Exam preparation materials


Practice Test 1:
Answers and

1A This question is a broad generalization about early societies. Remember to read the question carefully because you need to eliminate the four answer choices that are characteristics of early societies. And, be careful when you see the word all—that means you should be critically searching for the exception to the rule. The correct answer is (A). Not all early societies developed written communications. For example, while Sumer and Mesopotamia had a system of writing, pre-Columbian civilizations such as the Inca did not. You should use POE to get rid of (B) and (D). The Neolithic Revolution brought about sweeping changes in technology that allowed for irrigated agricultural activities in river valleys. (C) is not the correct answer because as permanent settlements arose, some people worked primarily as farmers, while others worked on monument building or as artisans. (E) isn’t the answer either, because tools were essential to civilizations’ development.

2E The Council of Trent (1545) was an attempt by the Roman Catholic Church to institute its own “reformation.” The Council upheld many of the church’s practices and beliefs (in opposition to Protestant faiths). However, it did outlaw some of the more heinous practices, such as selling indulgences.

Using POE, you can eliminate (A), (C), and (D) because Luther, Calvin, and the Anglican Church were all Protestant. (B) is a smart guess, yet while Copernicus and Galileo did come up against strong church opposition, the Council of Trent’s edict was written before either of those scientists published their works.

3D Even if you are not sure what a Gunpowder Empire is, the question asks you about something that pertains to the Islamic world. Using this information, eliminate any answer choices that include non-Muslim empires. Ming China was not Muslim, and neither was Aryan India, so get rid of (A), (B), and (E).

The Gunpowder Empires are associated with nations who had been able to take advantage of new military technologies. Those who had guns included the following:

The Czars of Muskovy Russia
The Ottoman Turks
The Tokugawa Shogunate
Safavid Persia
Mughal India
The Ming Dynasty
The Spanish and the Portuguese

4D While Mesoamerican religious rites were known to include sacrifice, the ceremonial use of sacrifice in the other civilizations is either unknown or untrue. To use POE on an EXCEPT question, first remember that you need to eliminate the four features that are true of all of the societies mentioned. You can get rid of (B) because all of these early societies developed ways to provide a constant source of water for agriculture. Likewise, they all developed specialization in craftwork, built monuments (pyramids, temples, ziggurats), and divided labor duties by gender, so (A), (C), and (E) are also not the right answer.

5B Peter the Great modernized eighteenth-century Russia by adopting Western-style culture and ideas, establishing a central bureaucratic government, building a strong military, and increasing agricultural and industrial productivity. He was also a strict dictatorial ruler, willing to use force to achieve his ends.

Using POE, you can eliminate (A) because Peter’s economic reforms were successful, and (D) because Peter the Great could not be considered categorically enlightened during his rule. (C) is also incorrect because ordinary citizens’ lives were not greatly improved. There were few civil rights, increased restrictions were placed on organized religion, and people in the lower classes still had few opportunities to improve their status. If the story in (E) sounds familiar, that was Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia—not Peter.

6D Although socialism and communism were on the rise in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, they were not factors that destabilized the balance of power. They were certainly factors that led to the destabilization of internal developments in countries like Russia near the end of World War I, but during the time period in question, European balance of power was more greatly impacted by the developments listed in the other four answer choices.

Using POE, you can eliminate any answer choice that describes a reason that one country became more or less powerful than another country in Europe during the late 1800s. You should definitely know that nationalism was impacting the balance of power, so eliminate (A). Nationalism led to unification in Italy and Germany, for example. The newly unified country of Germany quickly became an industrial power and eyed its neighbors enviously, so eliminate (C). The European powers also eagerly gobbled up Africa and Asia, extending their collective influence across the globe even as they individually competed with each other and felt threatened by the increasing size of each others’ empires, so get rid of (B). The subject peoples of the Ottoman Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empires, in particular, channeled their sense of nationalism into sometimes violent attacks against the imperial authorities.

7D Using POE, remember that (A), brinksmanship, refers to the period when each side brandished its massive powers in a game of military chicken, such as in Cuba. (B), peaceful coexistence, is also a Cold War term. Based on the recognition that the world was never going to be 100 percent democratic or communist, either way, the goal was to peacefully coexist (fully armed, of course), because the alternative was (C), mutual assured destruction, which justified the massive investment in weapons and war machines on both sides of the conflict. The U.S. went to war in Korea, Vietnam, and other places to prevent the spread of communism, a policy known as (E), containment. (D), appeasement, was the term used to describe European leaders’ willingness to allow Adolf Hitler to seize territory in Europe without repercussions prior to World War II.

8C In general, all Europeans played the colonization game for the same reasons: wealth, power, and racial and religious superiority. However, while the Spanish established large, permanent settlements in their colonies and encouraged Spaniards to move to the Americas through land grants, the French either had less success or less interest in these activities.

Using POE, you can eliminate (A) because everyone was interested in resource extraction. You can also eliminate (B) once you recall that France also held colonies in Africa (Guinea, Upper Volta, and Congo) and Southeast Asia (Indochina), plus “shared custody” of India for a time. The French encountered fewer natives than the Spanish because their mode of colonization usually did not involve expansive land-based development, meaning the French may even have converted a larger percentage of the (smaller number of) natives they encountered—so cross out (D) and (E).

9D Feudalism was the primary political system in western Europe and Japan during the medieval period. Its main characteristics was a decentralized power structure that stressed alliances between nobles and monarchs. The main difference between Japanese and European feudalism was that the size of the peasant population in Japan was considerably smaller than that in European nations.

Use POE and common sense to eliminate (B). (Think of one word: samurai.) (A) is not the correct answer because there was a hierarchy of power in Japan similar to that in Europe. The Japanese daimyo was similar to the European lord. (C) is also incorrect. In both Europe and Japan, feudalism represented a decentralized system of governance, and, in both, the power of the ruler was inextricably tied to the bonds he forged with lords. In Japan, the emperor probably had even less power with the rise of the shogunate (a military government). Upward mobility did not characterize the lot of peasants under either Japanese or European feudalism, so eliminate (E).

