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

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #6 : Language In History Passages

Adapted from Women’s Political Future by Frances E. W. Harper (1893)

The world has need of all the spiritual aid that woman can give for the social advancement and moral development of the human race. The tendency of the present age, with its restlessness, religious upheavals, failures, blunders, and crimes, is toward broader freedom, an increase of knowledge, the emancipation of thought, and recognition of the brotherhood of man; in this movement woman, as the companion of man, must be an equal. So close is the bond between man and woman that you cannot raise one without lifting the other. The world cannot move without woman's sharing in the movement, and to help give a right impetus to that movement is woman's highest privilege.

If the fifteenth century discovered America to the Old World, the nineteenth is discovering woman to herself. Not the opportunity of discovering new worlds, but that of filling this old world with fairer and higher aims than the greed of gold and the lust of power, is hers. Through weary, wasting years men have destroyed, dashed in pieces, and overthrown, but today we stand on the threshold of woman's era, and woman's work is grandly constructive. In her hand are possibilities whose use or abuse must tell upon the political life of the nation, and send their influence for good or evil across the track of unborn ages.

In the context of the first paragraph, what does the author believe is the “tendency of the present age”?

Possible Answers:

Male subservience

Recognition of universal equality

Political stability

Female empowerment

Religious accord

Correct answer:

Recognition of universal equality

Explanation:

The author states that the tendency of the present age is “toward broader freedom” and “recognition of the brotherhood of man.” The idea of the importance of female empowerment is mentioned often throughout the passage and is a central point; however, the author expressly states that the tendency of the present age is towards a universal acceptance, not simply an acceptance of women.

Example Question #1 : Identifying And Analyzing Supporting Ideas In History Passages

"Newton's Mistakes" by Daniel Morrison (2014)

Isaac Newton has often been thought of as the greatest thinker in human history. His insight into the role that gravity plays in existence and physics completely changed our collective understanding of the universe and our place in it. He was understood in his own time as a genius. One famous quote by Alexander Pope (himself quite an intelligent man) demonstrates the deep affection felt for Newton: “Nature, and nature’s mysteries, lay bathed in night, God said 'Let there be Newton,’ and all was light.”

Yet, when the famous economist John Kenneth Galbraith purchased Newton’s journals and diaries at auction, he found to his astonishment, and partial dismay, that more than half of Newton’s work was dedicated to the practice of alchemy—the pursuit of turning ordinary materials into precious metals. Our current understanding of science tells us that this is impossible and that Newton was wasting a significant proportion of his time.

Another famous story about Newton tells of his attempts to figure out the effect of direct exposure to sunlight on the human eye. To carry out this experiment he decided to stare at the sun for as long as humanly possible to see what would happen. The effect, as you might have guessed, was that he very nearly went permanently blind and was indeed completely unable to see for two days.

One might determine from these stories that Newton was not the genius we consider him to be—that he was, in fact, a fool; however, it should tell us something about the nature of genius. It is not merely deep intelligence, but the willingness to try new things and the rejection of the fear of failure. Newton was not a genius in spite of his mistakes, but because of them.

Why does the author believe that Newton’s attempts to turn ordinary material into precious metal was a waste of his time?

Possible Answers:

Because it caused Newton to neglect his family and his personal life

Because it is not scientifically possible to do so

Because his contributions to mathematics were far more important

Because it distracted Newton from focusing on expanding his theories on gravity

Because it had already been achieved by other scientists

Correct answer:

Because it is not scientifically possible to do so

Explanation:

When discussing Newton’s attempts to turn ordinary materials into precious metals, the author declares, “Our current understanding of science tells us that this is impossible and that Newton was wasting a significant proportion of his time.” This detail tells you that the author believes Newton was wasting his time because it is not “scientifically possible to do so.” You could say that it “distracted Newton from focusing” elsewhere, but this answer requires a little more inference than the correct answer, which is directly stated.

