Review of the "isms"

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Review of the “isms”


  • Monarch has complete control

  • Close government control of the economy that sought to maximize exports and accumulate as much precious metals as possible to enable to state to defend its economic and political interests

  • Examples: Russia under Peter the Great, France under Louis XIV


  • Belief and political movement

  • Absence of government is better than any form of government yet perceived

  • Theory that government and social institutions are oppressive and unnecessary and society should be based on voluntary cooperation among individuals


  • Belief that Jewish people are inferior and worthy of discrimination

  • Examples: Hitler Germany


  • Idea that all the Slavs are better off protected by Austria than being conquered by Russia or extermination each other

  • Popular in early 20th century


  • Economic system

  • Means of production is controlled by private individuals who engage in business to earn a profit and whose competition created the best mix of output for customers

  • Key Terms/People: Adam Smith and his An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, laissez-faire


  • Idea tied to imperialism in which a mother country controls colonies for economic growth, political power, and military bases

  • Examples: England


  • Economic system that puts all power in the hands of the government to manage the country for the good of the “people”

  • Key Terms/People: Karl Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky


  • Idea that change is bad and should be slowed or fought completely

  • Support for the established order in church and state

  • In 19th century, it implied support for legitimate monarchies, landed aristocracies, and established churched

  • Favored only gradual or “organic” change


  • Belief that an all-powerful entity created the universe with rules and stepped back to watch it work

Enlightened Despotism

  • Absolute rule justified by the monarch’s paternalistic outlook for the best interests of his or her people

  • Used to rationalize and organize several states form the top down during the age of the Enlightenment

  • Key Terms/People: Catherine the Great, Frederick the Great, Joseph II of Austria, Maria Theresa of Austria


  • 20th century philosophy wherein each individual is thought to be responsible for adding meaning to his or her existence


  • Governmental nationalist system in which the state and big business partners eliminate worker rights and any resistance to governmental or corporate power

  • Political movements that tend to be anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, anti-parliamentary, and often anti-Semitic

  • Supported interests of middle-class
    rejected ideas of the French Revolution and 19th Century Liberalism

  • Key Terms/Figures: Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler


  • Ideal of human possibilities that came from the revival of Greco-Roman literature and other artistic works was an important influence in the Renaissance and continues to influence the liberal view today

  • Study of Latin and Greek Classics

  • For people’s own sake and to promote a rebirth of ancient norms and values

  • Key Terms/Figures: Francesco Petrarch (Father of Humanism), Boccacio, Machiavelli, Lorenzo Valla, Pico della Mirandola, Erasmus (Prince of Humanists)


  • System of belief that relies on the mental plane rather than the material one

  • Belief in the idea that one can make the world better and that things can work out well


  • Doctrine that states that more powerful nations can dominate less powerful ones militarily, economically, politically, and spiritually

  • Key Terms/ Figures: England’s actions toward India, Belgium’s actions in the Congo


  • Idea that the desires of each person are important and that every person is important and that neither the state nor other individuals have the right to subvert any individual’s desire


  • Adherence to the communist theory devised by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in which the state owns the means of production and citizens contribute what they are capable of to society while society gives to each citizen what he or she needs

  • History is the result of class conflict which will end in the inevitable triumph of the industrial proletariat over the bourgeoisie and the abolition of private property and social class

  • Key Terms/Figures: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels


  • Philosophical belief that only the tangible is real


  • Aka bullionism

  • Economic system of trade based upon a belief that a national economy must be strong and self-sufficient

  • Focused on a “favorable” balance of trade in which a nation exports more than it imports

  • Meant to result in an accumulation of bullion

  • Opposed by the capitalists who wanted freedom from all government involvement in the economy

  • Close government control of the economy that sought to maximize exports and accumulate as much precious metals as possible to enable the state to defend its economic and political interests


  • Idea that people with the same language, traditions, ideas, ideals, culture, heritage, and beliefs should have their own nation and love that nation

  • Belief that one is a part of a nation

  • A community with its own language, traditions, customs, and history that distinguish it from other nations and make it the primary focus of a person’s loyalty and sense of identity

  • Key Figures: Cavour, Bismarck


  • Idea that nothing but science exists supported by the 19th century Russian intellectual elites

  • Key Figures/Terms: Turgenev


  • Idea that there should be a nation for the Slavic peoples

  • Supported by Russia


  • Ideas must be tested and became the basis for modern critical thinking in the social sciences

  • Key Terms/ Figures: Auguste Comte


  • Began in England

  • Called for immediate universal male suffrage

  • Eventually came to be associated with any movement calling for rapid significant change


