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Passage 6 In the eighteenth century, Japan's feudal

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Passage 6 In the eighteenth century, Japan's feudal [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2004, 03:52
Passage 6

In the eighteenth century, Japan's feudal
overlords, from the shogun to the humblest
samurai, found themselves under financial
stress. In part, this stress can be attributed to
(5) the overlords' failure to adjust to a rapidly ex-
panding economy, but the stress was also due to
factors beyond the overlords' control. Concen-
tration of the samurai in castle-towns had acted
as a stimulus to trade. Commercial efficiency, in
(10) turn, had put temptations in the way of buyers.
Since most samurai had been reduced to idleness
by years of peace, encouraged to engage in
scholarship and martial exercises or to perform
administrative tasks that took little time, it is
(15) not surprising that their tastes and habits grew
expensive. Overlords' income, despite the in-
crease in rice production among their tenant
farmers, failed to keep pace with their expenses.
Although shortfalls in overlords' income re-
(20) sulted almost as much from laxity among their
tax collectors (the nearly inevitable outcome of
hereditary officeholding) as from their higher
standards of living, a misfortune like a fire or
flood, bringing an increase in expenses or a drop
(25) in revenue, could put a domain in debt to the
city rice-brokers who handled its finances. Once
in debt, neither the individual samurai nor the
shogun himself found it easy to recover.
It was difficult for individual samurai over-
(30) lords to increase their income because the
amount of rice that farmers could be made to
pay in taxes was not unlimited, and since the in-
come of Japan's central government consisted in
part of taxes collected by the shogun from his
(35) huge domain, the government too was con-
strained. Therefore, the Tokugawa shoguns
began to look to other sources for revenue.
Cash profits from government-owned mines
were already on the decline because the most
(40) easily worked deposits of silver and gold had
been exhausted, although debasement of the
coinage had compensated for the loss. Opening
up new farmland was a possibility, but most of
what was suitable had already been exploited
(45) and further reclamation was technically unfeasi-
ble. Direct taxation of the samurai themselves
would be politically dangerous. This left the
shoguns only commerce as a potential source of
government income.
(50) Most of the country's wealth, or so it seemed,
was finding its way into the hands of city mer-
chants. It appeared reasonable that they should
contribute part of that revenue to ease the
shogun's burden of financing the state. A means
(55) of obtaining such revenue was soon found by
levying forced ioans, known as goyo-kin;
although these were not taxes in the strict sense,
since they were irregular in timing and arbitrary
in amount, they were high in yield. Unfortunately,
(60) they pushed up prices. Thus, regrettably, the
Tokugawa shoguns' search for solvency for the
government made it increasingly difficult for
individual Japanese who lived on fixed stipends
to make ends meet.

1. Which of the following best describes the attitude of
the author toward the samurai discussed in lines
11-16?
(A) Warmly approving
(B) Mildly sympathetic
(C) Bitterly disappointed
(D) Harshly disdainful
(E) Profoundly shocked

2. According to the passage, the major reason for the
financial problems experienced by Japan's feudal
overlords in the eighteenth century was that
(A) spending had outdistanced income
(B) trade had fallen off
(C) profits from mining had declined
(D) the coinage had been sharply debased
(E) the samurai had concentrated in castle-towns

3.The passage implies that individual samurai did not
find it easy to recover from debt for which of the
following reasons?
(A) Agricultural production had increased.
(B) Taxes were irregular in timing and arbitrary in
amount.
(C) The Japanese government had failed to adjust to
the needs of a changing economy.
(D) The domains of samurai overlords were
becoming smaller and poorer as government
revenues increased.
(E) There was a limit to the amount in taxes that
farmers could be made to pay.