Example Question #1 : Identifying And Analyzing Supporting Ideas In History Passages

Adapted from Scientific American Supplement No. 1157 Vol. XLV (March 5th, 1898)

Since William II of Germany ascended the throne as German Emperor and King of Prussia on June 15, 1888, the eyes of Europe have been fixed on him. The press of the world delights in showing up his weak points, and the "war lord" undoubtedly has them, but, at the same time, he has qualities which are to be admired and which make him conspicuous among the rulers of Europe.

He is popular in Germany, and it is not surprising, for, in spite of being autocratic to the last degree, he is honest, courageous, ambitious, hard working, and a thorough German, being intensely patriotic. Indeed, if the people of Germany had the right to vote, they would undoubtedly choose their present ruler, for, while the virtues we have named may seem commonplace, they are not so when embodied in an emperor. One thing which places William at a disadvantage is his excessive frankness. His mistakes have largely resulted from his impulsive nature coupled with chauvinism, which is, perhaps, excusable, in a ruler.

Since the time when William was a child, he evidenced a strong desire to become acquainted with the details of the office to which his lofty birth entitled him. In the army he has worked his way up like any other officer and has a firm grasp on all the multifarious details of the military establishment of the great country. He believes in militarism, or in force, to use a more common expression, but in this he is right, for it has taken two hundred and fifty years to bring Prussia to the position it now holds, and what it has gained at the point of the sword must be retained in the same way. The immense sacrifices which the people make to support the army and navy are deemed necessary for self-preservation, and with France on one side and Russia on the other, there really seems to be ample excuse for it.

Which of these is not an argument the author employs to defend William II’s militarism?

Possible Answers:

Germany is beset with religious heresy

The territorial gains of Germany were won in battle

All of these arguments are employed.

Germany is surrounded by potential enemies.

A strong army is the only way to defend Prussian gains

Correct answer:

Germany is beset with religious heresy

Explanation:

The author discusses William II’s militarism at length when he says, “He believes in militarism . . . in this he is right, for it has taken two hundred and fifty years to bring Prussia to the position it now holds, and what it has gained at the point of the sword must be retained in the same way . . . and with France on one side and Russia on the other, there really seems to be ample excuse for it.“ The only answer choice that is missing from this excerpt is a mention of the threat of religious heresy; indeed, throughout the whole passage, the author makes no mention of religion, so we can comfortably suggest this is not an argument employed by the author.

Example Question #1 : Passage Reasoning In Natural Science Passages

Adapted from "The Treatment of Rattlesnake Bite by Permanganate of Potassium, Based on Nine Successful Cases" by Amos W. Barber, M.D. in Scientific American Supplement No. 841, Vol. XXXIII (February 13th 1892)

Poisoned wounds, inflicted by the fangs of the rattlesnake, are happily rarer each year, since, as the country is becoming more populated, the crotalus is rapidly being exterminated. Yet, considering the disregard that characterizes the cowboy in his treatment of this reptile, it is astonishing that this class of injury is not more common.

It is the invariable custom among the cattlemen to dismount and destroy these snakes whenever they are seen. This is readily accomplished, since a slight blow will break the back. This blow is, however, generally delivered by means of the quirt, a whip not over two and a half feet long, and hence a weapon which brings the one who wields it in unpleasant proximity to the fangs of the reptile. A still more dangerous practice, and one which I have frequently seen, is a method of playing with the rattlesnake for the humor of the cowboy at the expense of a "tenderfoot." It is well known that unless a snake is coiled or in other specific positions, it cannot strike. On this theory, a mounted cowboy first puts a rattler to flight, then seizes it by the tail, and, swinging it so rapidly around his head that it is impossible for it to strike, sets off in pursuit of whoever has exhibited the most terror at the sight of the reptile. When within fair distance, he hurls the snake at the unfortunate victim, in the full assurance that even should it hit him it cannot bury its fangs in his flesh, since it cannot coil until it reaches the ground. This is a jest of which I have frequently been the victim, nor have I yet learned to appreciate it with unalloyed mirth.

