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. On his 1879 trip to New York, Lieutenant Lucien Napoleon Bonaparte Wyse travels to Washington and sees whom?

2. Which delegate to the 1879 Congris International d'Ytudes du Canal Interocyanique in Paris takes into consideration the deadly climate of Panama?

3. When is the rainy season and how much is dropped along the line cutting through seven miles of swamps and marsh, beyond Gatun?

4. Julesa Dingler restores order and confidence upon arrival, distributes the workload, purges the disloyal, and formulates what?

5. Who is installed as Director General of the entire Panama project by Charles de Lesseps to replace Pillipe Bunau-Varilla in mid-1885?

Short Essay Questions

1. What increases the impetus to build a canal, and why?

2. What role does Chicago Times-Herald reporter Walter Wellman play in the Central American canal scenario?

3. How do the French account for 1/3 of all their canal digging?

4. The chances against Panama being selected as the location for a canal over Nicaragua are reportedly 100 to 1, until what two events occur?

5. Why does Ferdinand de Lesseps lose interest in the Suez Canal?

6. How is the work organized under the French?

7. What do you find to be Ferdinand de Lesseps' most interesting characteristic and why?

8. What is the professional path for potential French civil engineers in the 19th-century?

9. What does Ferdinand de Lesseps accomplish between the 1879 Congris International d'Ytudes du Canal Interocyanique in Paris and sailing for Panama in December that year?

10. In Chapter 1 of his book, David McCullough views a number of expeditions that were made in Central America in the early 19th-century looking for the ideal route, but what did he find as common to every canal proposal?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Chapter 3 shows that only Ferdinand de Lesseps's preconceived opinions and views matter at the 1879 Congris International d'Ytudes du Canal Interocyanique in Paris. Why does de Lesseps not hold a legitimate meeting? Would it still not have come down to Panama or Nicaragua, as it did in the debates years later in Walker vs. Morgan? He is definitely a "take charge" type, but why does he continuously shrug off critical facts presented to him? Why does his success not carry over to Panama?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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