• July 25, 2014

How well do you know American history?

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Posted: Friday, July 4, 2014 4:30 am

1. What was the first battle of the American Revolution?

  • A. Battle of Bunker Hill
  • B. Battle of Concord
  • C. Battle of Lexington
  • D. Battle of Trenton

2. Who wrote the famous line, “These are the times that try men’s souls”?

  • A. Thomas Paine
  • B. Thomas Jefferson
  • C. Ben Franklin
  • D. John Adams

3. What document contains the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”?

  • A. The Articles of Confederation
  • B. The Constitution
  • C. The Declaration of Independence
  • D. Both B and C

4. In December 1777, George Washington’s Continental Army entered winter quarters at Valley Forge. Where is Valley Forge?

  • A. Massachusetts
  • B. Pennsylvania
  • C. New York
  • D. None of the above

5. The Great Seal of the United States was approved in 1782. On the obverse (front) of the seal, what is the eagle clutching in its beak?

  • A. A ribbon
  • B. The Declaration of Independence
  • C. An olive branch
  • D. A shield

6. What officially ended the American Revolution?

  • A. The Treaty of Ghent
  • B. The Treaty of Paris
  • C. The Treaty of London
  • D. None of the above

7. The Constitutional Convention delegates met in 1787 in Philadelphia to alter or replace the Articles of Confederation. Why did they want to do that?

  • A. They wanted to weaken the federal government.
  • B. They wanted to strengthen the federal government.
  • C. They wanted to create a bicameral (two-chambered) legislature.
  • D. They wanted to create a courts system.

8. Who wrote “The Federalist Papers?”

  • A. James Madison
  • B. John Jay
  • C. Alexander Hamilton
  • D. All of the above

9. George Washington was the first American president, and John Adams its first vice president. Who served as the nation’s first secretary of state?

  • A. James Madison
  • B. John Jay
  • C. Alexander Hamilton
  • D. Thomas Jefferson

10. What were the new nation’s first two political parties?

  • A. The Federalist and the Whig
  • B. The Democratic and the Republican
  • C. The Federalist and the Democratic-Republican
  • D. The Whig and the Democratic

ANSWERS

1. C. The Battle of Lexington, which was fought April 19, 1775, is generally accepted as the first battle of the war.

2. A. This was the opening line of “The American Crisis,” a series of pamphlets published by Paine from 1776 to 1783.

3. C. The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

4. B. Valley Forge is about 20 miles from Philadelphia in southeastern Pennsylvania.

5. A. The ribbon contains the Latin motto e pluribus unum, which means from many, one.

6. B. The Treaty of Paris was signed Sept. 3, 1783.

7. B. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress couldn’t enforce laws, couldn’t intervene in interstate commerce matters or levy taxes to pay its war debts. The delegates realized they needed to create a national government.

8. D. Hamilton, Madison and Jay wrote the series of essays between October 1787 and May 1788 to promote ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

9. D. Thomas Jefferson.

10. C. America’s first two political parties grew out of a feud between Alexander Hamilton, who wanted a more active central government, and James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, who wanted a weaker central government.

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