The first case of rattlesnake wound to which I was called occurred in 1885. A cowboy was bitten on the foot, the fang penetrating through the boot. I saw him about twenty-four hours after he was struck. There was enormous swelling, extending up to the knee. There was no special discoloration about the wound; in fact, the swelling disguised this to such an extent that it was impossible to determine exactly where the fangs had entered. The patient was suffering great pain. His mind was clear, but he was oppressed with a dreadful anxiety.

Why does the author believe the number of rattlesnake poisonings is decreasing each year?

Possible Answers:

People are being more careful around rattlesnakes

Changes in climate have reduced the rattlesnake population

The population of people is growing

All of the other answers are given as reasons.

Treatment of rattlesnake bites is improving

Correct answer:

The population of people is growing

Explanation:

In the first paragraph, the author directly states, “Poisoned wounds, inflicted by the fangs of the rattlesnake, are happily more rare each year, since, as the country is becoming more populated, the crotalus is rapidly being exterminated.” So, bites are more rare because the country is “becoming more populated.” The author certainly would not say “more careful behavior” is contributing to the decline in rattlesnake bites, nor does he mention climate. It is perhaps reasonable to infer that he might say “better treatment,” as he is advocating for one such procedure, but that those treatments which came before had little success, this might be better seen as why the author would think rattlesnake poisonings would continue to decrease.

Example Question #2 : Literal Comprehension

Adapted from Ten Great Events in History by James Johonnot (1887)

Following the Council of Clermont, preparations for invading the Holy Land began in almost every country of Europe. The nobles mortgaged their estates, the farmer endeavored to sell his plow, and the artisan his tools to purchase a sword. During the spring and summer of 1096, the roads teemed with crusaders, all hastening to the towns and villages appointed as the rendezvous of the district. Very few knew where Jerusalem was. Some thought it fifty thousand miles away, and others imagined it but a month's journey; while at the sight of every tower or castle the children exclaimed "Is that Jerusalem?" 

Little attempt at any organization was made, though the multitude had three leaders. It is said that the first band, consisting of twenty thousand foot, with only eight horsemen, were led by a Burgundian gentleman called Walter the Penniless. They were followed by a rabble of forty thousand men, women, and children led by Peter the Hermit. Next followed a band of fifteen thousand men, mostly Germans, under a priest named Gottschalk.

Like their nominal leader, each of the followers of Walter the Penniless was poor to penury, and trusted for subsistence to the chances of the road. In Hungary, they met with loud resistance from the people, whose houses they attacked and plundered, but in Bulgaria, the natives declared war against the hungry horde; they were dispersed and almost exterminated. Some, including Walter, reached Constantinople, where they awaited Peter and his companions. The Hermit, who had the same difficulties to contend with in marching through Hungary and Bulgaria, reached Constantinople with his army greatly reduced, and in a most deplorable condition. Here he and Walter joined forces. They were hospitably received by the emperor, but their riotous conduct soon wearied out his patience, and he was glad to listen to a proposal to help them at once pass into Asia. 

The rabble accordingly crossed the Bosphorus, and took up their quarters in Bethynia. Here they became perfectly ungovernable, ravaging the country around, and committing incredible excesses; at length Peter, utterly disgusted and despairing, left them to their own guidance and returned to Constantinople. The bravest of them were annihilated in a battle fought near Nice, Walter the Penniless falling with seven mortal wounds. Between two and three thousand alone escaped. The emperor dismissed them, with orders to return home, and thus ended the disastrous expedition of Walter the Penniless and Peter the Hermit.

The fifteen thousand Germans led by Gottschalk never reached Constantinople, being slaughtered or dispersed during their passage through Hungary. Thus, within a few months, upward of a quarter of a million of human beings were swept out of existence. And they had spent their lives, without one important result having been accomplished. This was the worst paroxysm of the madness of Europe.

