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# Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course

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Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 07 Sep 2019, 02:52
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Question 1
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59% (02:25) correct 41% (02:12) wrong

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Question 2
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Question 3
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Question 4
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Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course of history. For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually, a spice made from these nuts became a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian merchants. Seeking a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Banda Islands, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the trade.

However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. Inveterate traders, the Dutch were more interested in the spice trade than in the small outpost of New Amsterdam. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York. Today, nutmeg trees can be found in many countries and no one company or country has a monopoly on the trade.
1. For what purpose does the author include the second paragraph?

(A) It offers specific information to complete the logic of the author's claims.
(B) It summarizes and evaluates the evidence given thus far.
(C) It presents the author's main point to explain a unique situation.
(D) It cites a particular case to demonstrate the importance of historical change.
(E) It discusses the necessary outcome of the author's assertions.

2. In the passage, the author is primarily interested in

(A) tracing the history of a major city
(B) discussing the role of commonplace items in world development
(C) offering a specific example to support a general claim
(D) arguing for continued research into political history
(E) presenting an innovative view of a commonplace item

3.Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the claim that New Amsterdam would have remained a Dutch possession if not for the conflict over nutmeg?

(A) Attempts to cultivate nutmeg trees outside of the Banda Islands had failed.
(B) Few people lived in New Amsterdam before it was ceded to the British.
(C) The British controlled trade in other valuable spices, such as cloves.
(D) New Amsterdam served as a lucrative trading center for spices exportable to Europe.
(E) The Netherlands controlled no North American territories other than New Amsterdam.

4. The passage suggests which of the following about the Banda Islands?

(A) Some of the disputed territory on the islands was previously annexed by the British.
(B) Nutmeg was the only spice that grew on the islands.
(C) Natives of the islands produced the nutmeg spice from the nuts of the nutmeg tree.
(D) The Banda Islands are still in the possession of the Dutch.
(E) The local economy of the islands depended on nutmeg.

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Originally posted by Gnpth on 28 Aug 2015, 05:07.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 07 Sep 2019, 02:52, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (454).
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Re: Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course  [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2017, 07:30
asdfghjklasdfghj wrote:
Anybody why A is correct in the first question ?

Asdfg, to me Ans A is badly worded. "Logic"? "Claims"? There's only one claim.

If you rephrase it to something like -
" . . . uses an example to finish a train of thought."

" . . . completes/supports a statement with an example."

- then it's clearer, though probably too easy, to the writer/writers.
Ans D is tempting, but for "importance;" "randomness" would be, as they say, more better.
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Re: Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course  [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2017, 12:43
Can anybody please explain the ans of question 3?
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Re: Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course  [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2017, 00:26
1
arunavamunshi1988 wrote:
Can anybody please explain the ans of question 3?

The question asks in which case dutch would not give up possession of the New Amsterdam.

Quote:
Inveterate traders, the Dutch were more interested in the spice trade than in the small outpost of New Amsterdam.

they would not give up N.A. if it served as a trading hub for spice trade.
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Re: Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course  [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2017, 00:19
1
when using concept of Main Point it looks easier

Main Point: "Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course of history"

so, point is the first sentence of passage

Q1. Only option A says that claim is followed by specific information

Q2. Again, only C describes properly structure of the passage

Q3. It is specific question, so not difficult
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Re: Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course  [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2018, 19:44
1
Gnpth wrote:

Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course of history. For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually, a spice made from these nuts became a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian merchants. Seeking a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Banda Islands, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the trade.

However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. Inveterate traders, the Dutch were more interested in the spice trade than in the small outpost of New Amsterdam. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York. Today, nutmeg trees can be found in many countries and no one company or country has a monopoly on the trade.

For what purpose does the author include the second paragraph?

(A) It offers specific information to complete the logic of the author's claims.
(B) It summarizes and evaluates the evidence given thus far.
(C) It presents the author's main point to explain a unique situation.
(D) It cites a particular case to demonstrate the importance of historical change.
(E) It discusses the necessary outcome of the author's assertions.

Official Explanation from Manhattan Prep

We are asked to determine the role that the second paragraph plays in the passage as a whole. In the first paragraph, the author introduces his main point — that seemingly unremarkable items can alter the course of history — and introduces nutmeg as an example. However, this example is incomplete at the end of the first paragraph. It is not until the second paragraph, when the example is further explored, that we learn how nutmeg actually altered the course of history.

(A) CORRECT. The second paragraph offers specific information — namely, the role that nutmeg played in the history of New York — to support the claim that seemingly unremarkable items can alter the course of history.

(B) The second paragraph does not summarize the evidence already given. It presents additional information.

(C) The second paragraph does not present the author's main point - that seemingly unremarkable items can alter the course of history. The main point is contained in the first paragraph.

(D) The second paragraph does demonstrate the relative importance of nutmeg in an event of historical significance, but it does not demonstrate the importance of historical change itself.

(E) The second paragraph does not discuss the outcomes, necessary or otherwise, of the author's claims. Instead, it offers evidence to support the claim made in the first sentence of the first paragraph.
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Re: Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course  [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2018, 19:50
1
Gnpth wrote:

Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course of history. For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually, a spice made from these nuts became a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian merchants. Seeking a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Banda Islands, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the trade.

