SAT II World History : Gunpowder

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #3 : Global Developments

Gunpowder was first invented in __________.

Possible Answers:

India

the Netherlands

Congo

China

Arabia

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 #3 : Global Developments

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

Possible Answers:

it resulted in the end of the Samurai feudal system

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

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 

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

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.

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