What problems did the early crusades described in the passage cause those living in Hungary and Bulgaria?

Possible Answers:

The crusaders brought disease with them.

The crusaders took the population with them on the crusade.

The crusaders took their jobs.

The crusaders pillaged and caused violence.

The crusaders were a drain on food resources and housing.

Correct answer:

The crusaders pillaged and caused violence.

Explanation:

The author states that “In Hungary, they met with loud resistance from the people, whose houses they attacked and plundered, but in Bulgaria, the natives declared war against the hungry horde.” So, in Hungary, the crusaders caused pillaging, whilst in Bulgaria, they caused war, so violence and pillaging should be in the answer. There is no mention of disease or any of the other possible answers, except being a drain on food resources.

Example Question #3 : Understanding And Evaluating Opinions And Arguments In Narrative Social Science Passages

Adapted from A Modern History from the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon by John Lord (1874)

The period at which this history commences—the beginning of the sixteenth century—when compared with the ages which had preceded it, since the fall of the Roman empire, was one of unprecedented brilliancy and activity. It was a period very fruitful in great people and great events, and, though stormy and turbulent, was favorable to experiments and reforms. The nations of Europe seem to have been suddenly aroused from a state of torpor and rest, and to have put forth new energies in every department of life. The material and the political, the moral and the social condition of society was subject to powerful agitations, and passed through important changes.

Great discoveries and inventions had been made. The use of movable types, first ascribed to Gutenberg in 1441 and to Peter Schœffer in 1444, changed the whole system of book-making, and vastly increased the circulation of the scriptures, the Greek and Latin classics, and all other valuable works, which, by the industry of the monkish copyist, had been preserved from the ravages of time and barbarism. Gunpowder, whose explosive power had been perceived by Roger Bacon as early as 1280, though it was not used on the field of battle until 1346, had changed the art of war, which had greatly contributed to undermining the feudal system. The polarity of the magnet, also discovered in the middle ages, and not practically applied to the mariner's compass until 1403, had led to the greatest event of the fifteenth century—the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, in 1492. The impulse given to commerce by this and other discoveries of unknown continents and oceans, by the Portuguese, the Spaniards, the Dutch, the English, and the French, cannot be here enlarged on. America revealed to the astonished European its riches in gold and silver; and Indian spices, and silks, and drugs, were imported through new channels. Mercantile wealth, with all its refinements, acquired new importance in the eyes of the nations. The world opened towards the east and the west. The horizon of knowledge extended. Popular delusions were dispelled. Liberality of mind was acquired. The material prosperity of the western nations was increased. Tastes became more refined, and social intercourse more cheerful.

According to the passage, how did gunpowder contribute most significantly to the changes of the sixteenth century?

Possible Answers:

It allowed rebellions to be more easily quashed.

All of these answers are equally true.

It changed the way warfare was fought.

It eroded the influence of the feudal system.

It undermined the power of kings.

Correct answer:

It eroded the influence of the feudal system.

Explanation:

Answering this question requires you to both read carefully and to be able to make inferences and think laterally. The author says near the beginning of the second paragraph that “gunpowder . . . had changed the art of war, which had greatly contributed to undermining the feudal system." From here, then, you could perhaps reasonably answer one of two things: gunpowder changed the way war was fought, or it reduced the influence of the feudal system. However, see how the changing of the way warfare was fought is what causes, or greatly contributes to, the undermining of the feudal system. The change in war is not the most significant effect of gunpowder, but rather what the change in war caused by gunpowder changes about society.

