CLEP Western Civilization II Exam Answer Key

1. Answer (d) is correct: None of these choices includes a country that was not one of the major colonists; in other words, all countries included in these choices were major colonizers. Portugal’s colonizing can be seen in Brazil, where the official language is Portuguese, while Spain’s is seen in Mexico, Central America, and the majority of South American countries, where Spanish is the main language spoken (a). The colonizing of the Netherlands (b) is shown in South America’s sovereign state of Suriname whose language is Dutch, and in South Africa where the Dutch language Afrikaans (among others) is still spoken. England’s colonization is seen in the fact that English is the language in the United States and in the majority of Canada, while France’s colonization is seen in the use of French as the official language of the Canadian province of Québec, and in the widespread use and influence of French in the American state of Louisiana (c). Since (d) is the correct answer, (e), all of these, is incorrect.

2 The accurate statement is (c): After wars in the 17th and 18th centuries, France was the dominant power in Western Europe, while England was dominant over the waterways via its powerful navy. Hence France and England did not equally control Eastern and Western Europe (a). France never overpowered England nor controlled Europe alone during this period (b). However, neither was France overpowered by England (d) at this time, except on the water, and England was not the only power controlling Europe. It is also not accurate to say that neither of these two countries succeeded in gaining power over Europe (e) at this time; both were successful in different arenas (France over Western Europe’s land and England over the seas around and related to Europe). While France continued to be a major European power, its colonial power was seriously deteriorating by the end of the French and Indian War in America and the Treaty of Paris, but England’s naval dominance persisted into the 20th century. (Both France’s and Spain’s attitudes of denial about their loss of colonial strength were motivating factors in their alliance with colonial Americans in the Revolutionary War against England.

3. Only answer (b) correctly states an aspect of mercantilism as practiced in the early modern period: proponents of this economic philosophy believed that a county should sell as many exported goods to other countries as possible to attain wealth. The basis of mercantilist philosophy was the belief that the wealth available in the world was of a finite amount; therefore answer (a) is incorrect. A practice consistent with mercantilism was to eschew free trade in favor of profits; therefore answer (c) is incorrect. Mercantilists did not believe in balancing imports and exports or sales and purchases (d); rather, they believed in selling as much as possible while buying as little as possible from other countries in the interest of self-sufficiency. Mercantilists also did not believe that commerce was exclusive of colonization (e); to the contrary, colonizing colonies abroad was viewed as securing a “captive audience” of customers, since once an area became a nation’s colony, that nation could trade more easily in and with that region.

4. The commodity least associated with North America is (e), sugar cane. This crop was grown in more tropical climates such as the Caribbean. British and French merchants competed for North America’s animal pelts (a), waters rich in edible fish (b) such as cod, rich soil (c) for growing crops, and coastal areas with seaports (d) for easy access to waterways.

5. The commodity least associated with the West Indies in the 18th century was (c) fishing. Though Caribbean natives fished their own coral reefs locally, they did not trade in fish, as the plantations there at the time focused on growing cash crops such as cotton (a), coffee (b), tobacco (d), and sugar (e) for export. (The development in the southern U.S. of cotton and tobacco as major cash crops benefited when these were brought from the West Indies and other countries and found to grow well in the soil of the American South.)

6. The War of Jenkins’ Ear was (a) a war between England and Spain which started in 1739 when British Prime Minister Walpole conceded to Parliament’s demands and sent troops to the West Indies, as well as to Gibraltar. Its name came from the fact that in 1731, a Spanish privateer cut off the ear of Robert Jenkins, captain of an English merchant vessel. Jenkins is said to have presented his severed ear to Parliament, adding to anti-Spanish sentiment in Britain and, along with other incidents, contributing to war with Spain. Thus Jenkins’ “ear” does not refer to an ear of corn (b). The following year (1740), the War of Jenkins’ Ear merged with the War of Austrian Succession, which was a war fought by England and France about Austria (c). France supported Prussia’s actions against Austria, which was historically France’s enemy. England wanted Austria to continue to control the Netherlands rather than for France to take over the Netherlands. These factors led to war between England and France. Within four years the conflict came to include American territory when the French backed Spain in the war against England. The War of Austrian Succession was concluded by the 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. In the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), Prussia allied with Britain and Austria allied with France against each other (d). Concurrently with the Seven Years’ War in Europe, the French and Indian War (1754-1763) began in America when George Washington’s troops fired on French troops in the Ohio Valley (e). In both Europe and America, the fighting ended with the 1763 Treaty of Paris.

