Grade 8, Social Studies, Reading Comprehension Test

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8th Grade Quizzes & Trivia

Students have read about Thomas Malthus theories. In addition, they have read content-related knowledge about trends in Chinese demographics during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Moreover, they are familiar with Confucianism.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    As China's population increased, _____ decreased in Ming China.

    • A.

      The number of babies born

    • B.

      The amount of rural land

    • C.

      The number of people using cars and bicyles

    • D.

      The number of people speaking Chinese

    Correct Answer
    B. The amount of rural land
    Explanation
    As China's population increased in Ming China, the amount of rural land decreased. This can be attributed to the growing demand for agricultural land to support the larger population. As more land was needed for farming and settlements, the available rural land decreased in quantity.

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  • 2. 

    "Nearly 85 percent of Chinese people were farmers" means that ___.

    • A.

      Farmers were a minority group

    • B.

      The royal Chinese family was farmers

    • C.

      All farmers were very rich

    • D.

      Farmers were the majority of the population

    Correct Answer
    D. Farmers were the majority of the population
    Explanation
    The statement "Nearly 85 percent of Chinese people were farmers" indicates that farmers constituted a significant portion of the Chinese population. This suggests that farmers were the majority of the population, as the percentage mentioned is significantly higher than 50%.

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  • 3. 

    Shortages of land in rural areas led to unrest and revolt.  The underlined words are _____.

    • A.

      A cause

    • B.

      An effect

    • C.

      A reason to remain in China

    • D.

      A reason to study English at PAIS

    Correct Answer
    A. A cause
    Explanation
    The underlined words "Shortages of land in rural areas led to unrest and revolt" indicate that the shortage of land is the cause of the unrest and revolt. This means that the shortage of land is the reason or factor that directly leads to the occurrence of unrest and revolt.

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  • 4. 

    One reason that China did not develop commercial capitalism was that _____.

    • A.

      Many Chinese respected merchants

    • B.

      Farmers were taxed heavily

    • C.

      Trade was strictly controlled by the government

    • D.

      Farmers were not respected by society

    Correct Answer
    C. Trade was strictly controlled by the government
    Explanation
    China did not develop commercial capitalism because trade was strictly controlled by the government. This means that the government had significant control over trade activities, limiting the growth and development of a free market economy. With strict control, it would have been difficult for private individuals and businesses to engage in trade and accumulate wealth through commercial activities. This hindered the emergence of a capitalist system that relies on private ownership and free market principles.

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  • 5. 

    Which one of the following was not performed by Chinese families based upon Confucian ideals?

    • A.

      Education of children.

    • B.

      Care of the elderly.

    • C.

      Support of unmarried daughters.

    • D.

      Destruction of religous shrines.

    Correct Answer
    D. Destruction of religous shrines.
    Explanation
    Chinese families based upon Confucian ideals emphasized the importance of education of children, care of the elderly, and support of unmarried daughters. These values were deeply ingrained in Confucian philosophy, which emphasized filial piety and the maintenance of harmonious family relationships. However, the destruction of religious shrines goes against these ideals as it signifies a lack of respect for spiritual beliefs and cultural traditions. Therefore, destruction of religious shrines was not performed by Chinese families based upon Confucian ideals.

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  • 6. 

    Three or four generations lived under one roof in extended families in Qing China.  This means that ___.

    • A.

      Only grandparents lived together

    • B.

      Extended families were quite small

    • C.

      Elderly Chinese were sent to nursing homes

    • D.

      Parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren lived in the same household

    Correct Answer
    D. Parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren lived in the same household
    Explanation
    In Qing China, three or four generations lived together in extended families, which means that parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren all lived in the same household.

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  • 7. 

    A(n) _____ consists of dozens or even hundreds of families.

    • A.

      Burgh

    • B.

      Clan

    • C.

      Porcelain

    • D.

      Anti-Manchu

    Correct Answer
    B. Clan
    Explanation
    A clan consists of dozens or even hundreds of families. A clan is a social group that is based on kinship and shared ancestry. It is a larger unit than a single family and typically includes multiple generations. Clans often have their own traditions, customs, and governance systems. They provide a sense of belonging and identity to their members and play an important role in many cultures around the world.

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  • 8. 

    Which one of the following statements supports the idea that women were considered inferior to men in Ming and Qing society?

    • A.

      Women's mobility was limited as a result of footbinding.

    • B.

      Legally, women can have a second husband.

    • C.

      Legally, a wife could divorce her husband for any reason.

    • D.

      Legally, women could inherit property.

    Correct Answer
    A. Women's mobility was limited as a result of footbinding.
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "Women's mobility was limited as a result of footbinding." This statement supports the idea that women were considered inferior to men in Ming and Qing society because footbinding was a practice specifically targeted towards women. It involved the breaking and binding of women's feet, resulting in lifelong physical disabilities and extreme pain. This practice was seen as a symbol of beauty and status, but it also served to restrict women's mobility and independence, reinforcing the notion that women were subordinate to men.

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  • 9. 

    The Chinese novel, _____, is considered by many as the first realistic social novel.

    • A.

      The Dream of the Red Chamber

    • B.

      The Golden Lotus

    • C.

      Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    • D.

      Woman of Iron

    Correct Answer
    B. The Golden Lotus
    Explanation
    "The Golden Lotus" is considered by many as the first realistic social novel because it explores the lives of various characters from different social classes and depicts their struggles, desires, and relationships in a realistic manner. The novel portrays the social realities of its time, including themes of corruption, lust, and power dynamics. Its detailed and intricate portrayal of society and its characters set a precedent for future realistic social novels in Chinese literature.

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  • 10. 

    Why did arts and literature flourish during the late Ming and early Qing dynasties?

    • A.

      With prosperity, people had more money to buy books and art.

    • B.

      Europeans did not like Chinese art during the Ming Era.

    • C.

      Chinese clans fell apart.

    • D.

      Footbinding ended during this period.

    Correct Answer
    A. With prosperity, people had more money to buy books and art.
    Explanation
    During the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, arts and literature flourished because of the prosperity that occurred during this period. As people became wealthier, they had more disposable income to spend on cultural pursuits such as buying books and art. This increased demand for artistic and literary works, leading to a flourishing of the arts. The statement about Europeans not liking Chinese art during the Ming Era is irrelevant to the question. The decline of Chinese clans and the end of footbinding are also unrelated factors that do not explain the flourishing of arts and literature.

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  • 11. 

    Which one of the following was a Chinese cash crop?

    • A.

      Gold

    • B.

      Porcelain

    • C.

      Indigo

    • D.

      Tobacco

    Correct Answer
    C. Indigo
    Explanation
    Indigo was a Chinese cash crop because it was extensively cultivated and traded in China. Indigo is a plant that produces a blue dye, which was highly valued and used in the textile industry. China had a long history of indigo cultivation and it played a significant role in their economy. The demand for indigo was high both domestically and internationally, making it a profitable cash crop for Chinese farmers.

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  • 12. 

    According to Thomas Malthus, the food supply is _____.

    • A.

      Without end or limit.

    • B.

      Lower than increases in the population.

    • C.

      Higher than increases in population.

    • D.

      Always constant.

    Correct Answer
    B. Lower than increases in the population.
    Explanation
    Thomas Malthus believed that the food supply is lower than increases in the population. He argued that population grows exponentially while food production grows linearly, leading to a situation where population outstrips the available food supply. This imbalance between population growth and food production results in scarcity and competition for resources, ultimately leading to famine, disease, and other forms of population control. Malthus' theory highlights the importance of population control measures and sustainable agricultural practices to ensure the availability of food for all.

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