10E The Glorious Revolution (1688) represented a change in political power that occurred as a result of a peaceful coup. James II, the Catholic brother of Charles II, dissolved Parliament over religious differences. Parliamentary leaders led an uprising against James, and, in his place, installed a dual monarchy held by James’ Protestant daughter, Mary, and her husband, William.

Using POE, you can immediately eliminate (C) because wars of succession were the norm in many European nations. It certainly wasn’t the first time a monarch had ever been deposed, so it isn’t (B). (A) is incorrect because the movement started with Parliament. (D) is also incorrect because the new government was not secular—it replaced a Catholic monarchy with a Protestant one.

11A Make sure you read the question carefully. While certain Western knowledge and technology have probably contributed to better health care and education, (B), this is not a by-product of the spread of American culture. American culture is responsible for the proliferation of fast food restaurants in Kenya and weekly broadcasts of Baywatch in Russia. The influence of multinational corporations also spreads Western culture. And, in a significant number of nations, Western culture has replaced, or conflicts with, religion and local culture. Protests at World Bank meetings and acts of terrorism against Western interests are some of the ways in which this anti-American backlash has been expressed. But wouldn’t it be nice if (D) and (E)were true?

12A The Delhi Sultanate did not leave a long-lasting political or economic legacy after the fourteenth century. Its one contribution was the introduction of Islam into Indian society. There was a tremendous migration of Muslims into India as a result of instability in other Islamic lands, and many Indians embraced Islam. (For one thing, women had more rights under Muslim rule as opposed to Hindu rule.)

Use POE and common sense to eliminate (B) and (D). African and central Eurasian trade routes grew under Muslim occupation of India, and the Mamluks consolidated India into a strong, centralized state. The caste system remained an important part of Indian life into the twentieth century, so (C) is also incorrect. China and Islam historically don’t go together, so you can cross off (E), too.

13D The outcome of Bismarck’s plan was that every nation in sub-Saharan Africa fell into foreign hands, except Ethiopia and Liberia. It was Bismarck’s goal to maintain that elusive “balance of power” among European nations, and the orderly division of African land was seen as one way of averting war. The Berlin Conference of 1884 and 1885 laid down the rules for future colonization.

Using POE, you can eliminate (B) because, while the United States attended the meetings where decisions about Africa were made, America did not participate in imperialism in that part of the world. You can also eliminate (A) because while Germany did gain some lands in Africa (Togoland, Cameroon, German Southwest Africa), the French and British held much more territory in Africa. (C) is out because economic and social pressures led to an end to slavery, not the plan to partition Africa. Broad independence for African nations was a dream not realized until the second half of the twentieth century, so there goes (E).

14D While many European nations relied on their colonies to be a steady source of raw materials and cheap labor and a ready market for manufactured goods, imperialism was not a necessary component of industrialization, so (D) is the answer. Remember on EXCEPT questions, four of the choices are true while the one that is not is the answer.

15E The Upanishad movement was prompted by the focus of religious leaders on ritual instead of substance. The Protestant Reformation was sparked by the sale of indulgences and other perceived abuses among religious leaders.

If you know nothing of the Upanishad movement but know a little about the Protestant Reformation, you can use POE to eliminate both (B), (C), and (D) because none of these was entirely true of the Protestant Reformation. (A) is out because the appeal of both reform movements was really to the lower classes who could not afford to buy salvation (Protestantism) or who wanted a more individualistic approach to religions (Upanishad).

16A The Four Noble Truths are associated with Buddhism. (C), Judaism, has the Ten Commandments. (D), Islam, has Five Pillars. (B), Legalism, is not a religion. Zoroastrianism, (E), is another world religion from Iran, but its basis is not four noble truths.

17A First, look at each choice and make sure that the statement is true for both the Inca and the Yuan. If it’s only true for one or the other, it cannot be the correct answer. In the 1200s, Mongol invasion of China led to the Yuan Dynasty. (Remember Kublai Khan? He was a Yuan ruler.) During this period, the territory of China expanded greatly, as did its economy as trade routes expanded. While China flourished under Yuan rule, the Mongols established what amounted to a caste system with native Chinese having little ability for advancement. In the late thirteenth century, Yuan rule ended with a successful Chinese uprising.

The Inca began as a small city-state, which, under militaristic native rulers, eventually conquered much of western South America. The Incan dynasty was most known for its extensive system of roads, sophisticated farming techniques, and lack of a system of writing. Another feature was the strict class system established by the Incan ruler. The Incan empire remained strong until the mid-1500s when the Spanish arrived in South America.

Using POE, eliminate (B) because it is not true of either society and (E) because it is not true of the Yuan. The Inca began as a small settlement in Peru and the Yuan was formed through Mongol invasion (although the Yuan did fall as a result of a peasant uprising). While the Yuan Dynasty relied heavily on trade, there is little evidence that trade played a large role in Incan society, so (C) is incorrect. While (D) is true of the Yuan (China did flourish under Mongol rule in terms of size of territory, economic growth, and peace), you know what happened to native cultures once the explorers found their way to the Americas.

18A The Emancipation Act of 1861 “freed” the serfs and allowed them to work in nonagricultural jobs. It was this pool of labor that made industrialization possible in Russia. Use POE and common sense to eliminate (D). You know that Russia did not embrace capitalism, even during the nineteenth century, and you also know that the improvement in the standard of living realized in Western nations was never achieved in Russia. While Russia did become more interested in expansionism, it was primarily to gain access to water routes, not develop new markets or provide employment for the working class, so eliminate (B) and (E). If you didn’t remember that Russia had large deposits of coal within its own borders and also a significant steel industry, (C) is a smart guess.

19D The Black Death was an important historical event because of the number of European deaths and because of its impact on other parts of the world. It serves as an illustration of how the world became more interdependent during the late medieval period and how trade routes were responsible not only for moving goods and ideas, but also for spreading disease. However, the Black Death occurred as feudalism was ending in western Europe. During this period there was more urbanization, more proto-industrialization, and more contact with other lands through trade and conquest.

