AP English Language and Composition Practice Test 25

Questions 1-10 refer to the following information.

The passage is a segment of a book written early in the 20th century.

In a recent bulletin of the Superintendent of the Census for 1890 appear these
significant words: "Up to and including 1880 the country had a frontier of settlement,
but at present the unsettled area has been so broken into by isolated bodies of
Linesettlement that there can hardly be said to be a frontier line. In the discussion of its
5extent, its westward movement, etc., it cannot, therefore, any longer have a place in
the census reports." This brief official statement marks the closing of a great historic
movement. Up to our own day American history has been in a large degree the history
of the colonization of the Great West. The existence of an area of free land, its
continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain
10American development.
Behind institutions, behind constitutional forms and modifications, lie the vital
forces that call these organs into life and shape them to meet changing conditions.
The peculiarity of American institutions is the fact that they have been compelled to
adapt themselves to the changes of an expanding people-to the changes involved in
15crossing a continent, in winning a wilderness, and in developing at each area of this
progress out of the primitive economic and political conditions of the frontier into
the complexity of city life. Said Calhoun in 1817, "We are great, and rapidly-I was
about to say fearfully-growing!" So saying, he touched the distinguishing feature of
American life. All peoples show development; the germ theory of politics has been
20sufficiently emphasized. In the case of most nations, however, the development has
occurred in a limited area; and if the nation has expanded, it has met other growing
peoples whom it has conquered. But in the case of the United States we have
a different phenomenon. Limiting our attention to the Atlantic coast, we have the
familiar phenomenon of the evolution of institutions in a limited area, such as the
25rise of representative government in complex organs; the progress from primitive
industrial society, without division of labor, up to manufacturing civilization. But
we have in addition to this a recurrence of the process of evolution in each western
area reached in the process of expansion. Thus American development has exhibited
not merely advance along a single line, but a return to primitive conditions on a
30continually advancing frontier line, and a new development for that area. American
social development has been continually beginning over again on the frontier. This
perennial rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward with its new
opportunities, its continuous touch with the simplicity of primitive society, furnish
the forces dominating the American character. The true point of view in the history
35of this nation is not the Atlantic coast, it is the Great West. Even the slavery struggle,
which is made so exclusive an object of attention by writers like Professor von Holst,
occupies its important place in American history because of its relation to westward
In this advance, the frontier is the outer edge of the wave-the meeting point
40between savagery and civilization. Much has been written about the frontier from
the point of view of border warfare and the chase, but as a field for the serious study
of the economist and the historian it has been neglected.
The American frontier is sharply distinguished from the European frontier-a
fortified boundary line running through dense populations. The most significant
45thing about the American frontier is, that it lies at the hither edge of free land. In the
census reports it is treated as the margin of that settlement which has a density of
two or more to the square mile. The term is an elastic one, and for our purposes does
not need sharp definition.

1. In the context of the passage as a whole, the quotation from the Superintendent of the Census (lines 2–6) presents

2. In its context, the phrase "vital forces" (lines 11–12) refers to

3. Which of the following phrases illustrates "the germ theory of politics" (line 19)?

4. The "different phenomenon" mentioned in line 23 refers to all of the following EXCEPT

5. The dominant rhetorical feature of the sentence, "This perennial . . . character" (lines 31–34) is:

6. In context, the word "chase" (line 41) is best interpreted to mean

7. In the passage the author employs which of the following rhetorical strategies?

8. The function of the sentence in lines 43–44 ("The American frontier . . . . populations") is to

9. The attitude of the author toward the closing of the frontier is primarily one of

10. Which of the following best captures the main theme of the passage?