Example Question #2 : Identifying And Analyzing Supporting Ideas In History Passages

Adapted from A Modern History from the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon by John Lord (1874)

The history of Europe in the sixteenth century is peculiarly the history of the wars of kings and of their efforts to establish themselves and their families on absolute thrones. The monotonous and almost exclusive record of royal pleasures and pursuits shows in how little consideration the people were held. They struggled, and toiled, and murmured as they do now. They probably had the same joys and sorrows as in our times. But, in these times, they have considerable influence on the government, the religion, the literature, and the social life of nations. In the sixteenth century, this influence was not so apparent, but power of all kinds seemed to emanate from kings and nobles, at least from wealthy and cultivated classes. When this is the case, when kings give a law to society, history is not unphilosophical that recognizes chiefly their enterprises and ideas.

The rise of absolute monarchy on the ruins of feudal states is one of the chief features of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. There was everywhere a strong tendency to centralization. Provinces, before independent, were controlled by a central government. Standing armies took the place of feudal armies. Kings took away from nobles the right to coin money, administer justice, and impose taxes. The power of the crown became supreme and unlimited.

But some monarchs were more independent than others, in proportion as the power of nobles was suppressed, or as the cities sided with the central government, or as provinces were connected and bound together. The power of Charles V was somewhat limited in Spain by the free spirit of the fascinating Cortes, and in Germany by the independence of the princes of the empire. But in France and England, the king was more absolute, although he did not rule over so great extent of territory as did the emperor of Germany; this is one reason why Francis I proved so strong an antagonist to his more powerful rival.

Which of these is not a factor that the author considers when analyzing the relative power of kings?

Possible Answers:

The impact of charismatic individuals

All of these factors are considered.

The autonomy of cities

The power of the nobles

The size of the kings' territories

Correct answer:

All of these factors are considered.

Explanation:

The third paragraph is primarily concerned with comparing the relative power of kings, particularly the Spanish and French Kings Charles V and Francis I. The author notes that the size of their territory is a factor when he says “But in France and England, the king was more absolute, although he did not rule over so great extent of territory as did the emperor of Germany." The author notes that the power of nobles and the autonomy of cities are each a factor when he says, “But some monarchs were more independent than others, in proportion as the power of nobles was suppressed, or as the cities sided with the central government." Finally, the answer choice about charismatic individuals might have confused you, but the author addresses the importance of charismatic individuals when he says, “The power of Charles V was somewhat limited in Spain by the free spirit of the fascinating Cortes." Cortes was a Spanish explorer noted for bringing large quantities of gold back to Spain.

Example Question #3 : Identifying And Analyzing Supporting Ideas In History Passages

Adapted from A Modern History from the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon by John Lord (1874)

The history of Europe in the sixteenth century is peculiarly the history of the wars of kings and of their efforts to establish themselves and their families on absolute thrones. The monotonous and almost exclusive record of royal pleasures and pursuits shows in how little consideration the people were held. They struggled, and toiled, and murmured as they do now. They probably had the same joys and sorrows as in our times. But, in these times, they have considerable influence on the government, the religion, the literature, and the social life of nations. In the sixteenth century, this influence was not so apparent, but power of all kinds seemed to emanate from kings and nobles, at least from wealthy and cultivated classes. When this is the case, when kings give a law to society, history is not unphilosophical that recognizes chiefly their enterprises and ideas.

The rise of absolute monarchy on the ruins of feudal states is one of the chief features of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. There was everywhere a strong tendency to centralization. Provinces, before independent, were controlled by a central government. Standing armies took the place of feudal armies. Kings took away from nobles the right to coin money, administer justice, and impose taxes. The power of the crown became supreme and unlimited.

But some monarchs were more independent than others, in proportion as the power of nobles was suppressed, or as the cities sided with the central government, or as provinces were connected and bound together. The power of Charles V was somewhat limited in Spain by the free spirit of the fascinating Cortes, and in Germany by the independence of the princes of the empire. But in France and England, the king was more absolute, although he did not rule over so great extent of territory as did the emperor of Germany; this is one reason why Francis I proved so strong an antagonist to his more powerful rival.

