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V10-23

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V10-23 [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2015, 12:14
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Question Stats:

83% (00:54) correct 17% (01:05) wrong based on 23 sessions

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Given the status of the United States as a world power for the past seventy years, it is hard for many present-day Americans to understand the isolationist tendencies of the early twentieth century. A prominent example of isolationism is the United States Senate’s refusal to ratify the treaty to join the League of Nations in 1920. Yet, this decision is entirely understandable given the circumstances of the country at the time.

In 1923, many of the League’s members were surveyed and asked to give their opinions on the success of the body. The answers indicated that the members had a strong belief that the League was a powerful mechanism for the settlement of international disputes and had already been successful. However, these members indicated that the League could only continue to function effectively if there was agreement among the great powers. A British intellectual, Gilbert Murray, included the United States in this group. Murray’s opinion was that if the United States joined the League and fully participated in its goals, the great powers of Europe and Asia would follow. This would lead to the League being “made” for all time. However, Murray failed to understand the thinking of the average American and their elected representatives in Congress. The country had only reluctantly been drawn into the first World War, and most citizens had no desire for a repeat. The biggest obstacle to the United States’ joining the League was Article X of its charter.

Article X committed the members of the League to collective security: if a League nation was attacked by an external power, the other members were bound to come to its assistance. Perceptive members of the U.S. Senate, including Henry Cabot Lodge and Frank Brandegee, rightly concluded that this provision could unwillingly involve the United States in another international war, when our participation was neither wanted nor supported by the country at large. For example, one of the League’s early successes was in area of Upper Silesia. The area had historically been part of Prussia, but was claimed by Poland after the war. Despite a plebiscite in which the majority of Silesians favored returning to Germany, Poland continued to assert its claim to the area. The League was able to intervene in 1921 and forge an agreement in which the area was divided between the two countries. However, if the dispute had not been resolved, war between Germany and Poland could have begun anew. If the United States was a full member of the League, it might have found itself bound under Article X to joining a war that it had little stake in.


The main purpose of the article is to

A. undermine the argument of Gilbert Murray
B. discuss the results of a survey of members of the League of Nations
C. defend an action of the United States Senate
D. describe the content of Article X of the League of Nations treaty
E. argue that the United States should not join any international organization, since it could draw the country into unwanted conflicts
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re V10-23 [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2015, 12:14
Official Solution:


Given the status of the United States as a world power for the past seventy years, it is hard for many present-day Americans to understand the isolationist tendencies of the early twentieth century. A prominent example of isolationism is the United States Senate’s refusal to ratify the treaty to join the League of Nations in 1920. Yet, this decision is entirely understandable given the circumstances of the country at the time.

In 1923, many of the League’s members were surveyed and asked to give their opinions on the success of the body. The answers indicated that the members had a strong belief that the League was a powerful mechanism for the settlement of international disputes and had already been successful. However, these members indicated that the League could only continue to function effectively if there was agreement among the great powers. A British intellectual, Gilbert Murray, included the United States in this group. Murray’s opinion was that if the United States joined the League and fully participated in its goals, the great powers of Europe and Asia would follow. This would lead to the League being “made” for all time. However, Murray failed to understand the thinking of the average American and their elected representatives in Congress. The country had only reluctantly been drawn into the first World War, and most citizens had no desire for a repeat. The biggest obstacle to the United States’ joining the League was Article X of its charter.

Article X committed the members of the League to collective security: if a League nation was attacked by an external power, the other members were bound to come to its assistance. Perceptive members of the U.S. Senate, including Henry Cabot Lodge and Frank Brandegee, rightly concluded that this provision could unwillingly involve the United States in another international war, when our participation was neither wanted nor supported by the country at large. For example, one of the League’s early successes was in area of Upper Silesia. The area had historically been part of Prussia, but was claimed by Poland after the war. Despite a plebiscite in which the majority of Silesians favored returning to Germany, Poland continued to assert its claim to the area. The League was able to intervene in 1921 and forge an agreement in which the area was divided between the two countries. However, if the dispute had not been resolved, war between Germany and Poland could have begun anew. If the United States was a full member of the League, it might have found itself bound under Article X to joining a war that it had little stake in.


The main purpose of the article is to

A. undermine the argument of Gilbert Murray
B. discuss the results of a survey of members of the League of Nations
C. defend an action of the United States Senate
D. describe the content of Article X of the League of Nations treaty
E. argue that the United States should not join any international organization, since it could draw the country into unwanted conflicts


(A) While this author does undermine the argument of Gilbert Murray, it is not the main purpose of the article.

(B) This passage does this in the first paragraph, but it is not the main purpose.

(C) Correct. The purpose of the article is to defend and justify the United States Senate’s refusal to allow the country to join the League of Nations.

(D) This passage does this in the third paragraph, but it is not the main purpose.

(E) The passage defends the Senate’s refusal to ratify the treaty to join the League of Nations, but does not argue that the United States should not join any international organization.


Answer: C
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Re V10-23 [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2017, 05:04
I think this is a high-quality question and I agree with explanation.
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Re V10-23   [#permalink] 08 Dec 2017, 05:04
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