Monday, August 31, 2009

Reading Comprehension Exercise for MBA Entrance tests (CAT, GMAT, SNAP, IIFT, MAT)

Passage 21

Bernard Bailyn has recently reinterpreted the early history of the United States by applying new social research findings on the experiences of European migrants. In his reinterpretation, migration becomes the organizing principle for rewriting the history of preindustrial North America. His approach rests on four separate propositions.
The first of these asserts that residents of early modern England moved regularly about their countryside; migrating to the New World was simply a “natural spillover.” Although at first the colonies held little positive attraction for the English—they would rather have stayed home—by the eighteenth century people increasingly migrated to America because they regarded it as the land of opportunity. Secondly, Bailyn holds that, contrary to the notion that used to flourish in America history textbooks, there was never a typical New World community. For example, the economic and demographic character of early New England towns varied considerably.
Bailyn’s third proposition suggests two general patterns prevailing among the many thousands of migrants: one group came as indentured servants, another came to acquire land. Surprisingly, Bailyn suggests that those who recruited indentured servants were the driving forces of transatlantic migration. These colonial entrepreneurs helped determine the social character of people who came to preindustrial North America. At first, thousands of unskilled laborers were recruited; by the 1730’s, however, American employers demanded skilled artisans.
Finally, Bailyn argues that the colonies were a half-civilized hinterland of the European culture system. He is undoubtedly correct to insist that the colonies were part of an Anglo-American empire. But to divide the empire into English core and colonial periphery, as Bailyn does, devalues the achievements of colonial culture. It is true, as Bailyn claims, that high culture in the colonies never matched that in England. But what of (what of 1: what is the situation with respect to 2: what importance can be assigned to) seventeenth-century New England, where the settlers created effective laws, built a distinguished university, and published books? Bailyn might respond that New England was exceptional. However, the ideas and institutions developed by New England Puritans had powerful effects on North American culture.
Although Bailyn goes on to apply his approach to some thousands of indentured servants who migrated just prior to the revolution, he fails to link their experience with the political development of the United States. Evidence presented in his work suggests how we might make such a connection. These indentured servants were treated as slaves for the period during which they had sold their time to American employers. It is not surprising that as soon as they served their time they passed up (pass up: 放弃;错过) good wages in the cities and headed west to ensure their personal independence by acquiring land. Thus, it is in the west that a peculiarly American political culture began, among colonists who were suspicious of authority and intensely anti-aristocratic.
1.   Which of the following statements about migrants to colonial North America is supported by information in the passage?
(A) A larger percentage of migrants to colonial North America came as indentured servants than as free agents interested in acquiring land.
(B) Migrants who came to the colonies as indentured servants were more successful at making a livelihood than were farmers and artisans.
(C) Migrants to colonial North America were more successful at acquiring their own land during the eighteenth century than during the seven-tenth century.
(D) By the 1730’s, migrants already skilled in a trade were in more demand by American employers than were unskilled laborers.D
(E) A significant percentage of migrants who came to the colonies to acquire land were forced to work as field hands for prosperous American farmers.
2.   The author of the passage states that Bailyn failed to
(A) give sufficient emphasis to the cultural and political interdependence of the colonies and England
(B) describe carefully how migrants of different ethnic backgrounds preserved their culture in the united States
(C) take advantage of social research on the experiences of colonists who migrated to colonial North America specifically to acquire land
(D) relate the experience of the migrants to the political values that eventually shaped the character of the United StatesD
(E) investigate the lives of Europeans before they came to colonial North America to determine more adequately their motivations for migrating
3.   Which of the following best summarizes the author’s evaluation of Bailyn’s fourth proposition?
(A) It is totally implausible.
(B) It is partially correct.
(C) It is highly admirable.
(D) It is controversial though persuasive.B
(E) It is intriguing though unsubstantiated.
4.   According to the passage, Bailyn and the author agree on which of the following statements about the culture of colonial New England?
(A) High culture in New England never equaled the high culture of England.
(B) The cultural achievements of colonial New England have generally been unrecognized by historians.
(C) The colonists imitated the high culture of England, and did not develop a culture that was uniquely their own.
(D) The southern colonies were greatly influenced by the high culture of New England.A
(E) New England communities were able to create laws and build a university, but unable to create anything innovative in the arts.
5.   According to the passage, which of the following is true of English migrants to the colonies during the eighteenth century?
(A) Most of them were farmers rather than trades people or artisans.
(B) Most of them came because they were unable to find work in England.
(C) They differed from other English people in that they were willing to travel.
(D) They expected that the colonies would offer them increased opportunity.D
(E) They were generally not as educated as the people who remained in England.
6.   The author of the passage is primarily concerned with
(A) comparing several current interpretations of early American history
(B) suggesting that new social research on migration should lead to revisions in current interpretations of early American history
(C) providing the theoretical framework that is used by most historians in understanding early American history
(D) refuting an argument about early American history that has been proposed by social historiansE
(E) discussing a reinterpretation of early American history that is based on new social research on migration
7.   It can be inferred from the passage that American history textbooks used to assert that
(A) many migrants to colonial North America were not successful financially
(B) more migrants came to America out of religious or political conviction that came in the hope of acquiring land
(C) New England communities were much alike in terms of their economics and demographics
(D) many migrants to colonial North America failed to maintain ties with their European relationsC
(E) the level of literacy in New England communities was very high
8.   The author of the passage would be most likely to agree with which of the following statements about Bailyn’s work?
(A) Bailyn underestimates the effects of Puritan thought on North American culture.
(B) Bailyn overemphasizes the economic dependence of the colonies on Great Britain.
(C) Bailyn’s description of the colonies as part of an Anglo-American empire is misleading and incorrect.
(D) Bailyn failed to test his propositions on a specific group of migrants to colonial North America.A
(E) Bailyn overemphasizes the experiences of migrants to the New England colonies, and neglects the southern and the western parts of the New World.


