ISEE Upper Level Reading : Making Inferences and Predictions in History Passages

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ISEE Upper Level Reading

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Example Question #11 : Making Inferences And Predictions In History Passages

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.

We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves, by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.

He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.

He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men—both natives and foreigners.

This passage is adapted from a longer work. Which of the following do you think is the next thing the authors talk about after the end of the material quoted here?

Possible Answers:

An argument about why studying history is important

A consideration of which of the paragraph's last three statements is the most terrible

Other things men have done that have curtailed the rights of women

A statement about how difficult it is for women to pursue careers in politics

Rights the authors want men to lose

Correct answer:

Other things men have done that have curtailed the rights of women


Since the passage ends with what appears to be the start of a list, it seems likely that the rest of the document will be a continued statement of the things these individuals want in society.

Passage adapted from “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and others (1848)

Example Question #12 : Making Inferences And Predictions In History Passages

Adapted from Emancipation of the Working Class by Eugene Debs (1918)

You remember that, at the close of Theodore Roosevelt's second term as President, he went over to Africa to make war on some of his ancestors. You remember that, at the close of his expedition, he visited the capitals of Europe, and that he was wined and dined, dignified and glorified by all the Kaisers and Czars and Emperors of the Old World. He visited Potsdam while the Kaiser was there, and, according to the accounts published in the American newspapers, he and the Kaiser were soon on the most familiar terms. They were hilariously intimate with each other, and slapped each other on the back. After Roosevelt had reviewed the Kaiser's troops, according to the same accounts, he became enthusiastic over the Kaiser's legions and said: "If I had that kind of an army, I could conquer the world." He knew the Kaiser then just as well as he knows him now. He knew that he was the Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin. And yet, he permitted himself to be entertained by that Beast of Berlin; had his feet under the mahogany of the Beast of Berlin; was cheek by jowl with the Beast of Berlin. And, while Roosevelt was being entertained royally by the German Kaiser, that same Kaiser was putting the leaders of the Socialist Party in jail for fighting the Kaiser and the Junkers of Germany. Roosevelt was the guest of honor in the White House of the Kaiser, while the Socialists were in the jails of the Kaiser for fighting the Kaiser. Who then was fighting for democracy? Roosevelt? Roosevelt, who was honored by the Kaiser, or the Socialists who were in jail by order of the Kaiser?  "Birds of a feather flock together."

When the newspapers reported that Kaiser Wilhelm and ex-President Theodore Roosevelt recognized each other at sight, were perfectly intimate with each other at the first touch, they made the admission that is fatal to the claim of Theodore Roosevelt, that he is the friend of the common people and the champion of democracy; they admitted that they were kith and kin; that they were very much alike; that their ideas and ideals were about the same. If Theodore Roosevelt is the great champion of democracy—the arch foe of autocracy—what business had he as the guest of honor of the Prussian Kaiser? And when he met the Kaiser, and did honor to the Kaiser, under the terms imputed to him, wasn't it pretty strong proof that he himself was a Kaiser at heart? Now, after being the guest of Emperor Wilhelm, the Beast of Berlin, he comes back to this country, and wants you to send ten million men over there to kill the Kaiser, to murder his former friend and pal. Rather queer, isn't it? And yet, he is the patriot, and we are the traitors. I challenge you to find a Socialist anywhere on the face of the earth who was ever the guest of the Beast of Berlin, except as an inmate of his prison.


From the whole of this passage it can be inferred that the author __________.

Possible Answers:

has never served time in prison

is opposed to the war in Europe

supports the war in Europe 

feels sympathetic towards Theodore Roosevelt

feels distraught by the actions of Theodore Roosevelt

Correct answer:

is opposed to the war in Europe


You know that the author does not feel sympathetic towards Theodore Roosevelt because he condemns him in pretty conclusive terms. Likewise, he never expresses dismay or surprise at Roosevelt’s actions so you could not reasonably claim he feels distraught. The author discusses how many members of the Socialist movement, of which he is clearly a part, have spent time in jail so it would be foolish to infer he has never spent time in prison. That leaves only whether he supports or opposes the war in Europe. The author says of the passages antagonist, Theodore Roosevelt; “Now, after being the guest of Emperor Wilhelm, the Beast of Berlin, he comes back to this country, and wants you to send ten million men over there to kill the Kaiser, to murder his former friend and pal. Rather queer, isn't it? And yet, he is the patriot, and we are the traitors.” As the man he heavily disparages is in favor of the war it makes sense to infer that the author is opposed to the war. Furthermore, he uses words like “murder” to describe warfare and suggests that Roosevelt is a “traitor” for wanting to send “ten million men” to war.

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