The other four choices are true and therefore not the answer. Starting with the plague’s impact on Europe, (A) and (C) are tied together. The staggering number of deaths in Europe did have a negative (albeit temporary) impact on productivity, which would then obviously have an impact on supply. The bubonic plague actually originated in China and then spread through central Eurasia before finally landing in Sicily in 1347. (B) was a result of the Black Death’s arrival in China, and therefore cannot be the correct answer. (E) might have been hard to eliminate if you don’t know much about humanism, but because religious faith did not seem to have diminished the horrors of the Black Death, Western European thinkers were confronted with their own mortality and began to study and extol the virtues of human existence. Thus, this is true and therefore not the answer either.

20E Direct colonization of less-developed countries did not occur during the Cold War. The other four answers are true and therefore not correct. Common sense tells you (D) is true, as is (B)—support for dictatorial regimes in Nicaragua (Somoza) and Panama (Noriega) and the support for rebel groups in Cuba and post-Somoza Nicaragua show the United States’ determination to prevent the spread of communism to Latin America. The Soviet Union provided arms and military advisors to Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan, so (A) is true. In 1946, Winston Churchill used the phrase “iron curtain” to describe the Soviet lockdown of its peoples within Eastern Europe, so (C) is also true and therefore wrong.

21E Better access to medical care would mean that more people would live longer, there would be fewer infant deaths, and so on. If you use POE, you don’t need the chart to answer this question. Just cross off the answer choices that could be responsible for a declining population in a developing, sub-Saharan nation. Eliminate (A), as reproductive planning generally means fewer births, then eliminate (B) and (C) because more prosperous nations where women are involved in the work force tend to have lower birth rates anyway. The impact of HIV, AIDS, malaria, cholera, typhoid, and tuberculosis are exacerbated in poorer nations, (D). More people die of these diseases in less-developed nations than in industrialized nations.

22D Japan was one of the few nations able to withstand foreign dominance during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Use POE to get rid of the nations that you know were part of the Empire. The Mongol Empire included China (Yuan), Ukraine and Russia (Muscovy), India (Delhi and Mughal), and Persia (Safavid).

23B During this period, the Japanese cut ties with China and focused on the study of art and literature. As a result, Japan developed its own cultural identity. Use common sense and POE to eliminate (C) because Japan was never occupied by the Mongols, and (D) because Japan never adopted Confucianism as a state religion/philosophy but rather embraced Shintoism and Buddhism, both of which remain major influences in Japan today. While (E) may be difficult to get rid of because it sounds logical, remember that mechanized printing was a Western invention (Gutenberg!), so cross that off. As for (A), Japan didn’t start to explore and conquer until after the Meiji Restoration, but if you’re unsure when the Meiji Restoration was in relation to the Heian period, guess and go.

24D The Council of Trent was formed as part of the Catholic Counter-Reformation to combat the rise of Protestantism by instituting reforms in the Catholic Church. While it failed to end the spread of Protestant beliefs, certain fundamental changes were adopted. Because (D) was not a result of the Council, it is the correct answer, but the other four choices are true. The Council did define Church tradition on scriptures, (E). The Council outlawed the sale of indulgences, (A), in response to Luther’s attacks. In order to reinforce the perception of its power and majesty, the church commissioned religious art and architecture, (B), much of it in the baroque style. One of the most significant actions of the Council of Trent came in its affirmation of all of the church doctrines, including the rejection of the Calvinist belief in predestination, (C).

25D This quote deals with the potential of women, which was clearly not being realized under the contemporary social and governmental restrictions. Using POE, don’t be misled by bits and pieces of the quote. While “senses quicker” might imply strength and “female wit” could insinuate humor, neither (A) nor (B) are correct. Furthermore, he’s not telling men it’s OK to make fun of women—he gives women more credit than that, so cross out (E).

While Dafoe is saying that women’s true abilities are not well documented, he does not mean to say that no evidence has been offered to show such intelligence. Instead, he is rallying against the policies that have prevented women from realizing their potential, and he deems the best way to allow women to demonstrate their abilities will be through education. (C) is a smart guess but incorrect.

26D While more nations and soldiers were involved in World War I than in any previous military action, the term “total war” does not apply to answer choices (A), (B), or (C). Additionally, the history of World War I is rife with the taking of prisoners, so the answer isn’t (E) either. Instead, it refers to the massive mobilization of resources necessary to carry out a military action of this size. Some of the tools nations used to achieve this level of mobilization were: nationalization of key industries, central economic planning, and wartime rationing.

27A The Tanzimat Reforms were a vast set of changes instated in the Ottoman Empire between 1839 and 1876. Overall, these reforms were meant to modernize the empire, and their goal was to save the empire. However, they were not ultimately successful. Among the changes were modernizing industry, granting more political and religious freedom, expansion of the nation’s physical infrastructure, and the introduction of Western-style education. Women had access to education, there was more tolerance of non-Muslim citizens, and the government was secularized. However, those reforms did not go so far as is stated in (E), and (B), (C), and (D) were not part of the Tanzimat Reforms.

28E You need to select the answer choice that is not a true statement about Akbar the Great. The Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan as a tribute to his wife, not by Akbar the Great. Jahan ruled after Akbar, from 1628 to 1658.

Even if you don’t know who built the Taj Mahal, you can use POE to eliminate things that you know are true about Akbar. If you remember that he was a military leader who built powerful civilizations based on prosperity and tolerance, you should be able to eliminate (A) and (C), if you remember where the Mughal empire was located. If you aren’t sure about the remaining answer choices, you should take your best guess and move on. If you recall that Akbar accepted the practice of all religions during his reign and even attempted to create a new faith, Divine Faith, in which he tried to combine elements of Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Hinduism, and Christianity, you can eliminate (D). You might also recall that Akbar tried to end the practice of sati, in which high-caste Hindu women threw themselves to their deaths on their husbands’ funeral pyres, which would eliminate (B).

29D Here is the important point to remember: In 1215, King John needed money to wage his war with France. The only way to “persuade” the nobles to fund his military campaign was to sign the Magna Carta, which guaranteed basic rights to nobility and restricted the ability of the king to increase taxes. While the Magna Carta did place additional restriction on the powers of the king, it did little to reverse the trend toward a more centralized and stronger national government.

