Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese

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Pagina 285
di testi originali
in lingua inglese
con domande di comprensione
del testo (verso il CLIL)
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Unità I
Pagina 286
La Dichiarazione dei diritti del 1689
(pag. 20)
Bill of Rights, 1689
The Bill of Rights is the result of the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688-1689, which ended with
the exile of the Catholic King James II and the accession to the throne of William, the Dutch
Protestant Prince of Orange, and his wife Mary, James’s daughter. It is fundamental in the
development of the British constitution and especially with regard to the role of Parliament.
The Bill of Rights regulate the relations between the Crown and the people, declaring the rights
of the subjects and settling the succession of the Crown.
And thereupon the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons, pursuant to their
respective letters and elections, being now assembled in a full and free representative
of this nation, taking into their most serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid, do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done) for the vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and liberties declare:
• That the pretended power of suspending the laws or the execution of laws by regal au•
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
thority without consent of Parliament is illegal;
That the pretended power of dispensing with laws or the execution of laws by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal;
That the commission for erecting the late Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical
Causes, and all other commissions and courts of like nature, are illegal and pernicious;
That levying money for or to the use of the Crown by pretence of prerogative, without grant of Parliament, for longer time, or in other manner than the same is or shall
be granted, is illegal;
That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and
prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal;
That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace,
unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law;
That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to
their conditions and as allowed by law;
That election of members of Parliament ought to be free;
That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to
be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament;
That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted;
That jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and jurors which pass upon
men in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders;
That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void;
And that for redress of all grievances, and for the amending, strengthening and preserving of the laws, Parliaments ought to be held frequently.
And they do claim, demand and insist upon all and singular the premises as their undoubted rights and liberties, and that no declarations, judgments, doings or proceedings
to the prejudice of the people in any of the said premises ought in any wise to be drawn
hereafter into consequence or example; to which demand of their rights they are particularly encouraged by the declaration of his Highness the prince of Orange as being the only means for obtaining a full redress and remedy therein.
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Having therefore an entire confidence that his said Highness the prince of Orange will
perfect the deliverance so far advanced by him, and will still preserve them from the
violation of their rights which they have here asserted, and from all other attempts upon
their religion, rights and liberties, the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons
assembled at Westminster do resolve that William and Mary, prince and princess of Orange, be and be declared king and queen of England, France and Ireland and the dominions thereunto belonging, to hold the crown and royal dignity of the said kingdoms
and dominions to them, the said prince and princess, during their lives and the life of
the survivor to them, and that the sole and full exercise of the regal power be only in
and executed by the said prince of Orange in the names of the said prince and princess
during their joint lives, and after their deceases the said crown and royal dignity of the
same kingdoms and dominions to be to the heirs of the body of the said princess, and
for default of such issue to the Princess Anne of Denmark and the heirs of her body,
and for default of such issue to the heirs of the body of the said prince of Orange. And
the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons do pray the said prince and princess
to accept the same accordingly.
3. In your opinion why do the Lords want Parliaments to be held frequently?
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
2. Will it be possible to raise a standing army in time of peace? Why do you think the Lords
put this veto for?
1. How will the King levy money from now on?
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Unità I
Pagina 288
La giustificazione del diritto di proprietà
(pag. 22)
e Right of Property
John Locke (1632-1704) was one of the most influential people of the 17th century in England. He wrote and developed the philosophy that there was no legitimate government under the divine right of kings theory (God chose some people to rule on earth in his will, therefore, whatever the monarch decided was the will of God) a very powerful philosophy for the
existing ruler. But, Locke did not believe in that and wrote his theory to challenge it. He thought
that the power to govern was obtained from the permission of the people and that the purpose of government was to protect the natural rights of its citizens. He said that natural rights
were life, liberty and property, and that all people automatically earned these simply by being born. When a government did not protect those rights, the citizen had the right and maybe
even the obligation of overthrowing the government. In The Second Treatise of Civil Government, Locke justifies the right of property.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
Sec. 27. ough the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every
man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. e labour
of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then
he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his
labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath
by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men:
for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have
a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in
common for others.
Sec. 28. He that is nourished by the acorns he picked up under an oak, or the apples he
gathered from the trees in the wood, has certainly appropriated them to himself. No body
can deny but the nourishment is his. I ask then, when did they begin to be his? when he
digested? or when he eat? or when he boiled? or when he brought them home? or when
he picked them up? and it is plain, if the first gathering made them not his, nothing else
could. at labour put a distinction between them and common: that added something
to them more than nature, the common mother of all, had done; and so they became his
private right. And will any one say, he had no right to those acorns or apples, he thus appropriated, because he had not the consent of all mankind to make them his? Was it a
robbery thus to assume to himself what belonged to all in common? If such a consent as
that was necessary, man had starved, notwithstanding the plenty God had given him. We
see in commons, which remain so by compact, that it is the taking any part of what is
common, and removing it out of the state nature leaves it in, which begins the property; without which the common is of no use. And the taking of this or that part, does not
depend on the express consent of all the commoners. us the grass my horse has bit; the
turfs my servant has cut; and the ore I have digged in any place, where I have a right to
them in common with others, become my property, without the assignation or consent
of any body. e labour that was mine, removing them out of that common state they
were in, hath fixed my property in them.
Sec. 29. By making an explicit consent of every commoner, necessary to any one’s appropriating to himself any part of what is given in common, children or servants could not
cut the meat, which their father or master had provided for them in common, without as-
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signing to every one his peculiar part. ough the water running in the fountain be every
one’s, yet who can doubt, but that in the pitcher is his only who drew it out? His labour
hath taken it out of the hands of nature, where it was common, and belonged equally to
all her children, and hath thereby appropriated it to himself.
Sec. 32. But the chief matter of property being now not the fruits of the earth, and the
beasts that subsist on it, but the earth itself; as that which takes in and carries with it all
the rest; I think it is plain, that property in that too is acquired as the former. As much
land as a man tills, plants, improves, cultivates, and can use the product of, so much is his
property. He by his labour does, as it were, inclose it from the common. Nor will it invalidate his right, to say every body else has an equal title to it; and therefore he cannot
appropriate, he cannot inclose, without the consent of all his fellow-commoners, all mankind.
God, when he gave the world in common to all mankind, commanded man also to labour,
and the penury of his condition required it of him. God and his reason commanded him
to subdue the earth, i.e. improve it for the benefit of life, and therein lay out something
upon it that was his own, his labour. He that in obedience to this command of God, subdued, tilled and sowed any part of it, thereby annexed to it something that was his property, which another had no title to, nor could without injury take from him.
1. How does a man’s labour justify the property acquired through it?
2. When does a fish or a hare become the property of the man who has removed it from
the state of nature?
3. Read the extract and underline the sentence that best summarise each section.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
Sec. 31. It will perhaps be objected to this, that if gathering the acorns, or other fruits of
the earth, &c. makes a right to them, then any one may ingross as much as he will. To which
I answer, Not so. e same law of nature, that does by this means give us property, does
also bound that property too. God has given us all things richly, 1 Tim. vi. 12. is the voice
of reason confirmed by inspiration. But how far has he given it us? To enjoy. As much as
any one can make use of to any advantage of life before it spoils, so much he may by his
labour fix a property in: whatever is beyond this, is more than his share, and belongs to
others. Nothing was made by God for man to spoil or destroy. And thus, considering the
plenty of natural provisions there was a long time in the world, and the few spenders; and
to how small a part of that provision the industry of one man could extend itself, and ingross it to the prejudice of others; especially keeping within the bounds, set by reason, of
what might serve for his use; there could be then little room for quarrels or contentions
about property so established.
Sec. 30. us this law of reason makes the deer that Indian’s who hath killed it; it is allowed to be his goods, who hath bestowed his labour upon it, though before it was the common right of every one. And amongst those who are counted the civilized part of mankind,
who have made and multiplied positive laws to determine property, this original law of nature, for the beginning of property, in what was before common, still takes place; and by
virtue thereof, what fish any one catches in the ocean, that great and still remaining common of mankind; or what ambergrise any one takes up here, is by the labour that removes
it out of that common state nature left it in, made his property, who takes that pains about
it. And even amongst us, the hare that any one is hunting, is thought his who pursues her
during the chase: for being a beast that is still looked upon as common, and no man’s private possession; whoever has employed so much labour about any of that kind, as to find
and pursue her, has thereby removed her from the state of nature, wherein she was common, and hath begun a property.
