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A conventional view of nineteenth-century Britain holds that iron manu

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A conventional view of nineteenth-century Britain holds that iron manu  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 09 Oct 2019, 03:08
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 38, Date : 19-FEB-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


A conventional view of nineteenth-century Britain holds that iron manufacturers and textile manufacturers from the north of England became the wealthiest and most powerful people in society after about 1832. According to Marxist historians, these industrialists were the target of the working class in its struggle for power. A new study by Rubinstein, however, suggests that the real wealth lay with the bankers and merchants of London. Rubinstein does not deny that a northern industrial elite existed but argues that it was consistently outnumbered and outdone by a London-based commercial elite. His claims are provocative and deserve consideration.

Rubinstein’s claim about the location of wealth comes from his investigation of probate records. These indicate the value of personal property, excluding real property (buildings and land), left by individuals at death. It does seem as if large fortunes were more frequently made in commerce than in industry and, within industry, more frequently from alcohol or tobacco than from textiles or metal. However, such records do not unequivocally make Rubinstein’s case. Uncertainties abound about how the probate rules for valuing assets were actually applied. Mills and factories, being real property, were clearly excluded: machinery may also have been, for the same reason. What the valuation conventions were for stock-in-trade (goods for sale) is also uncertain. It is possible that their probate values were much lower than their actual market value: cash or near-cash, such as bank balances or stocks, were, on the other hand, invariably considered at full face value. A further complication is that probate valuations probably took no notice of a business’s goodwill (favor with the public) which, since it represents expectations about future profit-making, would today very often be a large fraction of market value. Whether factors like these introduced systematic biases into the probate valuations of individuals with different types of businesses would be worth investigating.

The orthodox view that the wealthiest individuals were the most powerful is also questioned by Rubinstein’s study. The problem for this orthodox view is that Rubinstein finds many millionaires who are totally unknown to nineteenth-century historians: the reason for their obscurity could be that they were not powerful. Indeed, Rubinstein dismisses any notion that great wealth had anything to do with entry into the governing elite, as represented by bishops, higher civil servants, and chairmen of manufacturing companies. The only requirements were university attendance and a father with a middle-class income.

Rubinstein, in another study, has begun to buttress his findings about the location of wealth by analyzing income tax returns, which reveal a geographical distribution of middle-class incomes similar to that of wealthy incomes revealed by probate records. But until further confirmatory investigation is done, his claims can only be considered partially convincing.

1. The main idea of the passage is that

(A) the Marxist interpretation of the relationship between class and power in nineteenth-century Britain is no longer viable
(B) a simple equation between wealth and power is unlikely to be supported by new data from nineteenth-century British archives
(C) a recent historical investigation has challenged but not disproved the orthodox view of the distribution of wealth and the relationship of wealth to power in nineteenth-century Britain
(D) probate records provide the historian with a revealing but incomplete glimpse of the extent and location of wealth in nineteenth-century Britain
(E) an attempt has been made to confirm the findings of a new historical study of nineteenth-century Britain, but complete confirmation is likely to remain elusive


2. The author of the passage implies that probate records as a source of information about wealth in nineteenth-century Britain are
(A) self-contradictory and misleading
(B) ambiguous and outdated
(C) controversial but readily available
(D) revealing but difficult to interpret
(E) widely used by historians but fully understandable only by specialists


3. The author suggests that the total probate valuations of the personal property of individuals holding goods for sale in nineteenth-century Britain may have been
(A) affected by the valuation conventions for such goods
(B) less accurate than the valuations for such goods provided by income tax returns
(C) less, on average, if such goods were tobacco-related than if they were alcohol-related
(D) greater, on average, than the total probate valuations of those individuals who held bank balances
(E) dependent on whether such goods were held by industrialists or by merchants or bankers


4. According to the passage, Rubinstein has provided evidence that challenges which one of the following claims about nineteenth-century Britain?
(A) The distribution of great wealth between commerce and industry was not equal.
(B) Large incomes were typically made in alcohol and tobacco rather than in textiles and metal.
(C) A London-based commercial elite can be identified.
(D) An official governing elite can be identified.
(E) There was a necessary relationship between great wealth and power.


