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. When is the sanitation problem remedied at Colon when the town burns to the ground?

2. In late 1879, a large entourage sails to Panama arriving in what season?

3. A sea-level canal built at Panama is just impossible, and using 1880s equipment, the lock canal approach maximizes what?

4. Ferdinand de Lesseps' name comes up repeatedly before the Morgan Committee through March 1902, reportedly like a what?

5. Once digging the "Great Trench" starts at Emperador on January 20, 1882, it moves how quickly?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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. 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?

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

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

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

10. What are the reasons Admiral Ammen opposes the official U.S. plan?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

No scandal in France surrounding the liquidation of Compagnie Universelle reportedly would have taken place except for Ydouard Drumont's publication of "La France Juive" in 1886. What is it about these articles that caused such a commotion? Are the allegations therein true? Why is there no previous complaint? Is there any connection between his writings and his imprisonment for libel?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

The Panama Canal is built under three American presidents: Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, and Woodrow Wilson. Who can be given the most credit for U.S. success there? What actions or efforts, before, during, or after their time in office, substantiate your position in selecting one over the other two?

(see the answer keys)

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