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Most Americans are fascinated with their own history. particularly tha

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Most Americans are fascinated with their own history. particularly tha  [#permalink]

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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 22, Date : 11-FEB-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


Most Americans are fascinated with their own history, particularly that of the colonial era. Whenever a crisis affects the current government, pundits and plebeians alike invoke the writings and teachings of the eighteenth century in order to support or denounce modern viewpoints. Many citizens wax nostalgic for the glorious times of their nascent union, when some of the most shrewd and free-thinking minds came together to construct "a more perfect Union.“ A new book by Nathan Parker, however, suggests that colonial New England was never the egalitarian Eden that modern Americans make it out to be.

Popular imagination holds that the Puritans were a virtuous group determined to create a new government through direct democracy. Communities convened town hall meetings, at which policies were debated and decisions were made by the will of the people. Many renowned international thinkers, such as France's Alexis de Tocqueville and Hector St. John Crevecoeur, praised this new American commitment to the voice of the common man. According to Parker, admiration for New England's first settlers is profoundly misplaced. In a typical show of their historical revisionism, Americans have mythologized these town meetings to the point of embarrassment. Parker asserts that town-hall meetings were open only to a select few male property owners who wielded a strong financial influence on the community. Thus, the laws that were put into effect as a result of these meetings hardly an reflected the "consent of the governed". Therefore, there is vast evidence of voter apathy among the colonists.

Citing the disparity between the roll calls of several meetings and the voter registries of the towns in which they took place, Parker demonstrates that attendance atm town-hall meetings rarely exceeded 30 percent of all registered voters. In making these points, Parker hopes to lie to rest the notion that simple, family-oriented colonial New England was far preferable to the modern America that many an perceive has outgrown pure democracy. His objective is to lay bare the true nature of eighteenth-century governance and thus assure Americans that progress can't kill an equality that never was.

1. The primary purpose of the passage as a whole is to

A. critique a system of logic
B. clarify an ambiguity
C. contrast two diverse notions
D. discredit a commonly held perception
E. question a dubious explanation

2. Which of the following best describes the purpose of the second paragraph?

A. It extols the virtue of the first American settlers who were not daunted by the prospect of creating an egalitarian society.
B. It first introduces de Tocqueville and Crevecoeur, by whom Parker was first inspired to write.
C. It lists several perceptions about the early American colonies that Parker believes to be more myth than fact.
D. It serves to emphasize the massive impact that French thinking had on New England's first settlers.
E. It provides evidence that the Puritans were not nearly as virtuous as they asserted themselves to be.

3. According to the passage. it is common practice to refer to the colonial era in order to

A. advocate the importance of pure democracy to a fledgling capitalist nation
B. illustrate how American society has always depended upon the family unit that was so highly esteemed in the eighteenth century
C. establish a historical context for the celebrated writings of de Tocqueville and Crevecoeur
D. praise the perseverance of the Puritans, who never receive the recognition they so richly deserve
E. indicate that the country's rampant growth since its creation has caused it to stray from its original path toward absolute democracy

4. According to the passage, Parker asserts which of the following about early colonial town meetings?

A. Those who owned property in the area served as representatives for everyone in the community.
B. Attendance at these meetings was restricted to wealthy landowners.
C. All registered voters were permitted to attend, but fewer than one-third of them actually did.
D. They became the inspiration for what is known today as direct democracy.
E. They were looked upon as models by the framers of the Constitution.



Difficulty Level: 650 (112)

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Originally posted by SajjadAhmad on 07 Dec 2018, 12:19.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 25 Oct 2019, 09:22, edited 6 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (491).
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Re: Most Americans are fascinated with their own history. particularly tha  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2018, 18:28
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for Q3 :
though i chose the correct answer (as it was atleast closer to the passage) dont you think the answer are too far fetched??
i mean "rampant growth since ..." where is the "rampant growth" all we know about is a reminiscence of colonial era in the time of CRISIS..."stray from original path" ... i mean this is TOO EMOTIONAL and taking too much for granted... the support for this answer choice is very very weak ..i mean actual GMAT questions have answers that are atleast half way closer but this is tooo vague... can u find support for answer choice E?
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Re: Most Americans are fascinated with their own history. particularly tha  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2018, 11:30
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Hi goobo, Welcome to GMAT Club!

For Q1: Even though "discredit" may sound a bit extreme, it is exactly what the author is doing. Based on the first para, the author discredits the perception of most Americans by stating that the old democracy was not perfect. Please see the highlighted in the quote.

Also, on reading the entire passage - this intention of the author is further strengthened.

Hope this is clear.

Best,
Gladi


Quote:
Most Americans are fascinated with their own history, particularly that of the colonial era. Whenever a crisis affects the current government, pundits and plebeians alike invoke the writings and teachings of the eighteenth century in order to support or denounce modern viewpoints. Many citizens wax nostalgic for the glorious times of their nascent union, when some of the most shrewd and free-thinking minds came together to construct "a more perfect Union.“ A new book by Nathan Parker, however. suggests that colonial New England was never the egalitarian Eden that modern Americans make it out to be.

goobo wrote:
For Q1, isn't the word "discredit" a bit extreme? The author doesn't seem to want to discredit but rather just offer a different viewpoint ("A new book by Nathan Parker, however, suggests....")

Would appreciate an explanation on this.

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New post 11 Feb 2019, 18:03
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I chose C for question 4.
Please tell me why C is wrong and B is correct.
In 3rd para, it is mentioned that attendance at town hall meeting rarely exceeded 30% of all registered voters.

