ISEE Lower Level Reading : Identifying and Analyzing Supporting Ideas in History Passages

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ISEE Lower Level Reading

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : History Passages

"What Do We Remember About History?" by Daniel Morrison (2014)

Henry the Eighth is most commonly remembered for the unique fact that he took six different wives over the course of his lifetime. There is even a famous ditty uttered by English schoolchildren to help them remember the fate of his various wives: “Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.”

However, during Henry’s rule, England permanently ended its long-standing relationship with the Catholic church and became forever a Protestant kingdom. This break has had long-felt repercussions up to and including the present day. Yet, in spite of the deep importance of Henry’s decision to leave the family of Catholic nations, he is best known for taking six wives. This difference between importance of actions and nature of popular remembrance should tell us something about the collective understanding of history—it is often the trivial and merely interesting that survives, whilst the significant but less fascinating can fade from memory.

According to the author, what should Henry the Eighth be most remembered for?

Possible Answers:

Dying too young

Declaring war on France

Marrying six different wives

Permanently establishing Protestantism in England

Misunderstanding history

Correct answer:

Permanently establishing Protestantism in England

Explanation:

According to the author, Henry the Eighth should be most remembered for “permanently establishing Protestantism in England.” The author says “Yet, in spite of the deep importance of Henry’s decision to leave the family of Catholic nations, he is best known for taking six wives.” You might have been tempted to say that Henry the Eighth should be remembered as “misunderstanding history," but the author is concerned that his readers and other modern-day people misunderstand history, not that Henry the Eighth did specifically.

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