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Historian: Fifteenth-century advances in mapmaking contributed to the

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New post 26 Apr 2019, 03:12
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Historian: Fifteenth-century advances in mapmaking contributed to the rise of modern nation-states. In medieval Europe (from the fifth to the fifteenth century), sovereignty centered in cities and towns and radiated outward, with boundaries often ambiguously defined. The conceptual shift toward the modern state began in the late fifteenth century, when mapmakers learned to reflect geography accurately by basing maps on latitude-longitude grids. By the mid-seventeenth century, nearly all maps showed boundary lines.

Which of the following would, if true, most strengthen the historian's reasoning?

(A) Borders did not become codified in Europe until certain treaties were signed in the early nineteenth century.
(B) During the medieval period, various authorities in Europe claimed power over collections of cities and towns, not contiguous territories.
(C) Many members of the political elite collected maps as a hobby during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
(D) Seventeenth-century treatises and other sources of political authority describe areas of sovereignty rather than illustrate them using maps.
(E) During the fifteenth century in Europe, mapmakers simplified the borders of sovereignty by drawing clear lines of demarcation between political powers.


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New post 26 Apr 2019, 15:13
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Bunuel wrote:
Historian: Fifteenth-century advances in mapmaking contributed to the rise of modern nation-states. In medieval Europe (from the fifth to the fifteenth century), sovereignty centered in cities and towns and radiated outward, with boundaries often ambiguously defined. The conceptual shift toward the modern state began in the late fifteenth century, when mapmakers learned to reflect geography accurately by basing maps on latitude-longitude grids. By the mid-seventeenth century, nearly all maps showed boundary lines.

Which of the following would, if true, most strengthen the historian's reasoning?

A. Borders did not become codified in Europe until certain treaties were signed in the early nineteenth century.
B. During the medieval period, various authorities in Europe claimed power over collections of cities and towns, not contiguous territories.
C. Many members of the political elite collected maps as a hobby during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
D. Seventeenth-century treatises and other sources of political authority describe areas of sovereignty rather than illustrate them using maps.
E. During the fifteenth century in Europe, mapmakers simplified the borders of sovereignty by drawing clear lines of demarcation between political powers.


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The passage states that maps started out being centered around specific cities and didn't have well-defined boundaries, and finished off being drawn based on longitude/latitude lines with clear boundaries. It then argues that this change is what started the shift towards the modern state. Since the argument is straightforward, we'll infer a likely answer, the Precise approach.

Specifically, we need to show that the mapmaking, and not something else, is what caused the shift towards the modern state. Skimming over our options, (E) is the only relevant answer -- it shows how mapmakers in the 15th century made the borders between sovereignty (=states) more clear. Note that while (B) does show that there was no state concept before this period (so strengthens our belief that the timescale suggested is correct), it does not mention maps at all (so is weaker than (E) ).
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New post 14 May 2019, 15:41
Why isn't D the answer? It indicates a conceptual shift in the usage of the map and the way the cities and nations were divided.
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New post 15 May 2019, 16:53
SPatel1992 wrote:
Why isn't D the answer? It indicates a conceptual shift in the usage of the map and the way the cities and nations were divided.


This is why I too went with D. My interpretation is that the conceptual shift is not needing to draw a map because the sovereign areas now have clearly defined borders within existing maps.
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New post 16 May 2019, 01:55
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dereksantamonica wrote:
SPatel1992 wrote:
Why isn't D the answer? It indicates a conceptual shift in the usage of the map and the way the cities and nations were divided.


This is why I too went with D. My interpretation is that the conceptual shift is not needing to draw a map because the sovereign areas now have clearly defined borders within existing maps.


Hey dereksantamonica and SPatel1992,
The problem with your reasoning is that it is doesn't address the historians' main claim. This is the main claim:
'The conceptual shift toward the modern state **began in the late fifteenth century, when mapmakers learned to** ...'
(D) does not support the claim that the shift began in the late fifteenth century, nor does it support the claim that it was 'mapmakers learning to do something' that caused this shift.
It does show that by the 17th century things had shifted, but this is not what you were asked to support.

Hope this helps,
David
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New post 27 May 2019, 06:50
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Hi DavidTutorexamPAL

Could you please comment on A?

A. Borders did not become codified in Europe until certain treaties were signed in the early nineteenth century.

Option A says that borders officially were established in early 19 c., eliminating one alternative scenario in which the borders may have been fixed at the same time when the shift was happening. Thus, it strengthens the argument, in my opinion.

Thanks
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New post 27 May 2019, 15:55
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jawele wrote:
Hi DavidTutorexamPAL

Could you please comment on A?

