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On the surface, the conquest of the Aztec empire by Herman Cortes is o

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On the surface, the conquest of the Aztec empire by Herman Cortes is o  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 12 Sep 2019, 07:41
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 24, Date : 12-FEB-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


On the surface, the conquest of the Aztec empire by Herman Cortes is one of the most amazing military accomplishments in history. With a small fighting force numbering in the hundreds, Cortes led the Spanish explorers into victory against an Aztec population that many believe topped 21 million. In light of such a seemingly impossible victory, the obvious question is: how did a small group of foreign fighters manage to topple one of the world's strongest, wealthiest, and most successful military empires?

Several factors led to Cortes' success. First, the Spanish exploited animosity toward the Aztecs among rival groups and convinced thousands of locals to fight. In one account of a battle, it is recorded that at least 200,000 natives fought with Cortes. Next, the Spanish possessed superior military equipment in the form of European cannons, guns, and crossbows, leading to effective and efficient disposal of Aztec defenses. For example, Spanish cannons quickly defeated large Aztec walls that had protected the empire against big and less technically advanced armies.

Despite the Spanish advantages, the Aztecs probably could have succeeded in defending their capital city of Tenochtitlan had they leveraged their incredible population base to increase their army's size and ensured that no rogue cities would ally with Cortes. In order to accomplish this later goal, Aztec leader Motecuhzoma needed to send envoys to neighboring cities telling their inhabitants about the horrors of Spanish conquest and the inevitability of Spanish betrayal.

In addition, the Aztecs should have exploited the fact that the battle was taking place on their territory. No reason existed for the Aztecs to consent to a conventional battle, which heavily favored the Spanish. Motecuhzoma's forces should have thought outside the box and allowed Cortes into the city, only to subsequently use hundreds of thousands of fighters to prevent escape and proceed in surprise "door-to-door" combat. With this type of battle, the Aztecs would have largely thwarted Spanish technological supremacy. However, in the end, the superior weaponry of the Spanish, the pent-up resentment of Aztec rivals, the failure of Aztec diplomacy, and the lack of an unconventional Aztec war plan led to one of the most surprising military outcomes in the past one thousand years.

1. Which of the following best characterizes the main point the author is trying to convey in the passage?

A) Aztec failure to fight an unconventional war led to an unnecessary defeat
B) Spanish victory was neither as impressive nor as surprising as it may first appear
C) Resentment toward the Aztecs led to their demise
D) Herman Cortes masterminded an amazing military accomplishment
E) The myopic vision of the Aztecs led to their unnecessary downfall


2. The passage is sequentially organized in which of the following ways?

A) Introduce an enigma; explain the reasons for the enigma; discuss the inevitability of the enigma
B) Define a problem; explain the sources of the problem; offer a solution to the problem
C) Introduce a mystery; offer an explanation for the mystery; provide an alternative explanation for the mystery
D) Pose a question; offer an answer to the question; offer an alternative answer to the question
E) Define a problem; explain the likelihood of the problem; discuss the consequences of the problem


3. The author implies which of the following about the Aztec view toward an unconventional military confrontation of the Spanish?

A) The Aztecs did not consider it
B) The Aztecs considered it, but rejected it out of beliefs about how battles ought to be fought
C) The Aztecs considered this, but it was too late
D) The Aztecs were certain a victory could be achieved via traditional combat
E) The Aztecs felt the geography of Tenochtitlan did not favor this strategy


4. According to the passage, all of the following led to Cortes' success EXCEPT:

A) Advanced crossbows
B) Nimble military force
C) Local Spanish allies
D) Local tribal friction
E) Quick destruction of Aztec walls



Source : Platinum GMAT
Difficulty Level: 700

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Originally posted by SajjadAhmad on 12 Feb 2017, 04:50.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 12 Sep 2019, 07:41, edited 6 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (529).
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New post 14 Feb 2019, 10:07
1
Official Explanation


1. Which of the following best characterizes the main point the author is trying to convey in the passage?

Explanation

In order to ascertain the main point that the author is trying to make, it is important to examine logical flow of the passage.

