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Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world

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Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2007, 11:30
Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development. For example, though most people today associate nutmeg with simple baked goods, this common spice once altered the course of political history. For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually these nuts, from which the spice is made, ended up as a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian spice merchants. Eager to establish a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Bandas, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the nutmeg trade.

However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. At the time, the Dutch, inveterate traders, were more interested in the spice trade than in the mercantile value of New Amsterdam and so accepted the offer. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York.



Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the claim that New Amsterdam would have remained a Dutch possession if not for the conflict over nutmeg?

A) Attempts to cultivate nutmeg trees outside of the Banda Islands had failed.
B) Few people lived in New Amsterdam before it was ceded to the British.
C) The British controlled trade in other valuable spices, such as cloves.
D) New Amsterdam served as a trading center for furs exported to Europe.
E) The Netherlands controlled no North American territories other than New Amsterdam.
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2007, 13:00
I would go with A.

If its true, that's quite an interesting story about NY... :P
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Re: RC: Commonplace items [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2007, 15:04
I would go with D.
The reasoning is that we need to point out why wouldnt the dutch lose new amsterdam. They wouldn't if it is of some trade value.
A just supports one more point why Banda is precious.


jimjohn wrote:
Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development. For example, though most people today associate nutmeg with simple baked goods, this common spice once altered the course of political history. For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually these nuts, from which the spice is made, ended up as a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian spice merchants. Eager to establish a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Bandas, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the nutmeg trade.

However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. At the time, the Dutch, inveterate traders, were more interested in the spice trade than in the mercantile value of New Amsterdam and so accepted the offer. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York.



Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the claim that New Amsterdam would have remained a Dutch possession if not for the conflict over nutmeg?

A) Attempts to cultivate nutmeg trees outside of the Banda Islands had failed.
B) Few people lived in New Amsterdam before it was ceded to the British.
C) The British controlled trade in other valuable spices, such as cloves.
D) New Amsterdam served as a trading center for furs exported to Europe.
E) The Netherlands controlled no North American territories other than New Amsterdam.
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2007, 16:23
I agree with rajkumargnv. in both things: If this is true we'd be typing Dutch and inho correct answer is A.

If the Dutch had been able to grow the nutmeg trees in their land, New Amsterdam would have been completely out of the negotiation table. However, because of the inability to do that, the nutmeg conflict occured.

Answer D is completely out of the scope. Whether the Dutch were a key role in the fur-trade route has nothing to do with the rest.

Thant's just me :) What's the OA?
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Re: RC: Commonplace items [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2007, 06:59
jimjohn wrote:
Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development. For example, though most people today associate nutmeg with simple baked goods, this common spice once altered the course of political history. For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually these nuts, from which the spice is made, ended up as a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian spice merchants. Eager to establish a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Bandas, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the nutmeg trade.

However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. At the time, the Dutch, inveterate traders, were more interested in the spice trade than in the mercantile value of New Amsterdam and so accepted the offer. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York.



Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the claim that New Amsterdam would have remained a Dutch possession if not for the conflict over nutmeg?

A) Attempts to cultivate nutmeg trees outside of the Banda Islands had failed.
B) Few people lived in New Amsterdam before it was ceded to the British.
C) The British controlled trade in other valuable spices, such as cloves.
D) New Amsterdam served as a trading center for furs exported to Europe.
E) The Netherlands controlled no North American territories other than New Amsterdam.


A - strong option to go for Bandas
B - Does not change anything about the importance of Banda
C - Out of scope, we are simply talking about Banda spice and New Amsterdam
D -Out of scope
E - Out of scope

There had to be some strong reason to get the hold of Banda over New Amsterdam and only option A shows that all other options were closed to Ducth except taking control of Bandas

My take is A.
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Re: RC: Commonplace items [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2007, 13:04
ramubhaiya wrote:
I would go with D.
The reasoning is that we need to point out why wouldnt the dutch lose new amsterdam. They wouldn't if it is of some trade value.
A just supports one more point why Banda is precious.


jimjohn wrote:
Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development. For example, though most people today associate nutmeg with simple baked goods, this common spice once altered the course of political history. For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually these nuts, from which the spice is made, ended up as a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian spice merchants. Eager to establish a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Bandas, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the nutmeg trade.

