SAT Critical Reading : Content of Paired Passages

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Critical Reading

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Paired Passages

Passage 1

Passage adapted from Samuel Adams’ “Letter to James Warren: November 4, 1775.”

We may look up to Armies for our Defense, but Virtue is our best Security. It is not possible that any State should long remain free, where Virtue is not supremely honored. This is as seasonably as it is justly said by one of the most celebrated Writers of the present time. Perhaps the Form of Government now adopted and set up in the Colony may be permanent. Should it be only temporary the golden opportunity of recovering the Virtue & reforming the Manners of our Country should be industriously improved. Our Ancestors in the most early Times laid an excellent Foundation for the security of Liberty by setting up in a few years after their Arrival a public Seminary of Learning; and by their Laws they obliged every Town consisting of a certain Number of Families to keep and maintain a Grammar School. I shall be very sorry, if it be true as I have been informed, that some of our Towns have dismissed their Schoolmasters, alleging that the extraordinary Expense of defending the Country renders them unable to support them. I hope this Inattention to the Principles of our Forefathers does not prevail. If there should be any Danger of it, would not the leading Gentlemen do eminent Service to the Public, by impressing upon the Minds of the People, the Necessity & Importance of encouraging that System of Education, which in my opinion is so well calculated to diffuse among the Individuals of the Community the Principles of Morality, so essentially necessary to the Preservation of public Liberty.

There are Virtues & vices which are properly called political. "Corruption, Dishonesty to ones Country Luxury and Extravagance tend to the Ruin of States." The opposite Virtues tend to their Establishment. But "there is a Connection between Vices as well as Virtues and one opens the Door for the Entrance of another." Therefore "Wise and able Politicians will guard against other Vices," and be attentive to promote every Virtue. He who is void of virtuous Attachments in private Life, is, or very soon will be void of all Regard for his Country. There is seldom an Instance of a Man guilty of betraying his Country, who had not before lost the Feeling of moral Obligations in his private Connections.

Passage 2

Passage adapted from the "First Inaugural Address" of Thomas Jefferson (March 4th, 1801)

Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. During the throes and convulsions of the ancient world, during the agonizing spasms of infuriated man, seeking through blood and slaughter his long-lost liberty, it was not wonderful that the agitation of the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore; that this should be more felt and feared by some and less by others, and should divide opinions as to measures of safety.

But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this government, the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest government on earth.

Which of the following options accurately describes the main purpose shared by the passages?

Possible Answers:

To attack specific political opponents or points of view

To make clear the spirit in which both authors plan to rule to the public

To enact political change, and to justify the reasoning for that change, privately to members of the political elite

To offer an intellectual treatment of the idea of political community, while addressing contemporary political concerns

To offer an exclusively intellectual treatment of a philosophical principle

Correct answer:

To offer an intellectual treatment of the idea of political community, while addressing contemporary political concerns

Explanation:

Both passages treat the notions of political community, liberty, and government on an intellectual level, querying how political community is arrived at, and what role it plays in a free but ordered political society. They both also make reference to current political concerns and schisms, although those issues are different, it is still the focus of both authors in their individual passages to address these fundamental philosophical issues as well as the practical political concerns.

Example Question #1 : Content Of Paired Passages

Passage #1

Adapted from "On War" by James Boswell (1777)

When I saw workingmen engaged with grave assiduity in fashioning weapons of death, I was struck with wonder at the shortsightedness of human beings, who were soberly preparing the instruments of destruction of their own species. I have since found upon a closer study of man, that my wonder might have been spared. The views of most individuals are limited to their own happiness, and the workmen whom I beheld so busy in the arsenal of Venice saw nothing but what was good in the labor for which they received such wages as procured them the comforts of life. That their immediate satisfaction was not hindered by a view of the remote consequential and contingent evils for which they were responsible would not surprise one who has had seen too much of the world. We must have the telescope of philosophy to make us perceive distant ills; further, we know that there are individuals of our species to whom the immediate misery of others is nothing in comparison with their own advantage—for we know that in every age there have been found men very willing to perform the office of executioner.

