Roosevelt Speech Vocabulary List & Comprehension Questions: SAT Answers 2021

Roosevelt Speech Vocabulary List & Comprehension Questions: SAT Answers 2021

Roosevelt Speech Vocabulary List & Comprehension Questions: SAT Answers 2021

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Roosevelt Speech Vocabulary List & Comprehension Questions

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Vocabulary List
Tyranny (noun) cruel or oppressive government control
Preamble (noun) the opening or introductory materials before a formal document
Keynote (noun) the main speech or address
Ratify (verb) to accept through a vote
Abstentions (noun) refusals to vote
Deluded (verb) fooled, misled
Vapid (adj.) empty, lacking thought or intelligence
Valiantly (adv.) bravely
Reciprocal (adj.) done in return, exchanged
Promulgated (verb) promoted, spread information widely
Antitrust (adj.) related to the dismantling of monopolies
Nullify (verb) to end completely
Unanimity (noun) complete agreement among a group of people or entities
Laudable (adj.) worthy of applause or praise
Impugn (verb) to criticize or damage the reputation
Acquiesce (verb) to accept or give into
Curtail (verb) to limit
I have come this evening to talk with you on one of the greatest
issues of our time — that is the preservation of human freedom. I
have chosen to discuss it here in France, at the Sorbonne, because
here in this soil the roots of human freedom have long ago struck
1.Why has Roosevelt decided to
give her speech at the Sorbonne?
deep and here they have been richly nourished. It was here the
Declaration of the Rights of Man was proclaimed, and the great slo-
gans of the French Revolution — liberty, equality, fraternity — fired
the imagination of men. I have chosen to discuss this issue in Europe because this has been the scene of the greatest historic battles between freedom and tyranny. I have chosen to discuss it in
the early days of the General Assembly because the issue of human
liberty is decisive for the settlement of outstanding political differences and for the future of the United Nations.
The location is irrelevant
She is on a tour of Europe
on behalf of the United Nations
The location is symbolic of
the fight for human rights
The Sorbonne is where women have fought for their
2. As used in the passage,
promote most nearly means…
The decisive importance of this issue was fully recognized by the
founders of the United Nations at San Francisco. Concern for the
preservation and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms stands at the heart of the United Nations. Its Charter is distinguished by its preoccupation with the rights and welfare of individual men and women. The United Nations has made it clear that
it intends to uphold human rights and to protect the dignity of the
human personality. In the preamble to the Charter the keynote is
set when it declares: “We the people of the United Nations determined…to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and
women and of nations large and small, and…to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.” This reflects
the basic premise of the Charter that the peace and security of
mankind are dependent on mutual respect for the rights and freedoms of all.
One of the purposes of the United Nations is declared in article 1 to
be: “to achieve international cooperation in solving international
problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights
and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race,
sex, language, or religion.”
This thought is repeated at several points and notably in articles
55 and 56 the Members pledge themselves to take joint and separate action in cooperation with the United Nations for the promotion of “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and
fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex,
language, or religion.”
The Human Rights Commission was given as its first and most important task the preparation of an International Bill of Rights. The
General Assembly, which opened its third session here in Paris a
3. As used in the passage fruit
most nearly means…
4. What are “human rights” according to the passage?
few days ago, will have before it the first fruit of the Commission’s
labors in this task, that is the International Declaration of Human
The Declaration was finally completed after much work during the
last session of the Human Rights Commission in New York in the
Free speech and assembly
for men and freedom of
choice for women
Total equality for all people
The minimum needed for
humans to be able to grow
as individuals
Something all nations will
agree on
spring of 1948. The Economic and Social Council has sent it without recommendation to the General Assembly, together with other
documents transmitted by the Human Rights Commission.
It was decided in our Commission that a Bill of Rights should contain two parts:
1. A Declaration which could be approved through action of the
Member States of the United Nations in the General Assembly. This
declaration would have great moral force, and would say to the
peoples of the world “this is what we hope human rights may
mean to all people in the years to come.” We have put down here
the rights that we consider basic for individual human beings the
world over to have. Without them, we feel that the full development of individual personality is impossible.
2. The second part of the bill, which the Human Rights Commission
has not yet completed because of the lack of time, is a covenant
which would be in the form of a treaty to be presented to the nations of the world. Each nation, as it is prepared to do so, would
ratify this covenant and the covenant would then become binding
on the nations which adhere to it. Each nation ratifying would then
be obligated to change its laws wherever they did not conform to
the points contained in the covenant.
This covenant, of course, would have to be a simpler document. It
could not state aspirations, which we feel to be permissible in the
Declaration. It could only state rights which could be assured by
law and it must contain methods of implementation, and no state
ratifying the covenant could be allowed to disregard it. The meth-
5. Why have some nations refused to accept the concept of
human rights as laid out by the
United Nations?
ods of implementation have not yet been agreed upon, nor have
they been given adequate consideration by the Commission at any
of its meetings. There certainly should be discussion on the entire
