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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Question 1 The author’s central claim in the passage is that