 

Passage #2

Adapted from "What is Patriotism?" by Max Eastman (1915)

With proper recognition of the possible variation of individuals, we can say that patriotism is one of these unalterable facts of man's nature. A talent for fighting solidarity with a group is a part of the instinct of human beings. It is composed of two tendencies that are laid down in his nervous system when he is born called pugnacity and gregariousness, or group-loyalty. All men and most animals are pugnacious. They love to fight. Everybody loves to fight. Some people get all the fighting they want at the breakfast table, and other people have to carry it out in the law courts or the battlefield, where it makes more noise. [Theodore] Roosevelt loves to charge up San Juan Hill, and then he loves to prosecute for libel anybody that says he didn't charge up San Juan Hill. War people fight for war and peace people fight for peace. When Roosevelt calls the peace people mollycoddles and college sissies, I only want to walk up and smash him.

It is far better though that we should conquer our instinct to fight and put faith in reason. It may seem gigantic; but it is by no means a utopian undertaking to unite the whole world of nations in such a federation. For all the organic interests of men, except their sheer love of patriotic fighting itself, are against the perpetual recurrence of international war. War and the mere joy of existence are incompatible. War makes it impossible to live, and it makes it impossible even to die for a noble purpose. Let men but understand themselves, and the mechanism of their emotions by which they are brought into this perennial catastrophe, and they will be ready enough to take gigantic measures to prevent it.

The author of Passage 2 mentions Theodore Roosevelt in order to __________.

Possible Answers:

introduce the central protagonist

create a contrast to an earlier statement

provide an example supporting the preceding argument

reference the wisdom of a known authority

Correct answer:

provide an example supporting the preceding argument

Explanation:

The author of Passage 2 makes reference to the attitude of Theodore Roosevelt to provide an example of the type of war-loving people he mentions in his preceding argument. The author states, “They love to fight. Everybody loves to fight. Some people get all the fighting they want at the breakfast table, and other people have to carry it out in the law courts or the battlefield, where it makes more noise.” Following these statements, the author uses the behavior of Theodore Roosevelt to provide an example to support his argument.

Example Question #1 : Making Inferences About The Author Or Paired Passage Content

Passage One

Adapted from The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln by Francis Fisher Browne (1913)

It is stated that Lincoln "had an almost morbid dislike to an escort, or guard, and daily exposed himself to the deadly aim of an assassin." To the remonstrances of friends, who feared his constant exposure to danger, he had but one answer: "If they kill me, the next man will be just as bad for them; and in a country like this, where our habits are simple, and must be, assassination is always possible, and will come if they are determined upon it." A cavalry guard was once placed at the gates of the White House for a while, and Lincoln said that he "worried until he got rid of it." He once remarked to Colonel Halpine: "It would never do for a President to have guards with drawn sabers at his door, as if he fancied he were, or were trying to be, or were assuming to be, an emperor." While the President's family were at their summer-house, near Washington, he rode into town of a morning, or out at night, attended by a mounted escort; but if he returned to town for a while after dark, he rode in unguarded, and often alone, in his open carriage. On more than one occasion, the same writer tells us, he "has gone through the streets of Washington at a late hour of the night with the President, without escort, or even the company of a servant, walking all the way, going and returning. Considering the many open and secret threats to take his life, it is not surprising that Lincoln had many thoughts about his coming to a sudden and violent end.

 

Passage Two

Adapted from Volume Two of Abraham Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life by William H. Herndon and Jesse W. Weik (1896)

Bancroft's eulogy on Lincoln never pleased the latter's lifelong friends—those who knew him so thoroughly and well. February 16, 1866, David Davis, who had heard it, wrote me: "You will see Mr. Bancroft's oration before this reaches you. It is able, but Mr. Lincoln is in the background. His analysis of Mr. Lincoln's character is superficial. It did not please me. How did it satisfy you?" On the 22nd he again wrote: "Mr. Bancroft totally misconceived Mr. Lincoln's character in applying 'unsteadiness' and confusion to it. Mr. Lincoln grew more steady and resolute, and his ideas were never confused. If there were any changes in him after he got here they were for the better. I thought him always master of his subject. He was a much more self-possessed man than I thought. He thought for himself, which is a rare quality nowadays. How could Bancroft know anything about Lincoln except as he judged of him as the public do? He never saw him, and is himself as cold as an icicle. I should never have selected an old Democratic politician, and that one from Massachusetts, to deliver an eulogy on Lincoln."

Both passages use quoted material in order to __________.

Possible Answers:

prove their social superiority to the reader

silence critics who cast doubts on the authors’ credibility

criticize the people they are quoting

humiliate rival authors

illuminate the authors’ arguments with examples

Correct answer:

illuminate the authors’ arguments with examples

Explanation:

In both passages, the quotations serve as examples that illustrate the authors’ various points and flesh out their arguments.