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Unità II
La Dichiarazione di indipendenza
(pag. 93)
e Unanimous Declaration
of the irteen United States of America
When the conflict between American colonists and British soldiers began in April 1775, the
Americans were only fighting for their rights as subjects of the British crown. But after a year
of war the movement for independence from Britain had grown, and in mid-June 1776, a
committee (John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Robert Livingston
of New York, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia) was writing a draft of the colonies’ intentions. The Congress formally adopted it in Philadelphia on July
4. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had
already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did
was to summarize this philosophy in “self-evident truths” and set forth a list of grievances
against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies
and the mother country.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the
political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station 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 which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed
by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. at to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. at whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing
its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect 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 right, 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 these colonies; and such is
now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government.
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress,
assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,
do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent
states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude
peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which
independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm
reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives,
our fortunes and our sacred honor.
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The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll
of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Rodney George Read
Thomas McKean
Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton
1. Which fundamental powers do the United States of America assume with this declaration?
Column 1
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
3. Explain in your own words the sentence “we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our
fortunes and our sacred honor”.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
2. Who is the Supreme Judge of the world?
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Unità III
Pagina 292
L’attacco di Burke ai diritti astratti
(pag. 141)
Burke’s Reflections on the French Revolution
Edmund Burke (1729-1797) was an Anglo-Irish politician, involved in debates over limits to
the power of the king, fighting for parliamentary control of royal patronage and expenditure.
He firmly believed that government should be a cooperative relationship between rulers and
subjects. Therefore Burke gave a strong support to the American Revolution urging a policy
of justice and conciliation. On the contrary he fiercely opposed the French revolution because
he feared the dangers of mob rule, and thought that the Revolution’s fervour was destroying French society. He appealed to the British virtues of continuity, tradition, rank and property and opposed the Revolution to the end of his life. This excerpt is from Burke’s Reflections on the French Revolution.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
Our oldest reformation is that of Magna Charta. You will see that Sir Edward Coke,
that great oracle of our law, and indeed all the great men who follow him, to Blackstone,[8] are industrious to prove the pedigree of our liberties. They endeavor to prove
that the ancient charter, the Magna Charta of King John, was connected with another
positive charter from Henry I, and that both the one and the other were nothing more
than a reaffirmance of the still more ancient standing law of the kingdom. In the matter of fact, for the greater part these authors appear to be in the right; perhaps not always; but if the lawyers mistake in some particulars, it proves my position still the more
strongly, because it demonstrates the powerful prepossession toward antiquity, with
which the minds of all our lawyers and legislators, and of all the people whom they
wish to influence, have been always filled, and the stationary policy of this kingdom
in considering their most sacred rights and franchises as an inheritance.
In the famous law of the 3rd of Charles I, called the Petition of Right, the parliament
says to the king, “Your subjects have inherited this freedom”, claiming their franchises
not on abstract principles “as the rights of men”, but as the rights of Englishmen, and
as a patrimony derived from their forefathers. Selden and the other profoundly learned
men who drew this Petition of Right were as well acquainted, at least, with all the general theories concerning the “rights of men” as any of the discoursers in our pulpits
or on your tribune; full as well as Dr. Price or as the Abbe Sieyes. But, for reasons worthy of that practical wisdom which superseded their theoretic science, they preferred
this positive, recorded, hereditary title to all which can be dear to the man and the citizen, to that vague speculative right which exposed their sure inheritance to be scrambled for and torn to pieces by every wild, litigious spirit.
The same policy pervades all the laws which have since been made for the preservation of our liberties. In the 1st of William and Mary, in the famous statute called the
Declaration of Right, the two Houses utter not a syllable of “a right to frame a government for themselves”. You will see that their whole care was to secure the religion,
laws, and liberties that had been long possessed, and had been lately endangered. “Taking[9] into their most serious consideration the best means for making such an establishment, that their religion, laws, and liberties might not be in danger of being again
subverted”, they auspicate all their proceedings by stating as some of those best means,
“in the first place” to do “as their ancestors in like cases have usually done for vindicating their ancient rights and liberties, to declare” – and then they pray the king and
queen “that it may be declared and enacted that all and singular the rights and liber-
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ties asserted and declare dare the true ancient and indubitable rights and liberties of
the people of this kingdom”.
Through the same plan of a conformity to nature in our artificial institutions, and by
calling in the aid of her unerring and powerful instincts to fortify the fallible and feeble contrivances of our reason, we have derived several other, and those no small, benefits from considering our liberties in the light of an inheritance. Always acting as if
in the presence of canonized forefathers, the spirit of freedom, leading in itself to misrule and excess, is tempered with an awful gravity. This idea of a liberal descent inspires
us with a sense of habitual native dignity which prevents that upstart insolence almost
inevitably adhering to and disgracing those who are the first acquirers of any distinction. By this means our liberty becomes a noble freedom.
It carries an imposing and majestic aspect. It has a pedigree and illustrating ancestors.
It has its bearings and its ensigns armorial. It has its gallery of portraits, its monumental
inscriptions, its records, evidences, and titles. We procure reverence to our civil insti-
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
This policy appears to me to be the result of profound reflection, or rather the happy
effect of following nature, which is wisdom without reflection, and above it. A spirit
of innovation is generally the result of a selfish temper and confined views. People will
not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors. Besides, the
people of England well know that the idea of inheritance furnishes a sure principle of
conservation and a sure principle of transmission, without at all excluding a principle
of improvement. It leaves acquisition free, but it secures what it acquires. Whatever advantages are obtained by a state proceeding on these maxims are locked fast as in a sort
of family settlement, grasped as in a kind of mortmain forever. By a constitutional policy, working after the pattern of nature, we receive, we hold, we transmit our government and our privileges in the same manner in which we enjoy and transmit our property and our lives. The institutions of policy, the goods of fortune, the gifts of providence are handed down to us, and from us, in the same course and order. Our political system is placed in a just correspondence and symmetry with the order of the world
and with the mode of existence decreed to a permanent body composed of transitory
parts, wherein, by the disposition of a stupendous wisdom, molding together the great
mysterious incorporation of the human race, the whole, at one time, is never old or middle-aged or young, but, in a condition of unchangeable constancy, moves on through
the varied tenor of perpetual decay, fall, renovation, and progression. Thus, by preserving
the method of nature in the conduct of the state, in what we improve we are never wholly new; in what we retain we are never wholly obsolete. By adhering in this manner and
on those principles to our forefathers, we are guided not by the superstition of antiquarians,
but by the spirit of philosophic analogy. In this choice of inheritance we have given to
our frame of polity the image of a relation in blood, binding up the constitution of our
country with our dearest domestic ties, adopting our fundamental laws into the bosom of our family affections, keeping inseparable and cherishing with the warmth of all
their combined and mutually reflected charities our state, our hearths, our sepulchres,
and our altars.
You will observe that from Magna Charta to the Declaration of Right it has been the
uniform policy of our constitution to claim and assert our liberties as an entailed inheritance derived to us from our forefathers, and to be transmitted to our posterity –
as an estate specially belonging to the people of this kingdom, without any reference
whatever to any other more general or prior right. By this means our constitution preserves a unity in so great a diversity of its parts. We have an inheritable crown, an inheritable peerage, and a House of Commons and a people inheriting privileges, franchises, and liberties from a long line of ancestors.
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tutions on the principle upon which nature teaches us to revere individual men: on account of their age and on account of those from whom they are descended. All your
sophisters cannot produce anything better adapted to preserve a rational and manly freedom than the course that we have pursued, who have chosen our nature rather than
our speculations, our breasts rather than our inventions, for the great conservatories and
magazines of our rights and privileges.
1. Why is Edmund Burke so violently against the French Revolution?
2. By which means religion laws and liberties are preserved?
3. Explain why “the idea of inheritance furnishes a sure principle of conservation and a sure
principle of transmission”.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
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Unità IV
Pagina 295
Il cavaliere e l’ebrea
(pag. 224)
“Rebecca,” he replied, “thou knowest not how impossible it is for one trained to actions
of chivalry to remain passive as a priest, or a woman, when they are acting deeds of honour around him. The love of battle is the food upon which we live . the dust of the melee
is the breath of our nostrils! We live not – we wish not to live – longer than while we are
victorious and renowned –Such, maiden, are the laws of chivalry to which we are sworn,
and to which we offer all that we hold dear.”
“Alas!” said the fair Jewess, “and what is it, valiant knight, save an offering of sacrifice to
a demon of vain glory, and a passing through the fire to Moloch? – What remains to you
as the prize of all the blood you have spilled – of all the travail and pain you have endured
– of all the tears which your deeds have caused, when death hath broken the strong man’s
spear, and overtaken the speed of his war-horse?”
“What remains?” cried Ivanhoe; “Glory, maiden, glory! which gilds our sepulcher and embalms our name.”
