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reply2spg wrote:
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 Napoleons 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.

The argument has extraneous information to confuse you.

Focus on this: Biographers claim that Tocqueville disliked centralized government because he blamed Napoleons rule for the poverty of his childhood in Normandy.

They claim that he disliked centralised Govt because he blamed Napolean's rule (centralised power) for his childhood poverty.

We need to weaken the claim of why he hated centralised Govt. (C) tells us that he did not blame Napolean for his childhood poverty. Apparently, he believed that if his dad had kept good health, they would have been comfortable. So Napolean's rule would not have caused poverty. This does weaken the claim that he hated centralised Govt because he blamed Napolean's rule for poverty. We know he was against centralised Govt but that would be because of some other reason.
Let's look at other options too:

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.
It doesn't matter whether Napolean was actually to blame or not. The biographers claim that Tocqueville blamed Napolean's rule for poverty. We have to weaken this claim. We have to show that Tocqueville did not blame Napolean for poverty. Whether Napolean was actually to be blamed or not is irrelevant.


B. Napoleon was notorious for refusing to share power with any of his political associates.

Again, irrelevant as above.

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.

We have to weaken biographers claim on why Tocqueville disliked centralised power. It has nothing to do with whether US has centralised power or not.

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.

Just because others also suffered doesn't mean Tocqueville did not blame Napolean for poverty.

Answer (C)­
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warrior1991 wrote:
generis

Thank you once again. I understood what you said.

Correct me.

Finally the point that comes out is that (tocqueville's poverty) has no bearing on (his disliking government).

You also mean that it is not necessary that always X(cause) should cause Y(effect). That means sometimes effect doe not occur even when cause occurs.

Is that correct??

warrior1991 , not quite, but you are close.

Tocqueville's alleged blaming of Napoleon for T's childhood poverty has no bearing on T's dislike of centralized government

T did not blame Napoleon for his childhood poverty. Something else made T dislike centralized government.

Poverty may have had something to do with Tocqueville's dislike of centralized government. In an academic sense, we cannot say.
-- But he did not blame Napoleon for that poverty.
-- The biographers claim that Tocqueville DID blame Napoleon.
The issue is the blaming of Napoleon for the poverty. Not the poverty itself.

I will use Q instead of Y. Sometimes it helps to switch.

If X is a cause of Q, then every time that X happens, Q will happen.

The issue here is that X is not a cause of Q. Something else causes Q.

With respect to the highlighted portion. That's not correct.
It's a common mistake in logic. I think you are making the error in #3

Bear with me for a moment.

LOGIC

Main truth claim is TRUE
TRUE: 1) If X, then Q
TRUE: If you are a man, then you are a mammal

#1 logically entails #2.

TRUE: 2) If not Q, then not X
TRUE: If you are not a mammal, then you are not a man

#1 does NOT logically entail #3 or #4

FALSE: 3) If not X, then not Q -- [WRONG! FALSE!]
If you are not a man, then you are not a mammal.
Hooey. A kangaroo is not a man. A kangaroo IS a mammal

FALSE: 4) If Q, then X
If you are a mammal, then you are a man.
Hooey. A kangaroo is a mammal. A kangaroo is not a man.

Error #3
If Tocqueville did not blame Napoleon for T's childhood poverty, then Tocqueville did NOT dislike centralized government.
As a matter of logic: FALSE


There can be more than one sufficient condition for Q.
There can be more than one necessary condition for Q.
X is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for Q.

X = The issue is "blame Napoleon [yes, for poverty, but it's the blame that is key]."

If we can prove that there is no X, for whatever reason,
then there MAY still be a Q, but it is not caused by X — and the biographers are wrong.

The biographers claim: X, therefore Q

X = Tocqueville blamed Napoleon for Tocqueville's childhood poverty.
This whole fact, X, caused
Q = Tocqueville disliked centralized government

So, did Tocqueville blame Napoleon for T's childhood poverty? No.
X did NOT cause Q. Something else caused Q.