Please help me!
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Re: Most Americans are fascinated with their own history. particularly tha  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2019, 05:47
[quote="gvij2017"]I chose C for question 4.
Please tell me why C is wrong and B is correct.
In 3rd para, it is mentioned that attendance at town hall meeting rarely exceeded 30% of all registered voters.

Please help me![/quote}


I chose the answer as C too. Although in hindsight I feel C might be wrong since the para says, it rarely exceeded 30%.
Rarely means at one point it must have gone past 30, to even 34 maybe. Thus making C wrong.

Also I feel B is wrong since para talks about "MALE" wealthy Land owners, but the answer choice says only wealthy land owners. thus B should also be wrong.

any explanation for B ?
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Re: Most Americans are fascinated with their own history. particularly tha  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2019, 12:58
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Doesn't this passage have some problems with interpunction, typos etc.? I think that in a few places they even make understanding of the text more difficult/unclear.

For example:

Quote:
In a typical show of their historical revisionism. Americans have mythologized these town meetings to the point of embarrassment.

Shouldn't these two sentences be written as one with independent and dependent clauses seperated with a comma? In a typical show of their historical revisionism, Americans have mythologized these town meetings to the point of embarrassment.

Quote:
In making these points, Parker hopes to lie to rest the notion that simple, family-oriented colonial New England was far preferable to the modern America that many an perceive has outgrown pure democracy.

Firstly, I'm not sure that "lie to rest" is correct. Secondly, I find this part confusing: [...] New England was far preferable to the modern America that many an perceive has outgrown pure democracy.

Quote:
Citing the disparity between the roll calls of several meetings and the voter registries of the towns in which they took place. Parker demonstrates that attendance atm town-hall meetings rarely exceeded 30 percent of all registered voters.

The first sentence doesn't have a subject, so it can't stay as an independent clause. Moreover, there's a typo in atm. I think the sentence was intended to look like Citing the disparity between the roll calls of several meetings and the voter registries of the towns in which they took place, Parker demonstrates that attendance at town-hall meetings rarely exceeded 30 percent of all registered voters. And now it makes perfect sense.

Quote:
A new book by Nathan Parker, however. suggests [...]

Full stop instead of a comma after however.

Quote:
profoundly miSplaced

Capital "S" in the middle of misplaced.

Can the OP fix or clarify these issues? Thank you!
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Re: Most Americans are fascinated with their own history. particularly tha  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2019, 08:22
1
SajjadAhmad wrote:
2. Which of the following best describes the purpose of the second paragraph?

A. It extols the virtue of the first American settlers who were not daunted by the prospect of creating an egalitarian society.
B. It first introduces de Tocqueville and Crevecoeur, by whom Parker was first inspired to write.
C. It lists several perceptions about the early American colonies that Parker believes to be more myth than fact.
D. It serves to emphasize the massive impact that French thinking had on New England's first settlers.
E. It provides evidence that the Puritans were not nearly as virtuous as they asserted themselves to be.


Can someone give me some insight on the OA for 2.

SajjadAhmad wrote:
C. It lists several perceptions about the early American colonies that Parker believes to be more myth than fact.


Doesn't the passage basically refute the perception of town halls being a representative egalitarian body reflecting the will of the people. My issue is with the word several. For me it is basically the single perception of town halls being true democratic institutions which Parker debunks by explaining how they were not open to all residents. The several in the option threw me off. I picked E which I agree is somewhat extreme but for me fit better than SEVERAL perceptions.

Appreciate your inputs.
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Re: Most Americans are fascinated with their own history. particularly tha  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2019, 09:24
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aliakberza wrote:
SajjadAhmad wrote:
2. Which of the following best describes the purpose of the second paragraph?

A. It extols the virtue of the first American settlers who were not daunted by the prospect of creating an egalitarian society.
B. It first introduces de Tocqueville and Crevecoeur, by whom Parker was first inspired to write.
C. It lists several perceptions about the early American colonies that Parker believes to be more myth than fact.
D. It serves to emphasize the massive impact that French thinking had on New England's first settlers.
E. It provides evidence that the Puritans were not nearly as virtuous as they asserted themselves to be.


Can someone give me some insight on the OA for 2.

SajjadAhmad wrote:
C. It lists several perceptions about the early American colonies that Parker believes to be more myth than fact.


Doesn't the passage basically refute the perception of town halls being a representative egalitarian body reflecting the will of the people. My issue is with the word several. For me it is basically the single perception of town halls being true democratic institutions which Parker debunks by explaining how they were not open to all residents. The several in the option threw me off. I picked E which I agree is somewhat extreme but for me fit better than SEVERAL perceptions.

Appreciate your inputs.



I too got it wrong because of "several". However on reflecting upon the answers, the option E is way off, because the passage is not about the virtuous nature of the Puritans. It is about a perception which Parker debunks. The virtuous nature is kept only as a passing remark. If in case the passage had been worded like "Popular imagination holds that the Puritans were a virtuous group because they were determined to create a new government through direct democracy", then the virtuous nature would have been directly called upon as a cause. In such a case, option E is a strong contender. In this present case the virtuous nature is not called upon as a cause.
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New post 25 Oct 2019, 05:05
SajjadAhmad : Can you please give the detail explanation for all the questions? I only got 1 right and that too was almost a guess. Thank You in advance.
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New post 25 Oct 2019, 09:10
AniJain wrote:
SajjadAhmad : Can you please give the detail explanation for all the questions? I only got 1 right and that too was almost a guess. Thank You in advance.


Please share your thoughts on questions i will post explanations then.

Thanks
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Re: Most Americans are fascinated with their own history. particularly tha   [#permalink] 25 Oct 2019, 09:10
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