“Glory?” continued Rebecca; “alas, is the rusted mail which hangs as a hatchment over
the champion’s dim and mouldering tomb – is the defaced sculpture of the inscription
which the ignorant monk can hardly read to the enquiring pilgrim – are these sufficient
rewards for the sacrifice of every kindly affection, for a life spent miserably that ye may
make others miserable? Or is there such virtue in the rude rhymes of a wandering bard,
that domestic love, kindly affection, peace and happiness, are so wildly bartered, to become the hero of those ballads which vagabond minstrels sing to drunken churls over their
evening ale?”
“By the soul of Hereward?” replied the knight impatiently, “thou speakest, maiden, of thou
knowest not what. Thou wouldst quench the pure light of chivalry, which alone distinguishes the noble from the base, the gentle knight from the churl and the savage; which
rates our life far, far beneath the pitch of our honour; raises us victorious over pain, toil,
and suffering, and teaches us to fear no evil but disgrace. Thou art no Christian, Rebec-
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
Walter Scott (1771-1832), fascinated by history and tradition, published a succession of
hugely popular historical novels, beginning with Waverly (1810), Guy Mannering (1815), and
Ivanhoe (1819). Ivanhoe is set in 1194, when the Norman King, Richard I the Lionheart, returned from the Third Crusade to reclaim his kingdom from his brother John, and it portrays
the enmity of Saxons and Normans during this period. The novel’s hero is the knight Wilfred
of Ivanhoe, son of a Saxon nobleman, who fought alongside Richard in the Holy Land. He
represents Saxon pride, but want to restore peace between Saxons and Normans, and to
reconcile with his father, who had disinherited him when he decided to fight with the King.
In the extract below Ivanhoe is talking to Rebecca, daughter of the Jew Isaac of York, the most
sympathetic character in the book. She loves Ivanhoe, but does not let her love rule her. She
is a person of learning and skill, noble and strong; but in the highly stratified society of Scott’s
England Jews like her are on the bottom of the social scale. Blamed for the death of Christ,
Jews suffered severe persecution over the centuries, including torture, loss of property, and
forced conversion to Christianity. In England, prejudice against Jews increased around 1190
after non-Jews borrowed heavily from Jewish moneylenders, becoming deeply indebted to
them. Jews were believed inhuman and treated inhumanely, stripped out of their money and
goods, forbidden almost any trade besides money-lending, they were not safe and persecuted by everybody else.
Ivanhoe and Rebecca
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ca, and to thee are unknown those high feelings which swell the bosom of a noble maiden when her lover hath done some deed of emprise which sanctions his flame. Chivalry!
– why, maiden, she is the nurse of pure and high affection – the stay of the oppressed,
the redresser of grievances, the curb of the power of the tyrant . Nobility were but an empty name without her, and liberty finds the best protection in her lance and her sword.”
1. Which character do you think has more modern ideas? Explain your answer.
2. Does the knight show any feeling toward the Jew girl?
3. Compare Rebecca’s and Ivanhoe’s idea of glory.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
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Unità V
Pagina 297
In difesa del libero scambio
(pag. 274)
Why, then, do you look at this monopoly of corn with such complacency? Simply because you and I and the rest of us have a superstitious reverence for the owners of those
sluggish acres, and have a very small respect for ourselves and our own vocation. I say the
Corn-law monopolists, who arrogate to themselves power in the House of Commons, are
practising an injustice on every other species of capitalists. Take the iron trade, for example
– a prodigious interest in this country. Iron of certain qualities has gone down in price,
during the last five or six years, from 15l. 10s to 5l. 10s. per ton. Men have seen their fortunes – ay, I have known them – dwindle away from 300,000l. till now they could not
sit down and write their wills for 100,000l. Well, did any man ever hear in the House of
Commons an attempt made to raise a cry about these grievances there, or to lodge a complaint against the Government or the country because they could not keep up the price
of iron? Has any man come forward there proposing that by some law pig-iron should
be so much, and bar-iron of such a price, and other kinds of iron in proportion? No; neither has this been the case with any other interest in the country. But how is it with corn?
The very first night I was present in the House this session, I saw the Prime Minister get
up, having a paper before him, and he was careful to tell us what the price of corn had
been for the last fifty years, and what it was now. He is employed for little else but as a
kind of corn-steward, to see how the prices may be kept up for his masters.
What are the grounds on which this system is maintained? The farmer is put forward –
the interests of the farmer and the farm-labourer are put forward – as the pretext for maintaining this monopoly. I have heard the admission made at agricultural meetings by landlords themselves, that there are twenty farmers bidding for every farm, and that they excuse themselves to the farmers at these very meetings that they let their land at the full
value, and they cannot help it. It is not their fault because there are these twenty farmers bidding for every farm that is vacant. Now, I would ask you, or the merest tyro in this
question, if there be twenty farmers bidding for every farm, and the law can raise the price
of the produce of that farm, do you think that one out of those twenty farmers will get
the benefit of that rise in price? Will not the other nineteen take care that it is brought
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
Richard Cobden (1804-1865), born in a very poor family, became a great textile manufacturer in Manchester and helped shaping the identity of Britain’s entrepreneurs as a new
social and political elite. In England, in the first half of the nineteenth century, many people starved because the price of bread was kept artificially high by the Corn Law which prevented the importation of foreign grain and shield the British farmers from competition. Food
riots, domestic unrest, and a stagnating economy did not convince the government to get
rid of these barriers. Between 1833 and 1837 Cobden travelled extensively in Europe, Russia, America and Egypt, and became aware of the growing economic power of the United
States. He understood that free trade broke down class barriers and obstacles to civil rights
and it would exploit popular welfare and make peace between nations. He fought therefore against the Corn Law, which he saw as the outstanding bastion of aristocratic selfinterest and opposed the Crimean War firmly believing that it was vital that the major powers avoided war. Since free trade and military non-intervention were the same to Cobden,
he pleaded for Britain to abandon the past and repeal protectionism. For eighty-five years
free trade reigned as England’s national policy, influencing the commercial principles of every
major country in the world.
Cobden’s Free Trade
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down by competition to the ordinary profit of trade in this country? The farmers have
been too long deluded by the mere cry of ‘Protection.’ We read of it now in every meeting – ’Protection to the farmers.’ It is destruction to the farmers. The word should be changed
from ‘protection’ to ‘destruction,’ and it would then be more expressive of the effect of
the Corn-law on the farmers.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
With respect to the farm-labourers, our opponents tell us that our object in bringing
about the repeal of the Cornlaws is, by reducing the price of corn, to lower the rate of
their wages. I can only answer upon this point for the manufacturing districts; but, as
far as they are concerned, I state it most emphatically as a truth, that, for the last twenty years, whenever corn has been cheap wages have been high in Lancashire; and, on
the other hand, when bread has been dear wages have been greatly reduced. Now, I distinctly put this statement on record, and challenge any one to controvert it. Wages may
possibly be affected by the price of food in the agricultural districts, and rise and fall
in proportion; but if they do, it is simply for this reason – that they have reached their
minimum, or the point at which they verge towards what you might call slave labour,
when a man gets in the best of times only as much as will keep him in health. When
corn rises, equal food must be given to the labourer to eat, just upon the same principle as farmers or others give an equal quantity of corn to their horses in dear years as
they do in periods of cheapness, in order that they may be maintained in health, and
be equal to the amount of labour which is wanted of them. But whenever the value of
labour rises and falls in the agricultural districts with the price of food, it must be because those wages have previously sunk to that point which is next in degree to the wages
which slaves obtain for their labour. Now, let me be fully understood as to what Free
Traders really do want. We do not want cheap corn merely in order that we may have
low money prices. What we desire is plenty of corn, and we are utterly careless what
its price is, provided we obtain it at the natural price. All we ask is this, that corn shall
follow the same law which the monopolists in food admit that labour must follow; that
‘it shall find its natural level in the markets of the world.’
And now, what would be the process of this equalisation of prices? I think I can give
you the rationale of it. The effect of free trade in corn will be this: It would increase
the demand for agricultural produce in Poland, Germany, and America. That increase
in the demand for agricultural produce would give rise to an increased demand for labour
in those countries, which would tend to raise the wages of the agricultural labourers.
The effect of that would be to draw away labourers from manufactures in all those places.
