GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: XDF

The historian Frederick J. Turner wrote in the 1890's that the agrarian discontent that had been developing steadily in the United States since about 1870 had been ' precipitated by the closing of the internal frontier--that is, the depletion of available new land needed for further expansion of the American farming system. Actually, however, new lands were taken up for farming in the United States throughout and beyond the nineteenth century. The emphasis of the presumed disappearance of the American frontier obscured the great importance of changes in the conditions and consequences of international trade that occurred during the second half of the nineteenth century. Huge tracts of land were being settled and farmed in Argentina, Australia, Canada, and in the American West, and these areas were joined with one another and with the countries of Europe into an interdependent market system. Consequently, agrarian depressions no longer were local or national in scope, and they struck several nations whose internal frontiers had not vanished or were not about to vanish. Between the early 1870's and the 1890,s, the mounting agrarian discontent in America paralleled the almost uninterrupted decline in the prices of American agricultural products on foreign markets.

Question List: 1 2 3 4

The author is primarily concerned with

  • A showing that a certain interpretation is better supported by the evidence than is an alternative explanation
  • B developing an alternative interpretation by using sources of evidence that formerly had been unavailable
  • C questioning the accuracy of the evidence that most scholars have used to counter the author's own interpretation
  • D reviewing the evidence that formerly had been thought to obscure a valid interpretation
  • E presenting evidence in support of a controversial version of an earlier interpretation.

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