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. What do closed subcommittees at the 1879 Congris International d'Ytudes du Canal Interocyanique in Paris establish that the Nicaragua canal route is?

2. After forming his private investment syndicate, Ferdinand de Lesseps next obtains the Wyse Concession when he purchases the Turr Syndicate for $2 million to be paid how?

3. Days after Congris International d'Ytudes du Canal Interocyanique of 1879 concludes, Ferdinand de Lesseps is behind 270 rich investors who are to receive what upon a firm being legally established?

4. In late 1879, Ferdinand de Lesseps initiates publication of what propaganda organ?

5. 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?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is it yellow fever causes instant panic in comparison to other tropical diseases?

2. 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?

3. Why is it that Ferdinand de Lesseps takes on doing the Suez Canal?

4. What takes place in Havana, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War of 1898 that encourages Theodore Roosevelt in his zeal for a canal in Central America?

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

6. What do Ferdinand de Lesseps and his companions find in Panama City?

7. What transpires when newspaper headlines proclaim the "Great Canal Crash" to readers around the world?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

John Wallace is the first chief engineer for the American project at Panama. Why is he selected? What is his background? What pluses and what minus does he bring? What successes does he achieve, and what failures occur on his watch, this initial period? Why does he leave the job?

Essay Topic 2

David McCullough reports that the second Hay-Pauncefote Treaty is the most important of Theodore Roosevelt's presidency. Why does Roosevelt disapprove of the initial treaty? How does he demonstrate his objections? Why does Roosevelt state he is "delighted" by the November 18, 1901 signing of the revised treaty?

Essay Topic 3

"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?

(see the answer keys)

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