Was Q true? Yes. I offered a "political theory" explanation
to demonstrate that Q indeed existed but was not caused by X

Napoleon's Autocracy/Absolutism → disaster in France → Tocqueville dislikes centralized government

Napoleon's Absolutism = A

Biographers: X, therefore Q
FALSE

Political historians: A, therefore Q
TRUE

Q still exists.
But Q was caused by A, not by X. The biographers are insisting that Q was caused by X.

X is a because clause.
The moment we prove that X is false, we are done.

Q still happens. Do we care? No.

The biographers are shouting, "X caused Q! X caused Q!"
We say back, "X did not cause Q! X did not cause Q!" (Something else caused Q. X is not a cause.)

Hope that helps.
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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 Napoleons rule for the poverty of his childhood in Normandy.

So writer X criticised government that centralized power, because it influenced negatively on citizens. Biographers claim that writer X was against centralization of power, since it was Napolelons rule that made him spend his childhood in poverty.


Which of the following, if true, would cast the most serious doubt on the biographers claim?

So you we need weaken biographers claim that Napoleons rule played a key role in impoverishment of writer X

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. Harvests are seasonal, it is only one aspect of economy - agriculture. i think one cant dhift the blame for poor economy onto poor harvests. Moreover we are concerned with writer`s position and Napoleons rule


B. Napoleon was notorious for refusing to share power with any of his political associates. (irrelevant. )

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.
Correct, as per option C/ writer`s opinion - If his father hadnt suffered ill health, writer would have a comfortable childhood. This option does indeed cast serious doubt on biographers claim that the cause of writer`s poor childood, was Napoleons rule.


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. We are not concerned with decantralization of power. out of scope.

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. it doesnt weaken. it just says that he was not the only one who lived in poor conditions
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warrior1991 my reasoning was very simple between A and C. Since the argument mentions "writer`s childhood in poverty" that means harvest and child poverty cant be logically connected, whereas fathers illness and child poverty is logical and fits into context. :)
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imSKR wrote:
Hi AndrewN sir,

Seek your guidance on the below question:

Quote:
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?



My Approach:
fact: X disliked Y

Bioxxs claim: X disliked Y because A ( rule) was responsible for B ( poverty)
A-->B

Weaken could be:
i. C--> B
ii. A and B are coincidental to happen

Quote:
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.


Multiple reasons to reject:
1. irrelevant: what was really to blame. It is not mentioned whether T blamed N
2. Irrelevant : T believed before . What historians now know will not change what T believed ( happened in past)
3. If poor economic conditions: Napolean could have done something , so actually strengthens instead of weaken.

A reject

Question1: Any other reason to reject A?

Quote:
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.

C leads to B. B doesn’t happen because of A.
Question2: Is my approach right?

Quote:
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.


Sir, I was about to be lost in some words but I remembered your words not to miss high level picture.

Confusion was:
A few means some
Argument says: concentrated in ONE individual or institution
It means political power was concentrated in some institutions
Although: democratic ( open to many ), then opposite idea , even it says a few or some.

The high level idea : D still says power was concentrated to limited scope . So D doesn’t weaken even the words can be confusing with a few, few.
question3: Am i right in handling this option?

Please suggest.

Wow, imSKR, I am impressed. You are applying an advanced technique in deciding to put something confusing on hold while you work from a place of comfort and understanding instead. The point here is that the claim is based on Toqueville's apparent belief, so to cast doubt on that claim, we want to show that Toqueville did not, in fact, blame Napoleon's rule for the poverty of his childhood in Normandy. The second point you brought up in your analysis of (A) is exactly what I thought when I dismissed the answer choice. Meanwhile, choice (D) is talking about the United States for some reason, not the Normandy of Toqueville's youth, so it should be an easy red flag, an option that does not need to be broken down further. Finally, concerning (C), yes, apparently Toqueville himself was quite aware that his father, rather than Napoleon, was to blame for the poverty of the family. I may not have thought of the chain of causality as formally as you have outlined, but the process of reasoning was quite similar. Well done on a statistically tough question. Thank you for asking me about it.

- Andrew
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I am confused b/w A & C.

