Directions: Each SAT Writing passage is followed by 11 questions. Read the passage and select the answer to each question that is most effective in improving the quality of the writing or in making the passage conform to the standard conventions of English.
Questions 1–11 are based on the following passage.
The History of Blue Laws
1 The first occurrence of the phrase “blue law” is in the New-York Mercury of March 3, 1755, where the writer imagines a future newspaper praising the revival of “our Connecticut’s old Blue Laws”. In his 1781 book General History of 2 Connecticut — the Reverend Samuel Peters used it to describe various laws first enacted by Puritan colonies in the seventeenth century that prohibited various 3 activities, recreational, as well as commercial, on Sunday. Sometimes the sale of certain types of merchandise was prohibited, and in some cases all retail and business activity.
4 Not all Americans greeted these developments with enthusiasm; numerous shopkeepers and tavern-owners blatantly stayed open on Sundays and ignored the blue laws. Rather, the word blue was used in the seventeenth century as a disparaging reference to rigid moral codes and those who observed them. This is also the origin of the word, “blue-stocking,” meaning an individual with a strict personal code. 5
Southern and mid-western states also passed numerous laws to protect Sunday during the mid to late nineteenth 6 century. Laws targeted numerous 7 groups including saloon owners, Jews, Seventh-day Adventists, as well as non-religious people. These laws enacted at the state and local levels 8 would sometimes carry penalties for doing non-religious activities on Sunday as part of an effort to enforce religious observance and church attendance. Numerous people were arrested for playing cards, baseball, and even fixing wagon wheels on Sunday. In Texas, for example, blue laws prohibited selling housewares such as pots, pans, and washing machines on Sunday until 1985.
In the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court 9 have held blue laws as constitutional numerous times due to secular rationales, even though the original rationales for the blue laws were religious in nature. The Supreme Court of the United States held in its landmark case, McGowan v. Maryland (1961), that Maryland’s blue laws violated neither the Free Exercise Clause nor the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It approved the state’s blue law restricting commercial activities on Sunday, noting that while such laws originated to encourage attendance at Christian churches, the contemporary Maryland laws were intended “to serve as a uniform day of rest for all citizens” on a secular 10 basis and promoting the secular values of “health, safety, recreation, and general well-being” through a common day of rest. 11
Adapted from “Blue law.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
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where it is now
after sentence 2
after sentence 3
at the beginning of the second paragraph
activities, recreational as well as commercial,
activities: recreational as well as commercial
activities—recreational as well as commercial,
NO CHANGE, leave the sentence as it is
Blue laws contributed to the emergence of an American political tradition—minority-rights politics—which forces Americans to consider whether the majority should always rule.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that blue laws were originally printed on blue paper.
Some individuals claimed that blue laws violated the protections of religious liberty enshrined in state and national constitutions.
Blue laws continued to be popular well into the 20th century.
Rooted in the basic Christian tenet that Sunday is to be reserved as “the Lord’s day,” blue laws were originally enacted across the United States to encourage church attendance.
The first blue law, although not called that at the time, was enacted in colonial Virginia in 1610.
Another etymological possibility is the similarly called “Bloody Laws” of medieval England.
century; laws that targeted
century laws, but targeted
century; from targeting laws
groups such as
did sometimes carry
had sometimes carried
were sometimes carrying
has held blue laws
was holding blue laws
were holding blue laws
basis and to promote
basis, while promoting
Today, 38 states permit Sunday retail sales of distilled spirits products.
Interestingly, other states continue to limit other commercial activity, and a handful, including Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois, have even prohibited car sales on Sundays.
Today, only a handful of blue laws remain, and most of these regulate the sale of alcohol.
Many states allow local communities to enact stricter liquor laws than those proscribed by the State, and in some cases to even prohibit the sale of alcohol entirely.
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