A. Borders did not become codified in Europe until certain treaties were signed in the early nineteenth century.

Option A says that borders officially were established in early 19 c., eliminating one alternative scenario in which the borders may have been fixed at the same time when the shift was happening. Thus, it strengthens the argument, in my opinion.

Thanks


Hey @jawale,

The general answer is that (A) is eliminated for the same reasons (D) is (see above discussion):
It does not relate directly to the core issue of 'mapmaking was the cause' and 'this happened in the 15th century'.

More specifically, your 'alternative scenario' is unclear to me. The passage claims that the conceptual shift began late 15th century when mapmakers learned to use longitude/latitude. How does 'borders were fixed when the shift was happening' serve as an alternative explanation? Even if there is an alternative explanation, how would information about the 19th century help you to strongly negate this alternative explanation? When analyzing an answer choice, be careful not to try too hard to justify it. The further an answer choice is from the original logic of the passage (and usually from the details of a passage), the less likely it is to be true.
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New post 28 May 2019, 01:46
DavidTutorexamPAL wrote:
jawele wrote:
Hi DavidTutorexamPAL

Could you please comment on A?

A. Borders did not become codified in Europe until certain treaties were signed in the early nineteenth century.

Option A says that borders officially were established in early 19 c., eliminating one alternative scenario in which the borders may have been fixed at the same time when the shift was happening. Thus, it strengthens the argument, in my opinion.

Thanks


Hey @jawale,

The general answer is that (A) is eliminated for the same reasons (D) is (see above discussion):
It does not relate directly to the core issue of 'mapmaking was the cause' and 'this happened in the 15th century'.

More specifically, your 'alternative scenario' is unclear to me. The passage claims that the conceptual shift began late 15th century when mapmakers learned to use longitude/latitude. How does 'borders were fixed when the shift was happening' serve as an alternative explanation? Even if there is an alternative explanation, how would information about the 19th century help you to strongly negate this alternative explanation? When analyzing an answer choice, be careful not to try too hard to justify it. The further an answer choice is from the original logic of the passage (and usually from the details of a passage), the less likely it is to be true.



Hey DavidTutorexamPAL

Thanks for the response. Please do not think that I am questioning your reasoning. I'm just trying to understand why I have faltered: initially I picked E, but then suddenly I changed my mind. To answer your question, I will paraphrase mine. The alternative scenario that I referred to is - in other words - alternate cause. In your analysis, you allude to cause, as the core of this argument. There are arguments that deal with causation, and your task is to find an assumption, for instance. Often, one option among answer choices to such arguments claims that "... the author does not believes that the cause is something something ...", which in the negate form would weaken the argument. So in that sense, such an option strengthens the argument, while ruling out other factors that may have a role in the argument. So back to my thought, I supposed that A could be playing a similar role here: if the borders were fixed before the shift in map-making happened, then clearly it is not the map-making technique that brought about the modern nations, but the decision to fix the borders. And pushing that event (alternative) away from the date that we're concerned, sort of strengthens the argument, at least I thought. Yet, this may stray quite away from the argument or even be considered a stretch (?), just as you say...

Anyway, do you profile arguments? If so, would this argument fall under "causation" or "principle/hypothesis" umbrella? Perhaps something else?

GMATNinja could you please share ideas about this argument, especially option A

Thanks for your help
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New post 29 May 2019, 00:04
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jawele wrote:
Thanks for the response. Please do not think that I am questioning your reasoning. I'm just trying to understand why I have faltered: initially I picked E, but then suddenly I changed my mind. To answer your question, I will paraphrase mine. The alternative scenario that I referred to is - in other words - alternate cause. In your analysis, you allude to cause, as the core of this argument. There are arguments that deal with causation, and your task is to find an assumption, for instance. Often, one option among answer choices to such arguments claims that "... the author does not believes that the cause is something something ...", which in the negate form would weaken the argument. So in that sense, such an option strengthens the argument, while ruling out other factors that may have a role in the argument. So back to my thought, I supposed that A could be playing a similar role here: if the borders were fixed before the shift in map-making happened, then clearly it is not the map-making technique that brought about the modern nations, but the decision to fix the borders. And pushing that event (alternative) away from the date that we're concerned, sort of strengthens the argument, at least I thought. Yet, this may stray quite away from the argument or even be considered a stretch (?), just as you say...

Anyway, do you profile arguments? If so, would this argument fall under "causation" or "principle/hypothesis" umbrella? Perhaps something else?

