AP World History Question 52: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 52

2. Machiavelli's treatise is best understood in the context of which of the following?

  • A. A time of burgeoning economic prosperity among the lower classes of Italian society
  • B. A time of increasing religious devotion among the elite Italian scholars
  • C. A time of intense political conflict among warring Italian city-states and other factions
  • D. A time of collegial cooperation between scholars and ecclesiastical authorities in Italy

Correct Answer: C


At the time that this passage was written, Italy was governed by independent city-states that were often at war with each other, with the church, and with other nations such as France and Spain. Machiavelli's treatise is thus in some ways a reaction to the political uncertainty of his day, making (C) the best answer.