Both the options give reasons that say Napolean was not responsible for poverty of Tocqueville in his childhood.
Rather option A talks about broader perspective that how centralized power(Napolean) was not responsible for the poverty of people whereas option C talks only about poverty of Tocqueville,others may be rich or poor we don't know.Moreover,the arguement is about the effects of Centralized Power,so it should viewed for the mass rather than an individual.

Can anybody explain plz??
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nitindas wrote:
I am confused b/w A & C.

Both the options give reasons that say Napolean was not responsible for poverty of Tocqueville in his childhood.
Rather option A talks about broader perspective that how centralized power(Napolean) was not responsible for the poverty of people whereas option C talks only about poverty of Tocqueville,others may be rich or poor we don't know.Moreover,the arguement is about the effects of Centralized Power,so it should viewed for the mass rather than an individual.

Can anybody explain plz??


even though bad harvests were responsible, this doesn't change what Tocqueville thought. So, A can't be the answer.

C sounds like the best answer.
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C - As it gives a reason for his childhood spent in poverty. It was because of his father's condition and not Napoleon.
Hence weakens the argument.
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generis

Thank you once again. I understood what you said.

Correct me.

Finally the point that comes out is that (tocqueville's poverty) has no bearing on (his disliking government).

You also mean that it is not necessary that always X(cause) should cause Y(effect). That means sometimes effect doe not occur even when cause occurs.

Is that correct??
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Re: Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study of democr [#permalink]
GMATNinja VeritasKarishma generis

I am not able to relate the answer to the argument.

Here is my analysis.

What Tocqueville said:-
Quote:
He believed that a government that centralizes power in one individual or institution is dangerous to its citizens.


According to Biographers , Why Did he believe :-
Quote:
Because he blamed Napoleons rule for the poverty of his childhood in Normandy.


We have to weaken the Biographers claim.

That means we have to find an alternate answer which says that it was not because of Tocqueville disliking the Napoleon but something else.


I have confusion between A and C.

Quote:
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.

Here the alternate is mentioned : bad harvests were really to blame for the poor economic conditions..
Poor economic conditions--> Bad Harvest
Can terrible living conditions lead to Poor economic conditions??
If yes, is this choice strengthening the Biographers claim.


Quote:
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.

How does this relate to Tocqueville concluding that "a government that centralizes power in one individual or institution is dangerous to its citizens"???

How is this reinforcing the conclusion?? I not only want to find an alternate but also want to find an alternate that relates to the claim that Tocqueville made.
And I am not able to do that.


Please help.
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Re: Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study of democr [#permalink]
VeritasKarishma dave13

Thank you for your explanation. However, I have a question

X caused Y

X:-- he blamed Napoleons rule for the poverty of his childhood in Normandy.
Y: Tocqueville disliked centralized government

We have to find alternative cause which in in option C.

Alternative X:--- 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.

My Point how does this new X led to Tocqueville disliking government??

Because his father was ill, why will he dislike government??

I am not getting this point. We have to find that alternative which also mentions his reason for disliking government. But this option C alternative is not doing that.
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Re: Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study of democr [#permalink]
Hi,

Please someone explain me this-
Can I assume the following link-
Napoleans rule--> Poverty--->Due to poverty father was will
Therefore Napoleon is the cause. Are such kind of assumption required.
On that basis I rejected C
Please explain
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Re: Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study of democr [#permalink]
Awesome analysis, but my head is spinning!

Just focusing on the exact conclusion the biographers make:

Conclusion: The biographers make the conclusion that T disliked centralized govt. BECAUSE T blamed Napoleon for the poverty T experienced as a child.


The “standard” for (or in other words what we are looking for in an Answer Choice) the correct answer choice is some fact that makes us believe that T’s dislike for centralized govt. was NOT because he blamed Napoleon for his childhood poverty.

This is the exact “biographer’s claim” that we need to weaken. We know T dislikes centralized govt. as a fact. The correct Weakener will be any fact that gives us a reason to believe that this dislike he felt did NOT come from blaming Napoleon for being poor when he was a child.

Any information that suggests or implies that T had another reason to dislike centralized govt. OTHER THAN blaming Napoleon for his poor childhood will weaken the biographer’s claim.