1st Paragraph: Explain a seemingly amazing accomplishment and ask whether it really is as impressive as it first appears.
2nd Paragraph: Explain factors that made the impressive accomplishment not as impressive.
3rd Paragraph: Explain how the seemingly amazing accomplishment didn't have to turn out the way it did.
4th Paragraph: Explain how the seemingly amazing accomplishment didn't have to turn out the way it did.

A. The Aztec failure to fight in an unconventional manner is discussed only in the last paragraph and is mentioned only to make a larger point: the fall of the Aztec was not as impressive as it originally appeared.
B. This encapsulates the logical flow and main points of the passage.
C. This topic is only discussed during part of the second paragraph and is mentioned only to make a larger point: the fall of the Aztec was not as impressive as it originally appeared.
D. The main point of the passage is to challenge this common belief and point out that it was not as amazing as is often asserted.
E. The passage never even mentions that the Aztec had myopic vision let alone makes this the main focus.

Answer: B


2. The passage is sequentially organized in which of the following ways?

Explanation

In order to see the sequential ordering, break down the logical flow of the passage.

1st Paragraph: Introduce something that looks very impressive on the surface and ask how it happened.
2nd Paragraph: Offer several factors that help explain what seemed so impressive and unbelievable.
3rd Paragraph: Provide several ways that the seemingly unbelievable was not inevitable.
4th Paragraph: Continue with paragraph 3. Conclude by noting that the seemingly unbelievable and unexplainable was both explainable and not inevitable.

To summarize the sequential organization:

Introduce an enigma ("how did a small group of foreign fighters manage to topple one of the world's strongest, wealthiest, and most successful military empires?") Explain reasons for the enigma (2nd paragraph) Discuss the inevitability of the enigma (3rd and 4th paragraphs)

A. This matches the sequential order explained above.
B. The third and fourth paragraphs are not offering a solution to a problem but rather discussing the inevitability of an outcome.
C. The third and fourth paragraphs are not providing an alternative explanation for the mystery but rather discussing the inevitability of the mystery.
D. The third and fourth paragraphs are not providing an alternative answer to the question but rather discussing the inevitability of the mystery.
E. The second paragraph does not discuss the likelihood of the problem but rather explains the sources of the problem (i.e., the sources for the seemingly incredible victory of Cortes). The passage makes no mention of the consequences of the invasion, its success, or its seemingly impressive status etc.

Answer: A


3. The author implies which of the following about the Aztec view toward an unconventional military confrontation of the Spanish?

Explanation

The author never mentions that the Aztecs had a view toward an unconventional military conflict with the Spanish. The topic is mentioned only as the author notes that the Aztecs should have pursued this type of a confrontation with the Spanish. Further, when the author did mention unconventional combat, he prefaced it with the statement: "Motecuhzoma's forces should have thought outside the box..." Based upon these facts, our best inference is that the Aztecs did not ever consider an unconventional military confrontation with Cortes.

A. This seems to be implied in the author's suggestion that "Motecuhzoma's forces should have thought outside the box..."
B. The passage never mentions nor implies that the Aztecs considered an unconventional military confrontation with the Spanish.
C. The passage never mentions nor implies that the Aztecs considered an unconventional military confrontation with the Spanish.
D. The passage never mentions nor implies that the Aztecs were certain they could achieve victory in a traditional means.
E. The passage never mentions nor implies that the Aztecs considered an unconventional military confrontation, let alone how it would be influenced by the geography of Tenochtitlan

Answer: A


4. According to the passage, all of the following led to Cortes' success EXCEPT:

Explanation

A. The passage mentions this as a source of success: "the Spanish possessed superior military equipment in the form of European cannons, guns, and crossbows"
B. Although the passage mentions that Cortes' army was small, it implies that this as a weakness. The passage never states that the military was nimble nor does it mention this as a source of success.
C. The passage mentions this as a source of success: "In one account of a battle, it is recorded that at least 200,000 natives fought with Cortes."
D. The passage mentions this as a source of success: "animosity toward the Aztecs among rival groups"
E. The passage mentions this as a source of success: "Spanish cannons quickly defeated large Aztec walls"

Answer: B


Hope it Helps
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Re: On the surface, the conquest of the Aztec empire by Herman Cortes is o  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2017, 08:03
1
1. Which of the following best characterizes the main point the author is trying to convey in the passage?
A) Aztec failure to fight an unconventional war led to an unnecessary defeat
B) Spanish victory was neither as impressive nor as surprising as it may first appear
C) Resentment toward the Aztecs led to their demise
D) Herman Cortes masterminded an amazing military accomplishment
E) The myopic vision of the Aztecs led to their unnecessary downfall

9:00 ..wasted time in question 1 ...
Got question no 1 incorrect ..was between B and D ..but marked D....
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Re: On the surface, the conquest of the Aztec empire by Herman Cortes is o  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2018, 10:56
gmatbusters wrote:
how is answer to Question 1 is B?

