The Path Between the Seas Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

David McCullough
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Yeas were primarily French, yet A.G. Menocal's analysis of the 1879 Congris International d'Ytudes du Canal Interocyanique canal site vote showed how many were French Society of Engineers members?

2. On May 2, 1902, the second key swaying event following the Morgan Committee reports is Mount Pelye exploding on Martinique; how far away and how many killed?

3. Chapter 8 summarizes what evolves in the courtrooms and subsequent to massive corporate collapse that affects how many French investors?

4. Upon their arrival in Panama in late 1879, Ferdinand de Lesseps and his group take the train into the jungle and enter the valley of what wide, brown, looping waterway?

5. Armand Rousseau's report declares abandoning the Panama project will harm French prestige and advocates what?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who are the three prominent directors of the Turr Syndicate and what are their backgrounds?

2. What is the result of Gaston Blanchet's proposal for a 400' wide swath to ease surveying?

3. What is the most important committee, and how does Ferdinand de Lesseps steer it?

4. What critical things transpire in regard to the French canal project in July 1886?

5. It is stated the Navy recalls 1850 because Lt. Isaac Strain and his party nearly perish trying to locate a path at Darien, yet what are other reasons beyond that?

6. What are some of the problems author David McCullouch finds Ferdinand de Lesseps has as being key to his failure?

7. How is the work organized under the French?

8. What does the swindler Cornelius Herz do before he flees to France?

9. What are the two routes U.S. proponents of a Central American canal fight for?

10. As the Morgan Committee rejects the recommendations of the Walker Commission, what are the rumors that are circulating around Washington?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

David McCullough notes in his initial chapter that all early 19th-century canal plans are preposterous. Every survey is flawed due to assumptions and inaccurate data. Yet the Suez Canal was successfully opening on November 1869, after ten years of construction. It is twice as long as the Panama Canal, which did not open until 1914. Actual work on the Panama did not start until 1880, a decade following the Suez opening. Central America afforded at least 19 possible locations to select from. Explain what causes so many problems in constructing the Panama Canal. What took so long? Why was there such a lengthy battle in Washington? What caused the loss of so many lives?

Essay Topic 2

"The Hero," subtitle for Chapter 2, is a reference to the sincere respect that surrounded Ferdinand de Lesseps subsequent to his success with the Suez Canal. He was in his 60s then, and could easily have retired on his tremendous success. Yet in 1875, now about 70 years old, he expresses public interest in an interoceanic canal in Central America, and joins with the Turr Syndicate. Is de Lesseps a willing confederate? Is he the guiding light? Is he merely an innocent dupe of the Turr Syndicate leaders? The "Great Engineer" may not have been that, during his life he was many things, but certainly no fool. Why needlessly risk his reputation?

Essay Topic 3

What is social life like in the Canal Zone in the latter half of the construction period? Has the war on pestilence and disease been effective? What is offered to prompt individuals to come to Panama, or bring their families? What is the cost of living in Panama like? What social events are available to employees after work hours?

(see the answer keys)

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