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

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : The Nuclear Threat

Which of these nations was not known to be armed with nuclear weapons in 2014?

Possible Answers:

Russia

The United States

Pakistan

France

All of these countries are known to possess nuclear weapons. 

Correct answer:

All of these countries are known to possess nuclear weapons. 

Explanation:

The full list of countries who possessed nuclear weapons in 2014, in the order they acquired them, reads as follows: The United States (1945), Russia (1949), The United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), China (1964), India (1974), Pakistan (1998), North Korea (suspected 2006), Israel (unknown).

Example Question #2 : The Nuclear Threat

The theory that two nuclear armed nations will not launch a nuclear attack on one another is called __________.

Possible Answers:

Mutually Assured Destruction

Nuclear Non-Proliferation

Joint Arms Offensive

Nuclear Wasteland Doctrine

The Combined Arms Treaty

Correct answer:

Mutually Assured Destruction

Explanation:

Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.) is the belief that two nuclear powers will not launch a nuclear attack on one another because such an attack would ensure the complete annihilation of both the initial attacker and the defender. Essentially, each country can thought to be saying, "If you nuke me, I will nuke you back." This concept acted as a deterrent during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Example Question #3 : The Nuclear Threat

Which of these nations was not one of the signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty? 

Possible Answers:

France

China

The United Kingdom

India

The United States

Correct answer:

India

Explanation:

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was signed in 1968 by most of the nations of the world. At the time of signing, the known nuclear powers were Russia, the United States, China, the United Kingdom, and France. Since then, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and (likely) Israel have acquired nuclear weapons. None of those four countries are part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The aim of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was to prevent new nations from acquiring nuclear weapons and to encourage those states that already had nuclear weapons to disarm.

Example Question #1 : Impact Of Modern Technology

Trench warfare was primarily conducted during __________.

Possible Answers:

the Russo-Japanese War 

World War Two 

the American Civil War

World War One

the Crimean War

Correct answer:

World War One

Explanation:

In the years leading up to World War One, the world witnessed great advances in technology that could be used to defend and fortify positions (most notably the machine gun), but far fewer advances in technology that aided mobility and attacking. In such a situation as existed on the Western front of Europe during World War One, the advantage was firmly in the hands of those in a defensive position. This lead to a massive stalemate in which the Allied and Central powers faced off across a few miles of unmanned terrain (“No Man’s Land”), and traded suicidal attacks over the top.

Example Question #2 : Impact Of Modern Technology

Sputnik was __________.

Possible Answers:

a nuclear non-proliferation treaty signed between the United States and the Soviet Union

a Soviet spy program

the first man-made satellite to orbit the Earth

a Soviet developed nuclear weapon

a Russian propaganda program

Correct answer:

the first man-made satellite to orbit the Earth

Explanation:

Sputnik was a Soviet-built and operated satellite that was the first man-made object to orbit the Earth. The voyage of Sputnik set off alarms in the United States and began the decades-long Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Example Question #16 : 1900 C.E. To Present

Moore's Law refers to the belief that __________.

Possible Answers:

two industrial, democratic nations will never declare war on one another

by allowing the weakest and least productive members of society to survive, and sometimes prosper, mankind is impeding the evolutionary process

human beings will colonize space before the end of the twenty-first century

eventually the computing power of machines will surpass that of human beings 

computing power will double roughly every two years

Correct answer:

computing power will double roughly every two years

Explanation:

Moore's Law is a law of computer engineering that states that the power of computers will double roughly every two years. Specifically, it states that the number of transistors (part of a circuit that controls the precise flow of current through circuit boards) doubles in an integrated circuit every two years. So far, Moore's Law has proved extremely prescient. 

Example Question #17 : 1900 C.E. To Present

How have antibiotics, like penicillin, changed the nature of warfare? 

Possible Answers:

Fewer soldiers die from diseases carried by mosquitoes.

Generals no longer have to worry about their armies being decimated by sexually transmitted diseases.

All of these answers are correct.

Far fewer soldiers die from infections picked up through injuries sustained in battle.

The adrenaline level and focus of soldiers is dramatically improved, allowing them to be more efficient fighters.

Correct answer:

Far fewer soldiers die from infections picked up through injuries sustained in battle.

Explanation:

Prior to the invention of penicillin and other antibiotics, a significant proportion of battlefield deaths occurred from diseases that we now consider preventable. Antibiotics allow doctors to treat bacterial infections very effectively. Penicillin was invented in 1928, and the difference between the number of people who died from infections in World War One compared to those who perished from the same causes in World War Two is nothing short of miraculous. Of course, penicillin has also had a massive impact on the number of people around the world who die from infectious diseases. By some estimates, penicillin has saved over a hundred million lives since its first usage in the early 1930s.

Example Question #3 : Impact Of Modern Technology

Who invented penicillin? 

Possible Answers:

Alexander Fleming

Nikola Tesla

Jonas Salk

Karl Jansky

John Baird

Correct answer:

Alexander Fleming

Explanation:

Penicillin was invented by Alexander Fleming in 1928. The story goes that Fleming was experimenting with bacterial molds when he went away on vacation; upon returning, he discovered that one of his bacterial cultures was contaminated with a fungus and that the cultures surrounding it had been destroyed. So, completely by accident, Fleming discovered one of the most important medicines in human history—the antibacterial penicillin. 

Example Question #19 : 1900 C.E. To Present

Jonas Salk is famous for __________.

Possible Answers:

inventing the television 

the development of radar 

inspiring the Green Revolution with his invention of pesticides

inventing the world's first effective polio vaccine

his work on the Manhattan Project 

Correct answer:

inventing the world's first effective polio vaccine

Explanation:

Prior to the mid-1950s, when Salk's vaccine for polio was first provided for the public to use, polio had been one of the most devastating diseases in the Western world. It affected mostly children and caused death in many cases and paralysis in many others. In 1952, America experienced the worst epidemic of polio in the nation's history as many tens of thousands of children died or were paralyzed, so when Salk announced that he had developed a completely effective vaccine for polio, he was greeted as a national hero and a miracle worker. Today, the disease has been completely eradicated in the Western world and eradication efforts have been ongoing throughout the rest of the world. It is hoped that before 2020, the disease will have been completely isolated to human history.

Example Question #4 : Impact Of Modern Technology

Marie Curie is most well known for her __________.

Possible Answers:

imprisonment during the Civil Rights Era 

self-sacrificing mission to promote legal access to birth control for women

decision to sell state secrets to the Soviet Union 

pioneering research in radioactivity 

dangerous work on the Manhattan Project 

Correct answer:

pioneering research in radioactivity 

Explanation:

Marie Curie was a Polish scientist who in the first decade of the twentieth century did pioneering work on the nature of radioactivity in elemental matter. She discovered, among other things, two new elements and has received two Nobel prizes. 

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