Please explain

SajjadAhmad wrote:
Source : Platinum GMAT

On the surface, the conquest of the Aztec empire by Herman Cortes is one of the most amazing military accomplishments in history. With a small fighting force numbering in the hundreds, Cortes led the Spanish explorers into victory against an Aztec population that many believe topped 21 million. In light of such a seemingly impossible victory, the obvious question is: how did a small group of foreign fighters manage to topple one of the world's strongest, wealthiest, and most successful military empires?

Several factors led to Cortes' success. First, the Spanish exploited animosity toward the Aztecs among rival groups and convinced thousands of locals to fight. In one account of a battle, it is recorded that at least 200,000 natives fought with Cortes. Next, the Spanish possessed superior military equipment in the form of European cannons, guns, and crossbows, leading to effective and efficient disposal of Aztec defenses. For example, Spanish cannons quickly defeated large Aztec walls that had protected the empire against big and less technically advanced armies.

Despite the Spanish advantages, the Aztecs probably could have succeeded in defending their capital city of Tenochtitlan had they leveraged their incredible population base to increase their army's size and ensured that no rogue cities would ally with Cortes. In order to accomplish this later goal, Aztec leader Motecuhzoma needed to send envoys to neighboring cities telling their inhabitants about the horrors of Spanish conquest and the inevitability of Spanish betrayal.

In addition, the Aztecs should have exploited the fact that the battle was taking place on their territory. No reason existed for the Aztecs to consent to a conventional battle, which heavily favored the Spanish. Motecuhzoma's forces should have thought outside the box and allowed Cortes into the city, only to subsequently use hundreds of thousands of fighters to prevent escape and proceed in surprise "door-to-door" combat. With this type of battle, the Aztecs would have largely thwarted Spanish technological supremacy. However, in the end, the superior weaponry of the Spanish, the pent-up resentment of Aztec rivals, the failure of Aztec diplomacy, and the lack of an unconventional Aztec war plan led to one of the most surprising military outcomes in the past one thousand years.
1. Which of the following best characterizes the main point the author is trying to convey in the passage?

A) Aztec failure to fight an unconventional war led to an unnecessary defeat
B) Spanish victory was neither as impressive nor as surprising as it may first appear
C) Resentment toward the Aztecs led to their demise
D) Herman Cortes masterminded an amazing military accomplishment
E) The myopic vision of the Aztecs led to their unnecessary downfall


2. The passage is sequentially organized in which of the following ways?

A) Introduce an enigma; explain the reasons for the enigma; discuss the inevitability of the enigma
B) Define a problem; explain the sources of the problem; offer a solution to the problem
C) Introduce a mystery; offer an explanation for the mystery; provide an alternative explanation for the mystery
D) Pose a question; offer an answer to the question; offer an alternative answer to the question
E) Define a problem; explain the likelihood of the problem; discuss the consequences of the problem


3. The author implies which of the following about the Aztec view toward an unconventional military confrontation of the Spanish?

A) The Aztecs did not consider it
B) The Aztecs considered it, but rejected it out of beliefs about how battles ought to be fought
C) The Aztecs considered this, but it was too late
D) The Aztecs were certain a victory could be achieved via traditional combat
E) The Aztecs felt the geography of Tenochtitlan did not favor this strategy


4. According to the passage, all of the following led to Cortes' success EXCEPT:

A) Advanced crossbows
B) Nimble military force
C) Local Spanish allies
D) Local tribal friction
E) Quick destruction of Aztec walls



Correct Answer: B

In order to ascertain the main point that the author is trying to make, it is important to examine logical flow of the passage.

