Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study

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Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2009, 11:44
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Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study of democracy in the United States, believed that a government that centralizes power in one individual or institution is dangerous to its citizens. Biographers claim that Tocqueville disliked centralized government because he blamed Napoleon’s rule for the poverty of his childhood in Normandy.

Which of the following, if true, would cast the most serious doubt on the biographers’ claim?
(A) Although Napoleon was popularly blamed at the time for the terrible living conditions in Normandy, historians now know that bad harvests were really to blame for the poor economic conditions.
(B) Napoleon was notorious for refusing to share power with any of his political associates.
(C) Tocqueville said he knew that if his father had not suffered ill health, his family would have had a steady income and a comfortable standard of living.
(D) Although Tocqueville asserted that United States political life was democratic, the United States of the nineteenth century allowed political power to be concentrated in a few institutions.
(E) Tocqueville once wrote in a letter that, although his childhood was terribly impoverished, it was not different from the experience of his friends and neighbors in Normandy.

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Re: Tocqueville and Napoleon’s rule [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2009, 12:22
I like C

Claim: Tocqueville disliked centralized government due to childhood poverty because he blamed Napoleon’s rule for the poverty of his childhood in Normandy. (Weaken)

A - This is looking back, not known by Tocquerville
B - This strengthens I believe as it shows Napolean had a centralized government
D - Does not discuss the claim but the facts (he was an American critic)
E - Strengthens the argument as it shows it was a widespread poverty.

C - Blame of poverty is put on father's illness and not Napolean - weakens the argument
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Re: Tocqueville and Napoleon’s rule [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2009, 16:08
A .
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Re: Tocqueville and Napoleon’s rule [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2009, 16:46
will go with C

(A) Although Napoleon was popularly blamed at the time for the terrible living conditions in Normandy, historians now know that bad harvests were really to blame for the poor economic conditions. this has nothing to do with Tocqueville.
(B) Napoleon was notorious for refusing to share power with any of his political associates. has nothing to do with the context of this claim
(C) Tocqueville said he knew that if his father had not suffered ill health, his family would have had a steady income and a comfortable standard of living. he didn't blame poverty on Napoleon's rule, but rather on his father's ill health.
(D) Although Tocqueville asserted that United States political life was democratic, the United States of the nineteenth century allowed political power to be concentrated in a few institutions. not connected to the claim
(E) Tocqueville once wrote in a letter that, although his childhood was terribly impoverished, it was not different from the experience of his friends and neighbors in Normandy. does not say much either
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24 Aug 2009, 17:10
C : out of context information , there might be some more some more different bigger problem... . so I think , Its A .
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Re: Tocqueville and Napoleon’s rule [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2009, 17:14
pittgreek wrote:
C : out of context information , there might be some more some more different bigger problem... . so I think , Its A .

A can't be true as it says historians thought that way but NOT Tocqueville, so not in context with the claim made by the article ABOUT Tocqueville.
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Re: Tocqueville and Napoleon’s rule [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2009, 00:02
OA is 'C'. Thanks all for the participation and the explanations provided..
Re: Tocqueville and Napoleon’s rule   [#permalink] 25 Aug 2009, 00:02
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