Thanks for your help


Hey jawele,

You are correct that negating an alternative explanation can strengthen the original argument. In this case, however, the alternative explanation you offer doesn't really make sense as the passage explicitly states that 'boundaries were ambiguously defined' until the 15th century and only started to change late 15th century. In general, I stand by my recommendation from above: focus on the core logic of the argument and see what addresses it. If no direct answers are apparent, look for more subtle ones. (A) should never have been an option for consideration in this question as it is too far out from the original claim.

Also, no worries about 'questioning my reasoning', learning is what we are here to do.
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New post 11 Aug 2019, 08:04
DavidTutorexamPAL wrote:
dereksantamonica wrote:
SPatel1992 wrote:
Why isn't D the answer? It indicates a conceptual shift in the usage of the map and the way the cities and nations were divided.


This is why I too went with D. My interpretation is that the conceptual shift is not needing to draw a map because the sovereign areas now have clearly defined borders within existing maps.


Hey dereksantamonica and SPatel1992,
The problem with your reasoning is that it is doesn't address the historians' main claim. This is the main claim:
'The conceptual shift toward the modern state **began in the late fifteenth century, when mapmakers learned to** ...'
(D) does not support the claim that the shift began in the late fifteenth century, nor does it support the claim that it was 'mapmakers learning to do something' that caused this shift.
It does show that by the 17th century things had shifted, but this is not what you were asked to support.

Hope this helps,
David



Hi David,

I thought the below was the conclusion of the given argument :—
“Fifteenth-century advances in mapmaking contributed to the rise of modern nation-states“.
Though I got my answer as (E) in order to strengthen this conclusion.

Please let me know where am I lagging in identifying the correct conclusion ?

Thank you for your valuable inputs.

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New post 23 Aug 2019, 03:27
Hi, I was torn on between B and E and am still unsure why B is not the correct answer. Could anyone please help to explain?

Thanks in advance
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New post 27 Aug 2019, 08:21
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Cryingforhelp wrote:
Hi, I was torn on between B and E and am still unsure why B is not the correct answer. Could anyone please help to explain?

Thanks in advance



Option B has not stated anything about mapmakers . We do not know whether mapmakers were able to design map accurately .
We have to find a support that mapmakers were able to draw clear map starting 15th century.
Hence B is incorrect.
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Re: Historian: Fifteenth-century advances in mapmaking contributed to the  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2019, 20:01
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Cryingforhelp wrote:
Hi, I was torn on between B and E and am still unsure why B is not the correct answer. Could anyone please help to explain?

Thanks in advance

The author concludes that "Fifteenth-century advances in mapmaking contributed to the rise of modern nation-states."

His/her reasoning is that:
  • BEFORE the 15th century, sovereignty centered in cities/towns, radiated outward, and had poorly defined borders
  • DURING the 15th century, mapmakers learned to create more accurate maps
  • AFTER the 15th century (by the 17th century), nearly all maps showed boundary lines

Quote:
E. During the fifteenth century in Europe, mapmakers simplified the borders of sovereignty by drawing clear lines of demarcation between political powers.

(E) nicely fills a gap in the author's reasoning. From the analysis above, we can see that he/she concluded somehow that:

    better maps in the 15th century + maps having boundary lines in the 17th century = better maps contributed to the rise of nation-states

Without further information, the link between improved mapmaking skills and the rise of nation states is pretty weak -- we know that the mapmaking improvements occurred BEFORE the implementation of boundary lines, but there is little to show that better maps somehow contributed to this geopolitical phenomenon.

(E) tells us specifically that 15th century mapmakers drew in clear lines between political powers. This information provides a link between the improved skill of mapmakers and the rise of boundary lines, which are a key component of modern nation-states.

(E) strengthen's the author's reasoning, so (E) is looking good.

Quote:
B. During the medieval period, various authorities in Europe claimed power over collections of cities and towns, not contiguous territories.

(B) gives us more information about the time period BEFORE the 15th century. Instead of each city/town having its own authority, some authorities claimed power over several of these areas.

Interesting, but does this impact the author's reasoning in any way? There is no connection here to the conclusion that "advances in mapmaking contributed to the rise of modern nation-states." (B) gives us a slightly clearer picture of power in Europe before the 15th century, but it does not add any significant information to tie together pieces of the author's reasoning, or to better link his/her reasoning to the conclusion.

(B) doesn't strengthen the author's reasoning, so it is not the correct answer.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Historian: Fifteenth-century advances in mapmaking contributed to the   [#permalink] 02 Sep 2019, 20:01

Historian: Fifteenth-century advances in mapmaking contributed to the

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