Example Question #2 : Making Inferences About The Author Or Paired Passage Content

Passage One

Adapted from The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln by Francis Fisher Browne (1913)

It is stated that Lincoln "had an almost morbid dislike to an escort, or guard, and daily exposed himself to the deadly aim of an assassin." To the remonstrances of friends, who feared his constant exposure to danger, he had but one answer: "If they kill me, the next man will be just as bad for them; and in a country like this, where our habits are simple, and must be, assassination is always possible, and will come if they are determined upon it." A cavalry guard was once placed at the gates of the White House for a while, and Lincoln said that he "worried until he got rid of it." He once remarked to Colonel Halpine: "It would never do for a President to have guards with drawn sabers at his door, as if he fancied he were, or were trying to be, or were assuming to be, an emperor." While the President's family were at their summer-house, near Washington, he rode into town of a morning, or out at night, attended by a mounted escort; but if he returned to town for a while after dark, he rode in unguarded, and often alone, in his open carriage. On more than one occasion, the same writer tells us, he "has gone through the streets of Washington at a late hour of the night with the President, without escort, or even the company of a servant, walking all the way, going and returning. Considering the many open and secret threats to take his life, it is not surprising that Lincoln had many thoughts about his coming to a sudden and violent end.

 

Passage Two

Adapted from Volume Two of Abraham Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life by William H. Herndon and Jesse W. Weik (1896)

Bancroft's eulogy on Lincoln never pleased the latter's lifelong friends—those who knew him so thoroughly and well. February 16, 1866, David Davis, who had heard it, wrote me: "You will see Mr. Bancroft's oration before this reaches you. It is able, but Mr. Lincoln is in the background. His analysis of Mr. Lincoln's character is superficial. It did not please me. How did it satisfy you?" On the 22nd he again wrote: "Mr. Bancroft totally misconceived Mr. Lincoln's character in applying 'unsteadiness' and confusion to it. Mr. Lincoln grew more steady and resolute, and his ideas were never confused. If there were any changes in him after he got here they were for the better. I thought him always master of his subject. He was a much more self-possessed man than I thought. He thought for himself, which is a rare quality nowadays. How could Bancroft know anything about Lincoln except as he judged of him as the public do? He never saw him, and is himself as cold as an icicle. I should never have selected an old Democratic politician, and that one from Massachusetts, to deliver an eulogy on Lincoln."

The authors of Passage One and Two would both most likely agree with which of the following statements about Lincoln?

Possible Answers:

Lincoln was beloved by many people, but he had a damning private life.

Lincoln’s behavior was often irrational and irresponsible.

Lincoln often behaved foolishly.

Lincoln’s personal weaknesses were what made him a patient and thoughtful leader.

Lincoln did not often deviate from his ways.

Correct answer:

Lincoln did not often deviate from his ways.

Explanation:

The author of Passage One portrays Lincoln as someone who stays true to his personal convictions despite everyone who tries to convince him to hire bodyguards. The author of Passage Two portrays Lincoln as someone who “grew more steady and resolute, and his ideas were never confused.” In both cases, the authors are emphasizing Lincoln’s stability and equanimity. They would agree that he was a president who did not often deviate from his ways.

 

Example Question #1 : Making Inferences About The Author Or Paired Passage Content

Passage One

Adapted from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1891)

The studio was filled with the rich odor of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.

From the corner of the divan of Persian saddlebags on which he was lying, smoking, as was his custom, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-colored blossoms of a laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flame-like as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, making him think of those painters of Tokyo who, through the medium of an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiftness and motion. The sullen murmur of the bees shouldering their way through the long unmown grass, or circling with monotonous insistence round the dusty gilt horns of the straggling woodbine, seemed to make the stillness more oppressive. The dim roar of London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ.

In the center of the room, clamped to an upright easel, stood the full-length portrait of a young man of extraordinary personal beauty, and in front of it, some little distance away, was sitting the artist himself, Basil Hallward, whose sudden disappearance some years ago caused, at the time, such public excitement, and gave rise to so many strange conjectures.

