History Multiple Choice Questions

Question: Demographic historians speak of a “population explosion” beginning in the seventeenth century, which they attribute to all of the following factors except

A A rise in the birthrate

B The disappearance of plague after 1720

C Improved agricultural techniques

D Better weather conditions

Question: On June 20, 1789, the deputies to the National Assembly took the “Tennis Court Oath,” which declared that

A The Third Estate represented the interests of the entire French nation

B Henceforth all voting would proceed on a one-man, one-vote basis

C They would not disband until they had given France a binding constitution

D They would sweep away the last vestiges of feudal privilege

Question: Louis XIV’s successor, the Duke of Orléans (1674–1723), and regent to the future Louis XV, took immediate steps to shore up France’s crumbling finances by

A Doubling the land tax, leading to widespread protests in rural areas throughout the kingdom

B Canceling plans for further colonial expeditions in the New World

C Founding a state bank to help the government service its debt, only to see it crash within a few months in the wake of a speculative bubble

D Imposing high tariffs on British agricultural imports, particularly wool and cotton textiles

Question: By 1740, the European state with the highest proportion of men at arms – 1 of every 28 people – was

A Great Britain

B Russia

C France

D Prussia

Question: The rise of Napoleon Bonaparte began after

A His victories in the Italian campaigns of 1796–1797

B A power vacuum occurred in the Directory, which needed to be filled by a vigorous leader

C The general success of the French wars after 1795

D His soldiers’ discovery of the Rosetta Stone and other admirable artifacts from the ancient world

Question: The common link between Princeton University, the Hasidim, and John Wesley is that they all

A Played an important role in shaping Thomas Jefferson’s political thinking

B Were persecuted by their respective governments for unorthodox thinking

C Flourished because of religious revivalism in the eighteenth century

D Shared a bequest from the great Quaker philanthropist William Penn

Question: Although popular unrest and peasant uprisings marred much of the final quarter of the eighteenth century throughout Europe, the largest single rebellion by far was the

A Pugachev rebellion in Russia

B Flour War in France

C Silesian Weavers’ revolt in Prussia

D November Revolution in Poland-Lithuania

Question: Prussia had vastly increased the size and efficiency of its army, vaulting itself to great power status by the mid-eighteenth century, with the

A Founding of military training schools for commissioned officers

B Adoption of the year-round “citizen-soldier” system

C Institution of the “canton system”

D Transformation of private militias of local lords into a mass army

Question: In 1774, Louis XVI restored the parlements, which had been abolished by his despised predecessor, Louis XV, because he

A Wished to uphold the Enlightenment principles of fair and impartial justice

B Shared the banished judges’ desire to reform the tax system, making it both more equitable and more efficient

C Succumbed to the demands of the aristocrats who viewed the parlements’ dissolution as an attack on privilege

D Hoped to diffuse rising popular resentment of tax increases and food shortages by reinstating a traditional outlet for the expression of popular grievances

Question: The Gordon riots, which devastated much of London in 1780, served as an example of the fact that

A Class issues still played a large role in ordinary people’s lives

B Eighteenth-century governments, though aspiring to modern state management, were still far from their espoused goals

C Enlightenment ideas, such as individual rights and equality before the law, had finally taken hold of, and emboldened, working-class men and women

D Popular demonstrations did not always support reforms

Question: Abbé Guillaume Raynal’s book, Philosophical and Political History of European Colonies and Commerce in the Two Indies (1770)

A Proposed that France should grant independence to its overseas colonies as part of laissez-faire economics

B Revealed that secret negotiations between France, Prussia, the Dutch Republic, and Britain had led to a treaty to end the slave trade by the year 1800

C Denounced the slave trade and European colonies that wiped out native populations

D Proved that Louis XV’s mistress had accepted huge bribes from India merchants in order to influence the king’s decisions about overseas trade

Question: European contact with China was limited because

A European traders realized that the goods produced by China were not worth enough to make the long voyage economically feasible

B The Chinese distrusted the European “barbarians” and allowed them to trade only in the city of Guangzhou but nowhere else

C European traders discovered that they could purchase cheaper and better-quality silks and spices in India

D The Chinese banned all European traders once they learned that Westerners were also trading with China’s mortal enemy, Japan

Question: Following the deaths of William and Mary and their successor, Anne (Mary’s sister), the English turned to which dynastic house for their next ruler, King George I (r. 1714–1727)?

