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U.S. History and Politics Critical Reading Practice Exercises Set 2 (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 27, 2011

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  1. b.   The first paragraph introduces the passage's thesis and gives an overview about who emigrated to California and why they came.
  2. b.   The passage provides a historical overview supported by facts and interpreted by the author. The author's opinion is evidenced in the last sentence of the passage (lines 48–49): a testimony to their outstanding achievements and contributions.
  3. c.   Line 15 states that the Chinese immigrants proved to be productive and resourceful. Lines 46 and 47 praises their speed, dexterity, and outright perseverance.
  4. e.   The passage states that at the time, the U.S. Constitution reserved the right of naturalization for white immigrants, excluding Chinese immigrants. Chinese immigrants could become citizens, depending on the whim (line 25) of local governments.
  5. c.   Enterprise means an undertaking that is especially risky. It could also mean a unit of economic organization. In this instance, industry fits best within the context.
  6. d.   Chinese immigrants faced discriminatory laws that made them unable to own land or file mining claims (lines 27 and 28).
  7. a.   One meaning of reclaim is to reform or protest improper conduct. Other meanings are to rescue from an undesirable state, or to make something available for human use—this definition applies to the context.
  8. a.   The last sentence provides an example (Chinese immigrants performing hazardous railroad work in brutal conditions) that supports the general thesis of the passage—that Chinese immigrants made major contributions to opening up the West (line 49).
  9. d.   The passage describes the introduction of British cotton technology to America (line 15), specifically to New England.
  10. b.   The passage mentions the Houses of Industry in Boston and Philadelphia (line 5) as an example of the association of cloth manufacturing with relief of the poor (lines 6–7).
  11. b.   The mounting conflict between the colonies and England described in line 1 suggests that America had political and/or economic reasons for developing its own textile industry.
  12. a.   The description of Samuel Slater's immigration to America shows the deceptive measures necessary to evade British export laws and introduce cotton technology to the colonies. Slater posed as a farmer in order to emigrate to America and committed to memory (line 20) the cotton technology he learned in English factory.
  13. a.   The author does not offer Slater's personal viewpoint on child labor, only the fact that Slater hired nine children between the ages of seven and twelve (line 23) to work in his Rhode Island mill.
  14. c.   According to the passage, the knowledge and training acquired in Slater's mill of a generation of millwrights and textile workers (line 25) provided the catalyst for the spread of cotton mills in New England.
  15. e.   One meaning of to model is to display by means of wearing, using, or posing. In this context, to model means to construct or fashion after a pattern.
  16. c.   The author offers a contrast of different viewpoints exemplified by the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson, who supported a republic whose heart was the independent, democratic farmer (lines 43–44) and that of Alexander Hamilton, who promoted manufacturing (line 46) and industrial development.
  17. c.   According to the passage, deep underlying fissures that already existed in the economy (lines 18–19) led to the Great Depression.
  18. a.   The passage is primarily an account that describes the causative factors (for example, tariff and war-debt policies, disproportionate wealth, and the accumulation of debt) that led to the depression and its effects (for example, business failures, bank closings, homelessness, federal relief programs).
  19. c.   Lines 7–8 state that shantytowns were called "Hoovervilles" because citizens blamed their plight on the Hoover administration's refusal to offer assistance. Choice b may be true, but the passage does not directly support this claim.
  20. d.   In this context, coupled means to join for combined effect.
  21. b.   Although policies can refer to regulations or laws (choice c) or guiding principles or theories (choice a), in this context policy refers to a course or method of action of a government or business intended to influence decisions or actions. Choice b is the only selection that implies action.
  22. e.   The passage describes the decade as one in which spending won out over prudent measures like saving (lines 31–32). The wild stock market speculation described in lines 35–37 is another example of the exuberant decade.
  23. b.   The analogy depicts the stock market crash of 1929 as a weakening agent to the economy (the way a stressful event may weaken the body's resistance to illness), not as the sole cause of the depression.
  24. d.   Lines 56–59 state that the New Deal expanded the role of the central government in regulating the economy and creating social assistance programs. Choices b and c are incorrect and choices a and e require an opinion; the author does not offer his or her viewpoint about the New Deal measures.

For more practice on U.S. history and politics critical reading questions, review:

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