To pay for that corn, more manufactures would be required from this country; this would
lead to an increased demand for labour in the manufacturing districts, which would
necessarily be attended with a rise of wages, in order that the goods might be made for
the purpose of exchanging for the corn brought from abroad. Whether prices would
be equalised, according to the opinion expressed by my Lord Spencer, by a rise in the
price of bread abroad to the level at which it is here, or whether it would be by a fall
in the prices here to the level at which they now exist on the Continent, would not make
the least earthly difference to the Free Traders; all they ask is, that they shall be put in
the same position with others, and that there should be no bar or hindrance to the admission of food from any quarter into this country. I observe there are narrow-minded men in the agricultural districts, telling us, ‘Oh, if you allow Free Trade, and bring
in a quarter of corn from abroad, it is quite clear that you will sell one quarter less in
England.’ Those men, fellow-countrymen, who utter such nonsense as this, are a sample of the philosophers who are now governing this country. What! I would ask, if you
can set more people to work at better wages – if you can clear your streets of those spectres which are now haunting your thoroughfares begging their daily bread – if you can
depopulate your workhouses, and clear off the two millions of paupers which now ex-
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ist in the land, and put them to work at productive industry – do you not think that
they would consume some of the wheat as well as you; and may not they be, as we are
now, consumers of wheaten bread by millions, instead of existing on their present miserable dietary? Mark me: these philosophical men, so profoundly ignorant of what is
immediately around them, but who meet us at every turn with prophecies of what is
going to happen in future, will tell us, forsooth, that Free Trade will throw their land
out of cultivation, and deprive their labourers of employment.
1. What do Free Traders really want?
2. What will the effects of free trade in corn be?
3. According to Burke what would be the process of the equalization of prices?
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
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Unità VII
Pagina 300
(pag. 421)
Lincoln’s Address at Gettysburg
The battle of Gettysburg was fought from July 1 to July 3, 1863, around Gettysburg, a small
market town in Pennsylvania. Beginning as a skirmish it ended involving 160,000 Americans
and effectively decided the fate of the Union.
President Lincoln had been invited to attend the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863, and he unexpectedly accepted because he
wanted desperately to speak at Gettysburg to boost the Union’s war effort and to solidify political support in the state of Pennsylvania. In front of a crowd of fifteen to twenty thousand
people, Edward Everett, a noted orator from Massachusetts, spoke first for almost two hours.
Then Lincoln delivered his address in less than two minutes. The audience was surprised at
the brevity of the speech, but Everett praised the President’s speech and declared it one of
the best he had heard. The address was spread by the newspapers, and it is considered one
the best speeches in American history. Its last words: government of the People, by the People, for the People - have come to symbolize the definition of democracy itself.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation,
conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here
gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should
do this.
But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate - we cannot consecrate - we cannot hallow - this
ground. e brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above
our poor power to add or detract. e world will little note, nor long remember, what we
say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that
from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the
last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have
died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that
government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
1. What does Lincoln mean with “unfinished work”?
2. For which cause are the dead not died in vain?
3. In your opinion why Lincoln’s last words became the definition of democracy?
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Pagina 301
La posizione di Lincoln sulla schiavitù
(pag. 421)
Lincoln’s Letter to Horace Greeley
On August 19, 1862, Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune and an abolitionist as
Frederick Douglass, published an open letter asking Lincoln to free the slaves to weaken the
Confederacy. In July of that year, Congress had passed the second Confiscation Act, which
freed slaves from Confederate states if they came into Union territory. Lincoln refused to enforce the law, insisting upon his idea of gradual emancipation instead for fear of alienating the
states of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware, which allowed slavery but had not seceded from the Union. Lincoln wrote a carefully worded letter in response affirming that his
main purpose was the reunion of the nation, and for that he was ready to free none, some,
or all of the slaves, depending on the circumstances. Lincoln’s letter prepared the public for
the change in policy that would come one month later with the Emancipation Proclamation.
Dear Sir. I have just read yours of the 19th addressed to myself through the New York Tribune. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which I may know to be erroneous, I do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be perceptable in it an impatient
and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right.
As to the policy I “seem to be pursuing” as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in
I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.”
If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they
could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in
this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save
the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all slaves
I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do
that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the
Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I don’t believe it would help to save the Union.
I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more
whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown
to be error; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.
I have here stated my purpose according to my view of Official duty: and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.
A. Lincoln
1. Why do you think Lincoln considered saving the Union to be more important than freeing the slaves?
2. What does he mean by his “view of official duty?”
3. Why do you think Lincoln wrote this letter when he had already written the draft of the
first Emancipation Proclamation?
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
Hon. Horace Greeley:
Executive Mansion,
Washington, August 22, 1862
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Pagina 302
Emendamenti alla Costituzione americana
(pag. 426)
Amendments to the US Constitution
The Constitution of the United States established America’s national government and fundamental laws, and guaranteed certain basic rights for its citizens. It assigned to Congress responsibility for organizing the executive and judicial branches, raising revenue, declaring war,
and making all laws necessary for executing these powers. The first three Articles of the Constitution established the rules and separate powers of the three branches of the federal government: a legislature, the bicameral Congress; an executive branch led by the President; and
a federal judiciary headed by the Supreme Court. It was signed on September 17, 1787, by
delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and ratified by conventions in eleven states. The first ten amendments (Bill of Rights) guaranteeing basic individual
protections, such as freedom of speech and religion, became part of the Constitution in 1791.
To date, there have been a total of 27 constitutional amendments. The US Constitution is the
oldest charter of supreme law in continuous use, and it influenced later national constitutions.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
No amendment regarding slavery or direct taxes could be permitted until 1808. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to slavery in the states that had not seceded.
Slavery was abolished by the irteenth Amendment in December 1865, which also gave Congress specific authority to enforce the amendment by legislation.
Section 1.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the
party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
In the Dred Scott decision of 1857, the Supreme Court had said that African-Americans were
not citizens. The Fourteenth Amendment declared instead that every person born or naturalized in the US was a citizen and also established that all citizens are entitled to equal protection of the laws.
Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall
make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of
the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
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Section 2.
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective
numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.
But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and VicePresident of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,* and citizens of the United States,
or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
Section 5.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions
of this article.
*Changed by section 1 of the 26th amendment.
The Fifteenth Amendment was designed to protect the right of African-Americans to vote and
has served as the foundation for such legislation as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the
United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude –
Section 2.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
1. Which are the main privileges of citizenship?
2. Why was XIV Amendment reputed necessary?
3. The last section of each amendment affirms that “Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation”. What does it mean?
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
Section 4.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts
incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection
or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against
the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts,
obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Section 3.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and VicePresident, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State,
who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of
any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But
Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
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Unità VIII
Pagina 304
Le diverse ondate di emigranti a Chicago
(pag. 548)
Upton Sinclair’s e Jungle
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
First published in serial form in 1905, The Jungle is a classic in social protest literature written by a journalist, Upton Sinclair, who spent seven weeks gathering information while working incognito in the meatpacking plants of the Chicago stockyards in 1904. Sinclair portrays
the struggles and compromises faced by Jurgis Rudkus and his family coming from Lithuania. They hope to settle into a comfortable life in America, only to find themselves destroyed
by the economic system. The story starts with the family moving into the Packingtown district of Chicago, in search a job and a place to live. But everything costs more than it should,
real estate agents and merchants take advantage of their ignorance, and work is brutal and
degrading. The novel depicts in harsh tones poverty, absence of social programs, unpleasant living and working conditions, and hopelessness. The Jungle is a rare example of a work
of fiction so true to its source and powerfully written that it is generally credited to have affected the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act. The novel is a powerful example of early-twentieth century naturalism, used by sociology teachers to convey the terrible conditions of work
hundred years ago.
About a block away from them there lived another Lithuanian family, consisting of an elderly widow and one grown son; their name was Majauszkis, and our friends struck up an
acquaintance with them before long. One evening they came over for a visit, and naturally the first subject upon which the conversation turned was the neighborhood and its
history; and then Grandmother Majauszkiene, as the old lady was called, proceeded to recite to them a string of horrors that fairly froze their blood. She was a wrinkled-up and
wizened personage – she must have been eighty – and as she mumbled the grim story through
her toothless gums, she seemed a very old witch to them. Grandmother Majauszkiene had
lived in the midst of misfortune so long that it had come to be her element, and she talked
about starvation, sickness, and death as other people might about weddings and holidays.
e thing came gradually. In the first place as to the house they had bought, it was not
new at all, as they had supposed; it was about fifteen years old, and there was nothing new
upon it but the paint, which was so bad that it needed to be put on new every year or two.
e house was one of a whole row that was built by a company which existed to make money by swindling poor people. e family had paid fifteen hundred dollars for it, and it had
not cost the builders five hundred, when it was new. Grandmother Majauszkiene knew that
because her son belonged to a political organization with a contractor who put up exactly such houses. ey used the very flimsiest and cheapest material; they built the houses
a dozen at a time, and they cared about nothing at all except the outside shine. e family could take her word as to the trouble they would have, for she had been through it all
– she and her son had bought their house in exactly the same way. ey had fooled the
company, however, for her son was a skilled man, who made as high as a hundred dollars
a month, and as he had had sense enough not to marry, they had been able to pay for the
house. Grandmother Majauszkiene saw that her friends were puzzled at this remark; they
did not quite see how paying for the house was “fooling the company.” Evidently they were
very inexperienced. Cheap as the houses were, they were sold with the idea that the people who bought them would not be able to pay for them. When they failed – if it were
only by a single month – they would lose the house and all that they had paid on it, and
then the company would sell it over again. And did they often get a chance to do that? Dieve!
