking confident and contemplative in the moments before the battle. His weapon, the sling shot, is not prominent in the sculpture, it is slung over his shoulder almost out of view as if to emphasize that this hero’s strength lay in his intellect and ingenuity not brute strength.

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