The conclusion the biographers make is NOT that T dislikes centralized government. We can accept that as fact.

The real claim the biographers make is WHY T dislikes centralized government.

In the passage, all we are given is some background info. about T and the fact that T feels that centralized government is dangerous to its citizens.

-A- answer choice A talks about what historians believe was really the cause for the bad economic times. However, focusing on what historians believe to be the ultimate cause for the bad economic times (and ultimately T’a childhood poverty in Normandy) does not address whether or not T HIMSELF blamed Napoleon for the poverty he experienced in childhood ——> and whether this blame of Napoleon was the REASON WHY T dislikes centralized govt.

Napoleon can be completely blameless and T could have STILL believed that Napoleon was the cause of his poverty, leading T to dislike of centralized govt.

A doesn’t really impact the biographers claim. What historians believe (or what the factual truth is) doesn’t make us think that it is less likely that T’s blame of Napoleon is the REASON/CAUSE for T’s dislike of centralized government.

C, on the other hand, gives us some insight into T’s thought process. If T HIMSELF said that his family would have had a comfortable life had his father not fallen ill, then we have a reason to question whether T’s dislike for centralized govt. was really because of any blame he apportioned to Napoleon for his poverty.

If T said that his family would have lived comfortably if not for his dad’s bad health, then we have a reason to doubt the following:

that T’s dislike of centr. govt. was because of the blame he put on Napoleon for his poor upbringing.

Taking a step back and looking at the overall picture after reading the Fact in C:

If T said that his family would have been OK had his father not fallen ill, it seems less likely that T blaming Napoleon for his poverty is the real reason for his dislike of centralized govt. After all, if T said the family would have lived comfortably in the absence of the father’s bad health, why would his dislike for centralized govt. be the result of any blame he puts on Napoleon for his poor upbringing?

C provides us with a tiny glimpse into T’s “head” and makes us question whether the biographers are correct or not.

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Re: Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study of democr [#permalink]
Hi AndrewN sir,

Seek your guidance on the below question:

Quote:
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?



My Approach:
fact: X disliked Y

Bioxxs claim: X disliked Y because A ( rule) was responsible for B ( poverty)
A-->B

Weaken could be:
i. C--> B
ii. A and B are coincidental to happen

Quote:
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.


Multiple reasons to reject:
1. irrelevant: what was really to blame. It is not mentioned whether T blamed N
2. Irrelevant : T believed before . What historians now know will not change what T believed ( happened in past)
3. If poor economic conditions: Napolean could have done something , so actually strengthens instead of weaken.

A reject

Question1: Any other reason to reject A?

Quote:
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.

C leads to B. B doesn’t happen because of A.
Question2: Is my approach right?

Quote:
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.


Sir, I was about to be lost in some words but I remembered your words not to miss high level picture.

Confusion was:
A few means some
Argument says: concentrated in ONE individual or institution
It means political power was concentrated in some institutions
Although: democratic ( open to many ), then opposite idea , even it says a few or some.

The high level idea : D still says power was concentrated to limited scope . So D doesn’t weaken even the words can be confusing with a few, few.
question3: Am i right in handling this option?

Please suggest.
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Re: Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study of democr [#permalink]
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. (claim of biographers).

A weakener would either show alternate cause or refute this account or reverse the causality. Some of the usual correct answer choice types in a weakener question.

===================

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. -- We are not sure whether bad harvests were themselves due to some policy of Napoleon or due to his management. Eliminate after review of C which provides a better unambiguous reason.

B. Napoleon was notorious for refusing to share power with any of his political associates. -- Strengthener. Eliminate.

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. -- Okay, so this stays in the claim in so far as it says that Tocqueville faced poverty in childhood but provides an alternate reason for such poverty. Keep.

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. -- Irrelevant to the claim of biographers. Eliminate.

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. -- Strengthener. Eliminate.
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Re: Tocqueville, a nineteenth-century writer known for his study of democr [#permalink]
AndrewN wrote:
imSKR wrote:
Hi AndrewN sir,

Seek your guidance on the below question:

Quote:
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?