Passage 22

Many United States companies have, unfortunately, made the search for legal protection from import competition into a major line of work. Since 1980 the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has received about 280 complaints alleging damage from imports that benefit from subsidies by foreign governments. Another 340 charge that foreign companies “dumped” their products in the United States at “less than fair value.” Even when no unfair practices are alleged, the simple claim that an industry has been injured by imports is sufficient grounds to seek relief.
Contrary to the general impression, this quest for import relief has hurt more companies than it has helped. As corporations begin to function globally, they develop an intricate web of marketing, production, and research relationships. The complexity of these relationships makes it unlikely that a system of import relief laws will meet the strategic needs of all the units under the same parent company.
Internationalization increases the danger that foreign companies will use import relief laws against the very companies the laws were designed to protect. Suppose a United States-owned company establishes an overseas plant to manufacture a product while its competitor makes the same product in the United States. If the competitor can prove injury from the imports—and that the United States company received a subsidy from a foreign government to build its plant abroad—the United States company’s products will be uncompetitive in the United States, since they would be subject to duties.
Perhaps the most brazen (marked by contemptuous boldness) case occurred when the ITC investigated allegations that Canadian companies were injuring the United States salt industry by dumping rock salt (rock salt: n.岩盐,石盐), used to de-ice roads. The bizarre aspect of the complaint was that a foreign conglomerate with United States operations was crying for (cry for: v.吵着要, 恳求) help against a United States company with foreign operations. The “United States” company claiming injury was a subsidiary of a Dutch conglomerate, while the “Canadian” companies included a subsidiary of a Chicago firm that was the second-largest domestic producer of rock salt.
1.   The passage is chiefly concerned with
(A) arguing against the increased internationalization of United States corporations
(B) warning that the application of laws affecting trade frequently has unintended consequences
(C) demonstrating that foreign-based firms receive more subsidies from their governments than United States firms receive from the United States government
(D) advocating the use of trade restrictions for “dumped” products but not for other importsB
(E) recommending a uniform method for handling claims of unfair trade practices
2.   It can be inferred from the passage that the minimal basis for a complaint to the International Trade Commission is which of the following?
(A) A foreign competitor has received a subsidy from a foreign government.
(B) A foreign competitor has substantially increased the volume of products shipped to the United States.
(C) A foreign competitor is selling products in the United States at less than fair market value.
(D) The company requesting import relief has been injured by the sale of imports in the United States.D
(E) The company requesting import relief has been barred from exporting products to the country of its foreign competitor.
3.   The last paragraph performs which of the following functions in the passage?
(A) It summarizes the discussion thus far and suggests additional areas of research.
(B) It presents a recommendation based on the evidence presented earlier.
(C) It discusses an exceptional case in which the results expected by the author of the passage were not obtained.
(D) It introduces an additional area of concern not mentioned earlier.E
(E) It cites a specific case that illustrates a problem presented more generally in the previous paragraph.
4.   The passage warns of which of the following dangers?
(A) Companies in the United States may receive no protection from imports unless they actively seek protection from import competition.
(B) Companies that seek legal protection from import competition may incur legal costs that far exceed any possible gain.
(C) Companies that are United States-owned but operate internationally may not be eligible for protection from import competition under the laws of the countries in which their plants operate.
(D) Companies that are not United States-owned may seek legal protection from import competition under United States import relief laws.D
(E) Companies in the United States that import raw materials may have to pay duties on those materials.
5.   The passage suggests that which of the following is most likely to be true of United States trade laws?
(A) They will eliminate the practice of “dumping” products in the United States.
(B) They will enable manufacturers in the United States to compete more profitably outside the United States.
(C) They will affect United States trade with Canada more negatively than trade with other nations.
(D) Those that help one unit within a parent company will not necessarily help other units in the company.D
(E) Those that are applied to international companies will accomplish their intended result.
6.   It can be inferred from the passage that the author believes which of the following about the complaint mentioned in the last paragraph?
(A) The ITC acted unfairly toward the complainant in its investigation.
(B) The complaint violated the intent of import relief laws.
(C) The response of the ITC to the complaint provided suitable relief from unfair trade practices to the complainant.
(D) The ITC did not have access to appropriate information concerning the case.B
(E) Each of the companies involved in the complaint acted in its own best interest.
7.   According to the passage, companies have the general impression that International Trade Commission import relief practices have(答案在第二段第一句话
(A) caused unpredictable fluctuations in volumes of imports and exports
(B) achieved their desired effect only under unusual circumstances
(C) actually helped companies that have requested import relief
(D) been opposed by the business communityC
(E) had less impact on international companies than the business community expected
8.   According to the passage, the International Trade Commission is involved in which of the following?
(A) Investigating allegations of unfair import competition
(B) Granting subsidies to companies in the United States that have been injured by import competition
(C) Recommending legislation to ensure fair
(D) Identifying international corporations that wish to build plants in the United StatesA
(E) Assisting corporations in the United States that wish to compete globally

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