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# For years scholars have contrasted slavery in the United States and in

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For years scholars have contrasted slavery in the United States and in  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 17 Aug 2019, 08:58
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 274, Date : 17-Aug-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

For years scholars have contrasted slavery in the United States and in Brazil, stimulated by the fact that racial patterns assumed such different aspects in the two countries after emancipation. Brazil never developed a system of rigid segregation of the sort that replaced slavery in the United States, and its racial system was fluid because its definition of race was based as much on characteristics such as economic status as on skin color. Until recently, the most persuasive explanation for these differences was that Portuguese institutions especially the Roman Catholic church and Roman civil law, promoted recognition of the slave’s humanity. The English colonists, on the other hand, constructed their system of slavery out of whole cloth. There were simply no precedents in English common law, and separation of church and state barred Protestant clergy from the role that priests assumed in Brazil.

But the assumption that institutions alone could so powerfully affect the history of two raw and malleable frontier countries seems, on reexamination, untenable. Recent studies focus instead on a particular set of contrasting economic circumstances and demographic profiles at significant periods in the histories of the two countries. Persons of mixed race quickly appeared in both countries. In the United States they were considered to be Black, a social definition that was feasible because they were in the minority. In Brazil, it was not feasible. Though intermarriage was illegal in both countries, the laws were unenforceable in Brazil since Whites formed a small minority in an overwhelmingly Black population. Manumission for persons of mixed race was also easier in Brazil, particularly in the nineteenth century when in the United States it was hedged about with difficulties. Furthermore, a shortage of skilled workers in Brazil provided persons of mixed race with the opportunity to learn crafts and trades, even before general emancipation, whereas in the United States entry into these occupations was blocked by Whites sufficiently numerous to fill the posts. The consequence was the development in Brazil of a large class of persons of mixed race, proficient in skilled trades and crafts, who stood waiting as a community for freed slaves to join.

There should be no illusion that Brazilian society after emancipation was color-blind. Rather, the large population of persons of mixed race produced a racial system that included a third status, a bridge between the Black caste and the White, which could be traversed by means of economic or intellectual achievement, marriage, or racial heritage. The strict and sharp line between the races so characteristic of the United States in the years immediately after emancipation was simply absent. With the possible exception of New Orleans, no special “place” developed in the United States for persons of mixed race. Sad to say, every pressure of society worked to prevent their attaining anything approximating the economic and social position available to their counterparts in Brazil.

1. In the passage, the author is primarily concerned with

(A) contrasting the systems of slavery that were established in Brazil and in the United States
(B) criticizing the arguments of those scholars who considered religion and law to be the determinants of the systems of slavery in Brazil and in the United States
(C) describing the factors currently thought to be responsible for the differences in the racial patterns that evolved in Brazil and in the United States
(D) advocating further study of the differences between the racial systems that developed in Brazil and in the United States
(E) pointing out the factors that made the status of Blacks in the United States lower than that of Blacks in Brazil

2. According to the passage, early scholars explained the differences between the racial systems that developed in the United States and in Brazil as the result of which of the following factors?

(A) Institutional
(B) Demographic
(C) Economic
(D) Geographical
(E) Historical

3. In the context in which it is found, the phrase “constructed their system of slavery out of whole cloth” (lines 15-16) implies that the system of slavery established by the English settlers was

(A) based on fabrications and lies
(B) tailored to the settlers’ particular circumstances
(C) intended to serve the needs of a frontier economy
(D) developed without direct influence from the settlers’ religion or legal system
(E) evolved without giving recognition to the slave’s humanity

4. The author implies that the explanation proposed by early scholars for the differences between the systems of slavery in the United States and in Brazil is

(A) stimulating to historians and legal scholars
(B) more powerful than more recent explanations
(C) persuasive in spite of minor deficiencies
(D) excessively legalistic in its approach
(E) questionable in light of current scholarly work

5. The author mentions intermarriage, manumission, and the shortage of skilled workers in Brazil primarily in order to establish which of the following?

(A) The environment in which Brazil’s racial system developed
(B) The influence of different legal and economic conditions in Brazil and the United States on the life-style of persons of mixed race
(C) The origins of Brazil’s large class of free skilled persons of mixed race
(D) The differences between treatment of slaves in Brazil and in the United States
(E) The difficulties faced by persons of mixed race in the United States, as compared to those in Brazil

6. According to the passage, Brazilian laws prohibiting intermarriage were ineffective because Brazil had a

(A) Portuguese Catholic heritage
(B) Small minority of whites
(C) Liberal set of laws concerning manumission
(D) Large number of freed slaves
(E) Shortage of people in the skilled crafts and trades

7. The use of quotation marks around the word “place” (line 59) suggests that the author intended to convey which of the following?

(A) An ambivalent attitude toward the city of New Orleans
(B) A negative attitude toward the role of race in determining status in the United States
(C) A critical comment about the maltreatment of persons of mixed race in the United States
(D) A double meaning, indicating both a social status and a physical location
(E) An ambiguity, referring to either the role persons of mixed race actually played, or the role they were assigned by the society

8. With which of the following statements regarding human behavior would the author of the passage be most likely to agree?