(Grandmother Majauszkiene raised her hands.) ey did it – how often no one could say,
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1. Focus on Grandmother Majauszkiene. What do you think of her?
2. Explain how the building company cheated poor people to make money.
3. Is Upton Sinclair sympathetic with the victims of this fraud? Give reasons for your answer.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
e first family had been Germans. e families had all been of different nationalities –
there had been a representative of several races that had displaced each other in the stockyards. Grandmother Majauszkiene had come to America with her son at a time when so
far as she knew there was only one other Lithuanian family in the district; the workers had
all been Germans then – skilled cattle butchers that the packers had brought from abroad
to start the business. Afterward, as cheaper labor had come, these Germans had moved away.
e next were the Irish – there had been six or eight years when Packingtown had been a
regular Irish city. ere were a few colonies of them still here, enough to run all the unions
and the police force and get all the graft; but most of those who were working in the packing houses had gone away at the next drop in wages – after the big strike. e Bohemians had come then, and after them the Poles. People said that old man Durham himself
was responsible for these immigrations; he had sworn that he would fix the people of Packingtown so that they would never again call a strike on him, and so he had sent his agents
into every city and village in Europe to spread the tale of the chances of work and high
wages at the stockyards. e people had come in hordes; and old Durham had squeezed
them tighter and tighter, speeding them up and grinding them to pieces and sending for
new ones. e Poles, who had come by tens of thousands, had been driven to the wall by
the Lithuanians, and now the Lithuanians were giving way to the Slovaks. Who there was
poorer and more miserable than the Slovaks, Grandmother Majauszkiene had no idea, but
the packers would find them, never fear. It was easy to bring them, for wages were really
much higher, and it was only when it was too late that the poor people found out that everything else was higher too. ey were like rats in a trap, that was the truth; and more of them
were piling in every day. By and by they would have their revenge, though, for the thing
was getting beyond human endurance, and the people would rise and murder the packers. Grandmother Majauszkiene was a socialist, or some such strange thing; another son
of hers was working in the mines of Siberia, and the old lady herself had made speeches
in her time – which made her seem all the more terrible to her present auditors.
but certainly more than half of the time. ey might ask any one who knew anything at
all about Packingtown as to that; she had been living here ever since this house was built,
and she could tell them all about it. And had it ever been sold before? Susimilkie! Why,
since it had been built, no less than four families that their informant could name had tried
to buy it and failed. She would tell them a little about it.
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Unità VII
Pagina 306
Il discorso sull’individualismo di Hebert Hoover
(pag. 338)
Hoover’s Rugged Individualism Speech
The republican presidential candidate Herbert Hoover closed his campaign in 1928 with this
speech. A classic example of American conservative philosophy, it expresses the philosophy
not only of Hoover, but of the Republican party during the 1920s. Hoover condemned the
Democratic platform as a misguided attempt to solve the problems of prohibition, farm relief, and electrical power through state socialism. He argued that any government entry into
commercial business, would destroy political equality, increase corruption, stifle initiative, undermine the development of leadership, extinguish opportunity, and “dry up the spirit of liberty and progress.” Finally he extolled free, private enterprise and initiative, a system of “rugged
individualism,” as the foundations of America’s “unparalleled greatness”.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
When the war closed the most vital of all issues was whether Governments should continue war ownership and operation of many instrumentalities of production and distribution. We were challenged with the choice of the American system rugged individualism or the choice of a European system of diametrically opposed doctrines – doctrines
of paternalism and state socialism. The acceptance of these ideas meant the destruction
of self-government through centralization of government; it meant the undermining of
initiative and enterprise upon which our people have grown to unparalleled greatness.
The Democratic administration cooperated with the Republican Party to demobilize many
of her activities and the Republican Party from the beginning of its period of power resolutely turned its face away from these ideas and these war practices, back to our fundamental conception of the state and the rights and responsibilities of the individual.
Thereby it restored confidence and hope in the American people, it freed and stimulated enterprise, it restored the Government to its position as an umpire instead of a player in the economic game. For these reasons the American people have gone forward in
progress while the rest of the world is halting and some countries have even gone backwards. If anyone will study the causes which retarded recuperation of Europe, he will find
much of it due to the stifling of private initiative on one hand, and overloading of the
Government with business on the other.
Citation: Landmark Document in American History; Box 91, Public Statements, Herbert
Hoover Library, West Branch,1A.
1. What sort of role Hoover sees for the federal government in the economic affairs of the
2. Why does Hoover favor such a role for the government?
3. Why does Hoover think “the American people have gone forward in progress while the
rest of the world is halting and some countries have even gone backwards”?
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Unità VII
Pagina 307
Il discorso inaugurale di Roosevelt
(pag. 339)
Roosevelt’s Inaugural Address
In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern,
thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen;
our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of
income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of
industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.
More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and
an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark
realities of the moment.
Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts.
Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were
not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human
efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the
very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods
have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their
failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the
court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.
True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped
of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
I AM certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I
will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation
impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert
my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark
hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding
and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you
will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
After more than three years the United States was still in the midst of the Great Depression, which
began after the stock market crash on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929. More than 11,000 of
24,000 banks had failed, destroying the savings of depositors. Millions of people were out of work
and seeking jobs; additional millions were working at jobs that barely provided subsistence. Currency values dropped as the deflationary spiral continued to tighten and farm markets continued to erode. The American economy hit rock bottom in the very month Roosevelt took his oath
of office. In his First Inaugural Address, on March 4, 1933, unlike his predecessor, Herbert Hoover,
Franklin Delano Roosevelt did not shy away from blaming the business community for incompetent and unethical practices that had led to economic disaster. While he emphasized that “the
people of the United States have not failed,” he regarded himself as the leader they elected to
restore a sense of “discipline and direction.” Yet, at the same time, he was prepared to recommend measures that he knew could succeed only with strong public pressure in support of extraordinary federal powers to deal with “extraordinary needs.”
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have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only
the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision
the people perish.
The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We
may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in
the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.
Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in
the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost
us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to
ourselves and to our fellow men.
Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand
with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are
to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must
be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred
trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action,
and action now.
Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we
face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the
Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the
same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.
Hand in hand with this we must frankly recognize the overbalance of population in our industrial centers and, by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution, endeavor to provide
a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land. The task can be helped by definite
efforts to raise the values of agricultural products and with this the power to purchase the
output of our cities. It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing
loss through foreclosure of our small homes and our farms. It can be helped by insistence that
the Federal, State, and local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced. It can be helped by the unifying of relief activities which today are often scattered, uneconomical, and unequal. It can be helped by national planning for and supervision of all forms of transportation and of communications and other utilities which have a
definitely public character. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act and act quickly.
Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against
a return of the evils of the old order; there must be a strict supervision of all banking and
credits and investments; there must be an end to speculation with other people’s money, and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.
There are the lines of attack. I shall presently urge upon a new Congress in special session detailed measures for their fulfillment, and I shall seek the immediate assistance of the several States.
1. Explain the sentence “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance”.
2. Where does happiness lies according to Roosevelt?
3. Roosevelt affirms that “Our greatest primary task is to put people to work.” Do you think
this strategy could still work nowadays?
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Unità VIII
Pagina 309
(pag. 382)
Churchill’s Blood, Sweat and Tears Speech
At the beginning of World War II the armies of Adolf Hitler were invading Europe, apparently unstoppable, conquering country after country, and the survival of Great Britain itself
appeared rather uncertain. On Monday, May 13, 1940, Britain’s new Prime Minister Winston Churchill entered into the House of Commons and received a tepid reception from
the assembly, meanwhile, outgoing Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was heartily
cheered. But Sir Winston Churchill had excellent powers of oration and made a persuasive, motivational and inspirational speech, which has become one of the finest call-to-arms
yet uttered.
I have completed the most important part of this task. A War Cabinet has been formed
of five Members, representing, with the Opposition Liberals, the unity of the nation. The
three party Leaders have agreed to serve, either in the War Cabinet or in high executive
office. The three Fighting Services have been filled. It was necessary that this should be
done in one single day, on account of the extreme urgency and rigor of events. A number of other positions, key positions, were filled yesterday, and I am submitting a further
list to His Majesty tonight. I hope to complete the appointment of the principal Ministers during tomorrow. the appointment of the other Ministers usually takes a little longer,
but I trust that, when Parliament meets again, this part of my task will be completed, and
that the administration will be complete in all respects.