  • Idea that truth is not absolute but rather subjective

  • Maintains that the basis for judgment depends on the events, people, or circumstances surrounding a given situation


  • Idea that people should be rules through representative democracy in a republic

Social Darwinsim

  • Ideas of Darwin’s evolution applied to the classes, implying that those at the top were more fit rather than better connected

  • Not the idea of Charles Darwin


  • Idea that the government should manage the economy or aspects of the economy for the good of the people

  • Believed workers were unfairly treated

  • Opposed competition, rejected laissez-faire, and questioned validity of the concept of private property

  • Key Terms/Figures: ideas of Karl Marx


  • Idea that the government can and should control all aspects of the lives of its citizens, leaving them few choices in life

  • Key Terms/ Figures: Stalin, Hitler


  • Idea of the “greatest good for the greatest number”

  • Key Terms/ Figures: Jeremy Bentham


  • Idea that the Jewish people should have a nation homeland in Israel

Section I

Match the person with the “ism” with which they are associated. Some people may have more than one “ism” and some “ism’s” may be used more than once.

  1. Adam Smith a. Totalitarianism

  2. Karl Marx b. Utilitarianism

  3. Maria Theresa c. Fascism

  4. Benito Mussolini d. Nihilism

  5. Erasmus e. Capitalism

  6. Friedrich Engels f. Communism

  7. Camillo di Cavour g. Humanism

  8. Ivan Turgenev h. Enlightened Despotism

  9. Adolf Hitler i. Positivism

  10. Joseph Stalin j. Marxism

  11. Jeremy Bentham k. Nationalism

  12. Otto von Bismarck

  13. Auguste Comte

  14. Francesco Petrarch

  15. Catherine the Great

  16. Vladmir Lenin

  17. Frederick the Great

  18. Niccolo Machiavelli

  19. Leon Trotsky

  20. Joseph II

Section II

Match the country and its leader (if applicable) with their corresponding “ism.” Some “ism’s” may be used more than once.

  1. Russia a. Absolutism

  2. England’s actions toward India b. Colonialism

  3. Russia under Peter the Great c. Anti-Semitism

  4. England d. Pan-Slavism

  5. Belgium’s actions toward the Congo e. Imperialism

  6. Hitler Germany

  7. France under Louis XIV

Example AP Multiple Choice Questions
Section I
1. The “Prince of Humanists” who attempted through satiric writings to reform the Roman Catholic Church while remaining loyal to it was

  1. Sir Thomas More

  2. Erasmus

  3. Luther

  4. Cervantes

  5. Rabelais

2. During the 16th and 17th centuries, while France developed absolutism, the English monarchy was checked by

(A) a strong peasantry

(B) a few powerful and independent noble families

(C) a Bill of Rights guaranteeing individual freedoms

(D) the Anglican Church

(E) a strong Parliament
3. The most important reason absolute monarchs like Catherine II and Frederick II attempted reform was

(A) because they believed in the Englightenment

(B) to strengthen their states

(C) to improve the lot of their serfs

(D) to gain the respect of the philosophes

(E) because they wanted to show off their power to other monarchs

4. What has been called the “religion of the Enlightenment?”

(A) Protestantism

(B) Agnosticism

(C) Atheism

(D) Rationalism

(E) Deism

5. Which best characterized Enlightened Despotism?

(A) the monarch is an educated person who exercises absolute authority solely as he sees fit

(B) The monarch encourages the spread of Deism and rationalism

(C)The monarch supports and fosters the growth of democracy

(D) the monarch rules with absolute authority for the good of the people

(E) The monarch believes in the people’s ultimate right to, and capability for, self-rule

6. Which of the following was generally not considered an Enlightened Despot?

(A) Frederick the Great of Prussia

(B) Peter the Great of Russia

(C) Catherine the Great of Russia

(D) Maria Theresa of Austria

(E) Alexander the Great of Russia

7. Mercantilism, the prevailing economic theory of 17th-century Europe, was based on all of the following ideas EXCEPT

(A) that a nation’s wealth was measured by its accumulation of precious metals

(B) that a nation’s wealth would be increased by a “favorable balance of trade”

(C) that war was a natural state of affairs between nations

(D) that a nation’s accumulated gold and silver was needed to build a navy and to equip a standing army

(E) that government should not regulate or interfere with the nation’s economy

8. Encouraged by the mercantilist theory that stressed the need for overseas colonization to obtain the essential raw materials to provide economic self-sufficiency, these three European nations established colonial empires during the 17th-century:

