Historian: Fifteenth-century advances in mapmaking contributed to the rise of modern nation- states. In medieval Europe (from the fifth to the fifteenth century), sovereignty centered in cities and towns and radiated outward, with boundaries often ambiguously defined. The conceptual shift
toward the modern state began in the late fifteenth century, when mapmakers learned to reflect geography accurately by basing maps on latitude-longitude grids. By the mid-seventeenth century, nearly all maps showed boundary lines.
Which of the following would, if true, most strengthen the historian's reasoning?
A. Borders did not become codified in Europe until certain treaties were signed in the early nineteenth century.
B. During the medieval period, various authorities in Europe claimed power over collections of cities and towns, not contiguous territories.
C. Many members of the political elite collected maps as a hobby during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
D. Seventeenth-century treatises and other sources of political authority describe areas of sovereignty rather than illustrate them using maps.
E. During the fifteenth century in Europe, mapmakers simplified the borders of sovereignty by
drawing clear lines of demarcation between political powers.
正确答案：E Argument Evaluation
Situation A historian claims that fifteenth-century advances in mapmaking contributed to the rise of modern nation-states. In earlier centuries boundaries of sovereignty in Europe were poorly defined but in the fifteenth century maps were made based on grids showing latitude and longitude.
Reasoning What additional piece of information, if true and added to the argument, would most improve the support offered for the conclusion that improved mapping contributed to the rise of nation-states? The historian claims that there was a cause–effect relationship between progress in mapmaking and the rise of the nation state. This claim is supported by information that territories of sovereignty were vague and ill-defined before the fifteenth century, when latitude-longitude grids began to allow progressively greater accuracy in the delineation of territories on maps. The argument assumes that the rise of nation-states would have required a high degree of clarity about each state's non-overlapping area of sovereignty.
Correct. This information makes explicit the role of mapmakers in providing clarity about the geographical boundaries of each political entity's sovereignty. It thus provides additional evidence for the historian's causal claim and strengthens the historian's reasoning.