5. The author mentions that goodwill was probably excluded from the probate valuation of a business in nineteenth-century Britain most likely in order to

(A) give an example of a business asset about which little was known in the nineteenth century
(B) suggest that the probate valuations of certain businesses may have been significant underestimations of their true market value
(C) make the point that this exclusion probably had an equal impact on the probate valuations of all nineteenth-century British businesses
(D) indicate that expectations about future profit-making is the single most important factor in determining the market value of certain businesses
(E) argue that the twentieth-century method of determining probate valuations of a business may be consistently superior to the nineteenth-century method


6. Which one of the following studies would provide support for Rubinstein’s claims?

(A) a study that indicated that many members of the commercial elite in nineteenth-century London had insignificant holdings of real property

(B) a study that indicated that in the nineteenth century, industrialists from the north of England were in fact a target for working-class people

(C) a study that indicated that, in nineteenth-century Britain, probate values of goods for sale were not as high as probate values of cash assets

(D) a study that indicated that the wealth of nineteenth-century British industrialists did not appear to be significantly greater when the full value of their real property holdings was actually considered

(E) a study that indicated that at least some members of the official governing elite in nineteenth-century Britain owned more real property than had previously been thought to be the case


7. Which one of the following, if true, would cast the most doubt on Rubinstein’s argument concerning wealth and the official governing elite in nineteenth-century Britain?

(A) Entry into this elite was more dependent on university attendance than on religious background.
(B) Attendance at a prestigious university was probably more crucial than a certain minimum family income in gaining entry into this elite.
(C) Bishops as a group were somewhat wealthier, at the point of entry into this elite, than were higher civil servants or chairmen of manufacturing companies.
(D) The families of many members of this elite owned few, if any, shares in iron industries and textile industries in the north of England.
(E) The composition of this elite included vice-chancellors, many of whom held office because of their wealth.



  • Source: LSAT Official PrepTest 8 (June 1993)
  • Difficulty Level: 700

Originally posted by Rosebm on 23 Aug 2017, 06:30.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 09 Oct 2019, 03:08, edited 8 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (874).
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Re: A conventional view of nineteenth-century Britain holds that iron manu  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2018, 19:18
Can someone explain me Q3 and Q6 ??
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Re: A conventional view of nineteenth-century Britain holds that iron manu  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2018, 23:37
MSarmah wrote:
Can someone explain me Q3 and Q6 ??



3. The author suggests that the total probate valuations of the personal property of individuals holding goods for sale in nineteenth-century Britain may have been
(A) affected by the valuation conventions for such goods
This is so because of the following :

However, such records do not unequivocally make Rubinstein’s case. Uncertainties abound about how the probate rules for valuing assets were actually applied.
(B) less accurate than the valuations for such goods provided by income tax returns
(C) less, on average, if such goods were tobacco-related than if they were alcohol-related
(D) greater, on average, than the total probate valuations of those individuals who held bank balances
(E) dependent on whether such goods were held by industrialists or by merchants or bankers

Does this help?

Hit kudos please.
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Re: A conventional view of nineteenth-century Britain holds that iron manu  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2018, 23:42
1
6. Which one of the following studies would provide support for Rubinstein’s claims?
(A) a study that indicated that many members of the commercial elite in nineteenth-century London had insignificant holdings of real property
(B) a study that indicated that in the nineteenth century, industrialists from the north of England were in fact a target for working-class people
(C) a study that indicated that, in nineteenth-century Britain, probate values of goods for sale were not as high as probate values of cash assets
(D) a study that indicated that the wealth of nineteenth-century British industrialists did not appear to be significantly greater when the full value of their real property holdings was actually considered
(E) a study that indicated that at least some members of the official governing elite in nineteenth-century Britain owned more real property than had previously been thought to be the case

This question basically asks what can we use to strengthen the claims? so for that we need to find the weakness which is given in the q3! that is the uncertainity in calculating probate values!

Choice d suggests thats 2 variables of studying probate value does not give a lot of difference so it can be trusted for the difference is minimal and hence the claims can be accepted?

Hope it helps!

