SAT Reading - Khan Diagnostic Quiz level 2 - reading 7

Questions 1-11 are based on the following passage.

The following is a speech given by Benjamin Franklin to the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787. The Convention was deciding whether to ratify the final version of the U.S. Constitution.

Dear Mr. President,
I confess that there are several parts of this constitution
which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall
never approve them: For having lived long, I have
5 experienced many instances of being obliged by better
information or fuller consideration, to change opinions
even on important subjects, which I once thought right,
but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I
grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and
10 to pay more respect to the judgment of others. Most men
indeed as well as most sects in Religion, think themselves
in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ
from them it is so far error. Steele, a Protestant in a
Dedication tells the Pope, that the only difference between
15 our Churches in their opinions of the certainty of their
doctrines is, the Church of Rome is infallible and the
Church of England is never in the wrong. But though many
private persons think almost as highly of their own
infallibility as of that of their sect, few express it so
20 naturally as a certain french lady, who in a dispute with
her sister, said "I don't know how it happens, Sister but I
meet with no body but myself, that's always in the right". . .
In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution
25 with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general
Government necessary for us, and there is no form of
Government but what may be a blessing to the people if
well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to
be well administered for a course of years, and can only end
30 in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the
people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic
Government, being incapable of any other. I doubt too
whether any other Convention we can obtain may be able
to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a
35 number of men to have the advantage of their joint
wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their
prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local
terests, and their selfish views.
From such an Assembly can a perfect production be
40 expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this
system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I
think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with
confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like
those of the Builders of Babel*; and that our States are on
45 the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the
purpose of cutting one another's throats. Thus I consent,
Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and
because I am not sure, that it is not the best. The opinions
I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good—I
50 have never whispered a syllable of them abroad—Within
these walls they were born, and here they shall die—If
every one of us in returning to our Constituents were to
report the objections he has had to it, and endeavor to gain
partizans in support of them, we might prevent its being
55 generally received, and thereby lose all the salutary effects
& great advantages resulting naturally in our favor among
foreign Nations as well as among ourselves, from our real or
apparent unanimity. Much of the strength & efficiency of
any Government in procuring and securing happiness to
60 the people, depends on opinion, on the general opinion of
the goodness of the Government, as well as of the wisdom
and integrity of its Governors. I hope therefore that for our
own sakes as a part of the people, and for the sake of
posterity, we shall act heartily and unanimously in
65 recommending this Constitution (if approved by Congress
& confirmed by the Conventions) wherever our influence
may extend, and turn our future thoughts & endeavors to
the means of having it well administered.
On the whole, Sir, I cannot help expressing a wish that
70 every member of the Convention who may still have
objections to it, would with me, on this occasion doubt a
little of his own infallibility--and to make manifest our
unanimity, put his name to this instrument.

*In the Christian Bible, the people who built the Tower of Babel spoke multiple languages and could not understand each other well enough to complete the tower’s construction.

 
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