4. Which of the following could best be substituted
for the word "This " in line 47 without changing the
meaning of the passage?
(A) The search of Japan's Tokugawa shoguns for
solvency
(B) The importance of commerce in feudal Japan
(C) The unfairness of the tax structure in eighteenth-
century Japan
(D) The difficulty of increasing government income by
other means
(E) The difficulty experienced by both individual
samurai and the shogun himself in extricating
themselves from debt

5. The passage implies that which of the following was
the primary reason why the Tokugawa shoguns
turned to city merchants for help in financing the
state?
(A) A series of costly wars had depleted the national
treasury.
(B) Most of the country's wealth appeared to be in
city merchants' hands.
(C) Japan had suffered a series of economic
reversals due to natural disasters such as
floods.
(D) The merchants were already heavily indebted to
the shoguns.
(E) Further reclamation of land would not have been
economically advantageous.

6. According to the passage, the actions of the Tokugawa
shoguns in their search for solvency for the government
were regrettable because those actions
(A) raised the cost of living by pushing up prices
(B) resulted in the exhaustion of the most easily
worked deposits of silver and gold
(C) were far lower in yield than had originally been
anticipated
(D) did not succeed in reducing government spending
(E) acted as a deterrent to trade
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2004, 06:57
9 minutes..
1. B
2. A
3. E
4. D
5. B
6. A
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2004, 13:00
anyone else?
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2004, 21:54
14 mins
(1) B
(2) A
(3) E - Took maximum time
(4) D
(5) B
(6) A

Dharmin
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2004, 05:33
11 mins

1) B
2) A
3) E
4) D - what about A?
5) B
6) A
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2004, 12:51
7 min...

1 b
2 a
3 c
4 a
5 b
6 c
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2004, 14:10
Answers for this RC ???
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2004, 16:36
Preat...

do you have answers for this RC ?

regards,
new1975
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2004, 17:57
sorry new...i will be back with the answers right away :oops:
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2004, 18:17
Debasement of currency was as prevalent in antiquity as it is now.
Interesting to learn that the governments all over the world and all along
procticed monetory debasement.

Anyone want to guess what would a dollar buy in another ten years?
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Re: [#7] RC Challenge: Japan [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2004, 18:19
Quote:
Passage 6
In the eighteenth century, Japan's feudal
overlords, from the shogun to the humblest
samurai, found themselves under financial
stress. In part, this stress can be attributed to
(5) the overlords' failure to adjust to a rapidly ex-
panding economy, but the stress was also due to
factors beyond the overlords' control. Concen-
tration of the samurai in castle-towns had acted
as a stimulus to trade. Commercial efficiency, in
(10) turn, had put temptations in the way of buyers.
Since most samurai had been reduced to idleness
by years of peace, encouraged to engage in
scholarship and martial exercises or to perform
administrative tasks that took little time, it is
(15) not surprising that their tastes and habits grew
expensive. Overlords' income, despite the in-
crease in rice production among their tenant
farmers, failed to keep pace with their expenses.
Although shortfalls in overlords' income re-
(20) sulted almost as much from laxity among their
tax collectors (the nearly inevitable outcome of
hereditary officeholding) as from their higher
standards of living, a misfortune like a fire or
flood, bringing an increase in expenses or a drop
(25) in revenue, could put a domain in debt to the
city rice-brokers who handled its finances. Once
in debt, neither the individual samurai nor the
shogun himself found it easy to recover.
It was difficult for individual samurai over-
(30) lords to increase their income because the
amount of rice that farmers could be made to
pay in taxes was not unlimited, and since the in-
come of Japan's central government consisted in
part of taxes collected by the shogun from his
(35) huge domain, the government too was con-
strained. Therefore, the Tokugawa shoguns
began to look to other sources for revenue.
Cash profits from government-owned mines
were already on the decline because the most
(40) easily worked deposits of silver and gold had
been exhausted, although debasement of the
coinage had compensated for the loss. Opening
up new farmland was a possibility, but most of
what was suitable had already been exploited
(45) and further reclamation was technically unfeasi-
ble. Direct taxation of the samurai themselves
would be politically dangerous. This left the
shoguns only commerce as a potential source of
government income.
(50) Most of the country's wealth, or so it seemed,
was finding its way into the hands of city mer-
chants. It appeared reasonable that they should
contribute part of that revenue to ease the
shogun's burden of financing the state. A means
(55) of obtaining such revenue was soon found by
levying forced ioans, known as goyo-kin;
although these were not taxes in the strict sense,
since they were irregular in timing and arbitrary
in amount, they were high in yield. Unfortunately,
(60) they pushed up prices. Thus, regrettably, the
Tokugawa shoguns' search for solvency for the
government made it increasingly difficult for
individual Japanese who lived on fixed stipends
to make ends meet.