Using POE, you can eliminate (A) because English common law (and the institution of grand and petit juries) was codified under Henry II in 1166. While the idea of greater rights and representation was contained in the Magna Carta, it wasn’t until later in the thirteenth century, under Edward I, that the first Parliament was convened, so (B) is not the answer. You know that there were plenty of English kings after John and that conflict over succession is a common theme in English history, so eliminate (C). It was one of those subsequent English kings, Henry VIII, who established the Anglican Church with himself as the head with the Act of Supremacy in 1534, long after John made his deal with the nobles, so it isn’t (E).

30B Both Gandhi and Mao worked to reform the social order of their respective societies albeit in different ways. Gandhi spoke often of both the suffering and the great potential of the peasant classes and even promoted the abolition of the “untouchable” caste. And Mao was clearly driven to tap the great potential of China’s peasants and to create an egalitarian society during the Cultural Revolution. Use POE and be sure to select the answer choice that is true of both Gandhi and Mao. Both (A) and (E) are incorrect because Mao wasn’t shy about promoting change from “the barrel of a gun,” but Gandhi actively practiced nonviolence. Both (C) and (D) are incorrect as Mao actively worked to eliminate religion from Chinese society whereas Gandhi promoted religious unity between Muslims and Hindus.

31E In Kiev, Prince Vladimir I converted to Christianity, thereby fostering the spread of that religion through eastern Europe. The Mamluks became Muslims and helped protect Islamic society and culture from attacks from Mongols and Crusaders.

To use POE, remember that the correct answer will be the statement that is true about both the Vikings and the Mamluks. The Vikings, descendents of Germanic warrior tribes, were known for their plundering raids of western Europe (England, Normandy) and for establishing Kiev and Novogrod in Russia. Viking invasions in eastern Europe linked Slavs to the rest of the world through expanded trade routes. Remember, too, that the Vikings were excellent open-seas navigators (they were believed to be the first Europeans to cross the Atlantic). Armed with this information, you can eliminate (A), (B), and (C). The Mamluks were former Turkish military slaves in the Islamic Empire—not known for their seafaring skills, so cross out (D)—who overthrew the Ayyubad dynasty in the thirteenth century and ruled parts of Egypt, Syria, and Arabia for two centuries.

32A On the surface, it would not appear that these two societies would have much in common, but think about more general comparisons and you’ll find that they do share some important features. The only answer that works for both is (A). Mercantile states (Genoa, Pisa, Venice) grew in Italy as a result of industry and trade, and owing to a strong economy and new agricultural techniques, the Song were the most urbanized society of their time.

Eliminate (E) immediately because of Italy’s long history with Catholicism and its various movements and traditions, even if you don’t recall that the Song were all about neo-Confucianism, which is not a religion. Conversely, (B) is true for the Song, but not for Italy. China continued to be ruled by a strong emperor, supported by neo-Confucianism and a strong central bureaucracy. On the other hand, each Italian city-state was ruled by the dominant family and not subject to any national authority.

POE will help you eliminate (C) because China, having a state philosophy instead of a state religion, did not have a spiritual leader. (Italy, on the other hand, did have a spiritual leader in the pope, but, as noted above, no single secular ruler.) China might have depended on the Silk Route, but the Italians had the Mediterranean Sea with which to conduct their trade activities. In addition, other overland routes to Europe and North Africa had been opened during the Crusades. (D) is not the right answer.

33B Hellenism refers to the adoption of various elements of Greek civilization by other parts of the world. Greek architecture relied heavily on using marble and other hard stones in building construction, and the spread of this style to southwest Asia is an example of Hellenism. (A) is incorrect because gothic architecture was a feature of medieval western Europe, not ancient Greece. While monotheism did spread beyond the Mediterranean and trade expanded south and west, neither are uniquely Greek, so (C) and (D) are incorrect. Finally, because we’re talking about the Greeks, not their historic enemies, the Persians, (E) is in no way a correct answer to the question.

34D Even if you are not sure what monasticism is you can still use POE to eliminate at least answer choice (C) because Confucianism is not a religion, but rather a philosophy. Monasticism refers to the establishment of communities, called monasteries, where monks could withdraw from the secular world to lead lives devoted to their religion. The correct answer is (D). Christian monasticism began in the third century in Egypt. Interestingly, monasticism is expressly forbidden in the Baha’i faith, (E).

35A More than other questions on the test, political cartoons allow you to use common sense to eliminate incorrect answers. You know that the problems facing workers at the end of the nineteenth century did not magically disappear with the beginning of the twentieth century. American labor unions (such as the AFL and the CIO) did not arise until the 1900s, and labor union membership continued to grow until the late 1900s. Therefore, (B) and (C) can be eliminated. While (D) is true, it’s not an accurate interpretation of the cartoon. Finally, (E) should strike you as intuitively wrong on several levels—slavery in the nineteenth century was not particularly good to anyone, and if it were, why say goodbye?

36E Neo-Confucianism was a movement that synthesized Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism. Developed during the Song Dynasty, it became the dominant philosophy during the Ming Dynasty. While loyalty to government was an important feature of neo-Confucianism, family structure was the foundation for all other relationships in one’s life.

The other four choices are true and therefore not the answer. With an emphasis on moral behavior, filial piety, and social order, neo-Confucianism is not all that different from Confucianism. Therefore, (D) is a correct statement about neo-Confucianism. Because neo-Confucianism blended Dao and Buddhist elements, it was more widely accepted outside of China. Indeed, it became an influential philosophy in Japan and Korea, especially with the adoption of meritocracy, so (B) is not the answer. The Ming resurrected the examination system, and, as Confucianist scholars rose to higher positions of power in the bureaucracy, they worked to limit the power of groups whom they perceived as threats—the military and the merchant classes. (A) and (C) are correct statements, so neither is the answer.

37B Silent Spring was published in 1962 and outlined the environmental dangers associated with the use of DDT. It ushered in an era of increased environmental concern and greater awareness of the interconnectedness of biological systems and world economies.