(A) Portugal, Spain, Italy

(B) Portugal, England, France

(C) England, France, Prussia

(D) England, France, Holland

(E) Portugal, France, Holland

9. Both the French and Industrial Revolutions gave rise to a number of conflicting doctrines or “isms.” Which of the following was expounded and popularized decades after the others

(A) Marxism

(B) Liberalism

(C) Radicalism

(D) Conservatism

(E) Socialism

10. All of the following are features of Marxist theory EXCEPT

(A) Hegelian dialectic

(B) dialectical materialism

(C) the Class Struggle

(D) natural selection

(E) inevitable revolution

11. Which of the following economists accepted Adam Smith’s classical economics and tried to explain why his prediction of general prosperity under laissez-faire capitalism was not coming to fruition?

(A) Utopian Socialists

(B) Karl Marx

(C) Proudhon

(D) Robert Owen

(E) Thomas Malthus

12. The ideology, an inheritor of the ideals of the French Revolution, that set at its political goals in the first half of the 19th century, freedom of press, assembly and speech, and the establishment of representative governments is

(A) socialism

(B) conservatism

(C) liberalism

(D) positivism

(E) realism

13. Laissez-faire economic liberalism is most compatible with the theories of

(A) Karl Marx

(B) Adam Smith

(C) Charles Fourier

(D) Louis Blanc

(E) Friedrich Engels

14. The artistic and literary movement that reacted to the rationalism of the Enlightenment by emphasizing the emotional component of humanity along with individual freedom was

(A) Impressionism

(B) Expressionism

(C) Realism

(D) Social Darwinism

(E) Romanticism

15. Imperialism of the 1870 to 1914 period can best be described as

(A) overseas mercantilism

(B) development of a profitable trade with non-Western regions

(C) establishment of coastal trading posts in their non-European world

(D) the imposition by Europeans of their social, economic, and political systems upon non-Europeans

(E) the establishment of European democratic government in the non-European world

16. All of the following European nations were major imperial powers from 1870 to 1914 EXCEPT

(A) France

(B) Britain

(C) Germany

(D) Belgium

(E) Austria

17. All of these could be considered major causes of imperialism EXCEPT

(A) the search for new markets for industrial products

(B)the acquisition of raw materials

(C) missionary activities

(D) the desire to absorb the culture of non-Europeans

(E) the race for colonies

18. All of the following are valid generalizations about European imperialism in China EXCEPT

(A) China was not directly colonized

(B) China lost its outlying territories

(C) Europeans residing in China were not subject to Chinese law

(D) after the failure of a nationalist uprising, China was forced to pay indemnities to the imperialists

E) China was partitioned by both Europeans and Japan

19. All of these helped bring about the collapse of colonialism EXCEPT

(A) Western-style education in the colonies

(B) Japanese successes in World War II

(C) the principle of self-determination first espoused at the peace conferences that ended Wrodl War II

(D) the exhaustion of Europe after World War II

(E) the idealism of the Russian Revolution

20. Trotsky and Stalin’s interpretations of Marxism differed most significantly in which way?

(A) Trotsky wanted to foster world revolution while Stalin wanted “to build Socialism in one country.”

(B) Stalin wanted to foster revolution in Western Europe while Trotsky wanted to develop the Soviet Union first

(C) Stalin was a Bolshevik; Trotsky was a Menshevik

(D) Trotsky was deviationist; Stalin followed the party line

(E) Stalin believed that Russia was too backward to support Communism; Trotsky believed the opposite

21. Totalitarianism includes all of the following characteristics EXCEPT

(A) the state has the right to control the lives of its citizens from cradle to grave

(B) total control by the state is essential to victory

(C) the state has an existence apart from the individuals who comprise it

(D) every citizen owes the state absolute obedience unless the government violates individual rights

(E) war brings glory and the state must arm for it while the citizen must train for it

22. Despite its totalitarian suppression of political freedom and human rights, fascism appealed to many Italians for all these reasons EXCEPT

(A) the improvement of municipal government under centralized control

(B) the electrification of rural Italy

(C) overseas colonization

(D) the Lateran Pact with the Pope, 1929

(E) the suppression of the Mafia in Southern Italy

23. Which was NOT a goal of Christian humanists like Erasmus and Thomas More?

(A) to recapture the moral force of early Christianity

(B) to reform the Roman Catholic Church

(C) to criticize the pomposities of leaders and inequities of society

(D) to support Protestantism

(E) to emphasize the religious aspects of classical literature

24. Joseph II of Austria (1780-1790) has been called the “ideal Enlightened Despot” for all of the following EXCEPT

(A) he abolished serfdom

(B) he fostered freedom of the press

(C) he granted religious freedom to most Christian sects and to Jews

(D) he abolished the secret police

(E) he suppressed the influence of the Roman Catholic Church

25. The transition from colonialism to independence was LEAST chaotic in which of the following?

(A) The Philippines

(B) The Belgian Congo

(C) The Dutch East Indies (Indonesia)

