GRE Reading Comprehension
Recent scholarship has strongly suggested that the aspects of early New England culture that seem to have been most distinctly Puritan, such as the strong religious orientation and the communal impulse, were not typical of New England as a whole, but were largely confined to the two colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Thus, what in contrast to the Puritan colonies appears to Professor Davis to be peculiarly Southern was not only more typically English than the cultural patterns exhibited by Puritan Massachusetts and Connecticut, but also almost certainly characteristic of most other early modern British colonies from Barbados north to Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Within the larger framework of American colonial life, then, not the Southern but the Puritan colonies appear to have been distinctive, and even they seem to have been rapidly assimilating to the dominant cultural patterns by the late Colonial period.
Which of the following statements could most logically follow the last sentence of the passage?
- A Thus, had more attention been paid to the evidence, Davis would not have been tempted to argue that the culture of the South diverged greatly from Puritan culture in the seventeenth century.
- B Thus, convergence, not divergence, seems to have characterized the cultural development of the American colonies in the eighteenth century.
- C Thus, without the cultural diversity represented by the America South, the culture of colonial America would certainly have been homogeneous in nature.
- D Thus, the contribution of Southern colonials to American culture was certainly overshadowed by that of the Puritans.
- E Thus, the culture of America during the Colonial period was far more sensitive to outside influences than historians are accustomed to acknowledge.
Correct Answer: B