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The historian Frederick J. Turner wrote in the 1890's that the agraria

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The historian Frederick J. Turner wrote in the 1890's that the agraria  [#permalink]

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Project RC Butler 2020 - Participate and win GMAT Club Tests.
Passage # 136, Date: 07-Jun-2020
This post is a part of Project RC Butler 2020. Click here for Details


The historian Frederick J. Turner wrote in the 1890's that the agrarian discontent that had been developing steadily in the United States since about 1870 had been precipitated by the closing of the internal frontier-that is, the depletion of available new land needed for further expansion of the American farming system. Not only was Turner's thesis influential at the time, it was later adopted and elaborated by other scholars, such as John D. Hicks in The Populist Revolt (1931). Actually, however, new lands were taken up for farming in the United States throughout and beyond the nineteenth century. In the 1890's, when agrarian discontent had become most acute, 1,100,000 new farms were settled, which was 500,000 more than had been settled during the previous decade. After 1890, under the terms of the Homestead Act and its successors, more new land was taken up for farming than had been taken up for this purpose in the United States up until that time. It is true that a high proportion of the newly farmed land was suitable only for grazing and dry farming, but agricultural practices had become sufficiently advanced to make it possible to increase the profitability of farming by utilizing even these relatively barren lands.

The emphasis given by both scholars and statesmen to the presumed disappearance of the American frontier helped to obscure the great importance of changes in the conditions and consequences of international trade that occurred during the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1869 the Suez Canal was opened and the first transcontinental railroad in the United States was completed. An extensive network of telegraph and telephone communications was spun: Europe was connected by submarine cable with the United States in 1866 and with South America in 1874. By about 1870 improvements in agricultural technology made possible the full exploitation of areas that were most suitable for extensive farming on a mechanized basis. Huge tracts of land were being settled and farmed in Argentina, Australia, Canada, and in the American West, and these areas were joined with one another and with the countries of Europe into an interdependent market system. As a consequence, agrarian depressions no longer were local or national in scope, and they struck several nations whose internal frontiers had not vanished or were not about to vanish. Between the early 1870's and the 1890's, the mounting agrarian discontent in America paralleled the almost uninterrupted decline in the prices of American agricultural products on foreign markets. Those staple-growing farmers in the United States who exhibited the greatest discontent were those who had become most dependent on foreign markets for the sale of their products. Insofar as Americans had been deterred from taking up new land for farming, it was because market conditions had made this period a perilous time in which to do so.
1. The author is primarily concerned with

(A) showing that a certain interpretation is better supported by the evidence than is an alternative explanation
(B) developing an alternative interpretation by using sources of evidence that formerly had been unavailable
(C) questioning the accuracy of the evidence that most scholars have used to counter the author's own interpretation
(D) reviewing the evidence that formerly had been thought to obscure a valid interpretation
(E) presenting evidence in support of a controversial version of an earlier interpretation


2. According to the author, changes in the conditions of international trade resulted in an

(A) underestimation of the amount of new land that was being farmed in the United States
(B) underutilization of relatively small but rich plots of land
(C) overexpansion of the world transportation network for shipping agricultural products
(D) extension of agrarian depressions beyond national boundaries
(E) emphasis on the importance of market forces in determining the prices of agricultural products


3. The author implies that the change in the state of the American farmer's morale during the latter part of the nineteenth century was trace-able to the American farmer's increasing perception that the

(A) costs of cultivating the land were prohibitive within the United States
(B) development of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States occurred at the expense of the American farmer
(C) American farming system was about to run out of the new farmland that was required for its expansion
(D) prices of American agricultural products were deteriorating especially rapidly on domestic markets
(E) proceeds from the sales of American agricultural products on foreign markets were unsatisfactory


4. According to the passage, which of the following occurred prior to 1890 ?

(A) Frederick J. Turner's thesis regarding the American frontier became influential.
(B) The Homestead Act led to an increase in the amount of newly farmed land in the United States.
(C) The manufacturers of technologically advanced agricultural machinery rapidly increased their marketing efforts.
(D) Direct lines of communication were 'constructed between the United States and South America.
(E) Technological advances made it fruitful to farm extensively on a mechanized basis.


5. The author implies that, after certain territories and countries had been joined into an interdependent market system in the nineteenth century, agrarian depressions within that system

(A) spread to several nations, excluding those in which the internal frontier remained open
(B) manifested themselves in several nations, including those in which new land remained available for farming
(C) slowed down the pace of new technological developments in international communications and transportation
(D) affected the local and national prices of the nonagricultural products of several nations
(E) encouraged several nations to sell more of their agricultural products on foreign markets


6. The author provides information concerning newly farmed lands in the United States (first paragraph) as evidence in direct support of which of the following?