(D) Algeria

(E) Indochina

26. All of the following are accurate assessments of the New Imperialism EXCEPT

(A) it degraded the subject peoples

(B) it created immensely profitable markets for European goods in the colonies

(C) it introduced progressive economies to the non-Western world

(D) it helped precipitate World Wars I and II

(E) it encouraged the non-West to modernize its social and political systems

27. “Functionalism,” founded by Walter Gropius and taught at the German Bauhaus was

(A) a philosophical movement espousing the expansion of women’s roles in modern society

(B) a style of clothing that dispensed with frills

(C) a trend in postmodern painting that used limited colors and set modes of execution

(D) a school of literary critique that argued for precision in language in the age of “doubletalk”

(E) a style of architecture that argued that beauty will follow once a building is well designed to serve its purpose

28. Which is true of Humanism?

(A) It set limits on what human beings could accomplish in this world

(B) it emphasized the study of Greek and Roman classical literature

(C) it sought to understand human nature exclusively by means of studying the writings of the early Christian philosophers

(D) it promoted a medieval lifestyle

(E) it discouraged a study of pagan writers

29. What is the most significant difference between absolutism and modern totalitarianism?

(A) Totalitarian dictators lacked the political power of the absolutist kings

(B) Absolutism sought to subordinate only the nobility

(C) Absolutist states lacked the total control of their citizens “from cradle to grave”

(D) State bureaucracies were absent in absolutist states

(E) Standing armies are an invention of modern totalitarianism

30. Constitutionalism in BOTH 17th century England and the Netherlands

(A) was established with the formation of long-lasting republics in both states

(B) was protected exclusively by unwritten constitutions

(C) limited the powers of the state by law

(D) came about as the result of bloody revolutions in both countries

(E) lacked protection of the rights of individual citizens

31. The trend seen in 17th-century absolutism is best characterized as

(A) the power of the monarchy being challenged and constitutionalism gaining ground on the continent

(B) monarchial power being challenged by the nobility who kept it in check

(C) monarchs consolidating power on the continent by subjugating the nobility through force or bribe

(D)the English Stuarts subjugating the parliament and reigning as absolute monarchs without challenge

(E) the example of Louis XIV being followed in England and the Netherlands

32. Monarchial absolutism

(A) was absent from Eastern Europe during the 17th century

(B) lasted longer in Western than in Eastern Europe

(C) abolished serfdom in 16th century Eastern Europe

(D) lasted longer in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe

(E) ended in Prussia and Russia by the early 1700s

33. Which of the following ideologies had its roots in the French Revolution and the conquests of Napoleon?

(A) Marxian socialism

(B) laissez-faire economic liberalism

(C) political conservatism

(D) nationalism

(E) utopian socialism

34. The “new imperialism” by Europeans from 1880 to 1914 differed from the imperialism of earlier periods in that

(A) it was primarily economic

(B) its goal was the establishment of peaceful trading empires

(C) it involved the political domination of masses of people in Asia and Africa

(D) it was limited to the Pacific Region

(E) it focused mainly on the Middle East
35. The radical dictatorships that grew in Europe during the 1920s and ‘30s and were characterized by a rejection of democratic ideals and by extreme control over every aspect of their citizens’ lives were known as

(A) communistic

(B) fascistic

(C) conservative authoritarian

(D) totalitarian

(E) militaristic

Section II
1. Erasmus had a profound effect and influence upon this individual:

(A) Johann Gutenberg

(B) Martin Luther

(C) Giotto

(D) John Cabot

(E) Christopher Columbus

2. He was known as the “father of humanism” :

(A) Guarino de Verona

(B) Giovanni Boccaccio

(C) Cosimo de Medici

(D) Dante Alighieri

(E) Francesco Petrarch

3. He was known as the father of empiricism:

(A) Francis Bacon

(B) Johannes Kepler

(C) Rene Descartes

(D) Galileo Galilei

(E) Isaac Newton

4. Under mercantilism, colonies existed to provide markets and natural resources for the industries of the home country, and in turn, the home country was to:

