TOEFL iTP | Reading | Course Preview & Vocabulary-In-Context | Civil War

Welcome back to a WONDERFUL reading special! So, if you’re listening to this on my ESL podcast, we’re just two days away from the full launch (September 15th). However, if you’re watching this on September 3rd (Facebook, IG, or YouTube), you’re in luck!

This is a wonderful pre-course episode for what’s in store in my wonderful reading course (TOEFL iTP), and this is a full reading lesson that you will see in my course, too. The course, between now and September 22nd, can be bought at a super reduced cost (bundle) with Structure & Written Expression for just $100! That’s right, three courses for just $100 for the first week and you can buy them now, too!

Nonetheless, the techniques I have in this video/podcast are going to be superb in understanding the context of paragraphs and these types of questions. Tune in!

Reading Passage

The Civil War created feverish manufacturing activity to supply critical material, especially in the North. When the fighting stopped, the stage was set for dramatic economic growth. Wartime taxes on production vanished, and the few taxes that remained leaned heavily on real estate, not on business. The population flow from farm to city increased, and the labor force it provided was buttressed by millions of newly arrived immigrants willing to work for low wages in the mills of the North and on the railroad crews of the Midwest and West.

            Government was nothing if not accommodating. It established tariff barriers, provided loans and grants to build a transcontinental railroad, and assumed a studied posture of nonintervention in private enterprise. The social Darwinism of British philosopher Herbert Spencer and American economist William Graham Summer prevailed. The theory was that business, if left to its own devices, would eliminate the weak and nurture the strong. But as business expanded, rivalry heated up. In the 1800’s, five railroads operating between New York and Chicago were vying for traffic, and two more were under construction. As a result of the battle, the fare between the cities decreased to $1. The petroleum industry suffered from similar savage competition, and in the 1870’s, many oil industries failed.

  1. The word “feverish” in line 1 is closest in meaning to
  1. Extremely rapid
  2. Sickly and slow
  3. Very dangerous
  4. Understandable
  • Which of the following is closest in meaning to the word “critical” in line 1?
  1. Industrial
  2. Serious
  3. Crucial
  4. Insulting
  • The phrase “the stage was set” in line 2 is closest in meaning to which of the following?
  1. The play was over
  2. The progress continued
  3. The foundation was laid
  4. The direction was clear
  • The phrase “real estate” in line 4 refers to
  1. Tools and machines
  2. Actual income
  3. New enterprises
  4. Land and buildings
  • The word “buttressed” in line 5 is closest in meaning to
  1. Concerned
  2. Supplemented
  3. Restructured
  4. Enriched
  • The word “accommodating” in line 8 is closest in meaning to
  1. Persistent
  2. Indifferent
  3. Balanced
  4. Helpful
  • Which of the following could best be substituted for the word “posture” in line 10?
  1. Stature
  2. Predicament
  3. Position
  4. Situation
  • The word “prevailed” in line 11 is closest in meaning to
  1. Influenced
  2. Triumphed
  3. Premiered
  4. Evolved
  • The phrase “left to its own devices” in line 12 means
  1. Forced to do additional work
  2. Allowed to do as it pleased
  3. Made to change its plans
  4. Encouraged to produce more goods
  1. The word “vying” in line 14 is closest in meaning to
  1. Competing
  2. Hoping
  3. Arranging
  4. Caring
  1. The word “savage” in line 16 is closest in meaning to
  1. Fierce
  2. Growing
  3. Surprising
  4. Genuine

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Reading Course

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