A The Austrian Habsburgs

B The German House of Hanover

C The French Bourbons

D The Dutch House of Orange

Question: Voltaire’s campaign to restore Jean Calas’s reputation helped to bring about reforms, including the extension of civil rights to French Protestants as well as

A The abolition of the burdensome church tithe

B The abolition of the legal use of torture

C French Jews

D Access to legal representation for the poor

Question: In Peter the Great’s quest to make Russia “great,” all of the following measures were taken except

A The founding of laboratories, technical schools, and a Russian Academy of Sciences

B The emancipation of the Russian peasantry from a state of virtual slavery with the prohibition of the serf system

C The translation into Russian of many western European classics and the introduction of Arabic numerals

D The publication of the first public newspaper

Question: The Encyclopedia contributed to Enlightenment goals of social reform by

A Promoting the spread of knowledge that would be used to make informed decisions about social problems

B Funding from its sales the charitable schools established jointly by Diderot and Voltaire

C Providing systematic plans for social reform that could be used by anyone who was able to read

D Proving that a state-run system of education could turn out scholars capable of contributing to sophisticated intellectual projects like the Encyclopedia

Question: After Voltaire’s Letters Concerning the English Nation was published in the early 1730s, the French government ordered his arrest because the book

A Suggested that Voltaire had acted as a spy for England during the War of Polish Succession

B Argued that the Anglican church – and Protestantism in general – was more clearly based on scientific principles than was Catholicism

C Praised the British government’s toleration and flexibility as a way of condemning the French government

D Ridiculed Louis XV, his mistresses, and the entire French court

Question: In 1801, Napoleon signed a concordat with the pope to end church–state conflict because

A The French bishops agreed to support his plan to become emperor

B He believed that religion was a powerful component for maintaining social order

C His religious convictions had been violated by the anti-Catholicism of the Revolution

D The pope agreed to persuade the Italians to become a French satellite kingdom

Question: What was the profession that Napoleon described as “good for nothing under any government”?

A Painter

B Musician

C Writer

D Attorney

Question: Children of Spanish men and Indian women were called

A Mestizos

B Caballeros

C Quilombos

D Oroonokos

Question: In England, Eliza Haywood was one of a number of eighteenth-century women who showed that they could succeed as

A Proprietors of coffeehouses

B Merchants selling tea and coffee

C Newspaper reporters

D Authors of novels

Question: Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s theory of “the social contract” posed a direct threat to the perceived legitimacy of eighteenth-century governments because he based it upon

A God

B Tradition

C Social-scientific analysis

D Human nature

Question: Why was it so significant that the British government decided to allow the licensing system to lapse in 1695?

A Catholics no longer had to register with the government, so this was a significant step toward religious toleration

B Ending prepublication censorship of printed books and other materials encouraged expansion of literate society

C Restrictions on coffeehouses and taverns that had kept them from renting out their premises for any kind of political meetings were lifted, thus promoting political debate

D Merchants and traders no longer had to register their corporations with the government, creating a dramatic expansion in the stock market

Question: The French Revolution came to an end in 1799 when Napoleon Bonaparte

A Took power after a coup, ousted the Directory, and established himself as First Consul

B Seized power and crowned himself French emperor

C Was elected consul through a national plebiscite

D Enacted the Civil Code, which made him head of state

Question: In the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748), Empress Maria Theresa managed to hold on to her throne and most of her territory by

A Agreeing to Frederick II’s demand that Poland-Lithuania be divided up between Austria, Prussia, and Russia

B Forming an alliance with France against Prussia and her ally Great Britain

C Arranging for the assassination of the opposing claimant, Francis I, who had declared the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 invalid, thereby rescinding the right of women to inherit the crown

D Conceding Silesia to Prussia, thereby disrupting the Franco-Prussian alliance

Question: Parisian women marched to the palace at Versailles on October 5, 1789, in order to

A Request the king’s help in getting more grain for Paris

B Secure the king’s promise for a democratically elected National Convention

C Demonstrate their loyalty to the royal family and their distrust of reformers

D Beg the king to return to Paris and personally restore order

Question: Colonial farmers shipped to Europe large quantities of all of the following products except

A Coffee

B Wool

C Sugar

D Tobacco

Question: In what way did the Civil Code betray the principles of the Enlightenment and the Revolution?

