SAT II World History : 500 C.E. to 1500 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 : Transportation

Which of these empires did the most to facilitate trade between the Far East and the European and Arabian worlds?

Possible Answers:

The Iberian Empire

The Olmec Empire

The Mongol Empire

The Hunnic Empire

The Mughal Empire

Correct answer:

The Mongol Empire

Explanation:

The Mongol Empire is the largest land empire the world has ever seen. At its height, it stretched from Siberia down to the Middle East and from China to Eastern Europe. The Mongols committed some of the worst atrocities in human history to conquer their empire, but once their empire was conquered, it facilitated trade in a way unseen previously in human history. The fact that all territory between China and the Mediterranean was effectively governed by one administration ensured that trade could flow freely and people could move safely as never before.

Example Question #1 : 500 C.E. To 1500 C.E.

Who is credited with connecting Europe and Asia into one trade network?

Possible Answers:

Otto von Bismarck 

Justinian I

Kublai Khan 

Attila the Hun 

Genghis Khan 

Correct answer:

Genghis Khan 

Explanation:

Genghis Khan conquered the largest empire the world has ever seen. His empire stretched from China all the way to Central Europe and from Northern Russia down to the Middle East. It was the first incidence in human history where the massive stretch of land between Asia and Europe could be considered somewhat unified and organized. This connected Europe and Asia into one cohesive trade network for the first time in human history and helped facilitate the exchange of ideas, produce, and disease across the entire landmass.

Example Question #2 : Global Developments

Which of the following best defines meritocracy?

Possible Answers:

The name given to Genghis Kahn’s style of intimidation and warfare

A religious sect of ancient Confucianism 

A system where promotions are made based on ability rather than familial status

None of the other answer choices is correct.

The name given to the Japanese concept of chivalry and honor

Correct answer:

A system where promotions are made based on ability rather than familial status

Explanation:

Meritocracy is the name given to a system in which promotions are made and jobs awarded based on the ability of an individual rather than the status of his or her family. Genghis Khan famously introduced this concept to his Mongolian forces, greatly improving the efficiency of his forces and the loyalty of his men.

Example Question #1 : 500 C.E. To 1500 C.E.

During the eleventh and twelfth centuries, trebuchets began to emerge in Europe and the Middle East; they were primarily used __________.

Possible Answers:

for defensive purposes 

for caring for the sick and wounded 

to spot enemies from a safe distance 

as siege weapons 

as close-combat weapons 

Correct answer:

as siege weapons 

Explanation:

Trebuchets are siege weapons that became a popular component of medieval war-making in the twelfth century. A trebuchet is similar in design to a catapult, although significantly more complicated and effective. Trebuchets were eventually phased out in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries with the advent of gunpowder and cannons.

Example Question #2 : 500 C.E. To 1500 C.E.

The invention of gunpowder occurred in __________.

Possible Answers:

England

Germany

China

Russia

France

Correct answer:

China

Explanation:

The invention of gunpowder happened in China sometime around the ninth or tenth century. The China of this time period was a highly innovative society that gave the world many notable inventions, including block printing and compass navigation at sea. Gunpowder spread across Central Asia and the Middle East before arriving in Europe around the thirteenth century.

Example Question #1 : Europe

Which of these men was primarily responsible for the creation of the Frankish Kingdom in the sixth century? 

Possible Answers:

Alaric

Augustus Caesar

Charles the Bald

Clovis

Charlemagne

Correct answer:

Clovis

Explanation:

The Frankish Kingdom arose in the sixth century in an area that comprises most of modern-day France and the Low Countries. It was built on the conquest of Clovis, who converted to Christianity having won a major battle; however, in Frankish culture, the territory of a ruler is divided between his sons, so the Frankish Kingdom continued to fracture and be reformed through conquest for the next few hundred years.

Example Question #1 : 500 C.E. To 1500 C.E.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, __________ was the first person to be crowned "Emperor of the Romans."

Possible Answers:

Charlemagne

Octavian

Atilla 

Pepin

Genghis Khan

Correct answer:

Charlemagne

Explanation:

Charlemagne is the most famous and most successful (in terms of military conquests) of all the Frankish kings. At the height of his empire in the year 800 CE, he controlled all of modern-day France, and much of modern-day Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, and the Low Countries. Because he was a powerful and devout Christian ruler, he was invited to become the first "Emperor of the Romans" in a few hundred years, an invitation he gleefully accepted.

Example Question #1 : Frank And Germanic History

Which of these Germanic tribes invaded the British Isles?

Possible Answers:

Jutes

Saxons

Angles, Jutes, and Saxons

None of the other answer choices are correct. 

Angles

Correct answer:

Angles, Jutes, and Saxons

Explanation:

The British Isles were originally held primarily by the Iceni, Gallic, and Celtic people; however, they were conquered by the Roman Empire in 44 BCE. During and after the fall of the Roman Empire, the British Isles were conquered by various Germanic tribes, most notably the Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes. English people are often called Anglo-Saxon to this day.

Example Question #2 : Global Developments

Why is Charles Martel considered significant to the rise of Christianity in Europe? 

Possible Answers:

He ensured the continuation of the Papacy when he took his armies to defend Rome from barbarian conquest.

His armies halted the advance of Islam into France.

He wrote extensively on theology and spread Christianity around the British Isles and Scandinavia.

His armies halted the advance of Islam into Spain.

He retook the Holy Land during the First Crusade and defended it against Muslim invasion.

Correct answer:

His armies halted the advance of Islam into France.

Explanation:

Charles Martel was the ruler of the Frankish people in the early eighth century C.E. He is most famous for defending the realms of Christendom from Islamic invasion in 732 C.E. when he won the Battle of Tours. Islamic armies never reached further north than Spain in Western Europe. Without Martel's victory, it is very possible that all of Europe would eventually have been Islamic instead of Christianity, and the whole history of the world would be very different.

Example Question #6 : 500 C.E. To 1500 C.E.

Pope Gregory VII banned lay investiture because __________.

Possible Answers:

it threatened to undermine the legitimacy of the Holy Roman Emperor

it prevented the Papal States from trading with the rest of the Italian city states

it allowed the Holy Roman Emperor to appoint church officials

it allowed church officials to pardon the sins of rich people in exchange for bribes

it served to highlight the intolerable conditions of the peasantry

Correct answer:

it allowed the Holy Roman Emperor to appoint church officials

Explanation:

Lay investiture is the name given to the common medieval practice whereby the Holy Roman Emperor, or another secular ruler, would appoint church officials without the consent of the Papacy. Gregory VII saw this as a challenge to his rule and banned the practice. He also subsequently excommunicated Emperor Henry IV when he ignored this rule. 

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