question of this world Bill of Human Rights and there may be acceptance by this Assembly of the Declaration if they come to
agreement on it. The acceptance of the Declaration, I think, should
encourage every nation in the coming months to discuss its mean-
They have a contrary opinion
on the definition of human
They disagree on who should
be included in the definition
of human
They have not been consulted on these concepts
They feel human rights cannot be assured by law
ing with its people so that they will be better prepared to accept
the covenant with a deeper understanding of the problems involved when that is presented, we hope, a year from now and, we
hope, accepted.
6. What provides the best
evidence for the previous
The Declaration has come from the Human Rights Commission with
unanimous acceptance except for four abstentions — the U.S.S.R.,
Yugoslavia, Ukraine, and Byelorussia. The reason for this is a fundamental difference in the conception of human rights as they exist in these states and in certain other Member States in the United
In the discussion before the Assembly, I think it should be made
“It could only state rights
which could be assured by
“this is a fundamental difference in the conception of human rights as they exist”
“nor have they been given
adequate consideration by
the Commission”
“we must not be confused
about what freedom is”
crystal clear what these differences are and tonight I want to
spend a little time making them clear to you. It seems to me there
is a valid reason for taking the time today to think carefully and
clearly on the subject of human rights, because in the acceptance
and observance of these rights lies the root, I believe, of our
chance of peace in the future, and for the strengthening of the
United Nations organization to the point where it can maintain
peace in the future.
We must not be confused about what freedom is. Basic human
rights are simple and easily understood: freedom of speech and a
free press; freedom of religion and worship; freedom of assembly
and the right of petition; the right of men to be secure in their
homes and free from unreasonable search and seizure and from
arbitrary arrest and punishment.
We must not be deluded by the efforts of the forces of reaction to
prostitute the great words of our free tradition and thereby to confuse the struggle. Democracy, freedom, human rights have come to
7. According to the passage,
what does “democracy” mean?
have a definite meaning to the people of the world which we must
not allow any nation to so change that they are made synonymous
with suppression and dictatorship.
There are basic differences that show up even in the use of words
between a democratic and a totalitarian country. For instance
“democracy” means one thing to the U.S.S.R. and another the
U.S.A. and, I know, in France. I have served since the first meeting
of the nuclear commission on the Human Rights Commission, and I
think this point stands out clearly.
The U.S.S.R. Representatives assert that they already have
8. What is the function of the
example of newspapers in the
achieved many things which we, in what they call the “bourgeois
democracies” cannot achieve because their government controls
the accomplishment of these things. Our government seems pow-
Freedom that is given by the
Different things in different
The ability to vote for representation
to demonstrate the need for
fundamental human rights
To criticize the USSR’s lack
of freedom of the press
To show how there can be
differences in how we understand concepts
To uphold USSR’s freedom of
the press
erless to them because, in the last analysis, it is controlled by the
people. They would not put it that way — they would say that the
people in the U.S.S.R. control their government by allowing their
government to have certain absolute rights. We, on the other
hand, feel that certain rights can never be granted to the government, but must be kept in the hands of the people.
For instance, the U.S.S.R. will assert that their press is free because the state makes it free by providing the machinery, the paper, and even the money for salaries for the people who work on
the paper. They state that there is no control over what is printed
in the various papers that they subsidize in this manner, such, for
instance, as a trade-union paper. But what would happen if a paper were to print ideas which were critical of the basic policies and
beliefs of the Communist government.? I am sure some good reason would be found for abolishing the paper.
It is true that they have been many cases where newspapers in the
U.S.S.R. have criticized officials and their actions and have been
responsible for the removal of those officials, but in doing so they
did not criticize anything which was fundamental to Communist
beliefs. They simply criticized methods of doing things, so one
must differentiate between things which are permissible, such as
criticism of any individual or of the manner of doing things, and
the criticism of a belief which would be considered vital to the acceptance of Communism.
What are the differences, for instance, between trade-unions in
the totalitarian states and in the democracies? In the totalitarian
state a trade-union is an instrument used by the government to
enforce duties, not to assert rights. Propaganda material which the
government desires the workers to have is furnished by the tradeunions to be circulated to their members.
Our trade-unions, on the other hand, are solely the instrument of
the workers themselves. They represent the workers in their relations with the government and with management and they are free
to develop their own opinions without government help or interference. The concepts of our trade-unions and those in totalitarian
countries are drastically different. There is little mutual understanding.
I think the best example one can give of this basic difference of
the use of terms is “the right to work.” The Soviet Union insists
that this is a basic right which it alone can guarantee because it
alone provides full employment by the government. But the right
to work in the Soviet Union means the assignment of workers to
do whatever task is given to them by the government without an
opportunity for the people to participate in the decision that the
government should do this. A society in which everyone works is
not necessarily a free society and may indeed be a slave society;
on the other hand, a society in which there is widespread economic
insecurity can turn freedom into a barren and vapid right for millions of people.