38D Spanish plantations were established to grow sugarcane (and other cash crops). Using POE and common sense you can eliminate both (A) and (B). All mother countries engaged in mercantilism; it was one of the primary reasons for colonization. Also, you know that many Spaniards came to the New World, many under the auspices of a papal mandate for conversion of the natives to Catholicism. But Spain’s true goals were more about land and profits, which meant complete control of the land and its people, regardless of what religion they followed.

To decide between (C) and (D), you need to remember what the primary source of economic gain was in Spain’s colonies. Half of answer (C) is correct—the Spanish exploited the natural deposits of gold in the Americas. However, salt was not one of the resources that made Spain rich off the New World. (C) is a smart guess even though the answer is (D).

39B Both civilizations developed strong central governments run by bureaucrats. In Byzantium, bureaucrats were trained at the University of Constantinople. In the T’ang Dynasty, the bureaucrats (mandarins) had to pass civil service exams to enter government service.

To use POE on this question, remember you need to select the answer that is true for both of these civilizations. (A) is true for the Byzantine Empire (Constantinople), but not for the T’ang. The capital city, Changan, grew into the largest city in the world at the time. (C) is true of Byzantium only, in which the emperor was considered a representative of God and Greek Orthodoxy was the foundation of the civilization. While Buddhism was still popular during the T’ang Dynasty, Confucianism was far more influential in government and private life. (D) is a tricky answer choice. While you know that silk weaving was important to the Chinese economy, it also became the primary industry in Byzantium after two monks smuggled silkworm eggs out of China on a missionary visit. (E), too, can be kind of rough, as bankruptcy and corruption have certainly destroyed plenty of governments, but while there were some regime problems with the Byzantine government and its management of the empire, the T’ang were taken down by an armed rebellion they could not contain, even with outside help.

40A Remember you are looking for the answer that is not true—common sense can tell you that (A) doesn’t make sense, so it is the answer. Even if you don’t know very much about the history of the Middle East, wouldn’t the discovery of something as important as petroleum lead to an increase in political power? Of course it would. As long as you know that most OPEC countries are in the Middle East, you can get this question right. As for the wrong answers, the Iranian Revolution was all about religious fundamentalism, so (B) is true; modernization and the basic tenets of any religion tend to come into conflict with each other, so (C) is true; nationalism led to civil war in Afghanistan and to genocide against the Kurds in Iraq, so (D) is true; and while there are supporters of Western ideals and military interventions in the Middle East, there are also many who decry the Western way of life, so (E) is also true.

41A With better conditions, there was less reason for the level of revolt called for by Karl Marx. Moreover, many of these reforms came because of the demands made by labor unions. Many workers chose to join unions rather than stage communist revolts.

42E Sun Yat-sen was considered the father of modern China. As the founder of the Revolutionary Alliance, he ousted the ruling Qing Dynasty and formed the Nationalist Party in 1911 and 1912. The goal of the Nationalists was to create a representative democracy based on the People’s Principles: nationalism, democracy, and livelihood.

Using POE, you can eliminate (B) and (D). The Five Year Plan is associated with Mao Zedong, not Sun Yat-sen. Plus, the communist party had not yet been formed at the time of Sun Yat- sen’s administration. (The communists took over in 1949.) Sun Yat-sen overthrew the Qing, not the British, which makes (C) incorrect. Taiwan became a territory of Japan at the end of the Sino-Japanese War in 1895. As for (A), that didn’t happen.

43B The importance of both codes was that they attempted to organize existing laws into formats that could be understood and applied fairly to everyone. Use common sense and POE to eliminate (A) and (D). (A) is incorrect because the Code of Hammurabi was created before the Bible. (D) is incorrect because both sets of laws applied (however unevenly) to all members of their respective societies. (C) is also incorrect. Remember that the concept of “an eye for an eye” is derived from the Code of Hammurabi, which also contained other strict punishments. Furthermore, in neither of these societies did slaves have any significant rights, let alone the right to bring their masters to court, as (E) suggests.

44C The discovery of huge diamond and gold deposits in South Africa made it one of the most sought-after territories. Use POE to eliminate (A). By the late 1800s, the slave trade had been abolished. While industrialized nations were always looking for new markets for their goods, (B) is incorrect because this did not play the greatest role in European interest in South Africa. Nor did (D). By the late 1800s, the trade routes around southern Africa had been well established, and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 made the water route around the Cape of Good Hope less relevant. South Africa was not a critical area in the spread of Islam, especially not in the nineteenth century, and Islam had little impact, if any at all, on European ambitions in the area.

45B If you’ll remember, Adam Smith is arguably the father of modern-day economics. In The Wealth of Nations, he notes that economies work best with the least possible interference. This quote states that governmental leaders should not interfere with the economy and further notes that there should be no restrictions on imports. (A) is clearly incorrect. Ideas about social welfare systems, (C), minimum hourly wages, (D), and government stimulus in recessions (E), are not mentioned in this quote, plus all three ideas run counter to Smith’s laissez-faire economics.

46D The invention of malaria-resistant drugs, better methods and tools to cut through forests, and larger and faster ships allowed colonization of once-remote areas. To use POE, let the map do most of the work. According to the map, the dominant imperial power in Africa was Great Britain, not Belgium, so (A) cannot be the correct answer. As for (B), there were only two nations in sub-Saharan Africa who remained independent by 1910: Ethiopia and Liberia. Using the map will help you eliminate that choice. (C) begins with a true statement; Britain and France did gain more land during this time period. However, so did Portugal, although not to the same extent. (C) is incorrect. Also, it was not exhaustion of coastal resources that drove Europeans inland—they had been exploiting the coastal areas for centuries, but shortages were not a serious concern, much less what prompted more colonization of the interior.

47D Both Mali and Ghana had substantial deposits of gold, and with the minting of coins (in gold and silver), these two societies grew in importance. If you know that Mali and Ghana are both in sub-Saharan Africa, you can use POE to eliminate (A) and (C). The split between the churches, invasions in central Europe, and military conquests in the Middle East did not have a direct impact on Mali and Ghana. (B) would be a better choice if it were about the decline of the Silk Route; however, it’s unlikely that the revival of this trade route would have had a positive impact on the growth of these two lands. The Protestant Reformation, though, was a European event that had no direct bearing on Mali and Ghana at the time.