7. The correct answer is (e): The American Revolution’s historical significance is equally described by all of these statements. The war enabled the American colonists to secure their independence from Britain and form the United States, which is now a major world power (a). Because many Loyalists to the United Empire moved from America to Canada in opposition to the revolution, there were suddenly many people in Québec speaking English where there had formerly been mainly French-speaking people (b) [so much so that the Constitutional Act of 1791 divided this province into Upper and Lower Canada, with separate legislatures, as a solution to the language difference]. The American Revolution produced documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, which expressed many of the most important philosophies of the Enlightenment (c). Between the fact that the French allied with the Americans (out of their enmity for the British), helping America to win the war, and the fact that America’s success in gaining independence demonstrated Enlightenment philosophy in action, the American Revolution also directly influenced the French in beginning the French Revolution (d) six years after the American Revolutionary War end

8. The accurate statement is (d): The East had far exceeded the West during the latter part of the medieval period. The Arabs were known for developing algebra, the system of Arabic numerals, and other scientific/mathematical systems still used today. However, by the 17th century the West had overtaken the East. Major factors in this turnabout were the invention by Gutenberg of movable type and the printing press in the West during the 16th century, and the prohibition of its use by Muslims in the East, also during the 16th century. The advantage of printing enabled the West to advance scientifically past the East. Therefore the Western world did not remain in the lead in these areas throughout the period described (a). Neither was the West ahead of the East beginning in the Middle Ages (b). Since progress in each hemisphere varied according to each time period, they were not roughly equal in their scientific development for the entire time (c). Answer (e) is the opposite of correct answer (d) and thus is incorrect.

9. The first scientist of record to posit a heliocentric universe, i.e. planets revolving around the sun, rather than a geocentric one, i.e. the sun and everything else revolving around Earth, was (b) Copernicus [1473-1543], the multitalented Polish scholar. Ptolemy (a) [c. 90-c. 168] was the ancient Greek philosopher who, along with Aristotle and others, believed the universe revolved around Earth, and this view is often named after him as the Ptolemaic universe. Galileo (c) [1564-1642] lived after Copernicus and was the first to examine the heavenly spheres with a telescope, and he published a book discussing the opposing Ptolemaic and Copernican world views. Kepler (d) [1571-1630] was a German mathematician and astronomer who believed with his contemporary Galileo in the heliocentric universe. He also first proposed the idea of elliptical planetary orbits. Englishman Isaac Newton (e) [1642-1727] not only explained why Kepler’s idea of elliptical orbits was correct with his explication of gravity; he moreover developed the system of calculus whereby he proved mathematically that the universe was indeed heliocentric.

10. Answer (c) arranges these influential scientists and philosophers in the correct chronological order. Englishman Sir Francis Bacon lived from 1561-1626, and championed the inductive method of reasoning. Frenchman René Descartes lived from 1596-1650, and was responsible for the deductive method of reasoning. His statement of the ontological principle “Cogito ergo sum,” which in Latin means “I think therefore I am,” is particularly famous. Frenchman Blaise Pascal lived from 1623-1662, and created an important theory of chance and probability, invented a calculator, and was known for Pascal’s Wager regarding belief in the existence of God. German Gottfried Leibniz lived from 1646-1716, and, like Pascal, invented a calculator; he apparently came up with calculus separately from Isaac Newton; and in his Théodicée, he argued that our world with its inclusion of both good and evil is the best possible world, as a world with only good or only evil would not be as balanced.

by Enoch Morrison | Last Updated: October 31, 2018