Reading Comprehension Quiz

[A new interlinear poem will be available each Monday: Weekly Interlinear Poem .]

Use the dictionary, the acronym finder, and the word origins dictionary (links above) as needed. A new quiz is available each Monday through Thursday. This is the quiz for March 31.

The relationship of the Declaraton of Independence to slavery was taken up in 1854 by Abraham Lincoln, a little-known former Congressman who idolized the Founding Fathers. Lincoln thought that the Declaration of Independence expressed the highest principles of the American Revolution and that the Founding Fathers had tolerated slavery with the expectation that it would ultimately wither away. For the United States to legitimize the expansion of slavery in the Kansas-Nebraska Act, thought Lincoln, was to repudiate the principles of the American Revolution. In his October, 1854, Peoria speech, Lincoln said:
Nearly eighty years ago we began by declaring that all men are created equal, but now from that beginning we have run down to the other declaration, that for some men to enslave others is a 'sacred right of self-government.' . . . Our republican robe is soiled and trailed in the dust. Let us repurify it. . . . Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence and, with it, the practices and policy which harmonize with it. . . . If we do this, we shall not only have saved the Union but we shall have saved it as to make and keep it forever worthy of the saving.
The meaning of the Declaration was a recurring topic in the famed debates between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas in 1858. Douglas argued that the statement "all men are created equal" in the Declaration referred to white men only. The purpose of the Declaration, he said, had simply been to justify the independence of the United States and not to proclaim the equality of any "inferior or degraded race." Lincoln, however, thought that the language of the Declaration was deliberately universal, setting a high moral standard for which the American republic should aspire. "I had thought the Declaration contemplated the progressive improvement in the condition of all men everywhere," he said. According to Pauline Maier, Douglas's interpretation was more historically accurate, but Lincoln's view ultimately prevailed. "In Lincoln's hands," wrote Maier, "the Declaration of Independence became first and foremost a living document" with "a set of goals to be realized over time."

1. The Kansas-Nebraska Act sought to
A. eliminate slavery.
B. expand slavery.
2. The "republican robe" was
A. the government established by the Founding Fathers.
B. states' rights.
C. local government.
D. clothing of republicans.
3. The Declaration of Independence is a living document largely thanks to
A. Stephen Douglas.
B. Pauline Maier.
C. Abraham Lincoln.
D. the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
4. Ultimately means
A. rightly.
B. of the most importance.
C. repeatedly.
D. at last.

The information comes from Wikipedia.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-B.........2-A..........3-C..........4-D
Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at