I considered it in the public interest to suggest that the House should be summoned to
meet today. Mr. Speaker agreed, and took the necessary steps, in accordance with the powers conferred upon him by the Resolution of the House. At the end of the proceedings
today, the Adjournment of the House will be proposed until Tuesday, 21st May, with, of
course, provision for earlier meeting, if need be. The business to be considered during that
week will be notified to Members at the earliest opportunity. I now invite the House, by
the Motion which stands in my name, to record its approval of the steps taken and to declare its confidence in the new Government.
To form an Administration of this scale and complexity is a serious undertaking in itself,
but it must be remembered that we are in the preliminary stage of one of the greatest battles in history, that we are in action at many other points in Norway and in Holland, that
we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean, that the air battle is continuous and that
many preparations, such as have been indicated by my honorable friend below the Gangway, have to be made here at home.
In this crisis I hope I may be pardoned if I do not address the House at any length today. I hope that any of my friends and colleagues, or former colleagues, who are affect-
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
On Friday evening last, I received His Majesty’s commission to form a new administration. It as the evident wish and will of Parliament and the nation that this should be conceived on the broadest possible basis and that it should include all parties, both those who
supported the late Government and also the parties of the Opposition.
I beg to move that this House welcomes the formation of a Government representing the
united and inflexible resolve of the nation to prosecute the war with Germany to a victorious conclusion.
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Pagina 310
ed by the political reconstruction, will make allowance, all allowance, for any lack of ceremony with which it has been necessary to act.
I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: “I have
nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”
We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many
long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy?
I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength
that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the
dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory; victory at all costs; victory in spite of all terror; victory, however long and hard the road may be. For without
victory, there is no survival.
Let that be realized: no survival for the British Empire; no survival for all that the British
Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will
move forward towards its goal.
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But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, “Come
then, let us go forward together with our united strength.”
1. What is Churchill’s government first aim?
2. Focus on the famous phrase “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” What
do you think Churchill really means with that?
3. Do you share Churchill’s opinion that “without victory, there is no survival”? Give reasons.
285-330 Antologiafinale.qxd
Unità VIII
Pagina 311
(pag. 390)
e Atlantic Charter
The whole problem of the supply of munitions of war, as provided by the Lease-Lend Act,
for the armed forces of the United States and for those countries actively engaged in resisting aggression has been further examined. Lord Beaverbrook, Minister of Supply of the
British Government, has joined in these conferences. He is going to proceed to Washington
to discuss further details with appropriate officials of the United States Government.
These conferences will also cover the supply problem of the Soviet Union. The President
and the Prime Minister have had several conferences. They have considered the dangers
to world civilisation arising from the policy of military domination by conquest upon which
the Hitlerite Governement of Germany and other Governments associated therewith have
embarked, and have made clear the steps which their countries are respectively taking for
their safety in facing these dangers.
They have agreed upon the following joint declaration: The President of the United States
and the Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill, representing H. M. Government in the United
Kingdom, being met together, deem it right to make known certain common principles
in the national policies of their respective countries on which they base their hopes for a
better future for the world.
1. Their countries seek no aggrandissement, territorial or other.
2. They desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed
wishes of the peoples concerned.
3. They respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of Government under which
they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those
who have been forcibly deprived of them.
4. They will endeavour with due respect for their existing obligations, to further enjoyment by all States, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access, on equal terms, to
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
The President of the United States and the Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill, representing
H.M. Government in the United Kingdom, have met at sea. They have been accompanied by officials of their two Governments, including high-ranking officers of their military, naval and air services.
A conference between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin D.
Roosevelt took place aboard a warship off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, during World
War II (August 9-12, 1941). It resulted in the Atlantic Charter, a joint statement by the United
States and Britain proclaiming their objectives for the post-World War II world, declaring that
they were fighting the Axis powers to “ensure life, liberty, independence and religious freedom and to preserve the rights of man and justice“. The United States had not yet entered
the war, but was furnishing supplies to Great Britain and its allies.The Atlantic Charter served
as a foundation stone for the later establishment of the United Nations, setting forth several
principles for the nations of the world, including renunciation of all aggression, right to selfgovernment, access to raw materials, worldwide economic cooperation, freedom from want
and fear, freedom of the seas, and disarmament of aggressor nations. It was formally endorsed in the United Nations Declaration signed by 26 nations in 1942.
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Pagina 312
the trade and to the raw materials of the world which are needed for their economic
5. They desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic
field, with the object of securing for all improved labour standards, economic advancement, and social security.
6. After the final destruction of Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which
will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries,
and which will afford assurance that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives
in freedom from fear and want.
7. Such a peace should enable all men to traverse the high seas and oceans without hindrance.
8. They believe all of the nations of the world, for realistic as well spiritual reasons, must
come to the abandonment of the use of force. Since no future peace can be maintained
if land, sea, or air armaments continue to be employed by nations which threaten, or
may threaten aggression outside of their frontiers, they believe, pending the establishment
of a wider and permanent system of general security, that the disarmament of such nations is essential. They will likewise aid and encourage all other practicable measures
which will lighten for peace-loving peoples the crushing burden of armament.”
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A year later, on 14 August 1942, President Roosevelt issued the following message, commemorating the first anniversary of the Atlantic Charter.
“A year ago today the Prime Minister of Great Britain and I, as representatives of two free
nations, set down and subscribed to a declaration of principles common to our peoples.
We based, and continue to base, our hopes for a better future for the world on the realisation of these principles. This declaration is known as the Atlantic Charter.
A year ago today the nations resisting a common barbaric foe were units or small groups
fighting for their existence. Now these nations and groups of nations in all the continents
of the earth have united. They have formed a great union of humanity, dedicated to the
realisation of that common programme of purposes and principles set forth in the Atlantic
Charter through world-wide victory over their common enemies. Their faith in life, liberty, independence, and religious freedom, and in the preservation of human rights and
justice in their own as well as in other lands, has been given form and substance as the
United Nations.
Freedom and independence are today in jeopardy the world over. If the forces of conquest
are not successfully resisted and defeated there will be no freedom, no independence and
no opportunity for freedom for any nation. It is, therefore, to the single and supreme objective of defeating the Axis forces of aggression that the United Nations have pledged
all their resources and efforts.
When victory comes we shall stand shoulder to shoulder in seeking to nourish the great
ideals for which we fight. It is a worth-while battle. It will be so recognised through all
the ages, even amid the unfortunate peoples who follow false gods today. We reaffirm our
principles. They will bring us to a happier world.”
1. Quote the words that are used to define the common enemy and explain them.
2. Which article enlightens the economic goals of the Charter? Give reasons.
3. According to Roosevelt’s message what has changed a year later?
285-330 Antologiafinale.qxd
Unità VIII
Pagina 313
La lettera di Einstein a Roosvelt
(pag. 422)
Einstein’s First Letter to Roosevelt
August 2nd 1939
F.D. Roosevelt
President of the United States
White House
Washington, D.C.
Some recent work by E. Fermi and L. Szilard, which has been communicated to me
in manuscript, leads me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new
and important source of energy in the immediate future. Certain aspects of the situation
which has arisen seem to call for watchfulness and, if necessary, quick action on the part
of the Administration. I believe therefore that it is my duty to bring to your attention the
following facts and recommendations.
In the course of the last four months it has been made probable - through the work
of Joliot in France as well as Fermi and Szilard in America - that it may become possible
to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium, by which vast amounts of
power and large quantities of new radium-like elements would be generated. Now it appears almost certain that this could be achieved in the immediate future.
This new phenomenon would also lead to the construction of bombs, and it is conceivable - though much less certain - that extremely powerful bombs of a new type may
thus be constructed. A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port,
might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory.
However, such bombs might very well prove to be too heavy for transportation by air.
The United States has only very poor ores of uranium in moderate quantities. There
is some good ore in Canada and the former Czechoslovakia while the most important source
of uranium is Belgian Congo.
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Albert Einstein
Old Grove Rd.
Nassau Point
Peconic, Long Island
Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Roosevelt on August 2, 1939 warning him of the
possibility of constructing “extremely powerful bombs of a new type”, that German scientists
might win the race to build an atomic bomb and Hitler would be more than willing to resort
to such a weapon. The letter was most likely written by Leo Szilard, the scientist who invented
the chain reaction, one of the European scientists who had fled to the US in the 1930s to
escape Nazi and Fascist repression. Nevertheless, Einstein took full responsibility for its consequences, calling it “the greatest mistake” of his life. Scientists were still learning about nuclear energy. No one had yet built nuclear power plants, atomic bombs or nuclear-powered
submarines. Initially preoccupied with Hitler’s invasion of Poland (which started World War
II), Roosevelt was proceeding cautiously but soon became convinced of the value of exploring
atomic energy. Ultimately, the advice he received led to the “Manhattan Project” and the
world’s first atomic bombs which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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Pagina 314
In view of the situation you may think it desirable to have more permanent contact
maintained between the Administration and the group of physicists working on chain reactions in America. One possible way of achieving this might be for you to entrust with
this task a person who has your confidence and who could perhaps serve in an inofficial
capacity. His task might comprise the following:
a) to approach Government Departments, keep them informed of the further development, and put forward recommendations for Government action, giving particular attention to the problem of securing a supply of uranium ore for the United
b) to speed up the experimental work, which is at present being carried on within the
limits of the budgets of University laboratories, by providing funds, if such funds
be required, through his contacts with y private persons who are willing to make contributions for this cause, and perhaps also by obtaining the co-operation of industrial laboratories which have the necessary equipment.
