SAT II World History : 1500 C.E. to 1900 C.E.

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II World History

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : 1500 C.E. To 1900 C.E.

The printing press was invented in Europe by which of the following individuals?

Possible Answers:

Eli Whitney

Johannes Gutenberg

Robert Fulton

Tycho Brahe

Galileo Galilei

Correct answer:

Johannes Gutenberg

Explanation:

The world's first printing press was invented in China, several centuries before its independent invention in Europe, but the history of the world is often Eurocentric, and so when we ask the question "Who invented the printing press?" the most common answer is a German named Johannes Gutenberg, who invented his printing press in 1439. The printing press allowed manuscripts to be mass-produced for the first time in European history, allowing a far greater number of people to access literature and education.

Example Question #2 : 1500 C.E. To 1900 C.E.

Many modern banking instruments and investment products first arose in __________  in the seventeenth century.

Possible Answers:

France

the Netherlands

Italy

Germany

England

Correct answer:

the Netherlands

Explanation:

From the sixteenth century through the eighteenth century, the Dutch were major players in global trade. To help encourage the spread of wealth and to facilitate risky trading ventures over immense distances, the Dutch pioneered several banking institutions which quickly spread to England and the rest of Western Europe. 

Example Question #3 : 1500 C.E. To 1900 C.E.

Gunpowder was first invented in __________.

Possible Answers:

the Netherlands

China

Arabia

Congo

India

Correct answer:

China

Explanation:

Gunpowder was invented in China during the Song Dynasty, likely in the ninth century. Existing from the ninth to the eleventh centuries, the Song Dynasty was a very innovative society; many inventions are credited to China during this time period. Gunpowder spread slowly westward and was a part of European society by the twelfth or thirteenth century.

Example Question #4 : 1500 C.E. To 1900 C.E.

The Battle of Nagashino is considered a major turning point in the history of Japanese warfare and society because __________.

Possible Answers:

it was the first time rotating volleys of gunfire were used in a Japanese battle, to devastating effect

it was the first time gunpowder was used in a battle on the Japanese mainland

it resulted in the destruction of the Japanese imperial army by the American navy, ushering in an era of American and British dominance over Japan 

None of these answers is correct; the battle saw China repel a Japanese invasion of Manchuria 

it resulted in the end of the Samurai feudal system

Correct answer:

it was the first time rotating volleys of gunfire were used in a Japanese battle, to devastating effect

Explanation:

The Battle of Nagashino is often considered to be a turning point in Japanese social and military history. It is also often wrongly claimed to be the first time gunpowder was used in a Japanese battle. The correct answer is that it was the first battle in which rotating volleys of fire were used by an organized group of well-trained soldiers under the leadership of the infamous Oba Nobunaga. This revolutionized Japanese society because it changed the rules about who could fight a battle effectively. Suddenly the Samurai, with their lifetime of dedicated training, were less useful than a well-drilled regiment firing in a rotating fashion. The Feudal System would begin to erode as a result, at least until firearms were banned among the peasantry of Japan.

Example Question #5 : 1500 C.E. To 1900 C.E.

The Monroe Doctrine intended to __________.

Possible Answers:

Keep European countries out of Latin America 

Annex the territory of Mexico to the United States

Demand reparations from the British for the affronts of impressment and embargo

Map out the territory recently acquired in the Louisiana Purchase 

Promote the notion of American rights to the entirety of the continent

Correct answer:

Keep European countries out of Latin America 

Explanation:

The Monroe Doctrine was issued by the United States’ President James Monroe in 1823. It was issued in response to the wave of South American independence movements that had swept the European powers out of almost all territory in the Western hemisphere. The Monroe Doctrine threatened that the United States would intervene on behalf of the Latin American republics if the European powers tried to recapture territory in the Western hemisphere. It is one of the most significant foreign policy tenets in United States history and remains influential to this day.

Example Question #6 : 1500 C.E. To 1900 C.E.

The Sepoy Mutiny occurred __________.

Possible Answers:

in the Belgian colony of Congo 

immediately after the Easter Rebellion 

during the Great Partition 

after the assassination of Gandhi 

in the British Raj 

Correct answer:

in the British Raj 

Explanation:

The Sepoy Mutiny (sometimes called the First War of Indian Independence or the Indian Rebellion of 1857) occurred in Northern India. Much of India at the time was under British control, and the government was generally referred to as the British Raj. It has become common policy to state that the rebellion began when Hindu and Muslim Sepoys (another word for soldiers) were told that the grease used in their rifles was from either pork or beef fat—pork would offend Islamic customs and beef would offend Hindu customs; however, the rebellion was really an outpouring of long-held frustrations and angers. It would eventually be brutally put down by the British and resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Indian civilians.

Example Question #7 : 1500 C.E. To 1900 C.E.

Which of the following groups was interpreted by the British Empire to be at the top of the Northern Indian caste system?

Possible Answers:

Brahmans

Vaishyas 

Dalits

Kshatriyas

Shudras 

Correct answer:

Brahmans

Explanation:

The Indian caste system has existed for hundreds of years as a means of enforcing social stability and obedience; however, it has often been rather fluid, and rarely has it been uniformly enforced across the whole vast Indian subcontinent. Following the arrival of the British, however, the imperialist government needed a way to further entrench their system of power, so they sought to solidify and normalize the caste system. They placed Brahmans (priests and religious figures) at the top, followed by the Kshatriyas (warriors and rulers), then Vaishyas (merchants), and finally Shudras (workers and peasants). Below the established caste system there existed, and indeed still exists, an “untouchable caste” of Dalits.

Example Question #8 : 1500 C.E. To 1900 C.E.

Social Darwinism was a factor in the growth of which of these empires?

Possible Answers:

Roman 

Greek 

Spanish 

German

Carthaginian 

Correct answer:

German

Explanation:

This question is primarily asking you to identify which of these empires rose to prominence in the second half of the nineteenth century, as this was the time period in which Social Darwinism became a factor in European Imperialism. Social Darwinism was a political manipulation of Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” biological theory and was used to “justify” conquering and ruling native people under the guise that they were better off being ruled by "fitter" human beings. The only one of these empires that was rising in the second half of the nineteenth century was the German empire. The Roman, Carthaginian, and Greek empires were all in their ascendency in the classical era, and the Spanish empire rose to prominence in the late-Medieval and early-Renaissance eras.

Example Question #7 : 1500 C.E. To 1900 C.E.

The Platt Amendment concerned the presence of the United States in __________.

Possible Answers:

Nicaragua

Bolivia 

Panama

Mexico 

Cuba

Correct answer:

Cuba

Explanation:

The Platt Amendment was issued following the Spanish-American War in 1901. It effectively gave the American government complete control (albeit temporarily) over the Cuban government and stipulated that American troops would remain in Cuba and that naval bases would be constructed.

Example Question #10 : 1500 C.E. To 1900 C.E.

The established elites of India were ________.

Possible Answers:

radically eliminated following the arrival of the British Empire

primarily reinforced by the arrival of the British Empire 

overthrown by the British and reinstated in positions of bureaucracy 

economically ruined by the arrival of the British Empire 

at the height of their power at the arrival of the British Empire

Correct answer:

primarily reinforced by the arrival of the British Empire 

Explanation:

Following the arrival of the British in the Indian subcontinent the established elites were generally reinforced in their legitimacy and control of the territory. The British arrived with only a couple of thousand men and were faced with the task of administering a population of tens, if not hundreds, of millions so they rather had little choice but to manipulate the existing forms of power. 

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