However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. At the time, the Dutch, inveterate traders, were more interested in the spice trade than in the mercantile value of New Amsterdam and so accepted the offer. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York.



Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the claim that New Amsterdam would have remained a Dutch possession if not for the conflict over nutmeg?

A) Attempts to cultivate nutmeg trees outside of the Banda Islands had failed.
B) Few people lived in New Amsterdam before it was ceded to the British.
C) The British controlled trade in other valuable spices, such as cloves.
D) New Amsterdam served as a trading center for furs exported to Europe.
E) The Netherlands controlled no North American territories other than New Amsterdam.


Yeah, I thought about D too but 'fur' is not a spice. It is mentioned that the Dutch are more into 'spice trade' not just trade. right?
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2007, 23:43
I think it doesn't really matter. Fur or pepper. If it had said that fur trade was way more important than nutmeg, and that the dutch couldn't do both for x reasons, maybe, but not like the way it is. It's completely irrelevant since the main issue here was nutmeg. I think, at least.
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2007, 03:51
I also think A is correct.
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Nov 2007, 10:27
the OA was D

(A) This choice tells us that the nutmeg trade was limited to the Banda Islands, but it does not give us any information concerning New Amsterdam.

(B) The fact that New Amsterdam had a small population is not suggestive of anything relevant to the question.

(C) The fact that the British controlled trade in other spices does not give a reason to believe that New Amsterdam would have remained a Dutch possession if not for the conflict over nutmeg.

(D) CORRECT. The passage tells us that The Netherlands ceded New Amsterdam in order to gain control of the valuable spice trade. This choice suggests that New Amsterdam was already a source of wealth for The Netherlands. So perhaps The Netherlands would have held on to New Amsterdam if they had not been offered something they perceived to be even more valuable (e.g., nutmeg).

(E) The fact that The Netherlands controlled no other North American territories is not relevant unless we have information suggesting that The Netherlands felt compelled to maintain a presence in North America. Since we do not have any such information, this choice is not relevant.
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Nov 2007, 10:46
I strongly disagree wth this OA. Is it OG?

We cannot assume that fur trade was a better business that nutmeg.

We are safe when we assume that nutmeg trade was important, because it's defined as a luxury item in the market and because the Dutch wanted to have control over it. But fur, we cannot assume anything about it. We don't have information as to how valuable it is. What if it was so expensive, that not even kings could afford it, or what if 9 out of 10 ships exporting it to Europe fell under hands of looters/pirates, thus making it impossible to trade at the time. I think it would be inferring to much that fur trade was more important than nutmeg. And remember, we are not supposed to allow outside knowledge into the passage.

Heck, I'd give up fur for nutmeg any day. ;)

Guys, Is this just me? is my reasoning extremely flawed?
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Nov 2007, 10:50
its from manhattan gmat
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2007, 14:43
I am not good at RC. But, I chose D for the following reasons.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the claim that New Amsterdam would have remained a Dutch possession if not for the conflict over nutmeg?

A) Attempts to cultivate nutmeg trees outside of the Banda Islands had failed.
If this is true, Dutch will go for Banda Island in exchange of New Amsterdam. this doesn't support and hence incorrect
B) Few people lived in New Amsterdam before it was ceded to the British.
Irrelevnt , knock off
C) The British controlled trade in other valuable spices, such as cloves.
Out of scope
D) New Amsterdam served as a trading center for furs exported to Europe.
This appears to be out of scope but, this explains a reason why New Amsterdam cannot be forfeited as it is a export hub for Hub.
E) The Netherlands controlled no North American territories other than New Amsterdam.
Out of scope.

By POE, D alone is some what close!
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2007, 15:15
What does this sentence "if not for the conflict over nutmeg? " imply?
Does it say if this conflict had not happened?

"New Amsterdam would have remained a Dutch possession if not for the conflict over nutmeg?"

Is this correct paraphrasing?
:-
What reasons Dutch had to retain New Amsterdam if conflict over nutmeg did not happen?
  [#permalink] 05 Nov 2007, 15:15
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