(A) A proposal by Frederick J. Turner that was later disputed by John D. Hicks
(B) An elaboration by John D. Hicks of a thesis that formerly had been questioned by Frederick J. Turner
(C) The established view that was disputed by those scholars who adopted the thesis of Frederick J. Turner
(D) The thesis that important changes occurred in the nature of international trade during the second half of the nineteenth century
(E) The view that the American frontier did not become closed during the nineteenth century or soon thereafter


7. The author implies that the cause of the agrarian discontent was

(A) masked by the vagueness of the official records on newly settled farms
(B) overshadowed by disputes on the reliability of the existing historical evidence
(C) misidentified as a result of influential but erroneous theorizing
(D) overlooked because of a preoccupation with market conditions
(E) undetected because visible indications of the cause occurred so gradually and sporadically


8. The author's argument implies that, compared to the yearly price changes that actually occurred on foreign agricultural markets during the 1880's, American farmers would have most preferred yearly price changes that were

(A) much smaller and in the same direction
(B) much smaller but in the opposite direction
(C) slightly smaller and in the same direction
(D) similar in size but in the opposite direction
(E) slightly greater and in the same direction


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Re: The historian Frederick J. Turner wrote in the 1890's that the agraria  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2020, 21:59
Can someone explain Q8 please?
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Re: The historian Frederick J. Turner wrote in the 1890's that the agraria  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2020, 23:37
st8880 wrote:
Can someone explain Q8 please?


The prices declined in the international market , so the farmers would have preferred what ?? the prices to increase. hence, the option-
similar in size but in the opposite direction ( similar in size = increase at the same rate as the prices have decline)
( in the opposite direction = towards profit not loss)
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Re: The historian Frederick J. Turner wrote in the 1890's that the agraria  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2020, 12:22
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vashuvp wrote:
st8880 wrote:
Can someone explain Q8 please?


The prices declined in the international market , so the farmers would have preferred what ?? the prices to increase. hence, the option-
similar in size but in the opposite direction ( similar in size = increase at the same rate as the prices have decline)
( in the opposite direction = towards profit not loss)

I agree it is in opposite direction. So we eliminate A, C and E.

B says - much smaller but in the opposite direction

Now much smaller would also work, anything in profit would work, given the agri-market was not doing well.

But on the other hand, this is a "imply" question. Which means why you want a smaller profit? You might be right. Sorry thinking out loud.
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Re: The historian Frederick J. Turner wrote in the 1890's that the agraria  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2020, 01:25
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The historian Frederick J. Turner wrote in the 1890's that the agraria  [#permalink]

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Passage # 136, Date: 07-Jun-2020
This post is a part of Project RC Butler 2020. Click here for Details


The historian Frederick J. Turner wrote in the 1890's that the agrarian discontent that had been developing steadily in the United States since about 1870 had been precipitated by the closing of the internal frontier-that is, the depletion of available new land needed for further expansion of the American farming system. Not only was Turner's thesis influential at the time, it was later adopted and elaborated by other scholars, such as John D. Hicks in The Populist Revolt (1931). Actually, however, new lands were taken up for farming in the United States throughout and beyond the nineteenth century. In the 1890's, when agrarian discontent had become most acute, 1,100,000 new farms were settled, which was 500,000 more than had been settled during the previous decade. After 1890, under the terms of the Homestead Act and its successors, more new land was taken up for farming than had been taken up for this purpose in the United States up until that time. It is true that a high proportion of the newly farmed land was suitable only for grazing and dry farming, but agricultural practices had become sufficiently advanced to make it possible to increase the profitability of farming by utilizing even these relatively barren lands.