Hit kudos :)
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Re: A conventional view of nineteenth-century Britain holds that iron manu  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2019, 02:27
1
Hi everyone,
Took around 18 minutes and got 5/7 correct. Took 5 minutes to read, write down paragraphs summaries and main point.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

P1
Paragraph 1 expresses a contrast between the following parts:
#1 A long held vision according to which the wealth in the 19th century belonged primarily to iron and textile manufacturers from north England. This view is supported by Marxists historians
#2 Rubestein's claim according to which most of the wealth belonged to merchants and bankers of London.

P2
Paragraph 2 is divided in two parts that are in contrast one with the other.
Part 1: it discusses the source from which Rubenstein draws its claim: the probate record. This record suggests that the commercial area was fairly more profitable than the industrial area and that within the industry a greater wealth comes from the sales of tobacco and alcohol rather than textiles or metal

Part 2:
The second part doubts the soundness of the evidence used by Rubensteins for the following reasons:
-Mills and factories were excluded by probate records
-valuation convention for stock i trade is uncertain
-probate valuations probably took no notice of a business’s goodwill

P3
Paragraph 3 talks about Rubenstein's claim according to which wealth and power are not related. The reason according to Rubenstein is that very rich people were unknown. In addition Rubenstein claims that in order to access a job that incorporates power the only requirement is university and a father with middle class income.

P4
Paragraph 4 talks about a further study conducted by Rubenstein. The study focuses on tax return but until further evidence is presented the study is not convincing

MP
Discuss Rubenstein's interesting study by highlighting his findings and analyse some cons of this study

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. The main idea of the passage is that

Pre-thinking:
Main point question.
Refer to main point above


(A) the Marxist interpretation of the relationship between class and power in nineteenth-century Britain is no longer viable
Marxists historians are cited briefly in P1. Hence incorrect

(B) a simple equation between wealth and power is unlikely to be supported by new data from nineteenth-century British archives
Out of scope. Hence incorrect

(C) a recent historical investigation has challenged but not disproved the orthodox view of the distribution of wealth and the relationship of wealth to power in nineteenth-century Britain
Rubenstein's study is indeed recent; it has challenged but not disproved the orthodox view of the distribution of wealth and the relationship of wealth to power in nineteenth-century Britain. Hence correct

(D) probate records provide the historian with a revealing but incomplete glimpse of the extent and location of wealth in nineteenth-century Britain
Probate records are the evidence used by Rubenstein to make his claim but cannot be the main point. Hence incorrect

(E) an attempt has been made to confirm the findings of a new historical study of nineteenth-century Britain, but complete confirmation is likely to remain elusive
"confirmation is likely to be elusive" is something not discussed in the passage. Hence incorrect

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. The author of the passage implies that probate records as a source of information about wealth in nineteenth-century Britain are

Pre-thinking:
Assumption question.
Refer to P2 to answer this question and especially to "However, such records do not unequivocally make Rubinstein’s case. Uncertainties abound about how the probate rules for valuing assets were actually applied."
The author believes that the probate records are incomplete and spends some time discussing why this is the case. Any answer choice in line with this reasoning will be our correct choice


(A) self-contradictory and misleading
Nowhere mentioned this aspect. Hence incorrect

(B) ambiguous and outdated
Nowhere mentioned this aspect. Hence incorrect

(C) controversial but readily available
Nowhere mentioned this aspect. Hence incorrect

(D) revealing but difficult to interpret
The author indeed thinks that probate records are useful but she has some reservations about it. Hence correct

(E) widely used by historians but fully understandable only by specialists
Nowhere mentioned this aspect. Hence incorrect

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. The author suggests that the total probate valuations of the personal property of individuals holding goods for sale in nineteenth-century Britain may have been

Pre-thinking:
Inference question
Let's refer to P2.
"What the valuation conventions were for stock-in-trade (goods for sale) is also uncertain."



(A) affected by the valuation conventions for such goods
We can see how this choice has the same line of reasoning as the portion of the passage mentioned in pre-thinking has. Hence correct

(B) less accurate than the valuations for such goods provided by income tax returns
Cannot be inferred by the information in the passage. Plus tax returns are mentioned in another context, P4. Hence incorrect

(C) less, on average, if such goods were tobacco-related than if they were alcohol-related
Cannot be inferred by the information in the passage. Tobacco and alcohol are out of context. Hence incorrect

(D) greater, on average, than the total probate valuations of those individuals who held bank balances
Cannot be inferred by the information in the passage. hence incorrect

(E) dependent on whether such goods were held by industrialists or by merchants or bankers
Cannot be inferred by the information in the passage. Hence incorrect

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. According to the passage, Rubinstein has provided evidence that challenges which one of the following claims about nineteenth-century Britain?