My Approach:
fact: X disliked Y

Bioxxs claim: X disliked Y because A ( rule) was responsible for B ( poverty)
A-->B

Weaken could be:
i. C--> B
ii. A and B are coincidental to happen

Quote:
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.


Multiple reasons to reject:
1. irrelevant: what was really to blame. It is not mentioned whether T blamed N
2. Irrelevant : T believed before . What historians now know will not change what T believed ( happened in past)
3. If poor economic conditions: Napolean could have done something , so actually strengthens instead of weaken.

A reject

Question1: Any other reason to reject A?

Quote:
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.

C leads to B. B doesn’t happen because of A.
Question2: Is my approach right?

Quote:
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.


Sir, I was about to be lost in some words but I remembered your words not to miss high level picture.

Confusion was:
A few means some
Argument says: concentrated in ONE individual or institution
It means political power was concentrated in some institutions
Although: democratic ( open to many ), then opposite idea , even it says a few or some.

The high level idea : D still says power was concentrated to limited scope . So D doesn’t weaken even the words can be confusing with a few, few.
question3: Am i right in handling this option?

Please suggest.

Wow, imSKR, I am impressed. You are applying an advanced technique in deciding to put something confusing on hold while you work from a place of comfort and understanding instead. The point here is that the claim is based on Toqueville's apparent belief, so to cast doubt on that claim, we want to show that Toqueville did not, in fact, blame Napoleon's rule for the poverty of his childhood in Normandy. The second point you brought up in your analysis of (A) is exactly what I thought when I dismissed the answer choice. Meanwhile, choice (D) is talking about the United States for some reason, not the Normandy of Toqueville's youth, so it should be an easy red flag, an option that does not need to be broken down further. Finally, concerning (C), yes, apparently Toqueville himself was quite aware that his father, rather than Napoleon, was to blame for the poverty of the family. I may not have thought of the chain of causality as formally as you have outlined, but the process of reasoning was quite similar. Well done on a statistically tough question. Thank you for asking me about it.

- Andrew


Hi Andrew, I'm not sure if i understood the 2nd point in @imSKR's analysis of A. My understanding is that we are to weaken the claim of biographers which argues that T disliked N because N caused poverty in Normandy, the place of his childhood.

I favored C over A since A was a little ambiguous in so far as bad harvest could also be due to his management (maybe his cavalry marched on all farmer fields!). C was quite direct and has very little ambiguity which, made me eliminate A.

I'm not sure if my reasons for elimination of A are perfect here? I don't quite understand the timing. If T believed in past, and biographers claim is at a later date - then we have no real info to judge. So if the answer choice is infact giving an alternate reason for the desired effect (dislike for centralised govt), then A actually weakens the argument?

Request your inputs AndrewN :please:
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ravigupta2912 wrote:
Hi Andrew, I'm not sure if i understood the 2nd point in @imSKR's analysis of A. My understanding is that we are to weaken the claim of biographers which argues that T disliked N because N caused poverty in Normandy, the place of his childhood.

I favored C over A since A was a little ambiguous in so far as bad harvest could also be due to his management (maybe his cavalry marched on all farmer fields!). C was quite direct and has very little ambiguity which, made me eliminate A.

I'm not sure if my reasons for elimination of A are perfect here? I don't quite understand the timing. If T believed in past, and biographers claim is at a later date - then we have no real info to judge. So if the answer choice is infact giving an alternate reason for the desired effect (dislike for centralised govt), then A actually weakens the argument?

Request your inputs AndrewN :please:

You do not have to follow each point that someone aims to make in a post to appreciate that an answer choice may be flawed. When I look at (A), all I see is an affirmation of the biographers' claim, namely that in the past, the poverty-stricken people of Normandy, among whom Tocqueville was raised, often blamed Napoleon for the terrible living conditions in Normandy. Whatever historians now believe was the cause or agent of the bad harvests is irrelevant to that claim. If people of the past blamed Napoleon, they blamed Napoleon, plain and simple, and the although framework of (A) is a concession to that very point. (I think you will agree that invoking could-be-true scenarios about the military under Napoleon trampling fields is a much less direct and more challenging approach to justify.)

- Andrew
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