The author’s underlined comment that “standing armies took the place of feudal armies” is meant to support the author’s statement that the sixteenth century __________.

Possible Answers:

was a time of relative liberation for the common people

was a time of waning royal power

witnessed many brutal conflicts fought by large and well-trained armies

witnessed a prolonged period of centralization of power

saw the demise of the feudal system

Correct answer:

witnessed a prolonged period of centralization of power

Explanation:

The author’s comments about how standing armies replaced feudal armies occurs in the second paragraph, which begins, “The rise of absolute monarchy on the ruins of feudal states is one of the chief features of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. There was everywhere a strong tendency to centralization.” The author then spends the rest of the second paragraph providing evidence for this “strong tendency towards centralization” that he claims took place. You can thus reasonably conclude that the author’s point about standing armies is meant to illustrate how the sixteenth century was a time of extended centralization of power. You might have been tempted to answer that this point is meant to illustrate the demise of the feudal system, but the author seems to be indicating that the feudal system was already destroyed by the time this change took place.

Example Question #4 : Identifying And Analyzing Supporting Ideas In History Passages

Adapted from The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Van Loon (1921)

In all matters of government, the Greek democracy recognised only one class of citizens—the freemen. Every Greek city was composed of a small number of free born citizens, a large number of slaves and a sprinkling of foreigners.

At rare intervals (usually during a war) the Greeks showed themselves willing to confer the rights of citizenship upon the "barbarians," as they called the foreigners, but this was an exception. Citizenship was a matter of birth. You were an Athenian because your father and your grandfather had been Athenians before you. However great your distinction as a trader or a soldier, if you were born of non-Athenian parents, you remained a "foreigner" until the end of time.

The Greek city, therefore, whenever it was not ruled by a king or a tyrant, was run by and for the freemen, and this would not have been possible without a large army of slaves, who outnumbered the free citizens at the rate of six or five to one, and who performed those tasks to which we modern people must devote most of our time and energy if we wish to provide for our families and pay the rent of our apartments. The slaves did all the cooking and baking and candlestick making of the entire city. They were the tailors and the carpenters and the jewelers and the school-teachers and the bookkeepers and they tended the store and looked after the factory while the master went to the public meeting to discuss questions of war and peace, or visited the theatre to see the latest play of Aeschylus or hear a discussion of the revolutionary ideas of Euripides, who had dared to express certain doubts upon the omnipotence of the great god Zeus.

Indeed, ancient Athens resembled a modern club. All the freeborn citizens were hereditary members, and all the slaves were hereditary servants who waited upon the needs of their masters, and it was very pleasant to be a certain member of the organisation.

When we talk about slaves, we do not mean the sort that once existed in the United States. It is true that the position of those slaves who tilled the fields was a very unpleasant one, but the average freeman who had come down in the world and who had been obliged to hire himself out as a farm hand led just as miserable a life. In the cities, furthermore, many of the slaves were more prosperous than the poorer classes of the freemen. For the Greeks, who loved moderation in all things, did not like to treat their slaves after the fashion that afterward was so common in Rome, where a slave had as few rights as an engine in a modern factory and could be thrown to the wild animals upon the smallest pretext.

The Greeks believed slavery to be a necessary institution, without which no city could possibly become the home of a truly civilized people.

In the second paragraph the author highlights __________.

Possible Answers:

the lack of freemen living in Ancient Greece

the low life expectancy of a slave in Ancient Greece

how unlikely it was for a freeman to associate with a foreigner in Ancient Greece

how inaccessible Greek citizenship was to a foreigner

the democratic nature of Ancient Greece

Correct answer:

how inaccessible Greek citizenship was to a foreigner

Explanation:

In the second paragraph the author is primarily highlighting how difficult it was for a foreigner in Ancient Greece to gain citizenship rights. The freeman status in Greek society was distinctly inaccessible. This can be most clearly seen when the author says “But this was an exception. Citizenship was a matter of birth . . . if you were born of non-Athenian parents, you remained a 'foreigner' until the end of time.”

