What is the primary purpose of this passage?
McCulloch v. Maryland was a critical decision made by the Supreme Court in 1819. The case concerned a Maryland state tax imposed on bank notes chartered outside Maryland.The tax was an attempt to restrict the Second Bank of the United States, a national bank chartered by members of Congress, whose head, James McCulloch, filed suit in response to the tax. The court found in favor of McCulloch, stating that a bank is a "proper and suitable instrument" in Congress's function to spend funds and impose taxes and ordered the tax repealed. Although originally concerning a bank, the consequences of the holding extended further. By the holding, Chief Justice John Marshall set a precedent for what are now two fundamental principles of U.S. law concerning national government: that Congress possesses implied powers by the Constitution that allow the federal government to governeffectively, and that federal law supersedes state law.
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The city of Avignon in southeastern France possesses a unique spot in European history, as home to le Palais des Papes (the Palace of the Popes), the center of the Avignon Papacy during the fourteenth century. As a result of the conflict between his predecessor Boniface VIII and Philip IV of France, Clement V (a Frenchman himself) did not relocate to Rome upon his election as pope, but rather stayed in France, settling finally upon Avignon in 1309 as his papal residency. As the first significant departure of the papacy from Rome, this began a controversial chapter in the history of the papacy, highlighting the power of the French throne over the pope, and culminated in the Papal Schism. During the schism, two men simultaneously claimed the papacy, Gregory XI who returned to Rome in 1377 and Urban VI who remained in Avignon, and various nations chose one papacy or the other. This schism, which lasted from 1378 until 1417, represented the increasing influence of secular politics on the hierarchy of the church, and in many ways foreshadowed the discontent that led to Luther's Reformation one hundred years later.
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Spelt is a type of wheat that served as a staple in European diets from the Bronze Age until well into the Middle Ages. Although considered the food of peasants for millenia, spelt has recently received attention as a healthier option to other grains, including ordinary wheat. More easily digestible than ordinary wheat or other grains, spelt is also notable for being less likely to cause allergic reactions in individuals who cannot digest other types of wheat, although it is still classified as a "gluten grain." Its nutritional value should not be overlooked, as it contains more protein, niacin, and other B vitamins, as well as fewer carbohydrates, than ordinary wheat. Although once limited to specialty stores, spelt is becoming increasingly popular, and spelt pasta, spelt bread, and other products may be found in many more generic grocery stores.
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One of the most difficult and popular subjects in the study of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages is the figure of the historical King Arthur. Now popularly remembered as the leader of the Knights of the Round Table, and the basis for one of the most famous cycles in European literature, Arthur arises from a mix of history and legend--a mix which countless scholars have questioned, theorized, and argued. Dated to the early sixth century, much of what is posited about his existence lies in his connection to other, more factually determined events, such as the Battle of Badon Hill, popularly hailed as Arthur's great victory over the Saxon invaders, which is known to have been a historical battle between the Britons and Saxons in the late fifth or early sixth century. The leader of the victorious Britons is, however, uncertain. Literary references to Arthur specifically are from much later texts (and references to him as "King" even later), many of whose reliability is highly suspect, and many of the stories about him are now accepted as borrowed from the deeds of other figures or entirely fabricated. Nevertheless, there are small tidbits of information that point to a popular leader named "Arthur" around the turn of the sixth century; however, the connection of this shadowy figure to the Arthur of legend remains, ultimately, unknowable.
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The title Ultimus Romanorum ("Last of the Romans") has been attributed to various men in history who were seen to exemplify the greatest characteristics and values of Roman culture, and whose deaths were seen to be also the death of those traits. Most of the figures bearing the name died in the period of the late Roman Empire and the early Middle Ages. Flavius Stilicho, Flavius Aetius, and Flavius Belisarius were all called Ultimus Romanorum for their tactical prowess as military generals, whereas Boethius and Pope Gregory I became known as Ultimus Romanorum for their theological and philosophical works. Justinian I bore the name for his administrative skills and as the last Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire to speak Latin natively, but Romulus Augustus and Julius Nepos gained the title by their claims to being the final Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. As can be seen from these few examples, there was no clear definition of what made a man Ultimus Romanorum, and, indeed, many different men were awarded the title for many different reasons--there was no official declaration, simply by popular or individual acclamation. It is ironic, however, that the first man to call someone Ultimus Romanorum was Julius Caesar, who used the term to refer to Marcus Junius Brutus as the final embodiment of the spirit of Rome--Brutus would later become the most famous of Caesar's assassins.
According to the passage, which of the following statements is true?
The phonograph cylinder was a remarkable invention that allowed sounds to be recorded and reproduced--the earliest instrument to do both (édouard--Léon Scott de Martinville created a phonautograph that could record sound in a visible format, but could not play it back). First invented by Thomas Edison in 1877, the phonograph cylinder was wrapped in a scratchable medium and then rotated under a stylus that was attached to the speaking tube. When sound entered the tube, the attached diaphragm would vibrate, causing the point of the stylus to create indentations of varying depths; meanwhile, the cylinder was rotated by a hand crank at a rate of 60 revolutions per minute. The cylinder could then be played back by drawing a lighter stylus along the indentations that caused the diaphragm of a second tube, the speaking tube, to vibrate, replicating the recorded sounds. Over time, the phonograph slowly evolved. Cylinders were wrapped in wax instead of with tin foil, a motorized crank and more effective recording media were developed, and the cylinder itself was replaced with a disc that allowed for more durable creations. These evolved into record players as we know them.
According to the passage, which of the following statements is true?
The "Oxford comma," also known as the "serial comma," is a comma used before a coordinating conjunction before the last item in a list of three or more. For example, in "the bus arrives on the hour and every fifteen, thirty, and forty-five minutes after the hour," the Oxford comma may be seen following thirty; without the Oxford comma, the phrase would be "the bus arrives on the hour and every fifteen, thirty and forty-five minutes after the hour." There are no definitive grammatical rulings on when it should be used and by whom, although journalists rarely make use of it. While it is not always necessary, it can prevent otherwise ambiguous statements (for example: "they hired the two brothers, David and James," in which they hired two men, versus "they hired the two brothers, David, and James," in which they hired two brothers plus David and James, four in total). Therefore, writers should be aware of its use even if they abstain from it in unambiguous cases.
According to the passage, when does the author believe the Oxford comma should be used?
The author primarily describes the mesosphere as
It can be inferred from the passage that the author considers the Nielsen Company`s techniques


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