The emphasis given by both scholars and statesmen to the presumed disappearance of the American frontier helped to obscure the great importance of changes in the conditions and consequences of international trade that occurred during the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1869 the Suez Canal was opened and the first transcontinental railroad in the United States was completed. An extensive network of telegraph and telephone communications was spun: Europe was connected by submarine cable with the United States in 1866 and with South America in 1874. By about 1870 improvements in agricultural technology made possible the full exploitation of areas that were most suitable for extensive farming on a mechanized basis. Huge tracts of land were being settled and farmed in Argentina, Australia, Canada, and in the American West, and these areas were joined with one another and with the countries of Europe into an interdependent market system. As a consequence, agrarian depressions no longer were local or national in scope, and they struck several nations whose internal frontiers had not vanished or were not about to vanish. Between the early 1870's and the 1890's, the mounting agrarian discontent in America paralleled the almost uninterrupted decline in the prices of American agricultural products on foreign markets. Those staple-growing farmers in the United States who exhibited the greatest discontent were those who had become most dependent on foreign markets for the sale of their products. Insofar as Americans had been deterred from taking up new land for farming, it was because market conditions had made this period a perilous time in which to do so.
1. The author is primarily concerned with

(A) showing that a certain interpretation is better supported by the evidence than is an alternative explanation
(B) developing an alternative interpretation by using sources of evidence that formerly had been unavailable
(C) questioning the accuracy of the evidence that most scholars have used to counter the author's own interpretation
(D) reviewing the evidence that formerly had been thought to obscure a valid interpretation
(E) presenting evidence in support of a controversial version of an earlier interpretation


2. According to the author, changes in the conditions of international trade resulted in an

(A) underestimation of the amount of new land that was being farmed in the United States
(B) underutilization of relatively small but rich plots of land
(C) overexpansion of the world transportation network for shipping agricultural products
(D) extension of agrarian depressions beyond national boundaries
(E) emphasis on the importance of market forces in determining the prices of agricultural products


3. The author implies that the change in the state of the American farmer's morale during the latter part of the nineteenth century was trace-able to the American farmer's increasing perception that the

(A) costs of cultivating the land were prohibitive within the United States
(B) development of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States occurred at the expense of the American farmer
(C) American farming system was about to run out of the new farmland that was required for its expansion
(D) prices of American agricultural products were deteriorating especially rapidly on domestic markets
(E) proceeds from the sales of American agricultural products on foreign markets were unsatisfactory


4. According to the passage, which of the following occurred prior to 1890 ?

(A) Frederick J. Turner's thesis regarding the American frontier became influential.
(B) The Homestead Act led to an increase in the amount of newly farmed land in the United States.
(C) The manufacturers of technologically advanced agricultural machinery rapidly increased their marketing efforts.
(D) Direct lines of communication were 'constructed between the United States and South America.
(E) Technological advances made it fruitful to farm extensively on a mechanized basis.


5. The author implies that, after certain territories and countries had been joined into an interdependent market system in the nineteenth century, agrarian depressions within that system

(A) spread to several nations, excluding those in which the internal frontier remained open
(B) manifested themselves in several nations, including those in which new land remained available for farming
(C) slowed down the pace of new technological developments in international communications and transportation
(D) affected the local and national prices of the nonagricultural products of several nations
(E) encouraged several nations to sell more of their agricultural products on foreign markets


6. The author provides information concerning newly farmed lands in the United States (first paragraph) as evidence in direct support of which of the following?

(A) A proposal by Frederick J. Turner that was later disputed by John D. Hicks
(B) An elaboration by John D. Hicks of a thesis that formerly had been questioned by Frederick J. Turner
(C) The established view that was disputed by those scholars who adopted the thesis of Frederick J. Turner
(D) The thesis that important changes occurred in the nature of international trade during the second half of the nineteenth century
(E) The view that the American frontier did not become closed during the nineteenth century or soon thereafter


7. The author implies that the cause of the agrarian discontent was

(A) masked by the vagueness of the official records on newly settled farms
(B) overshadowed by disputes on the reliability of the existing historical evidence
(C) misidentified as a result of influential but erroneous theorizing
(D) overlooked because of a preoccupation with market conditions
(E) undetected because visible indications of the cause occurred so gradually and sporadically


8. The author's argument implies that, compared to the yearly price changes that actually occurred on foreign agricultural markets during the 1880's, American farmers would have most preferred yearly price changes that were

(A) much smaller and in the same direction
(B) much smaller but in the opposite direction
(C) slightly smaller and in the same direction
(D) similar in size but in the opposite direction
(E) slightly greater and in the same direction






para1
the original explanation to a phenomenon concern with agrarian discontent, which caused by the sudden closure of the internal frontier in leading to the depletion of available new land and the further expansion of American farming system
however, the passage present another view in that this way of thinking contrary to the fact that new lands were taken for farming in US throughout and beyond 19th century

para2
why the original explanation flawed? the passage raised by saying that it would obscure the great importance of changes and consequences of international trade which also be an important factor to consider, followed by given several historically examples to support this way of saying and sum up its impact--result in a cross-nation agrarian discontent to happen and offer an evidence to support this cross-nation phenomenon





