Reading Cause and Effect Practice Exercises (page 3)

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Updated on Sep 29, 2011

Practice 3: We've Got You Covered 

Read the selection, and then answer the questions that follow.

(1) Trading was a source of great wealth to fourteenth-century merchants in Venice, Italy. Ships brought spices, silk, and other goods from Asia for merchants to sell to wealthy customers. With such expensive items, a merchant could become very rich in just a few years. But it took just one storm at sea or pirate attack to lose an entire cargo.
(2) To lessen the risk, the merchants formed trade unions to provide protection against loss. That was the beginning of insurance. Each merchant paid a certain amount of money to be used to help any member who suffered a loss. Soon, merchants in other countries began to provide "insurance" on their goods.
(3) The first life insurance policy was sold in England in the sixteenth century. A century later, the first fire insurance became available. And in 1752, Benjamin Franklin founded a U.S. insurance company so people didn't lose everything in a fire. Today, thousands of U.S. companies insure businesses and individuals for everything from life and fire to identity theft.
11. Venetian merchants in the fourteenth century became very wealthy because
a. pirates attacked their ships.
b. Benjamin Franklin sold them insurance.
c. they sold spices, silks, and other goods from Asia to rich customers.
d. they had life insurance.
12. Venetian merchants wanted to lessen their risk of losing goods, so
a. they hired pirates to steal some for them.
b. they closed their shops every Saturday.
c. they moved to America.
d. they formed trade unions.
13. Benjamin Franklin founded a U.S. insurance company so that
a. people could buy silk from Asia.
b. people didn't lose everything in a fire.
c. people could join the actor's union.
d. people lost everything in a fire.


1. b
2. c
3. a
4. d
5. c
6. b
7. d
8. d
9. a
10. b
11. c
12. d
13. b
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