I understand that Germany has actually stopped the sale of uranium from the Czechoslovakian mines which she has taken over. That she should have taken such early action
might perhaps be understood on the ground that the son of the German Under-Secretary of State, von Weizsäcker, is attached to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin where
some of the American work on uranium is now being repeated.
Yours very truly,
Albert Einstein
1. What was Einstein’s purpose?
2. If you were Roosevelt, what would you have done after reading the letter?
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3. What is the most important part of the excerpt above?
285-330 Antologiafinale.qxd
Unità IX
Pagina 315
La cortina di ferro
(pag. 540)
Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech
From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across
the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia,
all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but
to a very high and, in some cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. Athens
alone – Greece with its immortal glories – is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation. The Russian-dominated Polish Government has been encouraged to make enormous and wrongful inroads upon Germany, and
mass expulsions of millions of Germans on a scale grievous and undreamed-of are now
taking place. The Communist parties, which were very small in all these Eastern States
of Europe, have been raised to pre-eminence and power far beyond their numbers and
are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control. Police governments are prevailing
in nearly every case, and so far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy.
1. Focus on Churchill’s statements in the first paragraph and then examine his attitude toward Russia.
2. Explain the meaning of police government.
3. What does Churchill think about the Communist parties of the Eastern states? Do you
share his opinion?
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A shadow has fallen upon the scenes so lately light by the Allied victory. Nobody knows what
Soviet Russia and its Communist international organization intends to do in the immediate future, or what are the limits, if any, to their expansive and proselytizing tendencies. I have
a strong admiration and regard for the valiant Russian people and for my wartime comrade,
Marshall Stalin. There is deep sympathy and goodwill in Britain – and I doubt not here also
– towards the peoples of all the Russias and a resolve to persevere through many differences
and rebuffs in establishing lasting friendships. We understand the Russian need to be secure
on her western frontiers by the removal of all possibility of German aggression. We welcome
Russia to her rightful place among the leading nations of the world. We welcome her flag
upon the seas. Above all, we welcome, or should welcome, constant, frequent and growing
contacts between the Russian people and our own people on both sides of the Atlantic. It is
my duty however, for I am sure you would wish me to state the facts as I see them to you.
It is my duty to place before you certain facts about the present position in Europe.
On March 5, 1946, nine months after been defeated for re-election as prime minister, sir Winston Churchill gave his famous “The Sinews of Peace” speech to a crowd of 40,000 at Westminster College, in Fulton, Missouri, after receiving an honorary degree. He used the phrase
“Iron Curtain” to refer to the political, military, and ideological barrier erected by the USSR after World War II to seal itself and its dependent eastern European allies off from contact with
the West. Though many people believe that the phrase was coined during this speech, it had
actually been used for decades (including in several earlier letters from Churchill to Truman).
Churchill gave it wider circulation and made the phrase popularly recognized as the division
of Europe into East and West. Churchill’s speech changed the way the democratic West
viewed the Communist East and is considered the beginning of the Cold War. The speech
was very long, so we give here its last part.
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Unità IX
Pagina 316
La dottrina Truman
(pag. 543)
Truman’s Doctrine
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Addressing a joint session of Congress which would be nationally broadcast on March 12,
1947, President Harry S. Truman asked for $400 million in military and economic assistance
for Greece and Turkey to forestall communist domination of the two nations and therefore
established the Truman Doctrine, that would guide US diplomacy for the next 40 years. Truman declared it to be the foreign policy of the United States to assist any country whose stability was threatened by communism. The sanction of aid to Greece and Turkey by a Republican Congress indicated the beginning of a long and enduring bipartisan cold war
foreign policy and the Truman Doctrine was considered the official declaration of the Cold War.
Congress approved Truman’s request two months later on May 22, 1947. The Truman Doctrine was followed by the Marshall Plan later that year. American support was delivered to both
Turkey and Greece. Turkey was able to resist Soviet pressure over the Dardanelles and the
Greek government largely eliminated the communist rebellion by October 1949. Thus began
the policy of containment that was followed by other presidential administrations during the
Cold War. Both Greece and Turkey joined NATO in 1952.
At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is too often not a free one.
One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression.
The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the
majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio; fixed elections,
and the suppression of personal freedoms.
I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are
resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.
I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way.
I believe that our help should be primarily through economic and financial aid which is
essential to economic stability and orderly political processes.
The world is not static, and the status quo is not sacred. But we cannot allow changes in
the status quo in violation of the Charter of the United Nations by such methods as coercion, or by such subterfuges as political infiltration. In helping free and independent
nations to maintain their freedom, the United States will be giving effect to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
It is necessary only to glance at a map to realize that the survival and integrity of the Greek
nation are of grave importance in a much wider situation. If Greece should fall under the
control of an armed minority, the effect upon its neighbor, Turkey, would be immediate
and serious. Confusion and disorder might well spread throughout the entire Middle East.
Moreover, the disappearance of Greece as an independent state would have a profound
effect upon those countries in Europe whose peoples are struggling against great difficulties
to maintain their freedoms and their independence while they repair the damages of war.
It would be an unspeakable tragedy if these countries, which have struggled so long against
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Pagina 317
overwhelming odds, should lose that victory for which they sacrificed so much. Collapse
of free institutions and loss of independence would be disastrous not only for them but
for the world. Discouragement and possibly failure would quickly be the lot of neighboring
peoples striving to maintain their freedom and independence.
Should we fail to aid Greece and Turkey in this fateful hour, the effect will be far reaching to the West as well as to the East.
We must take immediate and resolute action.
I therefore ask the Congress to provide authority for assistance to Greece and Turkey in the
amount of $400,000,000 for the period ending June 30, 1948. In requesting these funds,
I have taken into consideration the maximum amount of relief assistance which would be
furnished to Greece out of the $350,000,000 which I recently requested that the Congress
authorize for the prevention of starvation and suffering in countries devastated by the war.
If further funds, or further authority, should be needed for purposes indicated in this message, I shall not hesitate to bring the situation before the Congress. On this subject the
Executive and Legislative branches of the Government must work together.
This is a serious course upon which we embark.
I would not recommend it except that the alternative is much more serious. The United States contributed $341,000,000,000 toward winning World War II. This is an investment
in world freedom and world peace.
The assistance that I am recommending for Greece and Turkey amounts to little more
than 1 tenth of 1 per cent of this investment. It is only common sense that we should
safeguard this investment and make sure that it was not in vain.
The seeds of totalitarian regimes are nurtured by misery and want. They spread and grow
in the evil soil of poverty and strife. They reach their full growth when the hope of a people for a better life has died. We must keep that hope alive.
The free peoples of the world look to us for support in maintaining their freedoms.
If we falter in our leadership, we may endanger the peace of the world – and we shall surely endanger the welfare of our own nation.
Great responsibilities have been placed upon us by the swift movement of events.
I am confident that the Congress will face these responsibilities squarely.
1. Why is Greece considered so important by Truman?
2. In addition to funds, what does Truman ask the Congress to authorize? Give you opinion about.
3. Analyse and explain the sentence “If we falter in our leadership, we may endanger the
peace of the world — and we shall surely endanger the welfare of our own nation”.
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Finally, I ask that the Congress provide authority which will permit the speediest and most
effective use, in terms of needed commodities, supplies, and equipment, of such funds
as may be authorized.
In addition to funds, I ask the Congress to authorize the detail of American civilian and
military personnel to Greece and Turkey, at the request of those countries, to assist in the
tasks of reconstruction, and for the purpose of supervising the use of such financial and
material assistance as may be furnished. I recommend that authority also be provided for
the instruction and training of selected Greek and Turkish personnel.
