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Handout C: Document Guide (Texas Seed Bill Veto)

Document Guide

Directions: Using context clues or a dictionary, write a short definition for each of the following words. Then answer the questions that follow.


  1. appropriation
  2. extensive
  3. destitution
  4. avert
  5. obliged
  6. benevolent
  7. warrant
  8. prevalent
  9. steadfastly
  10. paternal
  11. indulgence

Context Questions

  1. Who wrote this document?
  2. When was this document written?
  3. What is the purpose of this document?

Comprehension Questions

  1. What does President Cleveland state that the distribution of seeds would do in paragraph 3?
  2. How does he describe the intentions of the Texas Seed bill in paragraph 4?
  3. What reason does he give for his veto in paragraph 5?
  4. What reason does he give for his veto in paragraph 6?
  5. What does he says he expects from “the people of the country” in paragraph 7?

Critical Thinking Questions

  1. Why would the President adhere to the Constitution in a crisis?
  2. When, if ever, should the President set aside limits on the Constitution to relieve human suffering?
  3. Do you think a bill like the Texas Seed Bill would likely be vetoed today? Why or why not?
  4. When individuals give money to charity, who decides which charities will receive money? When individuals give money to the government to use for direct assistance, who decides which charities will receive money?
  5. When government spends the public’s money for direct assistance, how does that change the way individuals experience helping others? Does it harm the “bonds of a common brotherhood” that Cleveland spoke of ?
  6. How would you know if any of Cleveland’s warnings about the “expectation of paternal care on the part of government” government have come true?

Additional Activities