this is a nice passage, it took me 20 mins to finally answer this passage , answers are:
1. According to the passage, one of the traditional explanations of England’s late nineteenth-century economic decline has been that it resulted from the
(A) tendency of the ruling elite to pursue conservative rather than innovative economic policies
(B) failure of business entrepreneurs to reduce the power of the ruling elite in English society
(C) investment of large amounts of capital in the purchase and maintenance of country houses
(D) tendency of business owners to attempt to retain control of their firms within their families
(E) failure of leading business entrepreneurs to pay close attention to their firms
E. refer second para "England’s late nineteenth-century economic decline resulted from absentee business owners too distracted by the demands of elite life to manage their firms properly. "
2. The author suggests that which of the following was true of most European elites during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries?
(A) The ranks of these elites were generally closed to most business entrepreneurs.
(B) The elites generally dominated industrial development.
(C) Status within these elites was generally determined by the amount of land owned.
(D) These elites generally were able to maintain their power unchallenged.
(E) The power of these elites generally forestalled the development of a large class of self-made entrepreneurs.
D can be inferred from para 1 "allowed England to escape the clash between those with social/political power and those with economic power, a conflict that beset the rest of Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries" this was a tricky question.. it took me 3 mins to go for D. I selected E first but that is never mentioned in or inferred from the passage.
3. Traditional historians of England, as they are described in the passage, would be most likely to agree with which of the following statements regarding open elites?
(A) They develop more easily in agricultural rather than industrial societies.
(B) They develop in response to particular sets of economic conditions.
(C) They tend to unite some of the powerful groups in a society.
(D) They tend to reduce class distinctions based on income in a society.
(E) They tend to insure adequate distribution of material goods in a society.
B.Here i was confused initially between B and C, but when i checked more than twice, then i observed "powerful groups" in C and that is not true, there is only one ruling elite group so i discarded this one.. hence selected B. if someone has other explanation for this one or feels that i am missing something please lemme know..
4. The tone of the passage suggests that the author regards the Stones’ methodological approach as
E.Now in this case, i feel that choices are not pretty close and i found it less cumbersome to select the answer but these are the questions where i need explanations too..
here IMO, refer to this statement "If further studies of country-house ownership attest to the representativeness and accuracy of their data, then the Stones’ conclusion that the open elite thesis cannot be maintained may, indeed, prove true." and it gives an idea that stone's findings might be useful and thus clever.First, i selected A as the answer but then when i read carefully, i selected E coz i thought that i am assuming things that are not mentioned in the passage.
5. Which of the following best states the main idea of the passage?
(A) Assumptions about the nature of England’s ruling elite can no longer be used with certitude to explain many major economic developments.
(B) The concept of the open elite is of paramount importance in explaining major English political, social, and economic events.
(C) The long-standing belief that England possessed a remarkably open ruling elite has recently been subjected to important and potentially lethal criticism.
(D) Although many possibilities are available, the most reliable means of testing the truth of the ‘open elite’ hypothesis is to analyze changes in the composition of the elite.
(E) An analysis of English country-house ownership in England indicates that there were few opportunities for merchants to buy the estates of old members of the landed elite.
check question 7 for explanation.. actually it is not the same but here it is asking you about the topic and scope and that is clearly stated in B..
6. Which of the following can be inferred from the Stones’ findings about English country-house ownership in the
three counties during the period 1540-1880?
(A) Little change in the number or size of English country houses occurred during this period.
(B) Wealthy business owners constituted a growing percentage of English country-house owners during this period.
(C) Most of the families that owned country houses at the beginning of this period continued to own them at the end.
(D) The most significant changes in English country-house ownership occurred during the second half of this period.
(E) Self-made entrepreneurs were able to enter the ranks of the English country-house owners during this period only through marriage.
"there was strikingly little change in the ownership of such houses throughout the period. Instead, even in the face of a demographic crisis (fewer marriages, declining fertility, rising infant mortality), the old elite was able to maintain itself, and its estates, intact for centuries through recourse to various marriage and inheritance strategies" this statement indicates that c is the right choice..
7. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) resolve a debate between two schools of thought.
(B) Present research that questions an established view.
(C) Describe and criticize a new approach.
(D) Defend a traditional interpretation against recent criticisms.
(E) Analyze possible approaches to resolving a long-standing controversy.
B. i think it is pretty straight forward.. author presented a established view or a belief by historians(as indicated by "But is the thesis true?" at the beginning of para 2) and then presented a research in para 3.
8. The Stones suggest that major problems facing the English elite during the period 1540-1880 included which of the following?
I. A reduction in the number of their offspring
II. An increase in the amount of their indebtedness
III. A decline in their political and social power
(A) I only
(B) III only
(C) I and II only
(D) II and III only
(E) I, II, and III
Here u can refer to para 3. "demographic crisis (fewer marriages, declining fertility, rising infant mortality)" and read it carefully.. only option 1 is correct but not 2 and 3.
9. The author suggests that the Stones’ conclusions about the openness of the English elite would be strengthened by future studies that
(A) pay more attention to other recent historical works
(B) include more data on factors other than country-house ownership
(C) concentrate more on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
(D) expand the area of research to include more counties
(E) focus more on successful business entrepreneurs
In the passage it has been mentioned that ". If further studies of country-house ownership attest to the representativeness and accuracy of their data" so that states that area of research needs to be expanded.
Actually, when i first saw this ques. i selected B as the answer but then i realized that D is more specific to what is asked and B is never mentioned in the passage.