AP US History Practice Multiple-Choice Questions: Period 1: 1491–1607

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Question 3 questions

Time 3 minutes

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Questions 1-3 refer to the following information.

"The gold and silver mined with forced labor in Mexico and what is now Bolivia constituted a windfall that could have been used to develop Spanish agriculture, industry, and commerce. It could have helped the country catch up with northwestern Europe's more developed economies. . . .

"But Spain [in the 1500s] was in the grip of a tiny ruling class of royalty, Catholic Church hierarchy, and landed aristocracy. Two to three per cent of the population owned 97 per cent of the land in Castile, Spain's heartland. The great landowners had no incentive to modernize Spain. They just wanted to raise more sheep and sell more wool. The environmental degradation that overgrazing vast numbers of sheep entailed seems to have bothered the ruling class no more than the cutting of forests for timber to build ships and provide charcoal to smelt domestic Spanish silver ore. And so, what if the wool went to Holland to be manufactured into cloth rather than being processed in Spain itself.

"Meanwhile, successes in the New World swelled the Spanish monarchy's ambitions in the Old. The bonanza of bullion from the Americas encouraged Spain's rulers to build up the army into Europe's largest military force, setting off an arms race that forced rivals to multiply their armed forces as well…. Hegemonic wars against the French, Dutch, and English followed. . . .

"The most lasting and far-reaching effect of the increase of money in circulation was to set off a long wave of inflation that spread throughout Western Europe. To be sure, deficit spending on unproductive armies, navies, and wars as well as debasement of coinage by monarchs in search of additional royal revenue contributed to the run-up in prices."

—A. Kent MacDougall, University of California, Berkeley, March 1992.

1. Which of the following best describes a central point of A. Kent MacDougall's argument above?

2. The description of Spanish actions by A. Kent MacDougall contributes to an understanding of which of the following developments beyond the 1500s?

3. Concerns raised in Spain in the 1540s about "forced labor in Mexico and what is now Bolivia," mentioned in the first paragraph of MacDougall's article, led to which of the following changes?