A It reversed gains made in women’s and children’s rights to increase men’s power

B It failed to guarantee toleration for all religious groups

C It reinstituted restrictions on the commoners’ professional mobility

D It failed to provide safeguards for private property and familial integrity

Question: Republican festivals sponsored by the Committee of Public Safety were meant to

A Raise funds for the war effort by inspiring people to give money to save the republic

B Show other Europeans that stories about the Terror in France were greatly exaggerated

C Destroy the mystique of the monarchy and make the republic sacred through symbolism

D Gain the support of the army with holidays celebrating them as “the heroes of the republic”

Question: Although the Diplomatic Revolution in 1756 resulted in major changes in European alliances, the two major rivalries remained unchanged; these were

A France versus Britain and Austria versus Russia

B France versus Austria and Britain versus Prussia

C France versus Russia and Austria versus Prussia

D France versus Britain and Austria versus Prussia

Question: The revolutionaries’ decision to take over the education of boys and girls failed because

A They removed the Catholic clergy who had been teachers but did not have other teachers ready to take their place

B Political indoctrination took the place of subjects such as math, grammar, and history

C Only families able to pay school fees could send their children to state schools

D Education was restricted to the children of proven revolutionaries and veterans

Question: In 1762, Jean-Jacques Rousseau published Emile, which offered his theories on

A Democracy

B The Catholic Church

C Education

D The military

Question: Historians emphasize that what came to be called Britain’s “agricultural revolution” in the 1700s cannot be attributed to

A The selective breeding of animals

B The planting of fodder crops, such as clover and turnips, instead of field rotation

C The invention of new machinery

D An increase in the amount of land under cultivation

Question: The birth and growth of a European consumer society succeeded despite

A Attacks by writers and intellectuals who claimed that humans were becoming gluttonous animals

B Efforts by monarchs to stop the flood of imports in order to protect local producers

C Wildly fluctuating prices for new consumer products and exotic foods

D The reluctance of producers in colonial lands to sell commodities at enforced low prices

Question: In the Act of Union of 1707, Scottish Protestant leaders abolished the Scottish Parliament and instead agreed to obey the Parliament of Great Britain

A Because they feared Jacobitism

B Following Queen Anne’s successful suppression of a Scottish-Catholic revolt

C Thus making official the shift in power that had occurred long before

D When Queen Anne promised them sinecures and seats as peers in the House of Lords

Question: Napoleon’s founding of the Legion of Honor in 1802 was part of his campaign to

A Claim the legacy of ancient Rome by establishing an elite based on virtue and faithfulness

B Build a permanent elite fighting force to increase French colonial possessions abroad

C Control French culture by granting liberal pensions to those artists and writers of whom he approved

D Establish a social hierarchy based on merit

Question: How did the Enlightenment in France differ from that in Germany?

A The German government wholeheartedly supported its intellectuals, including Lessing and Kant, while France’s philosophes faced censorship or arrest

B Germany’s intellectuals, such as Immanuel Kant, were far more interested in the practical application of the new ideology than were their French counterparts

C French philosophes were far more aggressive in their condemnation of church and state than were German scholars

D French philosophes intended their work for the masses but because the Prussian state limited education only to the well-to-do, ordinary people could not participate in the Enlightenment

Question: The spread of Enlightenment ideals and the emergence of a more prosperous middle class in Europe were also reflected in music with

A The founding of music academies and scholarships, which for the first time enabled the young sons of the middle classes to pursue musical careers

B The transition from complex polyphony to an emphasis on more popularly accessible melody