48A Japan’s invasion of Manchuria was condemned by the League of Nations, so Japan withdrew its membership in 1931. Germany left the League in 1933. Use POE and be sure to pick the answer that is true of both Japan and Germany. One of the reasons for Hitler’s ascendancy was the Weimar Republic’s failure to bring economic prosperity to Germany after the heavy penalties imposed at the end of World War I—penalties imposed on Germany but not on Japan (which was actually on the other side in that conflict), so cross out (E). While Japan did have a strong economy, control of the wealth rested in the hands of the elite. Neither (B) nor (D) is correct. Given the human rights violations perpetrated by Hitler’s administration, you can eliminate (C) as a correct answer choice.

49E The encomienda system, a part of Spanish imperialism in the Americas, gave colonial land-owners the right to use native labor. The results were a system not very different than (D), chattel slavery. The enslavement of Native Americans declined in the mid-sixteenth century as a result of Church and governmental edicts and the growth of the African slave trade.

You can use POE to eliminate (B) and (D): feudalism was never used in the colonies (it ended about two centuries before the Age of Discovery!), and assembly line production was a twentieth century innovation. While you might think that Spain might have governed its colonies under an enlightened monarch (not true), it has nothing to do with the encomienda system. Also, while mercantilism was an essential part of the relationship between colonies and colonizers, it involved economic constraints. (A) is not the right answer. Corporate colonies were those established by nongovernmental bodies, such as the Dutch East India Company and the British East India Company. Spanish colonies, on the other hand, were firmly under royal control. (C) is not the right answer.

50D Beginning in the late 700s, Muslim invaders (Moors) inhabited parts of Spain and Portugal. In the thirteenth century, the Reconquista began, which was an attempt to remove Islamic influence from the Iberian Peninsula. The Reconquista was completed in 1492. Remember to choose the answer that is not true about the Reconquista. (A) is true and is, therefore, not the correct answer. A strong military, an expansionist government, and a fear of future Muslim incursions led Spain to invade northern Africa and southern Italy. 

The Spanish Inquisition arose from the Reconquista. Probably as a backlash to Islamic domination, the Catholic Church in Spain was extremely intolerant. Muslims and Jews were required to renounce their faith and convert to Christianity or leave the country. (B) and (E) were both outcomes of the Reconquista, so neither is the correct answer. (C) also occurred. Because freedom came to different areas at different times, Spain developed as a group of independent states; some of them, like Castille and Aragon, were quite strong. It took the marriage of Ferdinand (of Aragon) and Isabella (of Castille) to finally unite the nation. The formation of this powerful monarchy means that (D) is the correct answer. Civil war did not occur as a direct result of the Reconquista.

51E In Han China, merchants had less status than farmers and artisans because they produced no substantial products. Use POE to eliminate the societies that held merchants in high esteem and where the merchant class participated in political and social activities: (A), Byzantium, (B), Tudor England, and (D), Rome. In Japan, the rise of international trade led to organized guilds of merchants, which formed an influential class in Japan, so (C) is also incorrect.

52A Islamic society was relatively egalitarian, and there were no formal class barriers. In contrast, Roman society was very structured with numerous class differentiations and barriers to upward mobility. You can eliminate (B) using POE. Common sense tells you that the survival of both of these civilizations was dependent on agricultural production. While Rome did fall for political reasons (as well as a host of other causes), the Islamic civilization also collapsed due to internal divisions. Persia and Egypt broke away from the empire in the 900s, and by the 1200s the Islamic Empire was overthrown by the Turks and then the Mamluks and was never again as united as it was during the Abbasid Dynasty. (C) is incorrect. (D) is also incorrect. While Islamic scientific achievements might have built on earlier Greek findings, the contributions in mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, and medicine were not derived from other cultures. Nor was Islamic art, which focused on elaborate geometric shapes and patterns and ornate calligraphy (Greek art focused on the human form, which was not allowed to be depicted according to the Qu’ran). As a matter of fact, Rome’s art, literature, and scientific thought were also based on Hellenistic forms. (E) is also incorrect, as the Roman Empire was not entirely agricultural.

53A Alexander the Great spread Hellenism (Greek culture) throughout much of the known world. He conquered the Persian Empire and expanded his empire all the way into India.

There are a couple ways you can approach this question even if you aren’t 100 percent sure of the answer. First, even if you aren’t sure who the leader of the Macedonians was, you can eliminate people who you remember led other empires. Second, you can focus on the names of people who you remember were major world conquerors, even if you can’t remember what culture they were from. You can eliminate both (B) and (E) because Julius Caesar was from Rome and Hannibal was from Carthage—neither was from Greece nor Macedonia. As for (C) and (D), Pericles and Socrates were both Greek, but neither were major world conquerors. Pericles led Greece through a golden age, and Socrates was a philosopher, not a fighter.

54E Even though the Islamic world lost power during this period, it continued to exert influence in the Balkans, Turkey, India, Malaysia, and areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Eliminate those answer choices you know are true about Muslim societies during this time period. The intellectual growth represented by the Renaissance did not spread to the Islamic world. While certain Muslim nation-states (Mughal India, Safavid Persia) became known for their artistic contributions, there was no corresponding growth in scientific, political, or technological intellectualism inthe Islamic world. (A) is true, and is therefore not the answer. (B) is also a true statement. By the mid-1700s, the Mughal state failed as warlords competed for power and Islamic and Hindu factions engaged in civil war. In the late 1700s, the Safavid Empire was weakened through a succession of incompetent rulers. Even the Ottomans, turned away at Vienna, were weakened (although their empire did persist until the end of World War I). This failure of political units also led to economic disunity and depression.

A combination of the factors outlined in (A) and (B) resulted in the Muslim world’s inability to compete with European nations in world trade or the race to colonize other lands. Both (C) and (D) are also accurate generalizations and therefore not the answer.