1. The author is primarily concerned with

(A) showing that a certain interpretation is better supported by the evidence than is an alternative explanation

…..correct
“a certain interpretation”(A) is in former part of para1
…….agrarian discontent was caused by US deter from taking up new land for farming in US, that no available new land needed for further expansion of American farming system

an alternative explanation: para1, which says its “the sudden
closure of internal frontier” lead to a certain interpretation(A)

better supported by the evidence: the middle part of para2 offer several evidences to convince us “its too dependent on foreign market” lead to (A), and those evidences are better than an alternative explanation in para1 to explain a certain interpretation (A)



(B) developing an alternative interpretation by using sources of evidence that formerly had been unavailable

the former part of this statement “developing an alternative interpretation” is correct
however, “using sources of evidence that formerly had been unavailable”, nowhere in the passage hint that these evidences are “unavailable” for that, in the contrary, they’re of use to explain the discontent among farmers


(C) questioning the accuracy of the evidence that most scholars have used to counter the author's own interpretation

questioning the accuracy of the evidence(para2)….out of scope, the author doesn’t intend to “question” anything in this passage, rather, the evidences, in offering another explanation to para1’s interpretation, just act as an useful medium to explain the phenomenon—farmers discontent in para1


(D) reviewing the evidence that formerly had been thought to obscure a valid interpretation

does the author think para1 a valid interpretation? certainly not, also does the evidence in para2 obscure para1’s interpretation? no


(E) presenting evidence in support of a controversial
version of an earlier interpretation

controversial version of an earlier interpretation
……this is what para1 is about
but the whole passage, especially para2, doesn’t, by presenting
some evidences, to support para1, rather, it offers another explanation to the phenomenon(farmer discontent) in para1




2. According to the author, changes in the conditions of international trade resulted in an

see para2
The emphasis given by both scholars and statesmen to the presumed disappearance of the American frontier helped to obscure the great importance of changes in the conditions and consequences of international trade that occurred during the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1869 the Suez Canal was opened and the first transcontinental railroad in the United States was completed. An extensive network of telegraph and telephone communications was spun: Europe was connected by submarine cable with the United States in 1866 and with South America in 1874. By about 1870 improvements in agricultural technology made possible the full exploitation of areas that were most suitable for extensive farming on a mechanized basis. Huge tracts of land were being settled and farmed in Argentina, Australia, Canada, and in the American West, and these areas were joined with one another and with the countries of Europe into an interdependent market system.



(A) underestimation of the amount of new land that was being farmed in the United States
(B) underutilization of relatively small but rich plots of land
(C) overexpansion of the world transportation network for shipping agricultural products

from sentences in para2 above, we can’t find traces to which (A) (B) (C) says

(D) extension of agrarian depressions beyond national boundaries

….correct

see sentences:
The emphasis given by both scholars and statesmen to the
presumed disappearance of the American frontier helped
to obscure the great importance of changes in the conditions
and consequences of international trade
that occurred during
the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1869 the Suez
Canal was….

Then continue to see sentence in para2 here, this is the main
point as to why (D) be the correct answer
…….As a consequence, agrarian depressions no longer were
local or national in scope, and they struck several nations whose
internal frontiers had not vanished or were not about to vanish.



(E) emphasis on the importance of market forces in determining the prices of agricultural products
see sentences:
Between the early 1870's and the 1890's, the mounting agrarian discontent in America paralleled the almost uninterrupted decline in the prices of American agricultural products on foreign markets. Those staple-growing farmers in the United States who exhibited the greatest discontent were those who had become most dependent on foreign markets for the sale of their products.

this is just examples raise to support the cross-nation farmer discontent, not the consequences of international trade




3. The author implies that the change in the state of the American farmer's morale during the latter part of the nineteenth century was trace-able to the American farmer's increasing perception that the

“change” in the farmer’s discontent, or say morale, is due to farmer’s increasing perception that….??
in other words, its in what farmers have increasingly recognized that cause the change of farmer’s discontent??