1st Paragraph: Explain a seemingly amazing accomplishment and ask whether it really is as impressive as it first appears.
2nd Paragraph: Explain factors that made the impressive accomplishment not as impressive.
3rd Paragraph: Explain how the seemingly amazing accomplishment didn't have to turn out the way it did.
4th Paragraph: Explain how the seemingly amazing accomplishment didn't have to turn out the way it did.

A. The Aztec failure to fight in an unconventional manner is discussed only in the last paragraph and is mentioned only to make a larger point: the fall of the Aztec was not as impressive as it originally appeared.
B. This encapsulates the logical flow and main points of the passage.
C. This topic is only discussed during part of the second paragraph and is mentioned only to make a larger point: the fall of the Aztec was not as impressive as it originally appeared.
D. The main point of the passage is to challenge this common belief and point out that it was not as amazing as is often asserted.
E. The passage never even mentions that the Aztec had myopic vision let alone makes this the main focus.

How helpful was this explanation?
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New post 14 Nov 2018, 04:44
2
manjot123 wrote:
SajjadAhmad
please provide explanation for question 2?


Hi manjot123

Explanation Q#2

Answer is A

In order to see the sequential ordering, break down the logical flow of the passage.

1st Paragraph: Introduce something that looks very impressive on the surface and ask how it happened.
2nd Paragraph: Offer several factors that help explain what seemed so impressive and unbelievable.
3rd Paragraph: Provide several ways that the seemingly unbelievable was not inevitable.
4th Paragraph: Continue with paragraph 3. Conclude by noting that the seemingly unbelievable and unexplainable was both explainable and not inevitable.

To summarize the sequential organization:

Introduce an enigma ("how did a small group of foreign fighters manage to topple one of the world's strongest, wealthiest, and most successful military empires?") Explain reasons for the enigma (2nd paragraph) Discuss the inevitability of the enigma (3rd and 4th paragraphs)

This matches the sequential order explained above.

The third and fourth paragraphs are not offering a solution to a problem but rather discussing the inevitability of an outcome.
The third and fourth paragraphs are not providing an alternative explanation for the mystery but rather discussing the inevitability of the mystery.
The third and fourth paragraphs are not providing an alternative answer to the question but rather discussing the inevitability of the mystery.
The second paragraph does not discuss the likelihood of the problem but rather explains the sources of the problem (i.e., the sources for the seemingly incredible victory of Cortes). The passage makes no mention of the consequences of the invasion, its success, or its seemingly impressive status etc.

Hope it Help
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Re: On the surface, the conquest of the Aztec empire by Herman Cortes is o  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2019, 22:19
But it wasn't inevitable, this is why A should be wrong as the author mentions multiple times that the Aztecs could have avoided the defeat. Can someone plz explain this discrepancy.
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Re: On the surface, the conquest of the Aztec empire by Herman Cortes is o  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2019, 17:44
Hi SajjadAhmad,

Thanks a lot for this project.

I'm a bit confused about Q1. In the first paragraph, the author of the passage leaves an open question, that maybe the tone, in this part, intends to point that the victory was not impressive, but in the last part the author mentions that "However, in the end, the superior weaponry of the Spanish, the pent-up resentment of Aztec rivals, the failure of Aztec diplomacy, and the lack of an unconventional Aztec war plan led to one of the most surprising military outcomes in the past one thousand years.". So he finally thinks that it was an impressive victory.

In Q4, how can natives be local Spanish if they are natives from America? I thought that they could be allies but not Spanish.
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New post 13 Oct 2019, 20:50
siaguirr wrote:
Hi SajjadAhmad,

Thanks a lot for this project.

I'm a bit confused about Q1. In the first paragraph, the author of the passage leaves an open question, that maybe the tone, in this part, intends to point that the victory was not impressive, but in the last part the author mentions that "However, in the end, the superior weaponry of the Spanish, the pent-up resentment of Aztec rivals, the failure of Aztec diplomacy, and the lack of an unconventional Aztec war plan led to one of the most surprising military outcomes in the past one thousand years.". So he finally thinks that it was an impressive victory.

In Q4, how can natives be local Spanish if they are natives from America? I thought that they could be allies but not Spanish.


Have you went through this post?

https://gmatclub.com/forum/on-the-surfa ... l#p2226541
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Re: On the surface, the conquest of the Aztec empire by Herman Cortes is o   [#permalink] 13 Oct 2019, 20:50
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