55C When the Jacobins took power in 1792, King Louis and Marie Antoinette were executed. But before that—as a direct result of the 1789 Revolution—the goal was to create a constitutional monarchy modeled on that of Great Britain. Using POE, eliminate (A); the French Revolution did indeed engender strong nationalist feelings among the entire citizenry. While the French Revolution resulted in the declaration of equal rights for all citizens (in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen), equal rights were not granted to women, so eliminate (B). (D) can also be eliminated. Also, you should know that Louis XVI and his queen Marie Antoinette were executed as part of the revolution, not exiled, so cross out (E). 

That leaves (C): The radical stage of the French Revolution began as the urban working class or sans-culottes, unhappy with the limited power they had, became more involved in public protests. This was in response to counter-revolutionary actions on the part of the king and the clergy, but outside of the control of the legislative body, the National Assembly. By September 1792, Paris was in turmoil, the King and Queen forced to flee, and the monarchy was abolished. The revolution was now in the hands of the people.

56C While maintaining independence and building strong nations was difficult almost everywhere, the process of gaining freedom was more difficult in South Africa, Rhodesia, and the Belgian Congo. Eliminate answers that are too broad because they cannot apply to all of the independence movements in sub-Saharan Africa. (A) is not a true statement, and neither is (E). Imperial rule had suppressed conflicts between rival tribes in Nigeria, Zaire, and the Congo, but ethnic clashes arose once the tribes were independent. In other nations, dictatorial governments carried out terror campaigns against opposition and minority groups (Uganda, Central African Republic). While South Africa and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) retained white rule until well into the twentieth century, most other nations of sub-Saharan Africa were not governed by whites after gaining independence. (B) is not correct.

Foreign investment might have made the transition easier; however, it is hard to tell because there was so little of it. One of the biggest problems every new nation faced was how to build economies that had been weakened through monoculture and mercantilism for generations. Unfortunately, much of this aid was tied to military strategy, as in Angola where the West backed the National Union and the Soviets supported the National Front. This brand of “foreign investment” resulted in years of civil war and economic instability. (D) is not the correct answer.

57C The correct answer is (C) because you are looking for an impact. Since Social Darwinism applies Darwin’s theories of natural selection to the social realm, (B) can be eliminated. (A) and (D) can be eliminated since neither is relevant to the question. Remember that Darwin’s theories of evolution were used to make racial distinctions based on natural selection and competition. By the late nineteenth century, this theory was used to explain the superiority of the Europeans over those they had conquered in Africa and Asia. (E) is also not the answer, because respect for labor movements would have run counter to the sort of laissez-faire economics that Social Darwinism supported.

58C The Ming Dynasty (beginning in 1368) represented a time when China prospered economically, socially, and culturally. While neo-Confucianism meshed Confucian, Buddhist, and Daoist thought, China did not embrace any official state religion. (Confucianism and neo-Confucianism are considered philosophies, not religions.)

The other four choices are true and therefore not the answer. After years of Mongol rule, the Chinese expelled all Mongols, (A), and restored an examination-based, Confucianist government system. During the Ming era, China embraced an expansionistic foreign policy and sought to increase its influence through increased conquest and trade, (B). The Ming dynasty realized that attempting to directly govern such a large (and somewhat diverse) geographic area would be impossible; they instead chose to impose a system of paying tribute on these lands, (D). The naval ships sailed to these faraway lands to collect the tribute. At home, the Ming rulers adopted a civil service exam based on Confucian principles, so (E) is also true and therefore not the answer.

59E Muhammad Ali became the ruler of Egypt in 1805 after the French were expelled from the country in 1801 and power was taken from the Ottomans. He is best known for ushering Egypt into the modern age through industrialization, imperialism, and by adopting Western political and educational systems (and for boxing! Just kidding). Under his rule, Egypt became more prosperous and independent, and he ruled Egypt until his death. (C) is not the correct answer. (B) is incorrect for a number of reasons. First, the Egyptians did not adopt a democratic form of government. Second, they did not extend suffrage to women. One purpose of modernization efforts was to strengthen Egypt to withstand foreign influence during a time when the rest of the continent was being partitioned among European nations. Isma’il decided to build a canal to link the Mediterranean and Red Seas, and the Suez Canal was a marvel of engineering and became an important economic and military link between Asia, Africa, and Europe. However, enormous debts forced Egypt to sell its shares in the canal to England in 1875, and with control of the Suez Canal, the British also assumed power over Egypt. Therefore (D) is incorrect. To this day, Islam is an important force in Egypt, which has not become entirely secularized, so the answer is not (A).

60A Karl Marx believed that the proletariat revolution would occur when industrial workers recognized the oppressive ways of the bourgeoisie industrialists and bankers. His argument was based on a class conflict that would arise as a natural outcome of industrialization. Neither Russia (in 1917) nor China (in 1921) were industrialized. So, in both nations, Marxism was adapted to accommodate a nonurban population. In China the Communist Party organized peasants, and under Mao Zedong the land was given to agricultural workers.

(E) is not correct because industrialization is an important factor in setting up the proletariat revolution, not a consequence, but (B) and (C) aren’t true either. Capitalist policies were cautiously adopted in the 1980s and 1990s. The Chinese did not have to adapt Marxism to accommodate imperialism, (D). Marx noted that imperialists (as well as capitalists) were the enemy, so it was the job of all good communists to remove imperialists from their holding (and replace them with communists, of course).

61E Under the concept of Mandate of Heaven, Chinese rulers were perceived to have the blessing of heaven so long as they ruled justly and wisely. If society crumbled and rulers were defeated or overthrown, it was believed to be so because the rulers had lost their mandate by ruling unjustly or unwisely. This concept led to stability within many Chinese dynasties because it encouraged people to obey the ruler as someone who was rightfully in the position of authority.

It should immediately occur to you that the Chinese did not practice human sacrifice, so cross out (C). If you remember the approximate time period of the Zhou (or Chou) Dynasty, you can eliminate even more answer choices. The Zhou Dynasty lasted for about 900 years starting around 1100 
B.C.E. If you recall that Buddhism didn’t even begin in India until around 500 B.C.E. and didn’t spread to China until a few centuries later, you can immediately eliminate (B) and (D). During the latter Zhou dynasty, Daoism and Confucianism impacted China, but not Buddhism. Answer choice (A) describes Divine Right in Europe more than Mandate of Heaven in China.