(A) costs of cultivating the land were prohibitive within the United States

costs of cultivating the land were prohibitive
….. show up nowhere in the passage


(B) development of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States occurred at the expense of the American farmer

see sentence
In 1869 the Suez Canal was opened and the first transcontinental railroad in the United States was completed.
….this is just an example of the background given to how the change happen, not cause of the change



(C) American farming system was about to run out of the new farmland that was required for its expansion

see sentence
The historian Frederick J. Turner wrote in the 1890's that the agrarian discontent that had been developing steadily in the United States since about 1870 had been precipitated by the closing of the internal frontier-that is, the depletion of available new land needed for further expansion of the American farming system.

this is just the original explanation which cause the change in farmer’s morale


(D) prices of American agricultural products were deteriorating especially rapidly on domestic markets

domestic markets …this is where the false point is

see sentence:
Between the early 1870's and the 1890's, the mounting agrarian discontent in America paralleled the almost uninterrupted decline in the prices of American agricultural products on foreign markets.


(E) proceeds from the sales of American agricultural products on foreign markets were unsatisfactory

…..correct
see para2:
As a consequence, agrarian depressions no longer were local or national in scope, and they struck several nations whose internal frontiers had not vanished or were not about to vanish. Between the early 1870's and the 1890's, the mounting agrarian discontent in America paralleled the almost uninterrupted decline in the prices of American agricultural products on foreign markets. Those staple-growing farmers in the United States who exhibited the greatest discontent were those who had become most dependent on foreign markets for the sale of their products.

we could say the conclusion to the whole paragraph:
rather to say “its sudden closure of internal frontier” in para1 which cause most of the agrarian discontent, its better saying that “sale of their products too dependent on foreign market” which attribute this phenomenon, so the change of the farmer’s morale is focus on here



4. According to the passage, which of the following occurred prior to 1890 ?


In 1869 the Suez Canal was opened and the first transcontinental railroad in the United States was completed. An extensive network of telegraph and telephone communications was spun: Europe was connected by submarine cable with the United States in 1866 and with South America in 1874. By about 1870 improvements in agricultural technology made possible the full exploitation of areas that were most suitable for extensive farming on a mechanized basis. Huge tracts of land were being settled and farmed in Argentina, Australia, Canada, and in the American West, and these areas were joined with one another and with the countries of Europe into an interdependent market system.


(A) Frederick J. Turner's thesis regarding the American frontier became influential.

…..wrong
see sentence in para1
not only was Turner's thesis influential at the time, it was later adopted and elaborated by other scholars, such as John D. Hicks in The Populist Revolt (1931)
…..thus not only prior to 1890, it is even “after 1890” Frederick J. Turner's thesis still influential


(B) The Homestead Act led to an increase in the amount of newly farmed land in the United States.

…..wrong, opposite to the fact

see sentences
…..since about 1870 had been precipitated by the closing of the internal frontier-that is, the depletion of available new land needed for further expansion of the American farming system.
we could see from these sentences that prior to 1890, the available new farm land doesn’t increase, its decreasing…..


(C) The manufacturers of technologically advanced agricultural machinery rapidly increased their marketing efforts.

….wrong
the former part of the statement is correct, but there's problem for the latter part
marketing efforts doesn’t appear within the scope of the sentence in sentence in the passage below:
By about 1870 improvements in agricultural technology made possible the full exploitation of areas that were most suitable for extensive farming on a mechanized basis.

(D) Direct lines of communication were constructed between the United States and South America.

…..wrong
we had to be careful that there’re some subtleties concern with US and South Africa, it will trick us
remember this is what the passage says:
Europe was connected by submarine cable with the United States in 1866 and with South America in 1874.
and the above sentence-- with the United States in 1866 and with South America in 1874-- DOESN’T EQUAL TO what (D) says-- between the United States and South America

(E) Technological advances made it fruitful to farm extensively on a mechanized basis.

…..correct
by about 1870 improvements in agricultural technology made possible the full exploitation of areas that were most suitable for extensive farming on a mechanized basis.




5. The author implies that, after certain territories and countries had been joined into an interdependent market system in the nineteenth century, agrarian depressions within that system



Huge tracts of land were being settled and farmed in Argentina, Australia, Canada, and in the American West, and these areas were joined with one another and with the countries of Europe into an interdependent market system. As a consequence, agrarian depressions no longer were local or national in scope, and they struck several nations whose internal frontiers had not vanished or were not about to vanish. Between the early 1870's and the 1890's, the mounting agrarian discontent in America paralleled the almost uninterrupted decline in the prices of American agricultural products on foreign markets. Those staple-growing farmers in the United States who exhibited the greatest discontent were those who had become most dependent on foreign markets for the sale of their products. Insofar as Americans had been deterred from taking up new land for farming, it was because market conditions had made this period a perilous time in which to do so.

