• NEW! FREE Beat The GMAT Quizzes
    NEW! FREE Beat The GMAT Quizzes
    NEW! FREE Beat The GMAT Quizzes
    Hundreds of Questions Highly Detailed Reporting Expert Explanations TAKE A FREE GMAT QUIZ
  • 7 CATs FREE!
    If you earn 100 Forum Points

    Engage in the Beat The GMAT forums to earn
    100 points for $49 worth of Veritas practice GMATs FREE

    Veritas Prep
    VERITAS PRACTICE GMAT EXAMS
    Earn 10 Points Per Post
    Earn 10 Points Per Thanks
    Earn 10 Points Per Upvote
    REDEEM NOW

Commonplace items

This topic has 1 member reply

Commonplace items

Post
Source: MGMAT

Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development. For example, though most people today associate nutmeg with simple baked goods, this common spice once altered the course of political history. For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually these nuts, from which the spice is made, ended up as a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian spice merchants. Eager to establish a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Bandas, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the nutmeg trade.

However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. At the time, the Dutch, inveterate traders, were more interested in the spice trade than in the mercantile value of New Amsterdam and so accepted the offer. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York.

Q1
Which of the following is mentioned in the passage as a reason for the initial interest of the Netherlands in the Banda Islands?

A: Increased economic competition with Britain
B: Disappointment with the economic development of New Amsterdam
C: Frustration with the practices of Venetian spice merchants
D: Failure to cultivate nutmeg in other locations
E: Desire to restrict access to a commodity

OA: E

Q2
The second paragraph performs which of the following functions in the passage?

A: It offers specific information to complete the logic of the author's claims.
B: It summarizes and evaluates the evidence given thus far.
C: It presents the author's main point to explain a unique situation.
D: It cites a particular case to demonstrate the importance of historical change.
E: It discusses the necessary outcome of the author's assertions.

OA: A

Q3
The passage suggests which of the following about the Banda Islands?

A, The British arrived in the islands before the Dutch.
B, Nutmeg was the only spice that grew on the islands.
C, Natives of the islands produced nutmeg from the nuts of the nutmeg tree.
D, The Banda Islands are still in the possession of the Dutch.
E, The local economy of the islands depended completely on nutmeg

OA: A

Q4
The author mentions Venetian spice merchants in order to

A: discuss the role of Venice in the history of the trade of luxury items
B: explain how nutmeg was introduced into Europe
C: establish that Venetian merchants obtained a monopoly on the importation of nutmeg into Europe
D: demonstrate the importance of spices in Italy
E: explain why nutmeg was considered a luxury item

OA: B

I got all the answer while re-working.



Last edited by akhpad on Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:01 pm; edited 3 times in total

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Joined
16 May 2010
Posted:
392 messages
Followed by:
10 members
Upvotes:
116
GMAT Score:
770
Facebook Logo
Post
Question 1

Eager to establish a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Bandas, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the nutmeg trade.

This points to choice E. Desire to restrict access to a commodity.

This is because if the Dutch wanted to monopolize and control nutmeg trade, it can be reasonably inferred that they wanted to restrict access to nutmegs.

Question 2

Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development....this common spice once altered the course of political history.

This is the author's main point. The example of nutmegs and the Banda islands is provided as evidence of this point.

So the main purpose of the second para is to draw the connection between this evidence and the author's main point

This points to choice A. It offers specific info to complete the logic of the author's claims.

Without the second para, this connection is not valid.

D is a contender too, but it is slightly distorting the main point by referring to "importance of historical change". Also this is not a particular case, but a continuation of the example in the first para.

_________________
~Abhay

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. -- Andre Gide

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Target Test Prep
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Veritas Prep
  • PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    PrepScholar GMAT
  • The Princeton Review
    FREE GMAT Exam
    Know how you'd score today for $0

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    The Princeton Review
  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Varsity Tutors
  • Magoosh
    Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Magoosh
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Kaplan Test Prep
  • Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Economist Test Prep

Top First Responders*

1 GMATGuruNY 56 first replies
2 Brent@GMATPrepNow 51 first replies
3 Jay@ManhattanReview 49 first replies
4 fskilnik@GMATH 46 first replies
5 Rich.C@EMPOWERgma... 23 first replies
* Only counts replies to topics started in last 30 days
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members

Most Active Experts

1 image description Scott@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

180 posts
2 image description fskilnik@GMATH

GMATH Teacher

162 posts
3 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

94 posts
4 image description Max@Math Revolution

Math Revolution

91 posts
5 image description GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

78 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts