GED Social Studies : Other Passage Connections

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Social Studies

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Example Questions

Example Question #51 : Text Analysis

Adapted from A Short History of the United States (1908) by Edward Channing.

The New England colonies were founded by English Puritans who left England because they could not do as they wished in their homeland. All Puritans were agreed in wishing for a freer government than they had in England under the Stuart kings, and in state matters they were really the liberals of their time. In religious matters, however, they were not all of one mind. Some of them wished to make only a few changes in the church. These were called Non-Conformists. Others wished to make so many changes in religion that they could not stay in the English state church. These were called Separatists. The settlers of Plymouth were Separatists; the settlers of Boston and neighboring towns were Non-Conformists.

The settlers of Boston wanted to __________.

Possible Answers:

leave their church to found a new one

establish an extremely reactionary society 

completely reform their church 

establish an extremely liberal society

make some small changes within their church

Correct answer:

make some small changes within their church

Explanation:

The author notes that the settlers of Boston were called "non-conformists." The author also tells us that "some of them wished to make only a few changes in the Church. These were called Non-Conformists." So, we can be relatively confident in saying that the settlers of Boston wanted to make some small changes in their church. 

Example Question #52 : Text Analysis

Adapted from A Short History of the United States by Edward Channing (1908)

In the seventeenth century, the geography of America was very little understood in Europe, and the persons who drew up colonial charters understood it least of all. Charter lines frequently overlapped and were often very indistinct. This was particularly true of the Maryland and Pennsylvania boundaries. Penn and Baltimore tried to come to an agreement, but they never could agree. Years afterward, when they were both dead, their heirs agreed to have a line drawn without much regard to the charters. This line was finally surveyed by two English engineers, Mason and Dixon, and is always called after their names. It is the present boundary line between Pennsylvania and Maryland. In colonial days, it separated the colonies where slavery was the rule from those where labor was generally free. In the first half of the nineteenth century, it separated the free states from the slave states. Mason and Dixon's line, therefore, has been a famous line in the history of the United States.

This passage is primarily about __________.

Possible Answers:

the constant disagreements between Penn and Baltimore

relations between early colonists and Native Americans

the history and significance of the Mason-Dixon line

the inability of Europeans to grasp the vastness of America

the territory of Lord Baltimore 

Correct answer:

the history and significance of the Mason-Dixon line

Explanation:

Although this passage begins by discussing the disagreement between Penn and Baltimore and Europeans' inability to understand American geography, the primary focus of the text is the development of the Mason-Dixon line and its significance throughout American history.

Example Question #53 : Text Analysis

Adapted from A Smaller History of Greece from the Earliest Times to the Roman Conquest by William Smith (1897)

During the sixth century before the common era, three other national festivals—the Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian games—which were at first only local became open to the whole nation. The Pythian games were celebrated in every third Olympic year, on the Cirrhaean plain in Phocis, under the superintendence of the Amphictyons. The games consisted not only of matches in gymnastics and of horse and chariot races, but also of contests in music and poetry. They soon acquired celebrity, and became second only to the great Olympic festival. The Nemean and Isthmian games occurred more frequently than the Olympic and Pythian. They were celebrated once in two years—the Nemean in the valley of Nemea between Phlius and Cleonae—and the Isthmian by the Corinthians, on their isthmus, in honor of Poseidon (Neptune). As in the Pythian festival, contests in music and in poetry, as well as gymnastics and chariot-races, formed part of these games. Although the four great festivals of which we have been speaking had no influence in promoting the political union of Greece, they nevertheless were of great importance in making the people feel that they were all members of one family, and in cementing them together by common sympathies and the enjoyment of common pleasures. The frequent occurrence of these festivals, for one was celebrated every gear, tended to the same result. The Greeks were thus annually reminded of their common origin.

What is the primary focus of this text?

Possible Answers:

The unique characteristics of each of the various games and festivals participated in by the Greeks

How the Greeks came to develop a shared identity through mutual participation in games and festivals

Why the Greeks developed a love of philosophy and democracy

Why the Greeks were so opposed to foreigners of all kinds

How athletic and fit the ancient Greeks were

Correct answer:

How the Greeks came to develop a shared identity through mutual participation in games and festivals

Explanation:

The primary focus of this text is to explain how the mutual participation in games and festivals engendered a certain collective identity among the ancient Greek people. This is clear where, near the end of the passage, the author says that "although the four great festivals of which we have been speaking had no influence in promoting the political union of Greece, they nevertheless were of great importance in making the people feel that they were all members of one family, and in cementing them together by common sympathies and the enjoyment of common pleasures."

Example Question #1 : Other Passage Connections

Adapted from A Smaller History of Greece from the Earliest Times to the Roman Conquest (1897) by William Smith.

The physical features of the country exercised an important influence upon the political destinies of the people. Greece is one of the most mountainous countries of Europe. Its surface is occupied by a number of small plains, either entirely surrounded by limestone mountains or open only to the sea. Each of the principal Grecian cities was founded in one of these small plains; and, as the mountains which separated it from its neighbours were lofty and rugged, each city grew up in solitary independence. But at the same time it had ready and easy access to the sea, and Arcadia was almost the only political division that did not possess some territory upon the coast. Thus shut out from their neighbours by mountains, the Greeks were naturally attracted to the sea, and became a maritime people. Hence they possessed the love of freedom and the spirit of adventure, which have always characterised, more or less the inhabitants of maritime districts.

The primary purpose of this passage is to __________.

Possible Answers:

demonstrate the Greek love for mountains and the sea

suggest that new research needs to be carried out into the development of oceangoing vessels in Ancient Greece 

explain how the physical characteristics of the terrain shaped the identity of the Greek people

highlight the role that the sea played in the emergence of the Greek trading empire

show how Greek art and philosophy were defined by the mountainous life lived by most Greek people

Correct answer:

explain how the physical characteristics of the terrain shaped the identity of the Greek people

Explanation:

The author spends the whole of this passage talking about the physical terrain of Greece, but why he does this is best summarized in the first sentence. The author says that "the physical features of the country exercised an important influence upon the political destinies of the people." The author wants to explain how the physical characteristics of Greece shaped the identity of the people who lived there. 

Example Question #57 : Ged Social Studies

Adapted from A Smaller History of Greece from the Earliest Times to the Roman Conquest (1897) by William Smith.

Greece is the southern portion of a great peninsula of Europe, washed on three sides by the Mediterranean Sea. It is bounded on the north by the Cambunian mountains, which separate it from Macedonia. It extends from the fortieth degree of latitude to the thirty-sixth, its greatest length being not more than 250 English miles, and its greatest breadth only 180. Its surface is considerably less than that of Portugal. This small area was divided among a number of independent states, many of them containing a territory of only a few square miles, and none of them larger than an English county. But the heroism and genius of the Greeks have given an interest to the insignificant spot of earth bearing their name, which the vastest empires have never equalled.

The name of Greece was not used by the inhabitants of the country. They called their land Hellas, and themselves Hellenes. At first the word Hellas signified only a small district in Thessaly, from which the Hellenes gradually spread over the whole country. The names of Greece and Greeks come to us from the Romans, who gave the name of Graecia to the country and of Graeci to the inhabitants.

The relatively small size of Greece is highlighted in order to __________.

Possible Answers:

amplify the achievements of the Greeks

express sorrow that Greece could not be more influential

show how easily Greece was conquered by the Romans

make comparisons between Greece and Portugal

diminish the achievement of the Romans 

Correct answer:

amplify the achievements of the Greeks

Explanation:

The key to understanding why the author highlights the relatively small size of Greece can be found in the concluding sentence of the first paragraph. The author says "But the heroism and genius of the Greeks have given an interest to the insignificant spot of earth bearing their name, which the vastest empires have never equalled." The "vastest" (biggest) empires have never matched the achievements of Greece. The author is trying to amplify how impressive the achievements of the Greeks are by highlighting how small the country is. 

Example Question #55 : Text Analysis

Adapted from A Short History of the United States (1908) by Edward Channing.

The first colonists sailed for Virginia in December, 1606. They were months on the way and suffered terrible hardships. At last they reached Chesapeake Bay and settled on a peninsula on the James, about thirty miles from its mouth. Across the little isthmus which connected this peninsula with the mainland they built a strong fence, or stockade, to keep the Indians away from their huts. Their settlement they named Jamestown. The early colonists of Virginia were not very well fitted for such a work. Some of them were gentlemen who had never labored with their hands; others were poor, idle fellows whose only wish was to do nothing whatever. There were a few energetic men among them as Ratcliffe, Archer, and Smith. But these spent most of their time in exploring the bay and the rivers, in hunting for gold, and in quarreling with one another. With the summer came fevers, and soon fifty of the one-hundred-and-five original colonists were dead. Then followed a cold, hard winter, and many of those who had not died of fever in the summer died of cold. The colonists brought little food with them, they were too lazy to plant much corn, and they were able to get only small supplies from the Indians. Indeed, the early history of Virginia is given mainly to accounts of "starving times." Of the first thousand colonists not one hundred lived to tell the tale of those early days.

Which of these is not a problem that the author mentions when highlighting the difficulties faced by the colonists?

Possible Answers:

Attacks by Native Americans

The most useful men spent their time on frivolous activities

Many of the men were unprepared for a life of constant work

They brought too little food with them from England

Fever and disease

Correct answer:

Attacks by Native Americans

Explanation:

Throughout this passage, the author highlights how difficult life was for the early colonists. They were unprepared for the work; they neither had enough food nor planted enough corn; the best men spent their time hunting, fighting, and searching for gold; in the summer, they were killed by fevers and in the winter by the cold. The author does not suggest that they were attacked by Native Americans. He notes that they put up a fence to protect them, but does not say if it was necessary to do so; furthermore, he tells us that they were able to get "small supplies" from the Native Americans—suggesting that the Native Americans were actually of some limited help, rather than a difficulty. 

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