 

Passage Two

Adapted from Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens (1836)

How much is conveyed in those two short words—"The parish!" And with how many tales of distress and misery, of broken fortune and ruined hopes, too often of unrelieved wretchedness and successful knavery, are they associated! A poor man, with small earnings, and a large family, just manages to live on from hand to mouth, and to procure food from day to day; he has barely sufficient to satisfy the present cravings of nature, and can take no heed of the future. His taxes are in arrear, quarter-day passes by, another quarter-day arrives: he can procure no more quarter for himself, and is summoned by—the parish. His goods are distrained, his children are crying with cold and hunger, and the very bed on which his sick wife is lying, is dragged from beneath her. What can he do? To whom is he to apply for relief? To private charity? To benevolent individuals? Certainly not—there is his parish. There are the parish vestry, the parish infirmary, the parish surgeon, the parish officers, the parish beadle—gentle, kind-hearted men. The woman dies—she is buried by the parish. The children have no protector—they are taken care of by the parish. The man first neglects, and afterwards cannot obtain, work—he is relieved by the parish; and when distress and drunkenness have done their work upon him, he is maintained, a harmless babbling idiot, in the parish asylum.

Which of the following aspects of the setting described in Passage Two would a character in Passage One value most? (Some of the aspects of the setting of Passage Two are hypothetical.)

Possible Answers:

The charitable works intended to help the poor

The parish beadle’s knowledge of the Christian Bible

The parish church’s stained glass windows

The "successful knavery"

The poor man’s diligent efforts to feed his family

Correct answer:

The parish church’s stained glass windows

Explanation:

The characters described in Passage One are aesthetes, people who appreciate great physical beauty. Stained glass windows are the only item on the list that would appeal to an aesthete’s artistic sensibilities.

Example Question #4 : Making Inferences About The Author Or Paired Passage Content

Passage One

Adapted from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1891)

The studio was filled with the rich odor of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.

From the corner of the divan of Persian saddlebags on which he was lying, smoking, as was his custom, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-colored blossoms of a laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flame-like as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, making him think of those painters of Tokyo who, through the medium of an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiftness and motion. The sullen murmur of the bees shouldering their way through the long unmown grass, or circling with monotonous insistence round the dusty gilt horns of the straggling woodbine, seemed to make the stillness more oppressive. The dim roar of London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ.

In the center of the room, clamped to an upright easel, stood the full-length portrait of a young man of extraordinary personal beauty, and in front of it, some little distance away, was sitting the artist himself, Basil Hallward, whose sudden disappearance some years ago caused, at the time, such public excitement, and gave rise to so many strange conjectures.

 

Passage Two

Adapted from Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens (1836)

How much is conveyed in those two short words—"The parish!" And with how many tales of distress and misery, of broken fortune and ruined hopes, too often of unrelieved wretchedness and successful knavery, are they associated! A poor man, with small earnings, and a large family, just manages to live on from hand to mouth, and to procure food from day to day; he has barely sufficient to satisfy the present cravings of nature, and can take no heed of the future. His taxes are in arrear, quarter-day passes by, another quarter-day arrives: he can procure no more quarter for himself, and is summoned by—the parish. His goods are distrained, his children are crying with cold and hunger, and the very bed on which his sick wife is lying, is dragged from beneath her. What can he do? To whom is he to apply for relief? To private charity? To benevolent individuals? Certainly not—there is his parish. There are the parish vestry, the parish infirmary, the parish surgeon, the parish officers, the parish beadle—gentle, kind-hearted men. The woman dies—she is buried by the parish. The children have no protector—they are taken care of by the parish. The man first neglects, and afterwards cannot obtain, work—he is relieved by the parish; and when distress and drunkenness have done their work upon him, he is maintained, a harmless babbling idiot, in the parish asylum.

Based on the content of their writing, the authors of Passages One and Two would most likely agree that __________.

Possible Answers:

religion plays an essential role in society

equality of the sexes is essential for a functioning society

beauty can be found in unlikely places

art must supersede religion in the public sphere

there is an unequal distribution of wealth in society

Correct answer:

there is an unequal distribution of wealth in society

Explanation:

Because Passage One is concerned with the great wealth of English aristocracy (with the realities of inner-city London a “distant,” “dim roar”) and because Passage Two is concerned with the poverty that is both created and addressed by the parish church institution, the authors would most likely agree that there is a great disparity of wealth in their society.

Example Question #1 : Extrapolating From The Text In Paired Passages

Passage 1

Passage adapted from Samuel Adams’ “Letter to James Warren: November 4, 1775.”

