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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 21 Feb 2010, 14:54
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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.
Q1]The passage suggests which of the following about the Banda Islands?
1]The British arrived in the islands before the Dutch.
2]Nutmeg was the only spice that grew on the islands.
3]Natives of the islands produced nutmeg from the nuts of the nutmeg tree.
4]The Banda Islands are still in the possession of the Dutch.
5]The local economy of the islands depended completely on nutmeg.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
1


Q2]The second paragraph performs which of the following functions in the passage?
1]It offers specific information to complete the logic of the author's claims.
2]It summarizes and evaluates the evidence given thus far.
3]It presents the author's main point to explain a unique situation.
4]It cites a particular case to demonstrate the importance of historical change.
5]It discusses the necessary outcome of the author's assertions.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
1


Q3]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?
1]Attempts to cultivate nutmeg trees outside of the Banda Islands had failed.
2]Few people lived in New Amsterdam before it was ceded to the British.
3]The British controlled trade in other valuable spices, such as cloves.
4]New Amsterdam served as a trading center for furs exported to Europe.
5]The Netherlands controlled no North American territories other than New Amsterdam.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
4


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Re: Nutmeg [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2010, 10:52
1]The passage suggests which of the following about the Banda Islands?

1]The British arrived in the islands before the Dutch. >>Yes
All the other points are not specified in passage.

2]The second paragraph performs which of the following functions in the passage?

1]It offers specific information to complete the logic of the author's claims.>> Yes

5]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?

1]Attempts to cultivate nutmeg trees outside of the Banda Islands had failed.
>> Yes. This is the only reason why Dutch wanted to get the possession of Banda Islands.
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Re: Nutmeg [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2010, 15:45
OA is
[Reveal] Spoiler:
1,1, 4.

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Re: Nutmeg [#permalink] New post 05 Mar 2010, 13:58
I went for 5 4 1.
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Re: Nutmeg [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2010, 23:38
I dont see why would it suggest that British were there before Dutch... Any reasoning ?
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Re: Nutmeg [#permalink] New post 10 May 2010, 23:11
serbiano wrote:
I dont see why would it suggest that British were there before Dutch... Any reasoning ?



I would say that this is because of the following sentences:
"the Dutch attacked the Bandas" and "one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British"

the word "remain" is key here to understand that the British were on the island before the Dutch

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Re: Nutmeg [#permalink] New post 11 May 2010, 00:08
[Reveal] Spoiler:
1. A
2.A
3.D
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Re: Nutmeg [#permalink] New post 19 May 2010, 13:11
WOW
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Re: Nutmeg [#permalink] New post 19 May 2010, 13:38
really hard one - i got all wrong :(

need to be more careful


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Re: Nutmeg [#permalink] New post 19 May 2010, 13:59
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Okay I had 1,1,4 (before peeking) and here is why.

The first set of statements it has to be 1 because the paragraph says one island REMAINED in the hands of the British. Therefore the brits had to be there first.

The second set of statements again number 1 is it. The second paragraph does exactly as stated it conveys further facts to back up the original general statement about historical oddities. There really is just this initial assertion:"commonplace items play surprising roles ..." And then the recitation of facts in one situation to demonstrate the assertion. All of the other statements assume that the second paragraph is some metaanalysis of the original assertion but there is no meta in the second para.

The third set of statements was the hardest for me. Which statement MOST strengthens the claim that New Amsterdam would have remained Dutch but for the nutmeg? The first statment is good and probably strengthens the claim that the Dutch really wanted to get all of the Banda islands. But the fourth statement actually gives the Dutch a reason to have held onto New York. They were active traders and would have liked a piece of the fur trade. They just weighed the nutmeg trade as greater and more exclusive. So I think 4. more than 1. gives strength to why the Dutch would have held onto NewAmsterdam if not for the nutmeg. 1. gives strength to the idea of why they were willing to trade it away.

This is my reasoning. I hope it is helpful.

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Re: Nutmeg [#permalink] New post 05 Mar 2011, 04:08
mads wrote:
5]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?

1]Attempts to cultivate nutmeg trees outside of the Banda Islands had failed.
>> Yes. This is the only reason why Dutch wanted to get the possession of Banda Islands.

1] is definitely a good reason why Dutch wanted control over the Banda Islands, BUT the question above is asking what would cause New Amsterdam to remain with Dutch, if the nutmeg conflict (over Banda Islands) did not exist?, meaning what would have prompted the Dutch to choose New Amsterdam over the Banda Islands.

1] gives a reason why the Dutch would want Banda Islands, and NOT New Amsterdam. this, in fact, is a WEAKENER as it causes them to leave NA for Banda Islands.

we need to find the real motivation for the Dutch to pursue Banda Islands. the passage says that:
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

that's IT! the Dutch were interested in monopolizing trade so that an item fetches them more money in the European market. 4] says:
New Amsterdam served as a trading center for furs exported to Europe.
This is the most appropriate STENGTHENER

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Last edited by sashish007 on 14 Feb 2012, 03:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2012, 21:46
a,a,d.
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Re: Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2012, 09:41
Damn , I marked all wrong C,D,C ,need to really be careful while reading these convoluted passages

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Re: Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2012, 03:18
A, D, C

One right two wrong. Really tough passage but learnt that the OAs are quite right. The reason behind the OAs is really good.
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Re: Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2012, 19:17
Killer passage. Small, but deadly.
+1 to you

btw, I don't think the logic behind answer 1 is watertight.
It is quite possible that the British conquered that particular island at the same time the Dutch was conquering the other islands. What makes this possible is that Banda was not a fortress, but a collection of individual islands and it is not illogical to assume that the Dutch did not attack all the islands simultaneously.
The Brits may have licked one while the Dutch were looking the other way. This is wrt the term 'remained'

As far as the term 'arrived' goes, the passage explicitly mentions Venetian traders, so the scale tilts to the possibility that Dutch arrived first.

Of course POE will lead to the answer but there is a leap one is required make in order to read the answer and think 'gotcha!'

On a side note, I found the information really interesting and spent some time on Wikipedia reading about the history of nutmeg.
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Re: Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2012, 06:19
For

Question 1 How can we eliminate 3? I actually thought about 1 but then went ahead and selected 3.

Question 5 : I was confused between 3 and 4 but went ahead and selected 3 considering the fact that the choice talks about furs exported - out of scope
Reasoning for 3 : Since the Dutch and wanted to grow in the Spice trade the dutch gave up New Amsterdam. Had the English been trading other valuable spices the importance of these spices to the dutch would have been less. I think my reasoning here is a little long shot.

But yes will accept the answers as they are.
Re: Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world   [#permalink] 23 Nov 2012, 06:19
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