The Path Between the Seas Test | Final 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. Who lives to read about the opening of the Panama Canal in their quiet retirements?

2. For American tourists crowding trains, as impressive as they find the Gatun Dam, locks, and Culebra Cut, what gives them the greatest patriotic pride?

3. No sitting President has left the country before, so what is the reaction when Theodore Roosevelt announces he will visit Panama?

4. Marie Gorgas provides the best impressions of the American era in Panama, noting Colon is "unspeakably dirty" and depressing and the jungle is what?

5. George W. Goethals allows employees to air grievances where?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is occurring during the initial stage of U.S. efforts in Panama that culminates in a 1905 event?

2. What critical event can be associated with Theodore Roosevelt and the date of January 4, 1904?

3. What is the design of the largest moving part of the canal system?

4. What are some of the critical points of the Hay- Herran Treaty ratified by the Senate 73-5 on March 17, 1903?

5. What is it about May 4, 1904, that makes it a significant date in the history of the Canal Zone?

6. George Washington Goethals did not have the easy way with people as his predecessor John Stevens did, so what steps did he take for effective leadership?

7. Rather than shutting the project down, what are some of the thing implemented by the authoritative new chairman of the ICC, Theodore Perry Shonts?

8. What would be an accurate description of John Stevens, the second chief engineer in Panama?

9. What is Panama's social structure like?

10. What is historically significant for Panama about January 15, 1904?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author notes that, despite Theodore Roosevelt's opinion to the contrary, he comes out having played a minor part in Panama's revolution. Is there any evidence of collusion or master strategy in the White House? How much knowledge does the President have as the plot unfolds? Is the President correct in his view that the Colombian position regarding the treaty is nothing but a "holdup"? Could an amicable solution have been achieved in a reasonable time period? What of the position that Roosevelt's "most important action" ensures Colombia will be financially destroyed, being stripped of what is most valuable to it?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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