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. A huge dam taming the Chagres changes the slope, increasing the "cube" excavation by how much?

2. What does the public prosecutor, Jules Quesnay de Beaurepaire, propose in October 1892?

3. The Morgan Committee rejects the Walker Commission recommendations, the Senate debates the issues for two weeks, and Mt. Pelye's explosion and a Nicaraguan stamp turn odds how?

4. While dredging predominates in the lowlands, steam shovels, picks, shovels, and what else are key in the uplands?

5. Who rebuilds Colon after it goes up in flames, killing 18 and leaving some 8,000 homeless?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. 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?

8. 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?

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

10. What does Ferdinand de Lesseps and those accompanying him encounter at Barbacoas?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In 1884, at age 26, Phillippe Banau-Varilla is put in charge of operations at the Culebra and Pacific end of the Panama Canal. When the director general and his assistant resign, Banau-Varilla becomes acting head of the Panama project until 1886. Why do they place so young an individual in such important leadership positions? What education and experience does he have? How well is he able to perform? What happens when a permanent director general arrives? Where does Banau-Varilla go?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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