We may look up to Armies for our Defense, but Virtue is our best Security. It is not possible that any State should long remain free, where Virtue is not supremely honored. This is as seasonably as it is justly said by one of the most celebrated Writers of the present time. Perhaps the Form of Government now adopted and set up in the Colony may be permanent. Should it be only temporary the golden opportunity of recovering the Virtue & reforming the Manners of our Country should be industriously improved. Our Ancestors in the most early Times laid an excellent Foundation for the security of Liberty by setting up in a few years after their Arrival a public Seminary of Learning; and by their Laws they obliged every Town consisting of a certain Number of Families to keep and maintain a Grammar School. I shall be very sorry, if it be true as I have been informed, that some of our Towns have dismissed their Schoolmasters, alleging that the extraordinary Expense of defending the Country renders them unable to support them. I hope this Inattention to the Principles of our Forefathers does not prevail. If there should be any Danger of it, would not the leading Gentlemen do eminent Service to the Public, by impressing upon the Minds of the People, the Necessity & Importance of encouraging that System of Education, which in my opinion is so well calculated to diffuse among the Individuals of the Community the Principles of Morality, so essentially necessary to the Preservation of public Liberty.

There are Virtues & vices which are properly called political. "Corruption, Dishonesty to ones Country Luxury and Extravagance tend to the Ruin of States." The opposite Virtues tend to their Establishment. But "there is a Connection between Vices as well as Virtues and one opens the Door for the Entrance of another." Therefore "Wise and able Politicians will guard against other Vices," and be attentive to promote every Virtue. He who is void of virtuous Attachments in private Life, is, or very soon will be void of all Regard for his Country. There is seldom an Instance of a Man guilty of betraying his Country, who had not before lost the Feeling of moral Obligations in his private Connections.

Passage 2

Passage adapted from the "First Inaugural Address" of Thomas Jefferson (March 4th, 1801)

Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. During the throes and convulsions of the ancient world, during the agonizing spasms of infuriated man, seeking through blood and slaughter his long-lost liberty, it was not wonderful that the agitation of the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore; that this should be more felt and feared by some and less by others, and should divide opinions as to measures of safety.

But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this government, the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest government on earth.

How would Adams most likely respond to Jefferson's underlined opening statement in Passage 2?

Possible Answers:

He would passionately disagree with this statement of support for nontraditional political values

Adams would disagree that liberty could ever be dreary

The opening sentence of Passage 2 has no bearing on Adams' subject matter in Passage 1, so it is impossible to say

Adams would agree wholeheartedly with this statement of support for public schools

He would agree, in a general way, with the notion of community put forward in this statement

Correct answer:

He would agree, in a general way, with the notion of community put forward in this statement

Explanation:

In the opening of Passage 2, Jefferson voices his notion that "social intercourse" in a political community requires "harmony and affection," and further that "liberty and even life itself" are reduced without such communal sentiments. Adam's emphasis on "virtue" and moral community generally coincide with this notion. While Adams values liberty, the main point of the Jefferson's sentence was not to malign liberty, but to emphasize the kind of intellectual and moral togetherness required for a community, which Adams definitely supports.

Example Question #1 : Content Of Paired Passages

Passage 1

Passage adapted from Samuel Adams’ “Letter to James Warren: November 4, 1775.”

We may look up to Armies for our Defense, but Virtue is our best Security. It is not possible that any State should long remain free, where Virtue is not supremely honored. This is as seasonably as it is justly said by one of the most celebrated Writers of the present time. Perhaps the Form of Government now adopted and set up in the Colony may be permanent. Should it be only temporary the golden opportunity of recovering the Virtue & reforming the Manners of our Country should be industriously improved. Our Ancestors in the most early Times laid an excellent Foundation for the security of Liberty by setting up in a few years after their Arrival a public Seminary of Learning; and by their Laws they obliged every Town consisting of a certain Number of Families to keep and maintain a Grammar School. I shall be very sorry, if it be true as I have been informed, that some of our Towns have dismissed their Schoolmasters, alleging that the extraordinary Expense of defending the Country renders them unable to support them. I hope this Inattention to the Principles of our Forefathers does not prevail. If there should be any Danger of it, would not the leading Gentlemen do eminent Service to the Public, by impressing upon the Minds of the People, the Necessity & Importance of encouraging that System of Education, which in my opinion is so well calculated to diffuse among the Individuals of the Community the Principles of Morality, so essentially necessary to the Preservation of public Liberty.