C The establishment of open-air concerts for paying audiences, which freed musicians from financial concerns and thus from dependency on royal patronage

D A rejection of baroque and all older styles of musical composition in favor of continuous innovation and experimentation

Question: The eighteenth century witnessed an impressive upsurge in the production of books, pamphlets, and newspapers, along with a concomitant rise in literacy rates that was most evident in

A Spain and Portugal

B Scandinavia, Scotland, and parts of Switzerland

C The German states of the Holy Roman Empire

D France

Question: Writers of the Enlightenment called themselves

A Pensés

B Philosophes

C Bibliophiles

D Incroyables

Question: Montesquieu’s Persian Letters, anonymously published in the Dutch Republic in 1721, is an example of

A Books that responded to the new European interest in exotic plants and flowers

B Travel accounts that took an intolerant view of non-Christian countries

C Political critiques of European politics and society that were disguised as travel accounts

D The way letters written on a foreign journey could be turned into a best-seller

Question: When the Estates General met in 1789, their first decision concerned the

A Bank of France

B Role of the king

C Food shortage

D Voting procedure

Question: In response to a massive uprising of the long-oppressed serfs of Russia, Empress Catherine “the Great” (r. 1762–1796)

A Increased the nobles’ power over them

B Promulgated laws easing the legal restrictions that had prevented serfs from leaving family plots, earning independent livelihoods, and marrying without their feudal lords’ permission

C Declared war on Prussia as a way of diverting attention away from social problems at home

D Repealed the tax increases of the mid-century and shifted some of the tax burden to the heretofore tax-exempt nobility

Question: Peter the Great was determined to Westernize his country, and one of the most significant steps in that direction was

A Appointing a chief minister who managed court affairs, made political appointments, and oversaw mercantile policy

B Making up for the lack of a Russian middle class by encouraging noblewomen to become involved in science, education, and trade

C Undertaking extensive colonization efforts in Africa to obtain the raw materials that provided so much of western Europe’s wealth

D Founding the new technical and scientific schools that were run by Western officials

Question: The dispute in the French National Assembly between the Girondins and the Mountagnards was over

A Whether the upper ranks of the aristocracy should be exiled along with the king, Louis XVI (the Mountagnards’ position), or the king alone should be exiled (the Girondins’ position)

B Whether the entire royal family should be exiled (the Mountagnards’ position) or executed (the Girondins’ position)

C Whether the king, Louis XVI, was guilty of treason (the Girondins’ position) or simply shirking his responsibilities (the Mountagnards’ position)

D Whether the king, Louis XVI, should be executed for treason (the Mountagnards’ position) or given clemency or exile (the Girondins’ position)

Question: Napoleon’s feared minister of police, who made liberal use of his authority to spy on and arbitrarily imprison all political dissidents, was

A Louis-Léopold Boilly

B Alexandre Berthier

C Joseph Fouché

D Eugène de Beauharnais

Question: Which of the following measures was not part of Napoleon’s “new paternalism”?

A Children up to the age of sixteen could be imprisoned for refusing to follow their father’s commands

B Employers were prohibited from deducting fines and arbitrarily reducing employee wages

C Destitute women could more easily abandon their children anonymously to government foundling hospitals

D The government prohibited all workers’ organizations

Question: By the eighteenth century, many Europeans began to try to provide a rationale for the institution of slavery based predominantly on

A Religious grounds, as many asserted that African “heathens” deserved to be enslaved

B Africans’ purported mental inferiority

C Historical precedent, pointing to slavery as a “natural” practice that dated as far back as ancient Greece and the Roman empire

D The claim that contact with European religion and culture, coupled with hard work, had an edifying, or civilizing, effect on so-called primitive peoples

Question: The “incorruptible” leader of the Committee of Public Safety was

A Jacques-Louis David

B Maximilien Robespierre

C Georges-Jacques Danton

D Jean-Paul Marat

Question: The slave trade had a lasting impact on Europe because it

A Encouraged many more Europeans to go to the colonies to find work

B Put many European farmers out of business by undercutting their prices

C Permanently altered consumption patterns for ordinary people

D Introduced African products and goods into Europe for the first time


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