(A) Only a fool or a political candidate would sing very loudly the glories of the institutions of Western culture.
(B) Contact sports—displacements of our abiding impulses to kill—speak of essential human behavior more truthfully than all the theories of psychologists and historians.
(C) Family, church, political party: these are the strong foundations of history and human behavior.
(D) Money and its pursuit: an exploration of that theme will chart accurately the development of civilizations and the determinants of human behavior.
(E) The circumstances in which humans find themselves—more than treasured beliefs or legal prescriptions—mold human behavior.

Difficulty Level: 650

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Originally posted by Juz2play on 19 Aug 2013, 08:15.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 17 Aug 2019, 08:58, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (181).
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Re: For years scholars have contrasted slavery in the United States and in  [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2013, 08:49
3
Tough and dense passage indeed. Took 5-6mins to read and another 10mins to answer.

Got two wrong-Question 3 and Question 7. (6/8 becoming a trend now a days).

Can some one please explain why Q3 is not D? Isnt this kinda directly picked from the concluding lines 1st para?
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Re: For years scholars have contrasted slavery in the United States and in  [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2013, 03:09
1
Took 10 mins to crack the 8 questions.

Here is my take on Q3, hope it helps..

3. In the context in which it is found, the phrase “constructed their system of slavery out of whole cloth” (lines 15-16) implies that the system of slavery established by the English settlers was
(A) based on fabrications and lies - "Nothing in the passage suggests this piece of information.
(B) tailored to the settlers’ particular circumstances
(C) intended to serve the needs of a frontier economy - "Nothing in the passage suggests this piece of information.
(D) developed without direct influence from the settlers’ religion or legal system -Refer to the lines - "But the assumption that institutions alone could so powerfully affect the history of two raw and malleable frontier countries seems, on reexamination, untenable."This seems to indicate that the assumptions around ONLY institutions having an impact is untenable. So there were some other reasons too in addition to inflences from the religious/legal systems. Now read the option.
(E) evolved without giving recognition to the slave’s humanity this seems a little far fledged inference
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Re: For years scholars have contrasted slavery in the United States and in  [#permalink]

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08 Feb 2014, 09:23
1
chechaxo wrote:
Took 10 mins to crack the 8 questions.

Here is my take on Q3, hope it helps..

3. In the context in which it is found, the phrase “constructed their system of slavery out of whole cloth” (lines 15-16) implies that the system of slavery established by the English settlers was
(A) based on fabrications and lies - "Nothing in the passage suggests this piece of information.
(B) tailored to the settlers’ particular circumstances
(C) intended to serve the needs of a frontier economy - "Nothing in the passage suggests this piece of information.
(D) developed without direct influence from the settlers’ religion or legal system -Refer to the lines - "But the assumption that institutions alone could so powerfully affect the history of two raw and malleable frontier countries seems, on reexamination, untenable."This seems to indicate that the assumptions around ONLY institutions having an impact is untenable. So there were some other reasons too in addition to inflences from the religious/legal systems. Now read the option.
(E) evolved without giving recognition to the slave’s humanity this seems a little far fledged inference

I appreciate the examination, but I'm still in doubt. The lines you've quoted as an explanation for D being incorrect come from the next paragraph, in which the context of the author's argument changes. The author is explaining the dominant theory in paragraph one and introduces an objection to that common theory in paragraph two. Question 3 specifically requires us to analyze the phrase within the context in which it is found. Technically, we can't use evidence from paragraph two.

I honestly think the question is suspect: while both B and D would work as correct answers, D seems stronger to me.
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Re: For years scholars have contrasted slavery in the United States and in  [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2013, 21:46
I will try to put in the simplest way because this question is tricky (challenging).

There were simply no precedents in English common law, and separation of church and state barred Protestant clergy from the role that priests assumed in Brazil. This does not mean that English settlers did not use common law to establish its own slavery system. The passage just said that there were no precedents in English common law for settlers to "follow"; therefore, the slavery system established by the English settlers had to be tailored to the settlers’ particular circumstances. This may seem unclear; but at least I try =)

I am also in the same boat as you though. Always get 5/7 or 6/8 for RC passages. I acknowledge that RC is the hardest section to improve in GMAT, but practice makes perfect. Cheer!
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Re: For years scholars have contrasted slavery in the United States and in  [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2013, 02:17
Hello experts,
Please explain ques3 in detail. I too have some doubts why D is not correct..? Simply cant point out the clear distinction that makes B better.
Also , please help with the last question on analogy and author agree - Althought I got this one right, I am not convinved by my approach while answering such questions. Any tips/strategies to tackle these question types in RC will be appreciated and really helpful
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Re: For years scholars have contrasted slavery in the United States and in  [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2019, 08:56
+1 Kudos to posts containing answer explanation of all questions
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Re: For years scholars have contrasted slavery in the United States and in   [#permalink] 17 Aug 2019, 08:56