Example Question #5 : Identifying And Analyzing Supporting Ideas In History Passages

Adapted from The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Van Loon (1921)

In all matters of government, the Greek democracy recognised only one class of citizens—the freemen. Every Greek city was composed of a small number of free born citizens, a large number of slaves and a sprinkling of foreigners.

At rare intervals (usually during a war) the Greeks showed themselves willing to confer the rights of citizenship upon the "barbarians," as they called the foreigners, but this was an exception. Citizenship was a matter of birth. You were an Athenian because your father and your grandfather had been Athenians before you. However great your distinction as a trader or a soldier, if you were born of non-Athenian parents, you remained a "foreigner" until the end of time.

The Greek city, therefore, whenever it was not ruled by a king or a tyrant, was run by and for the freemen, and this would not have been possible without a large army of slaves, who outnumbered the free citizens at the rate of six or five to one, and who performed those tasks to which we modern people must devote most of our time and energy if we wish to provide for our families and pay the rent of our apartments. The slaves did all the cooking and baking and candlestick making of the entire city. They were the tailors and the carpenters and the jewelers and the school-teachers and the bookkeepers and they tended the store and looked after the factory while the master went to the public meeting to discuss questions of war and peace, or visited the theatre to see the latest play of Aeschylus or hear a discussion of the revolutionary ideas of Euripides, who had dared to express certain doubts upon the omnipotence of the great god Zeus.

Indeed, ancient Athens resembled a modern club. All the freeborn citizens were hereditary members, and all the slaves were hereditary servants who waited upon the needs of their masters, and it was very pleasant to be a certain member of the organisation.

When we talk about slaves, we do not mean the sort that once existed in the United States. It is true that the position of those slaves who tilled the fields was a very unpleasant one, but the average freeman who had come down in the world and who had been obliged to hire himself out as a farm hand led just as miserable a life. In the cities, furthermore, many of the slaves were more prosperous than the poorer classes of the freemen. For the Greeks, who loved moderation in all things, did not like to treat their slaves after the fashion that afterward was so common in Rome, where a slave had as few rights as an engine in a modern factory and could be thrown to the wild animals upon the smallest pretext.

The Greeks believed slavery to be a necessary institution, without which no city could possibly become the home of a truly civilized people.

Which of these is not an argument the author employs to defend the institution of slavery in Ancient Greece?

Possible Answers:

He describes how freemen who worked the fields led much more difficult lives than slaves.

He suggests that slaves could earn their freedom through hard work and dedication.

He argues that slavery in Greece contributed to the rise of civilized society and high ideals.

He compares the favorable treatment of Greek slaves with the unpleasant treatment of slaves in Rome and the United States.

He explains how slaves who lived in the cities were often wealthier and more successful than freemen.

Correct answer:

He suggests that slaves could earn their freedom through hard work and dedication.

Explanation:

The author spends the majority of the second paragraph describing how immobile Greek society was, so we can determine that slaves probably could not “earn their freedom.” This can be seen in this excerpt “however great your distinction as a trader or a soldier, if you were born of non-Athenian parents, you remained a 'foreigner' until the end of time.” Or, again, in a later paragraph “All the freeborn citizens were hereditary members, and all the slaves were hereditary servants, and waited upon the needs of their masters, and it was very pleasant to be a certain member of the organisation.”

The other answer choices are all employed by the author. The only one that is not directly stated and therefore requires explanation is the answer choice “He argues that slavery in Greece contributed to the rise of civilized society and high ideals.” This can be proved by considering the following two excerpts "The Greeks believed slavery to be a necessary institution, without which no city could possibly become the home of a truly civilised people, [and] . . . they tended the store and looked after the factory while the master went to the public meeting to discuss questions of war and peace."

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