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Friday, September 10, 2010

How Well Do You Know The History of the American Revolution?

And Why You Should Care

A recent poll commissioned by the American Revolution Center (a group of historians and researchers dedicated to securing and preserving the history of America's founding) revealed that 90% of all Americans believe that the history of the American Revolution is an important and essential topic that should be understood by all its citizens. Over 87% agreed that to truly be able to understand American politics, even today, one should have a grasp of our nation's founding heritage.

HOWEVER, the same survey revealed that an alarming 83 percent of Americans failed a basic test on knowledge of the American Revolution and the basic principles of America's founding. And while 89% of those tested claimed to have a "strong working knowledge" of early American history and expected to do well on the test, only 17% actually left with a passing grade. Sadly, the average score for the group was a dismal 44%.

In light of these atrocious findings from the American Revolution Center, I thought it might be appropriate to provide the exact same test questions so that you too can see where you stand. I will put the answers in the comments section so you can check your score. Remember, the average national score on this test was a 44%, which means that most Americans only got 12 out of 27 questions right (pathetic). To get a passing grade you must get at least 20 of the 27 questions right. Anyway, here we go:

1.) The Bill of Rights is a part of which document?

a.)Constitution
b.)Declaration of Independence
c.)Gettysburg Address
d.)Don't know

2.) The most important consequence of the Boston Tea Party was:

a.)Repeal of the tax on tea
b.)Failure of the other colonies to support Boston's actions
c.)Opening negotiations between Britain and Massachusetts
d.)Enactment of Parliament of the Coercive Acts
e.)Don't know

3.) Which document outlines the divisions of power between the states and the federal government?

a.)Declaration of Independence
b.)Marshall Plan
c.) U.S. Constitution
d.)Homestead Act
e.)Don't know

4.) The last major military action of the American Revolution was:

a.)Bunker Hill
b.)Trenton
c.)Saratoga
d.)Yorktown
e.)Don't know

5.) Which of the following rights is NOT protected by the Bill of Rights?

a.)Freedom of speech
b.)Trial by jury
c.)The right to bear arms
d.)The right to vote
e.)Don't know

6.) Which of the following events most directly encouraged the states to send delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787?

a.)The Whiskey Rebellion
b.)The Boston Massacre
c.)Bacon's Rebellion
d.)Shays' Rebellion
e.)Don't know

7.) Which of the following was responsible for declaring America's independence from Great Britain?

a.)The Albany Congress
b.)The Stamp Act Congress
c.)The House of Commons
d.)The Second Continental Congress

8.) Which of the following conflicts most directly led to the Stamp Act?

a.)The War of the Roses
b.)The War of 1812
c.)The Mexican-American War
d.)The French and Indian War

9.) Benjamin Franklin epitomized which movement in America:

a.)The Enlightenment
b.)The Great Awakening
c.)The Loyalist Movement
d.)The Glorious Revolution

10.) Who wrote the influential pamphlet called "Common Sense" which advocated independence from Britain?

a.)Patrick Henry
b.)Edmund Burke
c.)Paul Revere
d.)Thomas Paine

11.) Who took detailed notes at the Constitutional Convention and is widely regarded as the "Father of the Constitution?"

a.)Abraham Lincoln
b.)James Madison
c.)Winston Churchill
d.)George Washington

12.) Who was the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court?

a.)Alexander Hamilton
b.)John Marshall
c.)Charles Evans Hughes
d.)John Jay

13.) Which of the following are the inalienable rights stated in the Declaration of Independence?

a.)Life, liberty and property
b.)Honor, liberty and peace
c.)Life, respect and equal protection
d.)Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

14.) The Constitution establishes which of the following forms of government:

a.)A direct democracy
b.)A Republic
c.)A confederacy
d.)An oligarchy

15.) John Locked developed the concept of the "consent of the governed," an important concept underlying the war of independence, in a theory known as:

a.)Natural Law
b.)Law of Relativity
c.)Common Law
d.)Statutory Law

16.) Which of the following nations played an important role in helping the colonies defeat the British?

a.)Canada
b.)Mexico
c.)Denmark
d.)France

17.) Which of the following phrases are the opening words to the constitution:

a.)When in the course of human events
b.)We the People
c.)Fourscore and seven years ago
d.)I have a dream

18.) Which of the following events came BEFORE the Declaration of Independence:

a.)Founding of Jamestown
b.)The Civil War
c.)The Emancipation Proclamation
d.)The War of 1812

19.) How many states were there after the United States won its independence?

a.)7
b.)13
c.)15
d.)21

20.) Who said the following: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."?

a.)George Washington
b.)Barack Obama
c.)Karl Marx
d.)Thomas Paine

21.) What river did George Washington cross on Christmas Eve of 1776 in a surprise attack on Hessian troops?

a.)Rhine
b.)Potomac
c.)Delaware
d.)Michigan

22.) Who was the first Secretary of the Treasury?

a.)James Monroe
b.)Alexander Hamilton
c.)Larry Summers
d.)John Seward

23.) In which state did the Valley Forge winter camp occur?

a.)New York
b.)Delaware
c.)Ohio
d.)Pennsylvania

24.) When did the American Revolution begin? Was it in the...

a.)1770s
b.)1640s
c.)1490s
d.)1800s

25.) Which side of the war of independence did the Indians support?

a.)British
b.)American
c.)Both
d.)Neither

26.) The westernmost city where military action of the American Revolution took place was:

a.)St. Louis
b.)Austin
c.)Richmond
d.)Atlanta

27.) Who famously implored her husband to "remember the ladies" in drafting laws for the newly independent United States?

a.)Martha Washington
b.)Abigail Adams
c.)Molly Pitcher
d.)Phyllis Wheatley

6 comments:

Brad Hart said...

And here are the answers:

1.)a
2.)d
3.)c
4.)d
5.)d
6.)d
7.)d
8.)d
9.)a
10.)d
11.)b
12.)d
13.)d
14.)b
15.)a
16.)d
17.)b
18.)a
19.)b
20.)c
21.)c
22.)b
23.)d
24.)a
25.)c
26.)a
27.)b

maine character said...

Thanks for this. Proud to say I missed just six for a 78.

I would’ve done a lot worse if I hadn’t been reading up on and watching documentaries on the Revolution for the past few years.

Brad Hart said...

Well done, Maine. Missing only 6 is pretty darn good.

Barb said...

I'm bad. Missed 8.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for the answer key!

Thanks for this Brad. As always, you are so informative. I think your blog is so informative and fun to read. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for the answer key!

Thanks for this Brad. As always, you are so informative. I think your blog is so informative and fun to read. Keep up the great work!