SAT Reading - Khan Diagnostic Quiz level 3 - reading 3

Questions 1-11 are based on the following passage.

Passage 1 is excerpted from a speech delivered by Patrick Henry and Passage 2 is excerpted from a speech delivered by James Madison. Both speeches were delivered during the Virginia Commonwealth Debates of 1788. The two statesmen disagreed over whether the Articles of Confederation, the current form of government at that time, should be replaced by the U.S. Constitution.

Passage 1

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect
every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing
will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up
that force, you are inevitably ruined. I am answered by
5 gentlemen, that, though I might speak of terrors, yet the fact
was, that we were surrounded by none of the dangers I
apprehended. I conceive this new government to be one of
those dangers: it has produced those horrors which distress
many of our best citizens. We are come hither to preserve the
10 poor commonwealth of Virginia, if it can be possibly done:
something must be done to preserve your liberty and mine.
The Confederation, this same despised government, merits,
in my opinion, the highest encomium: it carried us through a
long and dangerous war; it rendered us victorious in that
15 bloody conflict with a powerful nation; it has secured us a
territory greater than any European monarch possesses: and
shall a government which has been thus strong and vigorous,
be accused of imbecility, and abandoned for want of energy?
Consider what you are about to do before you part with the
20 government. Take longer time in reckoning things;
revolutions like this have happened in almost every country
in Europe; similar examples are to be found in ancient
Greece and ancient Rome - instances of the people losing
their liberty by their own carelessness and the ambition of a
25 few. We are cautioned by the honorable gentleman, who
presides, against faction and turbulence. I acknowledge that
licentiousness* is dangerous, and that it ought to be provided
against: I acknowledge, also, the new form of government
may effectually prevent it: yet there is another thing it will as
30 effectually do - it will oppress and ruin the people.

Passage 2

Before I proceed to make some additions to the reasons
which have been adduced by my honorable friend over the
way, I must take the liberty to make some observations on
what was said by another gentleman, (Mr. Henry). He told us
35 that this Constitution ought to be rejected because it
endangered the public liberty, in his opinion, in many
instances. Give me leave to make one answer to that
observation:Let the dangers which this system is supposed to
be replete with be clearly pointed out: if any dangerous and
40 unnecessary powers be given to the general legislature, let
them be plainly demonstrated; and let us not rest satisfied
with general assertions of danger, without examination. If
powers be necessary, apparent danger is not a sufficient
reason against conceding them. He has suggested that
45 licentiousness has seldom produced the loss of liberty; but
that the tyranny of rulers has almost always effected it. Since
the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more
instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by
gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by
50 violent and sudden usurpations; but, on a candid examination
of history, we shall find that turbulence, violence, and abuse
of power, by the majority trampling on the rights of the
minority, have produced factions and commotions, which, in
republics, have, more frequently than any other cause,
55 produced despotism. If we go over the whole history of
ancient and modern republics, we shall find their destruction
to have generally resulted from those causes. If we consider
the peculiar situation of the United States, and what are the
sources of that diversity of sentiment which pervades its
60 inhabitants, we shall find great danger to fear that the same
causes may terminate here in the same fatal effects which
they produced in those republics. This danger ought to be
wisely guarded against. Perhaps, in the progress of this
discussion, it will appear that the only possible remedy for
65 those evils, and means of preserving and protecting the
principles of republicanism, will be found in that very system
which is now exclaimed against as the parent of oppression.

*A lack of moral restraint.

 
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