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Unveiling Fordlandia: An IELTS Reading Passage with Questions & Answers

Updated on 06 February, 2024

Kanika Pruthi

Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Unveiling Fordlandia Reading Passage:

In the 1920s, the industrial magnate Henry Ford sought to create a utopian American society in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, known as Fordlandia. This ambitious project was designed not only to produce rubber for his automobile empire but also to export American culture and industry overseas. Ford envisioned a community that mirrored his hometown of Dearborn, Michigan, complete with neat houses, manicured lawns, and even square dances.

Fordlandia was set up in 1928, and the initial stages saw the transplantation of the American way of life onto Brazilian soil. This included everything from the architecture to the food and even social norms. However, the cultural imposition was not well received by the Brazilian workers, and the clash was inevitable. Moreover, the business aspect of the endeavor faced significant challenges. The rubber trees, packed closely in plantations, fell victim to blight and pests, a problem that was not prevalent in their natural, spaced-out growing conditions.

Despite the best efforts of managers and experts, Fordlandia did not flourish. The project was plagued by logistical nightmares, labor unrest, and the harsh realities of the Amazonian environment. By 1945, with millions of dollars lost and with synthetic rubber on the rise, Fordlandia was abandoned, leaving behind ruins that are still visible today.

Fordlandia stands as a historical testament to the limits of industrial ambition and the importance of cultural and ecological understanding.

Questions:

Q1. In which decade was Fordlandia established?

Q2. What was the primary product to be produced in Fordlandia?

Q3. True or False: Fordlandia’s architecture and lifestyle were designed to replicate those found in the Amazon.

Q4. Fill in the Blank: The workers in Fordlandia were originally from ________.

Q5. What significant issue did the rubber trees in Fordlandia face?

Q6. True or False: Fordlandia was a successful venture and continued to be a profitable investment until the present day.

Q7. Fill in the Blank: Fordlandia was abandoned in the year ________.

Q8. Multiple Choice: What was one of the main reasons for the labor unrest in Fordlandia?

A. Long working hours

B. Cultural imposition

C. Low wages

D. Lack of entertainment

Q9. Multiple Choice: Which of these pests affected the rubber trees in Fordlandia?

A. Locusts

B. Caterpillars

C. Leaf blight

D. Termites

Q10. True or False: Henry Ford’s intention with Fordlandia was to have a community that mirrored the Brazilian way of life.

Answers:

A1. The 1920s.

A2. Rubber.

A3. False (It was meant to replicate American culture and lifestyle).

A4. Brazil.

A5. Blight and pests.

A6. False (Fordlandia was abandoned after substantial losses).

A7. 1945.

A8. B. Cultural imposition.

A9. C. Leaf blight.

A10. False (Fordlandia was intended to reflect American culture).

Answer Explanations:

A1 Explanation: Fordlandia was set up in 1928, within the 1920s era.

A2 Explanation: The main purpose of Fordlandia was to produce rubber for Ford’s automobiles.

A3 Explanation: Fordlandia was designed to replicate Dearborn, Michigan, not the Amazonian culture.

A4 Explanation: The labor force in Fordlandia was primarily Brazilian.

A5 Explanation: The rubber trees were affected by blight and pests due to the unnatural plantation conditions.

A6 Explanation: Fordlandia was not successful and was abandoned by 1945.

A7 Explanation: Fordlandia was left behind by the Ford company in 1945.

A8 Explanation: The Brazilian workers did not welcome the American cultural imposition, leading to unrest.

A9 Explanation: Leaf blight was one of the pests mentioned that affected the rubber trees.

A10 Explanation: Henry Ford aimed to create an American-style community, not one based on Brazilian culture.

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Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Kanika has 5+ years of experience as a writer and content developer. She has written for a wide range of industry verticals, including hospitality, restaurants, non-profits, finance, IT, HR, technology, payroll, and education. She has worked as a creator for a few leading companies and has also helped brands grow through her creative writing.

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