(A) spread to several nations, excluding those in which the internal frontier remained open

trap choice……..wrong
excluding those in which the internal frontier remained open =including those in which the internal frontier NOT remained open
= including those in which the internal frontier HAD VANISHED

but the sentence in the passage says:
agrarian depressions no longer were local or national in scope, and they struck several nations “whose internal frontiers had not vanished or were not about to vanish.”


(B) manifested themselves in several nations, including those in which new land remained available for farming

…..correct
best correspond to what the sentence in the passage says:
agrarian depressions no longer were local or national in scope, and they struck several nations whose internal frontiers had not vanished or were not about to vanish.

(C) slowed down the pace of new technological developments in international communications and transportation

about the aftermath of interdependent market system, nowhere in the passage point out explicitly that it slow down the pace of new technological developments


(D) affected the local and national prices of the nonagricultural products of several nations

nonagricultural products ....out of scope

(E) encouraged several nations to sell more of their agricultural products on foreign markets

encouraged several nations to sell more of their agricultural products ....out of scope




6. The author provides information concerning newly farmed lands in the United States (first paragraph) as evidence in direct support of which of the following?

see para1
Actually, however, new lands were taken up for farming in the United States throughout and beyond the nineteenth century. ..........It is true that a high proportion of the newly farmed land was suitable only for grazing and dry farming, but agricultural practices had become sufficiently advanced to make it possible to increase the profitability of farming by utilizing even these relatively barren lands.

thus we could see newly farmed land still available




(A) A proposal by Frederick J. Turner that was later disputed by John D. Hicks
(B) An elaboration by John D. Hicks of a thesis that formerly had been questioned by Frederick J. Turner
(C) The established view that was disputed by those scholars who adopted the thesis of Frederick J. Turner
(D) The thesis that important changes occurred in the nature of international trade during the second half of the nineteenth century
(E) The view that the American frontier did not become closed during the nineteenth century or soon thereafter.....correct



7. The author implies that the cause of the agrarian discontent was

(A) masked by the vagueness of the official records on newly settled farms

agrarian discontent was masked by sth else, this is totally wrong, also the passage never refer anything to official records

(B) overshadowed by disputes on the reliability of the existing historical evidence

evidences is presented in para2, but does agrarian discontent being overshadowed by “disputes” of para2? “disputes” show up nowhere in the passage, its illogical to say this

(C) misidentified as a result of influential but erroneous theorizing

.....correct
influential ….. this is what former part of para1 is about
but erroneous theorizing ....the middle of the para1 gives a turning point to this "influential" way of saying, also follow by para1, para2 present evidences to its "overly dependent international trade theory"

the whole passage talks about the true cause of agrarian discontent was that it was over-dependent on foreign markets for the sales of their products however being misidentified as an influential but “erroneous” theory

(D) overlooked because of a preoccupation with market conditions

(E) undetected because visible indications of the cause occurred so gradually and sporadically

agrarian discontent was overlooked or undetected
…. this totally contrary to the gist of the passage, it is, indeed, that this passage deem this discontent very strongly




8. The author's argument implies that, compared to the yearly price changes that actually occurred on foreign agricultural markets during the 1880's, American farmers would have most preferred yearly price changes that were

para2:
Between the early 1870's and the 1890's, the mounting agrarian discontent in America paralleled the almost uninterrupted decline in the prices of American agricultural products on foreign markets. Those staple-growing farmers in the United States who exhibited the greatest discontent were those who had become most dependent on foreign markets for the sale of their products. Insofar as Americans had been deterred from taking up new land for farming, it was because market conditions had made this period a perilous time in which to do so.

thanks vashuvp for your explanation, I was stuck at the point concern “similar” and “smaller”
--we can see the tone from these sentences that farmers was shocked by the rapid decline in the prices of agricultural
products, also we could, in that farmers most dependent on foreign market saling exhibit the greatest discontent, infer that
farmers would preferred this yearly price changes go in different direction toward profits and similar in size(since all corporates would hope to maximize profits, this is what I missed in thinking)

(A) much smaller and in the same direction
(B) much smaller but in the opposite direction
(C) slightly smaller and in the same direction
(D) similar in size but in the opposite direction …..correct
(E) slightly greater and in the same direction
GMAT Club Bot
The historian Frederick J. Turner wrote in the 1890's that the agraria   [#permalink] 12 Jun 2020, 22:31

The historian Frederick J. Turner wrote in the 1890's that the agraria

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