We in the United States have come to realize it means freedom to
choose one’s job, to work or not to work as one desires. We, in the
United States, have come to realize, however, that people have a
right to demand that their government will not allow them to
starve because as individuals they cannot find work of the kind
they are accustomed to doing and this is a decision brought about
by public opinion which came as a result of the great depression in
which many people were out of work, but we would not consider in
the United States that we had gained any freedom if we were compelled to follow a dictatorial assignment to work where and when
we were told. The right of choice would seem to us an important,
fundamental freedom.
I have great sympathy with the Russian people. They love their
country and have always defended it valiantly against invaders.
They have been through a period of revolution, as a result of which
they were for a time cut off from outside contact. They have not
lost their resulting suspicion of other countries and the great diffi-
9. As used in the passage, granted most nearly means…
culty is today that their government encourages this suspicion and
seems to believe that force alone will bring them respect.
We, in the democracies, believe in a kind of international respect
and action which is reciprocal. We do not think others should treat
us differently from the way they wish to be treated. It is interference in other countries that especially stirs up antagonism against
the Soviet Government. If it wishes to feel secure in developing its
economic and political theories within its territory, then it should
grant to others that same security. We believe in the freedom of
people to make their own mistakes. We do not interfere with them
and they should not interfere with others.
The basic problem confronting the world today, as I said in the beginning, is the preservation of human freedom for the individual
and consequently for the society of which he is a part. We are
fighting this battle again today as it was fought at the time of the
French Revolution and as the time of the American Revolution. The
issue of human liberty is as decisive now as it was then. I want to
give you my conception of what is meant in my country by freedom
of the individual.
Long ago in London during a discussion with Mr. Vyshinsky, he told
me there was no such thing as freedom for the individual in the
world. All freedom of the individual was conditioned by the rights
of other individuals. That of course, I granted. I said: “We approach the question from a different point of view/ we here in the
United Nations are trying to develop ideals which will be broader in
outlook, which will consider first the rights of man, which will consider what makes man more free; not governments, but man.”
The totalitarian state typically places the will of the people second
to decrees promulgated by a few men at the top.
Naturally there must always be consideration of the rights of others; but in a democracy this is not a restriction. Indeed, in our democracies we make our freedoms secure because each of us is expected to respect the rights of others and we are free to make our
own laws. Freedom for our peoples is not only a right, but also a
revolution. This we have learned by experience and we accept the
slow processes of democracy because we know that shortcuts
compromise principles on which no compromise is possible.
Sometimes the processes of democracy are slow, and I have
known some of our leaders to say that a benevolent dictatorship
would accomplish the ends desired in a much shorter time than it
takes to go through the democratic processes of discussion and
the slow formation of public opinion. But there is no way of insuring that a dictatorship will remain benevolent or that power once
in the hands of a few will be returned to the people without struggle The final expression of the opinion of the people with us is
10. What does Roosevelt imply
about elections?
A secret ballot is not necessary
Dictatorships can be the result of free elections
Not all elections are free
It is not necessary for everyone to vote
through free and honest elections, with valid choices on basic issues and candidates. The secret ballot is an essential to free elections but you must have a choice before you. I have heard my husband say many times that a people need never lose their freedom
if they kept their right to a secret ballot and if they used that secret ballot to the full. Basic decisions of our society are made
through the expressed will of the people. That is why when we see
these liberties threatened, instead of falling apart, our nation becomes unified and our democracies come together as a unified
group in spite of our varied backgrounds and many racial strains.
In the United States we have a capitalistic economy. That is because public opinion favors that type of economy under the conditions in which we live. But we have imposed certain restraints; for
instance, we have antitrust laws. These are the legal evidence of
the determination of the American people to maintain an economy
of free competition and not to allow monopolies to take away the
people’s freedom.
Our trade-unions grow stronger because the people come to believe that this is the proper way to guarantee the rights of the
workers and that the right to organize and to bargain collectively
keeps the balance between the actual producer an the investor of
money and the manage in industry who watches over the man who
works with this hands and who produces the materials which are
out tangible wealth.
In the United States we are old enough not to claim perfection. We
recognize that we have some problems of discrimination but we
find steady progress being made in the solution of these problems.
Through normal democratic processes we are coming to understand our needs and how we can attain full equality for all our people. Free discussion on the subject is permitted. Our Supreme
Court has recently rendered decisions to clarify a number of our
laws to guarantee the rights of all.
The U.S.S.R. claims it has reached a point where all races within
her borders are officially considered equal and have equal rights
and they insist that they have no discrimination where minorities
are concerned.
11. What is NOT a sign of totalitarianism?
Control of the press
Suppression of religion
Regulation of education
Free …

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