Read this selection from George Washington’s Farewell Address and answer the following questions:
The Unity of Government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main Pillar in the Edifice of your real independence; the support of your tranquility at home; your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity in every shape; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that, from different causes, and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to you collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion, that it can in any event be abandoned, and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our Country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.
For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same Religion, Manners, Habits, and Political Principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the Independence and Liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.
But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your Interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the Union of the whole.
1. Which of the following choices best supports the idea that Washington was concerned about the preservation of the Union?
- “But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your Interest.”
- “With slight shades of difference, you have the same Religion, Manners, Habits, and Political Principles.”
- “Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the Union of the whole.”
- “For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections.”
2. Which of the following is a key idea supported and developed in the Farewell Address?
- The preservation of the current peace depends entirely on local actions.
- The unity of the government is entirely at the will of the people that it governs.
- Citizens should protect the harmony of the United States, and actively support it.
- People who participate in discrimination of any kind are enemies of the state.
3. How does Washington connect the rights and privileges of citizens to the preservation of the Union?
- By noting that the preservation of the Union may be under attack and that the average citizen needs to turn his attention to governing.
- By first mentioning the value of being a citizen and then indicating that patriotism should not support discrimination .
- By showing that this country is one that allows its citizens privileges not found in many others and that government is by the will of the people.
- By mentioning that citizens need to keep a sharp eye on the government and develop an interest in the history of its policies.
4. What does the phrase “concentrate your affections” mean?
- your desire for love
- your feeling of joy
- your deepest loyalty
- your longing for the Union
5. What are some of the goals in this section of Washington’s Farewell Speech?
- to show that the privilege of citizenship has come at a high price and is to be valued
- to show that citizens should be proud and need to fight foreign interests
- to highlight the idea that the government can take over and dissolve the Union
- to encourage citizens to value their liberties and to preserve the Union
1. C: “Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the Union of the whole.” This sentence clearly indicates that the Union may be under some sort of threat: Washington uses the word guarding, showing that there was the possibility of attack. The other choices contribute to Washington’s theme, but they do not clearly illustrate the uneasiness found in this sentence.
2. C: Citizens should protect the harmony of the United States, and actively support it. This part of the speech addresses Washington’s concern over the unity of the nation. He indicates that the privileges enjoyed by citizens should not be taken for granted. Choices A and B do not address the main theme of this selection. Choice D is a distortion of one of Washington’s ideas.
3. B: By first mentioning the value of being a citizen and then indicating that patriotism should not support discrimination. Washington unpacks his points by first noting the privilege of being a citizen and then mentioning that discrimination can be a possible obstacle to preserving the Union. The other choices mention ideas that are found in the passage, but they are not part of the connection between the rights of citizens and the preservation of the budding nation.
4. C: your deepest loyalty Washington wrote in a style not typically utilized today. From the context of the surrounding sentences, it is clear that he is hoping that regular people turn their hearts toward their country and have the highest regard for it. The other choices focus more on the individual’s feelings for himself.
5. D: to encourage citizens to value their liberties and to preserve the Union This is the focus of this selection. Choice A only mentions one goal. Choices B and C are taken from some of the details in the passage.
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by Enoch Morrison | Last Updated: January 9, 2019