(A) generate free trade for the colonies to spur the local economy

(B) do little or nothing

(C) educate and Christianize the colonies

(D) protect and administer the colonies

(E) produce agricultural and manufactured goods to supply the colonies

5. As a political outlook, nationalism was and is based on the relatively modern concept that a nation is composed of people who are joined together by the bonds of a common:

(A) military, language, history, and culture

(B) language, customs, culture, and history

(C) residence within its defined borders

(D) culture, language, religions, and customs

(E) religion, culture, customs, and military

6. What was the name given to the group of activists who rejected industry and government?

(A) early socialists

(B) Republicans

(C) Marxists

(D) utopian socialists

(E) anarchists

7. One role of government espoused by classical economists was to:

(A) abolish military forces as being counterproductive to trade

(B) abolish all aid for the poor

(C) maintain the currency system

(D) take a significant role in economic life

(E) abstain from taxation completely

8. Classical economists advocated growth through:

(A) government control of enterprise

(B) an interdependent approach established by neighboring markets

(C) high taxes

(D) expanded social programs

(E) free enterprise

9. Gladstone’s ministry of 1868 to 1874 witnessed the culmination of:

(A) classical British liberalism

(B) staunch conservatism

(C) radical socialism

(D) reactionary nationalism

(E) renowned republicanism

10. Liberals and conservatives recognized that:

(A) education leading to better jobs and political influence was within the reach of the masses

(B) education had to be strictly rationed

(C) extensive education was needed for orderly political behavior of new voters

(D) minimal education was needed for orderly political behavior of new voters

(E) literacy would jeopardize the productivity of the work force

11. Auguste Comte developed the theory of:

(A) positivism

(B) the science of survival

(C) relativity

(D) social relevancy

(E) evolutionary ethics

12. In the New Imperialism, European powers usually:

(A) invested in another country and then used political power to protect these investments

(B) were interested only in building military strongholds and were unconcerned with economic or political issues

(C) used political power to enable economic control of other countries

(D) none of these answers

(E) all of these answers

13. The intellectual movement that perhaps best captured the predicament and mood of the mid-20th-century European culture was:

(A) transcendentalism

(B) absolutism

(C) nationalism

(D) existentialism

Section III

1. The term “humanism” when applied to Renaissance Italy, refers primarily to the

(A) renewed interest in the scientific method at many Italian universities

(B) capitalist values advanced by leading Italian merchant bankers

(C) antireligious movement among leading Italian intellectuals

(D) scholarly interest in the study of the classical cultures of Greece and Rome

(E) non-Christian themes that became prominent in Italian art and literature
2. Which of the following statements best reflects the ideas of Karl Marx?

(A) population grows in geometric progression

(B) humans share a common ancestry with apes

(C) the market is governed by an invisible hand

(D) a classless society will emerge at the end of the dialectical process

(E) happiness results from the greatest good for the greatest number

3. Which of the following statements is an example of Existentialist thought?

(A) “Certain innate principles comprise human understanding.”

(B) “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

(C) “All are born free and everywhere all are in chains.”

(D) “Comrades, we must abolish the cult of the individual decisively, once and for all.”

(E) “A person is the sum of his or her acts.”

4. Which of the following was the most important assumption underlying the economic philosophy of mercantilism?

(A) expansion of trade would lead to greater production and lower prices

(B) merchants were subversive elements who should be controlled

(C) the wealth of nations was limited and needed to be carefully preserved

(D) population growth would allow nations to emerge from the cycle of poverty

(E) production of goods for consumer consumption should be encouraged

Answer Key

Section I

  1. E

  2. F, J

  3. H

  4. C

  5. G

  6. J

  7. K

  8. D

  9. A,C

  10. A,F

  11. B

  12. K

  13. I

  14. G

  15. H

  16. F

  17. H

  18. G

  19. F

  20. H

Section II

  1. D

  2. E

  3. A

  4. B

  5. E

  6. C

  7. A

Multiple Choice

Section I

  1. B

  2. E

  3. B

  4. E

  5. D

  6. E

  7. E

  8. D

  9. A

  10. D

  11. E

  12. C

  13. B

  14. E

  15. D

  16. E

  17. D

  18. E

  19. C

  20. A

  21. D

  22. C

  23. D

  24. D

  25. A

  26. B

  27. E

  28. B

  29. C

  30. C

  31. C

  32. D

  33. D

  34. C

  35. D

Section II

  1. B

  2. E

  3. A

  4. D

  5. B

  6. E

  7. C

  8. E

  9. A

  10. D

  11. A

  12. A

  13. D

Section III

  1. D

  2. D

  3. E

  4. C

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