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. Which President of the United States is assassinated in 1901?

2. Although Lieutenant Lucien Napoleon-Bonaparte Wyse completes his trip to Bogota, Colombia, in mid-May of 1878, and subsequently conducts a preliminary trip to Nicaragua, where does the lieutenant travel next?

3. 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?

4. Which organization is later described as representing the world's first "transcontinental" railroad?

5. Panama is divided into how many sections for work purposes?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the essential elements, pros and cons, to A.G. Menocal's canal proposal?

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

3. What is the situation like in Panama when Phillippe Banau-Varilla is appointed acting director of the French project?

4. What is notable about the date of October 20, 1893?

5. 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?

6. How does the press report the situation three weeks subsequent to the fire destroying Colon?

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

8. 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?

9. How can the early years of the Companie Universele be described?

10. Who is Rear Adm. John Grimes Walker?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Things are not going well and Phillippe Banau-Varilla offers a solution to get out that David McCullough refers to as "ingenious." It brings tolls in and, more importantly, affords Ferdinand de Lesseps a means of honorably extracting himself. Why does he not take it? What is wrong with the suggestion? Does de Lesseps not have the authority he reflects?

Essay Topic 2

Dr. William Crawford Gorgas is the U.S. Army's foremost expert on tropical diseases when he is assigned to Panama. Where does he receive his training and his experience? From whom does he gain cooperation at Panama, and from whom does he encounter opposition? What are his biggest medical battles? What sorts of problems and why? What successes does he achieve in Panama? How long is he assigned to Panama?

Essay Topic 3

Ferdinand de Lesseps was successful in getting the Suez Canal completed in ten years. Why was Compagnie Universelle attempt in the Panama a failure? What factors that he has control over does he fail to address? What matters are out of his hands? Hindsight is 20/20, but what should he have done differently? Was there any way for de Lesseps to pull Panama off successfully?

(see the answer keys)

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