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Unità XI
Pagina 318
Discorso di J.F. Kennedy a Berlino Ovest
(pag. 562)
Kennedy’s Berlin Speech
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In June 1963, President John F. Kennedy visited five Western European nations in order to
spread good will and building unity among America’s allies and to have a meeting in Vienna
with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. The summit was unsuccessful and it also increased tensions between the two superpowers – particularly regarding the divided city of Berlin. After
speeches to huge cheering crowds in Bonn, Cologne and Frankfurt, on June 26, Kennedy
arrived in West Berlin (located 200 miles inside East Germany, West Berlin was a secluded
part of West German). An immense crowd gathered to listen to the President in the Rudolph
Wilde Platz near the Berlin Wall (two years before the Soviets had erected a 12-foot-high wall
that stretched for 100 miles to stop the mass exodus of people fleeing Soviet East Berlin for
West Berlin and the non-Communist world. More than 200 persons would be killed trying to
pass over it). As he paid tribute to the spirit of Berliners and to their quest for freedom, the
crowd roared with approval upon hearing his dramatic pronouncement, “Ich bin ein Berliner”
(I am a Berliner). Shortly after President Kennedy’s death in November 1963, the square where
he had made his famous speech was renamed the John F. Kennedy Platz.
I am proud to come to this city as the guest of your distinguished Mayor, who has symbolised throughout the world the fighting spirit of West Berlin.
And I am proud to visit the Federal Republic with your distinguished chancellor who for
so many years has committed Germany to democracy and freedom and progress, and to
come here in the company of my fellow American, General Clay, who has been in this city
during its great moments of crisis and will come again if ever needed.
Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was “civis Romanus sum”. Today, in the world
of freedom, the proudest boast is “Ich bin ein Berliner”.
I appreciate my interpreter translating my German!
ere are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what
is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin.
ere are some who say that Communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin.
And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists.
Let them come to Berlin.
And there are even a few who say that it is true that Communism is an evil system, but it
permits us to make economic progress. Lass’ sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to
Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put
a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us.
I want to say, on behalf of my countrymen, who live many miles away on the other side
of the Atlantic, who are far distant from you, that they take the greatest pride that they
have been able to share with you, even from a distance, the story of the last 18 years.
I know of no town, no city, that has been besieged for 18 years that still lives with the vitality and the force, and the hope and the determination of the city of West Berlin.
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While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system, for all the world to see, we take no satisfaction in it, for it is, as your mayor has said, an offence not only against history but an offense against humanity, separating families, dividing husbands and wives and brothers and sisters, and dividing a people
who wish to be joined together.
What is true of this city is true of Germany - real, lasting peace in Europe can never be
assured as long as one German out of four is denied the elementary right of free men, and
that is to make a free choice.
In 18 years of peace and good faith, this generation of Germans has earned the right to
be free, including the right to unite their families and their nation in lasting peace, with
good will to all people.
You live in a defended island of freedom, but your life is part of the main.
So let me ask you as I close, to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, to the hopes of
tomorrow, beyond the freedom merely of this city of Berlin, or your country of Germany,
to the advance of freedom everywhere, beyond the wall to the day of peace with justice,
beyond yourselves and ourselves to all mankind.
When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades.
All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man,
I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner”.
1. Why, in Kennedy’s opinion, Berlin West s the living proof of Communism failures?
2. How does Kennedy define the Wall?
3. What does Kennedy mean saying “Ich bin ein Berliner”?
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as
one and this country and this great continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe.
Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free.
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Unità XIV
Pagina 320
La Dichiarazione Balfour
(pag. 734)
e Balfour Declaration
During the World War I, Britain became committed to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. On November 2nd 1917, the British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour wrote to
Lord Rothschild, an active Zionist and member of one the most influential and wealthiest Jewish families, declaring his support for the Jew establishment in Palestine. The Jewish community considered it the prove of Great Britain’s support for a Jewish homeland and after
1918, many Jews emigrated to Palestine, where the Palestinian Arabs saw the immigrating
Jews as a threat. In fact the same area had been promised to the Arabs for siding with the
Allies in the war and fighting against the Turks, allied to the Germans. When Britain was given
a League of Nation’s mandate to rule Palestine from 1922 until 1948, the Jews and the Arabs
assumed to have been betrayed as both believed that they had been promised the same land.
Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the
following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet.
His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national
home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the
rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour
1. What is the purpose of this letter?
2. Which is Balfour’s strategy for accomplishing his goal?
3. What is the intended audience of the text?
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Unità XIV
Pagina 321
Carteggio Arafat-Rabin
(pag. 764)
An exchange of letters between Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat
and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin preceded the signing the Oslo Declaration of Principles, an attempt to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and draw a framework for the
future relations between the two parties. But the letters concerning specific commitments
to the peace process were vague. Arafat’s letter stipulated that the PLO recognized Israel,
agreed to solve the conflict by peaceful means, recognized UN Resolutions 242 and 338,
and agreed to amend the PLO Charter to remove those paragraphs that were inconsistent with those undertakings but it did not specify which paragraphs of the charter would
be amended, and Rabin’s letter stipulated that Israel would undertake the peace process
to normalize relations between the two peoples but it did not go into details of withdrawal
and normalization. Negotiations were conducted secretly in Oslo, Norway, and the Accords
were officially signed in Washington, on September 13, 1993, in the presence of Arafat,
Rabin and US President Bill Clinton. On September 13, 1993, Rabin and Arafat shook
hands in a historic moment on the White House lawn, though President Clinton had to edge
Rabin toward the handshake.
September 9, 1993
Yitzhak Rabin
Prime Minister of Israel
Arafat and Rabin’s Letters
Mr. Prime Minister,
The signing of the Declaration of Principles marks a new era in the history of the
Middle East. In firm conviction thereof, I would like to confirm the following PLO
The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.
The PLO accepts United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.
The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.
The PLO considers that the signing of the Declaration of Principles constitutes a historic
event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful coexistence, free from violence and all other
acts which endanger peace and stability. Accordingly, the PLO renounces the use of terrorism
and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators.
In view of the promise of a new era and the signing of the Declaration of Principles
and based on Palestinian acceptance of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the
PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel’s right
to exist, and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid. Consequently, the PLO
undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant.
Yasser Arafat
The Palestine Liberation Organization
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September 9, 1993
Yasser Arafat
The Palestinian Liberation Organization
Mr. Chairman,
In response to your letter of September 9, 1993, I wish to confirm to you that, in light
of the PLO commitments included in your letter, the Government of Israel has decided
to recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and commence negotiations with the PLO within the Middle East peace process.
Yitzhak Rabin
Prime Minister of Israel
1. Compare the two letters and point out their differences.
2. How would you define the style of Rabin’s letter?
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
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Unità XV
Pagina 323
(pag. 807)
Obama’s Inaugural Address
On January 20, 2009, using the same bible Abraham Lincoln did for his inauguration,
Barack Hussein Obama, son of a Kenyan immigrant, was officially sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America - the first African-American ever to hold the country’s
highest office. Obama spoke for approximately 20 minutes about the economy, the current
wars, domestic concerns and memories of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. The President
spoke to the international community as well and announced the will of closing Guantanamo Bay immediately and withdrawing troops from Iraq..The event was witnessed by well
over one million attendees in chilly Washington DC, and by many millions more through coverage on television and the Internet.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. e words have been spoken
during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath
is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We
the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
at we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a
far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to
make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed;
businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day
brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
ese are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less
profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America’s decline
is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. ey are serious and they are many.
ey will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will
be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose
over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the
recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside
childish things. e time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better
history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed,
mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service
to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this
My fellow citizens:
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generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance
to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given.
It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has
not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek
only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who
have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search
of a new life.
For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and
plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe
Sahn. Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their
hands were raw so that we might live a better life. ey saw America as bigger than the sum
of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
is is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation
on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are
no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last
month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of
protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed.
Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of
remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. e state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines
that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place,
and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will
transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All
this we can do. And all this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. eir memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that
the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The
question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether
it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a
retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where
the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars
will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the
light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to
generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that
without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. e success of our economy has always de-
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pended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but
because it is the surest route to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.
ose ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And
so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each
nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that
we are ready to lead once more.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of
Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more
united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines
of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall
reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.
To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills
on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you
destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of
dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand
if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to
those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference
to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude
those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.
We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than them-
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those
new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hardearned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to
lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that
our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles
and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. ey understood that our
power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew
that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness
of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
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selves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely
this spirit that must inhabit us all.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take
in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their
hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the
firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness
to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new. e instruments with which we meet them may be new. But
those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair
play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. ese things
are true. ey have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize
gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining
of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
is is the price and the promise of citizenship.
Antologia di testi originali in lingua inglese
is is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
is is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of
every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why
a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In
the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. e capital was abandoned. e enemy was advancing. e snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
“Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope
and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger,
came forth to meet [it].”
America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that
when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor
did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth
that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
1. What does Obama refer to when he says “We the People”?
2. How does he describe the present world situation?
3. What are Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn and why does he mention
4. Explain why Obama says “we reject as false the choice between our safety and our
5. Which is his attitude toward the Muslim world?
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