There are Virtues & vices which are properly called political. "Corruption, Dishonesty to ones Country Luxury and Extravagance tend to the Ruin of States." The opposite Virtues tend to their Establishment. But "there is a Connection between Vices as well as Virtues and one opens the Door for the Entrance of another." Therefore "Wise and able Politicians will guard against other Vices," and be attentive to promote every Virtue. He who is void of virtuous Attachments in private Life, is, or very soon will be void of all Regard for his Country. There is seldom an Instance of a Man guilty of betraying his Country, who had not before lost the Feeling of moral Obligations in his private Connections.

Passage 2

Passage adapted from the "First Inaugural Address" of Thomas Jefferson (March 4th, 1801)

Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. During the throes and convulsions of the ancient world, during the agonizing spasms of infuriated man, seeking through blood and slaughter his long-lost liberty, it was not wonderful that the agitation of the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore; that this should be more felt and feared by some and less by others, and should divide opinions as to measures of safety.

But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this government, the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest government on earth.

What is the best evidence for the connection between the passages outlined in the previous question?

Possible Answers:

"impressing upon the Minds of the People, the Necessity & Importance of encouraging that System of Education, which in my opinion is so well calculated to diffuse among the Individuals of the Community the Principles of Morality"

"Therefore 'Wise and able Politicians will guard against other Vices,'"

"I shall be very sorry, if it be true as I have been informed, that some of our Towns have dismissed their Schoolmasters"

"Perhaps the Form of Government now adopted and set up in the Colony may be permanent."

The two passages are not connected

Correct answer:

"impressing upon the Minds of the People, the Necessity & Importance of encouraging that System of Education, which in my opinion is so well calculated to diffuse among the Individuals of the Community the Principles of Morality"

Explanation:

The best evidence of the "general agreement" between the author's views emphasized in the previous question is Adams' emphasis on "community" and diffusion of positive ideas, which fits pretty obviously with the "harmony and affection" Jefferson feels are essential.

Example Question #21 : New Sat

Passage 1

Passage adapted from Samuel Adams’ “Letter to James Warren: November 4, 1775.”

We may look up to Armies for our Defense, but Virtue is our best Security. It is not possible that any State should long remain free, where Virtue is not supremely honored. This is as seasonably as it is justly said by one of the most celebrated Writers of the present time. Perhaps the Form of Government now adopted and set up in the Colony may be permanent. Should it be only temporary the golden opportunity of recovering the Virtue & reforming the Manners of our Country should be industriously improved. Our Ancestors in the most early Times laid an excellent Foundation for the security of Liberty by setting up in a few years after their Arrival a public Seminary of Learning; and by their Laws they obliged every Town consisting of a certain Number of Families to keep and maintain a Grammar School. I shall be very sorry, if it be true as I have been informed, that some of our Towns have dismissed their Schoolmasters, alleging that the extraordinary Expense of defending the Country renders them unable to support them. I hope this Inattention to the Principles of our Forefathers does not prevail. If there should be any Danger of it, would not the leading Gentlemen do eminent Service to the Public, by impressing upon the Minds of the People, the Necessity & Importance of encouraging that System of Education, which in my opinion is so well calculated to diffuse among the Individuals of the Community the Principles of Morality, so essentially necessary to the Preservation of public Liberty.

There are Virtues & vices which are properly called political. "Corruption, Dishonesty to ones Country Luxury and Extravagance tend to the Ruin of States." The opposite Virtues tend to their Establishment. But "there is a Connection between Vices as well as Virtues and one opens the Door for the Entrance of another." Therefore "Wise and able Politicians will guard against other Vices," and be attentive to promote every Virtue. He who is void of virtuous Attachments in private Life, is, or very soon will be void of all Regard for his Country. There is seldom an Instance of a Man guilty of betraying his Country, who had not before lost the Feeling of moral Obligations in his private Connections.

Passage 2

Passage adapted from the "First Inaugural Address" of Thomas Jefferson (March 4th, 1801)

Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. During the throes and convulsions of the ancient world, during the agonizing spasms of infuriated man, seeking through blood and slaughter his long-lost liberty, it was not wonderful that the agitation of the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore; that this should be more felt and feared by some and less by others, and should divide opinions as to measures of safety.

But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this government, the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest government on earth.

How would Jefferson most likely respond to Adams' underlined statement in Passage 1?