62C The cartoon is meant to show that Stalin was giving his satellite nations a program that could not provide the same level of support as the Marshall Plan. COMECON, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, was a Soviet plan that offered economic assistance to communist bloc nations. It was established to compete with the Marshall Plan.

Using POE and the cartoon itself, eliminate (B) and (D) because neither of these can be interpreted from this graphic. COMECON was not limited to agricultural production (although you might think this from the cartoon). (A) is not the correct answer. (E) also doesn’t make sense (and can be eliminated) if you look at the picture: The workers on Stalin’s side of the fence are unhappily plowing rocks, while those on the other side are happily taking to their fields with tractors.

63A Artistic expression took the form of geometric shapes and patterns and elaborate calligraphy, also known as arabesque. Most art from the Islamic Empire—of which plenty of examples still exist, so eliminate (E)!—is religious in nature, and since Islam prohibited the representation of people and animals in artwork, you can eliminate (B) because it involves these forms of expression. (C) can also be eliminated because pyramids are associated with ancient Egyptian society, not Islam. (D) is also incorrect for a number of reasons. First, Greek and Roman art depicted human and animal forms, which would not have been adopted by Islam. Second, Islamic artistic expression was unique to the region and culture and not derived from other cultures.

64D Confucianism is a belief system that holds the needs of the group above the needs of the individual and declares that if each person lives up to the responsibilities inherent to their role in life (parent, to child, to ruler, subject), society will function in an orderly way.

You can use POE to get the right answer even if you only remember the basics of Confucianism. (C) has to go because it is almost the opposite of Confucianism, which stresses societal obligations. (A) can be eliminated because Confucianism seeks to maintain a class system and hierarchy, not equality, by encouraging corresponding sets of obligations between levels (such as ruler and subject, or older brother and younger brother). Eliminate (B) because Confucianism is a social belief system concerned with social order, not a religion concerned with salvation. Finally, (E) is not a description of Confucianism (praying?—not a religion!) but rather of Islam.

65D Industrialization led to increased demand and competition for resources and markets, as well as to a need to transport those resources (and the products they became) to and from those markets. European nations (and Japan) found imperialism to be the most effective way of securing these needs. The other choices are true and therefore not the answer. Working conditions in early factories were abhorrent, as were the living conditions in urban areas. Reform movements to limit child labor, protect workers rights, and provide sanitary conditions did arise, (A). Eliminate (B) because division of labor is intrinsically associated with the Industrial Revolution, and (C) since the invention of equipment like the gin mill and the growth of plantations in the western hemisphere, there were increased demands for slaves. Finally, cross out (E) because the need to move people, resources, and goods between production sites and markets did lead to innovations in transportation technology.

66D The translation of religious texts into native languages made people more eager to learn how to read. Using POE, eliminate (B) because the printing press was a valuable tool used during the Reformation but was not invented as a result of the movement. (C) is tricky because the Reformation did spur questioning in other fields, but we cannot say that these inquiries were a direct result of the movement. Although Protestantism spread throughout many European nations (Switzerland, France, the Netherlands), the Ottoman Empire and Southeast Asia were not prime areas for conversion. (Although in later years, missionaries did try to spread religion throughout the rest of Europe and Asia.) (A) is incorrect. Furthermore, (E) is not the answer because the Protestant Reformation had nothing to do with the French Revolution, which occurred more than 250 years later.

67C Before the Crusades, the Islamic Empire was in a state of fragmentation and decline. A succession of weak and/or corrupt rulers and political feuding between rival states led to the breakup of the larger empire (however, regional Islamic kingdoms formed and flourished in some places). The Islamic Empire was vulnerable to outside attacks from Mongols, Byzantines, Turks, and Crusaders. One result was the formation of strong militaristic dynasties (such as the Ayyubids and their leader, Saladin, who took Jerusalem back from Westerners), which gave rise to new conquests and conversions in eastern Europe and Africa.

Use POE to eliminate (A) because you know that the language of the Qu’ran is Arabic. Although (B) and (D) seem like reasonable answers, remember what was happening in the eastern hemisphere after 1100 or so. This was a time of tremendous economic and political growth throughout Europe, which was in sharp contrast to the declining fortunes of the Islamic Empire. So (B) is incorrect because of the turmoil in the Muslim world and the discovery by Europeans of new, non-Islamic trade routes. (D) is incorrect because western European nations were becoming more politically centralized and more interested in conquest and conversion. (E) is also incorrect, but this should be at least partly common sense—can you name any Muslim colonies in North or South America?

68A Until the mid-nineteenth century, the British East India Company governed India. You can eliminate (B) and (C) using POE. While the English and the Dutch established private corporations for the purpose of carrying out exploration, the Portuguese (Brazil) and the Spanish (Cuba, the Philippines) directly governed their colonies. If you’re not sure about Benin, then (D) is a smart guess. Benin was a kingdom in West Africa that reached it dominance in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It engaged in trade with European nations, but none colonized it during the Age of Discovery.

69E Russia was still primarily an agricultural nation when Britain was industrializing. To use POE, study the graph to help eliminate wrong answers. Eastern Europe exceeded western Europe in miles of railway by 1880, so (A) is incorrect. (C) is also a silly answer. While it’s cold in the Netherlands and Sweden, it’s not very balmy in Russia either. There was considerable growth in rail miles in Germany between 1880 and 1900, but examination of the chart will show that the growth in Russia was larger in both absolute and relative terms … but while we’re in the chart, note what it doesn’t indicate about Germany and Russia—anything about population. (D) is incorrect, and so is (B).

70C The important thing to remember here is the tremendous impact the war had on people around the world. The human and economic costs were huge, and there was a sense of lost innocence and waning optimism. The broad trends in art and literature reflected this gloom. The disillusionment can be seen in the works of T. S. Eliot, Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Kafka.

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