Quote:
1. Which of the following best describes the attitude of
the author toward the samurai discussed in lines
11-16?
(A) Warmly approving
(B) Mildly sympathetic
(C) Bitterly disappointed
(D) Harshly disdainful
(E) Profoundly shocked


Answer: B

Quote:
2. According to the passage, the major reason for the
financial problems experienced by Japan's feudal
overlords in the eighteenth century was that
(A) spending had outdistanced income
(B) trade had fallen off
(C) profits from mining had declined
(D) the coinage had been sharply debased
(E) the samurai had concentrated in castle-towns


Answer: A

Quote:
3.The passage implies that individual samurai did not
find it easy to recover from debt for which of the
following reasons?
(A) Agricultural production had increased.
(B) Taxes were irregular in timing and arbitrary in
amount.
(C) The Japanese government had failed to adjust to
the needs of a changing economy.
(D) The domains of samurai overlords were
becoming smaller and poorer as government
revenues increased.
(E) There was a limit to the amount in taxes that
farmers could be made to pay.


Answer: E

Quote:
4. Which of the following could best be substituted
for the word "This " in line 47 without changing the
meaning of the passage?
(A) The search of Japan's Tokugawa shoguns for
solvency
(B) The importance of commerce in feudal Japan
(C) The unfairness of the tax structure in eighteenth-
century Japan
(D) The difficulty of increasing government income by
other means
(E) The difficulty experienced by both individual
samurai and the shogun himself in extricating
themselves from debt


Answer: D

Quote:
5. The passage implies that which of the following was
the primary reason why the Tokugawa shoguns
turned to city merchants for help in financing the
state?
(A) A series of costly wars had depleted the national
treasury.
(B) Most of the country's wealth appeared to be in
city merchants' hands.
(C) Japan had suffered a series of economic
reversals due to natural disasters such as
floods.
(D) The merchants were already heavily indebted to
the shoguns.
(E) Further reclamation of land would not have been
economically advantageous.


Answer: B


Quote:
6. According to the passage, the actions of the Tokugawa
shoguns in their search for solvency for the government
were regrettable because those actions
(A) raised the cost of living by pushing up prices
(B) resulted in the exhaustion of the most easily
worked deposits of silver and gold
(C) were far lower in yield than had originally been
anticipated
(D) did not succeed in reducing government spending
(E) acted as a deterrent to trade


Answer : A
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2004, 19:44
Took 8 minutes. I am a little late for this I guess

1)B
2)A
3)E
4)D
5)B
6)A
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2004, 21:25
9 minutes.

1)B
2)A
3)E
4)D
5)B
6)A
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2004, 06:10
Preat...

Thanks for the answers... looks like everyone except me got all right :(.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2004, 00:22
Why is the first answer not A? :roll:
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Apr 2004, 02:08
Skeletor wrote:
Why is the first answer not A? :roll:


Skeletor, Please read following sentences from the stem - para:

Since most samurai had been reduced to idleness
by years of peace, encouraged to engage in
scholarship and martial exercises or to perform
administrative tasks that took little time, it is
(15) not surprising that their tastes and habits grew
expensive.

It can not be "approving" because, SAMURAI has main task to fight and due to idleness they encouraged to engage in some another activity, which do not fit to the role samurai ideally has.
So it can be sympathy rather than approval

Any other views,
Dharmin
  [#permalink] 30 Apr 2004, 02:08
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