Possible Answers:

Jefferson would agree with the strong plea for strong government Adams is making in this statement

Jefferson would strongly disagree with the notion that the private lives and opinions of citizens have any bearing on the workings of a community

Jefferson would fundamentally disagree with the notion that any person could be without social connections or ethical feelings

Jefferson would strongly agree that with the idea that personal virtues in a person's private life are directly tied to their value as a member and contribution to a community

Jefferson would strongly disagree with Adams' assertion on the grounds that it would place limits on the liberty of individuals

Correct answer:

Jefferson would strongly agree that with the idea that personal virtues in a person's private life are directly tied to their value as a member and contribution to a community

Explanation:

In the underlined statement, Adams is making a fairly strong and direct statement: namely that a person without a strong personal morality will be very likely to have unpatriotic or anti-communal sentiments as well. In this way he is directly tying private morality and "virtue" to a person's potential positive or negative effect on his or her community. This particular sentiment resonates extremely strongly with Jefferson's emphasis on "harmony and affection," and the role of communal spirit in a functioning republic.

Example Question #2 : Extrapolating From The Text In Paired Passages

Passage 1

Passage adapted from Samuel Adams’ “Letter to James Warren: November 4, 1775.”

We may look up to Armies for our Defense, but Virtue is our best Security. It is not possible that any State should long remain free, where Virtue is not supremely honored. This is as seasonably as it is justly said by one of the most celebrated Writers of the present time. Perhaps the Form of Government now adopted and set up in the Colony may be permanent. Should it be only temporary the golden opportunity of recovering the Virtue & reforming the Manners of our Country should be industriously improved. Our Ancestors in the most early Times laid an excellent Foundation for the security of Liberty by setting up in a few years after their Arrival a public Seminary of Learning; and by their Laws they obliged every Town consisting of a certain Number of Families to keep and maintain a Grammar School. I shall be very sorry, if it be true as I have been informed, that some of our Towns have dismissed their Schoolmasters, alleging that the extraordinary Expense of defending the Country renders them unable to support them. I hope this Inattention to the Principles of our Forefathers does not prevail. If there should be any Danger of it, would not the leading Gentlemen do eminent Service to the Public, by impressing upon the Minds of the People, the Necessity & Importance of encouraging that System of Education, which in my opinion is so well calculated to diffuse among the Individuals of the Community the Principles of Morality, so essentially necessary to the Preservation of public Liberty.

There are Virtues & vices which are properly called political. "Corruption, Dishonesty to ones Country Luxury and Extravagance tend to the Ruin of States." The opposite Virtues tend to their Establishment. But "there is a Connection between Vices as well as Virtues and one opens the Door for the Entrance of another." Therefore "Wise and able Politicians will guard against other Vices," and be attentive to promote every Virtue. He who is void of virtuous Attachments in private Life, is, or very soon will be void of all Regard for his Country. There is seldom an Instance of a Man guilty of betraying his Country, who had not before lost the Feeling of moral Obligations in his private Connections.

Passage 2

Passage adapted from the "First Inaugural Address" of Thomas Jefferson (March 4th, 1801)

Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. During the throes and convulsions of the ancient world, during the agonizing spasms of infuriated man, seeking through blood and slaughter his long-lost liberty, it was not wonderful that the agitation of the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore; that this should be more felt and feared by some and less by others, and should divide opinions as to measures of safety.

But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this government, the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest government on earth.

What is the best evidence for the connection between the passages outlined in the previous question?

Possible Answers:

"the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself?"

"it was not wonderful that the agitation of the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore; that this should be more felt and feared by some and less by others, and should divide opinions as to measures of safety."

"But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle."

"During the throes and convulsions of the ancient world, during the agonizing spasms of infuriated man, seeking through blood and slaughter his long-lost liberty, it was not wonderful that the agitation of the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore"

"If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."

Correct answer:

"If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."

Explanation:

Adams emphasizes a lack of "attachments in private life" to a lack of "regard for his country." Jefferson's call to, essentially, simply let anyone "who would wish to dissolve the Union [...] stand undisturbed," certainly has resonances with Adams' emphasis on the lack of connection in personal life among those who are pernicious to the political community. It is a reasonable inference from Jefferson's statement that he believes those who "wish to dissolve the union" are at least somewhat "void of virtuous attachments" within the community of "social intercourse" filled with "harmony and affection" he so prizes.

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