Pre-thinking:
Detail question.
Let's read the answer choices


(A) The distribution of great wealth between commerce and industry was not equal.
Not answered. Hence incorrect

(B) Large incomes were typically made in alcohol and tobacco rather than in textiles and metal.
Not answered.
"It does seem as if large fortunes were more frequently made in commerce than in industry and, within industry, more frequently from alcohol or tobacco than from textiles or metal"
Hence incorrect


(C) A London-based commercial elite can be identified.
Not answered. Hence incorrect

(D) An official governing elite can be identified.
Not answered. Hence incorrect

(E) There was a necessary relationship between great wealth and power.
"The orthodox view that the wealthiest individuals were the most powerful is also questioned by Rubinstein’s study. "
Correct


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. The author mentions that goodwill was probably excluded from the probate valuation of a business in nineteenth-century Britain most likely in order to

Pre-thinking:
Purpose question
"A further complication is that probate valuations probably took no notice of a business’s goodwill (favor with the public) which, since it represents expectations about future profit-making, would today very often be a large fraction of market value."

The purpose is to highlight how this factor could actually have an important market value


(A) give an example of a business asset about which little was known in the nineteenth century
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

(B) suggest that the probate valuations of certain businesses may have been significant underestimations of their true market value
In line with pre-thinking. Hence correct

(C) make the point that this exclusion probably had an equal impact on the probate valuations of all nineteenth-century British businesses
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

(D) indicate that expectations about future profit-making is the single most important factor in determining the market value of certain businesses
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

(E) argue that the twentieth-century method of determining probate valuations of a business may be consistently superior to the nineteenth-century method
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Which one of the following studies would provide support for Rubinstein’s claims?

Pre-thinking:
Strengthen question.
Let's treat this question as well as we would do in CR.
A general conclusion made by Rubenstein could be: "probate records are meaningful way to examine wealth"
Now this conclusion should be based on a very important assumption that goes against what the author said in the second paragraph.
Assumption: "Probate records reflect actual wealth and do not undermine any other significant factor in order to establish the amount of wealth owned by someone"


(A) a study that indicated that many members of the commercial elite in nineteenth-century London had insignificant holdings of real property
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

(B) a study that indicated that in the nineteenth century, industrialists from the north of England were in fact a target for working-class people
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

(C) a study that indicated that, in nineteenth-century Britain, probate values of goods for sale were not as high as probate values of cash assets
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

(D) a study that indicated that the wealth of nineteenth-century British industrialists did not appear to be significantly greater when the full value of their real property holdings was actually considered
In line with pre-thinking. Hence correct

(E) a study that indicated that at least some members of the official governing elite in nineteenth-century Britain owned more real property than had previously been thought to be the case
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7. Which one of the following, if true, would cast the most doubt on Rubinstein’s argument concerning wealth and the official governing elite in nineteenth-century Britain?

Pre-thinking:
Weaken question
this elite is discussed in the second last paragraph.
According to Rubenstein the people belonging to this elite did not need to be wealthy. So any statement suggesting wealth as a requirement will be a weakener.


(A) Entry into this elite was more dependent on university attendance than on religious background.
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

(B) Attendance at a prestigious university was probably more crucial than a certain minimum family income in gaining entry into this elite.
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

(C) Bishops as a group were somewhat wealthier, at the point of entry into this elite, than were higher civil servants or chairmen of manufacturing companies.
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

(D) The families of many members of this elite owned few, if any, shares in iron industries and textile industries in the north of England.
Not in line with pre-thinking. Hence incorrect

(E) The composition of this elite included vice-chancellors, many of whom held office because of their wealth.
This answer links an elite position job to wealth as a requirement. Hence correct

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Re: A conventional view of nineteenth-century Britain holds that iron manu   [#permalink] 25 Sep 2019, 02:27
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