TOEFL Reading Multiple Choice Exercise 12

Read the passage and choose the best answer to each question.

1. What country introduced economic reforms into the Rhineland?




2. Was Metternich able to stop completely the desire for liberal reforms?



3. Did all political liberals want the same reforms?



4. What did businessmen NOT want?

    reduction of tolls

    restrictive trade practices

    common system of currency and measurements

5. Why was Prussia against German unification?

    Unification was seen as a threat to Prussia's existence.

    Too many languages were spoken.

    Unification would mean the disappearance of small states.

6. In the first paragraph, what is the meaning of the word "reforms"?



    changes to improve the situation

7. In the second paragraph, what is the meaning of word "liberals"?




8. In the second paragraph, what is the meaning of the word "camps"?




9. Where does the sentence -- "They also wanted a reduction of the numerous tolls that made road and river travel expensive and slow." -- best belong?

    start of second paragraph

    end of first paragraph

    end of second paragraph

Economic and Political Trends Toward Unification In 19th Century Germany

It was not possible for Metternich and his allies to suppress completely the desire for liberal reforms, including the establishment of constitutional parliamentary government, economic freedom, and civil liberties. Some of these reforms had already been under discussion during the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, and awareness of their desirability had spread during the Napoleonic era. In addition, the economic reforms introduced into the Rhineland by France had taken hold. The business class that formed after 1815 pressed for abolition of restrictive trade practices favored by traditional handicraft guilds. Businessmen also sought a common currency and system of measurements for Germany.

Among those groups desiring reform, there was, ironically, little unity. Many businessmen were interested only in reforms that would facilitate commerce, and they gave little thought to politics. Political liberals were split into a number of camps. Some wished for a greater degree of political representation, but, given a widespread fear of what the masses might do if they had access to power, these liberals were content to have aristocrats as leaders. Others desired a democratic constitution, but with a hereditary king as ruler. A minority of liberals were ardent democrats who desired to establish a republic with parliamentary democracy and universal suffrage.

Many members of Germany's aristocratic ruling class were opposed to national unity because they feared it would mean the disappearance of their small states into a large Germany. Metternich opposed a united Germany because the Habsburg Empire did not embrace a single people speaking one language, but many peoples speaking different languages. The empire would not easily fit into a united Germany. He desired instead the continued existence of the loosely organized German Confederation with its forty-odd members, none equal to Austria in strength. Prussia's kings and its conservative elite sometimes objected to Austria's primacy in the confederation, but they had little desire for German unification, which they regarded as a potential threat to Prussia's existence.

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