However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. Inveterate traders, the Dutch were more interested in the spice trade than in the small outpost of New Amsterdam. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York. Today, nutmeg trees can be found in many countries and no one company or country has a monopoly on the trade.
3.Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the claim that New Amsterdam would have remained a Dutch possession if not for the conflict over nutmeg?

(A) Attempts to cultivate nutmeg trees outside of the Banda Islands had failed.
(B) Few people lived in New Amsterdam before it was ceded to the British.
(C) The British controlled trade in other valuable spices, such as cloves.
(D) New Amsterdam served as a lucrative trading center for spices exportable to Europe.
(E) The Netherlands controlled no North American territories other than New Amsterdam.

The passage indicates that the Dutch traded New Amsterdam for control of the Banda islands and the nutmeg trade. The question asks us to strengthen the claim that the Dutch would not have traded New Amsterdam if there had not been a conflict over nutmeg. We do not have to find an answer choice that proves definitively that the Dutch would not have traded New Amsterdam in another situation; we simply need to find something that increases the likelihood that the Dutch might have kept New Amsterdam.

(A) This choice tells us that the nutmeg trade was limited to the Banda Islands. If anything, this choice suggests that the Dutch would have been more likely to trade New Amsterdam to the British, because control over the Banda Islands would have been the only way for the Dutch to get what they wanted: a monopoly on the nutmeg trade.

(B) The fact that New Amsterdam had a small population does not indicate why the Dutch might have wanted to keep it.

(C) The fact that the British controlled trade in other spices does not give a reason to believe that the Dutch would not have traded New Amsterdam if there had not been a conflict over nutmeg.

(D) CORRECT. The second paragraph states: “Inveterate traders, the Dutch were more interested in the spice trade than in the small outpost of New Amsterdam.” Because of this interest in the spice trade, the Dutch might have held on to New Amsterdam if that “small outpost” actually served as a “lucrative trading center for spices.”

(E) The fact that The Netherlands controlled no other North American territories is not relevant unless we have information suggesting that The Netherlands felt compelled to maintain a presence in at least one North American territory. Because we do not have any such information, this choice is not relevant.
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Re: Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course  [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2018, 19:54
2
Gnpth wrote:

Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course of history. For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually, a spice made from these nuts became a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian merchants. Seeking a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Banda Islands, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the trade.

However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. Inveterate traders, the Dutch were more interested in the spice trade than in the small outpost of New Amsterdam. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York. Today, nutmeg trees can be found in many countries and no one company or country has a monopoly on the trade.
4. The passage suggests which of the following about the Banda Islands?

(A) Some of the disputed territory on the islands was previously annexed by the British.
(B) Nutmeg was the only spice that grew on the islands.
(C) Natives of the islands produced the nutmeg spice from the nuts of the nutmeg tree.
(D) The Banda Islands are still in the possession of the Dutch.
(E) The local economy of the islands depended on nutmeg.

Correct answers to “inference” questions will not be stated explicitly in the passage; nevertheless, the information must be true according to information given somewhere in the passage. Wrong answers will often go “too far,” asserting something that might be plausible in the real world but is not directly supported by any specific information given in the passage.

(A) CORRECT. The passage states that after the Dutch attacked the Bandas, "one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British." Therefore, the British already had control of some disputed territory (or had “annexed” the territory) when the Dutch attacked.

(B) The passage tells us only that nutmeg trees grew in the Bandas. It does not tell us that no other spice was grown there.

(C) The passage states that the nutmeg spice is made from the nuts of the nutmeg tree, but it does not state who converted the nuts to spice. According to the passage, the natives “harvested the aromatic nuts and sold them to traders,” but does not specify who converted the nuts to spice after the nuts were sold by the natives.

(D) There is no information in the passage about the current status of the Banda Islands.

(E) The passage does not talk about the overall economy of the Banda Islands.
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Re: Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course  [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2018, 06:05
Can any expert help in understanding the main point question?

In the passage, the author is primarily interested in

A. tracing the history of a major city

B. discussing the role of commonplace items in world development

C. offering a specific example to support a general claim

D. arguing for continued research into political history

E. presenting an innovative view of a commonplace item

Had Option B did not use plural for items, what it a better option than C? Or, B is incorrect only because items, the plural is used?
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Re: Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course  [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2019, 06:49
The explanation for Q3 makes no sense to me.

For me option A is correct. If attempts to cultivate nutmeg trees outside Banda had failed, the Dutch would be forced to trade New Amsterdam for Banda.

If they could cultivate Nutmeg outside Banda they would not have to give away New Amsterdam.
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Re: Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course  [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2019, 11:21
jack0997 wrote:
Can any expert help in understanding the main point question?

In the passage, the author is primarily interested in

A. tracing the history of a major city

B. discussing the role of commonplace items in world development

C. offering a specific example to support a general claim

D. arguing for continued research into political history

E. presenting an innovative view of a commonplace item

Had Option B did not use plural for items, what it a better option than C? Or, B is incorrect only because items, the plural is used?

I think option C is right because the passage begins with the author's generic claim "Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course of history. " and in the rest of the passage, the author gave an example of nutmeg to support that claim. The problem with B is that we are not discussing the role of commonplace items in world development, although we can get that idea from the first line but from the second line onwards author has taken a specific example and discuss about that.

I hope it helps.
Re: Items that seem unremarkable today might once have altered the course   [#permalink] 09 Mar 2019, 11:21
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