SAT II World History : Europe

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

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Europe

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

Possible Answers:

Clovis

Augustus Caesar

Alaric

Charlemagne

Charles the Bald

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 #6 : 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:

Atilla 

Octavian

Genghis Khan

Charlemagne

Pepin

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 #3 : Europe

Which of these Germanic tribes invaded the British Isles?

Possible Answers:

None of the other answer choices are correct. 

Saxons

Angles, Jutes, and Saxons

Angles

Jutes

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 : Europe

During the fourteenth century, there were Popes in both Rome and __________

Possible Answers:

Avignon

Krakow

Paris

Genoa

Seville

Correct answer:

Avignon

Explanation:

In the early part of the fourteenth century, the French King Phillip IV and Pope Boniface VIII clashed over whether or not the clergy should be made to pay taxes to secular authorities without the permission of the Pope. This conflict came to an end when Boniface was captured by French forces and died in the ordeal. To ensure continued papal loyalty, Philip installed a new Pope, Clement V, in the city of Avignon in France. The Papacy would continue to reside in France from 1305 to 1378.

Example Question #5 : Europe

After the Concordat of Worms, bishops in the Holy Roman Empire owed their allegiance to __________.

Possible Answers:

the monarch and the Pope 

God alone 

their conscience alone 

the monarch 

the Pope 

Correct answer:

the monarch and the Pope 

Explanation:

The Concordat of Worms (1122) is generally seen as the end of the first major power struggle between the Papacy and the monarchs of Europe (particularly the Holy Roman Emperor) during the medieval era. Prior to the Concordat, the Emperor and the Papacy had disagreed over who had the right to appoint bishops and other church officials and to whom those officials ultimately owed their loyalty. The Concordat determined that in secular matters, the bishops were loyal to the monarch, but in spiritual matters, were loyal to the Pope. Essentially, bishops now owed allegiance to both the Pope and to the monarch. This is seen as a major turning point in European history—both an important part of the rise of Christianity and a precursor to the emergence of nation states.

Example Question #6 : Europe

John Wycliffe and Jan Hus may be best understood as early precursors of __________.

Possible Answers:

the Age of Exploration 

the Jesuit movement

the Scientific Revolution 

the Protestant Reformation 

the Great Schism 

Correct answer:

the Protestant Reformation 

Explanation:

John Wycliffe was an English theologian in the fourteenth century who was sharply critical of the Papacy and the abuses of the Catholic clergy. Although Wycliffe died of natural causes, he was posthumously excommunicated, his body dug up and "executed" as a heretic in the fifteenth century, demonstrating the dangers of Wycliffe's writings to the established order of things. Jan Hus was another church reformer, a Czech theologian of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. He advocated that the Bible should be the guiding force for all Christians and challenged the power of the Papacy. He was executed, a move that sparked the decades long Hussite Rebellion. Both men can be seen as early precursors to the Protestant Reformation that would grip Europe a century later.

Example Question #7 : Europe

The Christian tradition of Scholasticism emerged largely as a result of the writings of __________.

Possible Answers:

Thomas More

Pope Urban II 

St. Augustine 

Thomas Aquinas

St. Paul 

Correct answer:

Thomas Aquinas

Explanation:

The Christian tradition of Scholasticism evolved out of the earlier (and concurrent) tradition of monasticism. It involves marrying Christian ethics and beliefs with an approach to learning focused on reasoning, inference, and questioning. The tradition of Scholasticism grew in prominence in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and much of the tradition is based on the writings of the famous Christian philosopher and theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas.

Example Question #3 : Europe

During the Medieval period, it was common for people to pay one-tenth of their income to the church; this payment is known as a(n) __________.

Possible Answers:

simony 

tithe

tariff 

petty tax

indulgence 

Correct answer:

tithe

Explanation:

The tradition of paying one-tenth of one's income to the church comes from the Jewish faith, but was widely accepted in Christianity during the Medieval period and continues to be in some parts of the world today. This payment was known as a "tithe," and all men were expected to pay it.

Example Question #4 : Europe

Which of the following is a title that was given to someone who fought for a lord in the feudal system in exchange for land and payment?

Possible Answers:

Vassal

Baron

Fiefdom

Pauper

Serf

Correct answer:

Vassal

Explanation:

In the feudal system, there were lords (the owners of land and the offerers of protection); vassals (those who fought for the lords in exchange for tracts of land or payment); and serfs (those who worked the land in exchange for protection).

Example Question #2 : Feudalism

In the feudal system,  the land was worked by __________.

Possible Answers:

knights

plebeians

vassals

barons

serfs

Correct answer:

serfs

Explanation:

In the feudal system, the land was worked by the serfs, who essentially entered into a state of voluntary slavery in exchange for protection from invasion. The lords offered protection and the vassals were paid to carry out the protection. Of course, only the first generation of serfs "volunteered" for the slavery; later generations were stuck working as effective slaves even once the threat of invasion was lessened, hence the longevity of feudalism in Europe, which in some places lasted for as long as a thousand years.

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