MyDD Civic Literacy Test

At the National Tea Party Convention, former GOP Colorado Congressman Tommy Tancredo bemoaned the civic literacy of Americans in particular taking a swipe at immigrants which is ironic since immigrants have to pass an American history and civics test in order to become citizens.

TANCREDO: And then, something really odd happened, mostly because I think that we do not have a civics literacy test before people can vote in this country. People who could not even spell the word "vote," or say it in English, put a committed socialist idealogue in the White House, name is Barack Hussein Obama.

Here are some sample questions from the test that immigrants take to become citizens courtesy of MSNBC.

The correct answers are below the fold but I'll add my own tougher questions. I  think civic and historical literacy important but the notion of that it be a requirement to vote is absurd.

1) Name the 14th state admitted to the Union.

2) How many men have served as President?

3) George Washington did not let his Vice President, John Adams, sit in the Cabinet setting a precedent that would last for over a century. Name the President who first welcomed his VP into the Cabinet and name the Vice President.

4) The first comprehensive immigration reform legislation was passed and signed by which President?

5) Name the first President to be born an American citizen.

6) Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution but the Constitution wasn't considered binding until the ninth state had ratified. Which was the ninth state to ratify the Constitution?

7) The Seven Years' War fought between 1757 and 1763 is considered the first global war. The North American portion of that war is also known by which another name?

8) Which historic event took place on March 5, 1770?

9) What are the Federalist Papers? Who wrote them?

10) Who was the only President to also later become a Supreme Court Justice?

11) What is meant by the term "Accidental President"? Who was the first? Bonus if you can name them all.

12) Name the state that has been the birthplace of more Presidents than any other. Bonus if you can name them all.

13) Name the first President not born in Virginia or Massachusetts. Hint: he was born in North Carolina.

14) Which state did not send any representatives to the Constitutional Convention?

15) Barack Obama is the first sitting Senator to be elected President since John F. Kennedy. Name the previous Senator to be elected directly to the Presidency.

16) The case of Marbury vs Madison established which important principle?

17) Though Washington has the capital of the United States since 1800, eight other cities have served as capitals of the United States. Name them. Bonus if you can identify the one that served as the US capital for only one day. Hints: Three are in Pennsylvania, two others are state capitals today.

18) Which battle proved to be the decisive battle in the War for Independence?

19) From 1781 to 1788, the United States was governed by another constitution. That constitution went by what name?

20) Who coined the phrase "We The People"?

21) What is meant by the Connecticut Compromise? Who offered it? Hint: It was the topic of a previous post.

22) Elbrigde Gerry is unique among the Founding Fathers. Why?

23) George Washington is considered to the "Father of his Country" but which founder is considered to be the "Father of the Federal Government"? Who is considered the "Father of the Constitution"?

24) What is meant by the "separation of powers"?

25) The United States has what type of electoral system?

I'll post the answers to my quiz on Monday to give people time to submit their answers.

1. How many stripes are there on the U.S. flag? The correct answer is 13.

2. Who is the chief justice of the Supreme Court today? The correct answer is John G. Roberts Jr.

3. In what year was the Constitution written? The correct answer is 1787.

4. Which of these is guaranteed by the First Amendment? The correct answer is Freedom of the press.

5. How many Supreme Court justices are there? The correct answer is 9.

6. What are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution called? The correct answer is The Bill of Rights.

7. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted? The correct is July 4, 1776.

8. Which of the following amendments to the Constitution does NOT address or guarantee voting rights? The correct is the 7th Amendment which concerns the right to a jury trial in certain civil trials.


9. What are the 13 original states? The correct grouping is Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Rhode Island, Maryland.

10. What do the stripes on the U.S. flag mean? The correct answer is "They represent the 13 original states."

11. What is the introduction to the Constitution called? The correct is The Preamble.

12. How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution? The correct answer is 27.

13. Which of the following is NOT one of the constitutional requirements to be eligible to become president? The correct answer is "Must have served as a governor."

14. Who selects the Supreme Court justices? A bit of trick question. The best answer is "They are appointed by the president." NOTE: This is the response given on the official United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Web site. The president selects the justices; however, they must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. If they are rejected by the Senate, then the president must choose a new nominee, who, again, is subject to Senate approval.

15. How many representatives are there in Congress? The correct answer is 435.

16. Who said, "Give me liberty or give me death"? The correct answer is Patrick Henry.

17. Why did the Pilgrims come to America? The correct answer is "For religious freedom."

18. Who has the power to declare war? The correct answer is Congress though the Congress hasn't declared war since 1942. Kudos if you can name the last country upon which the US declared war. Hint it is a European country.

19. What INS form is used to apply to become a naturalized citizen? The correct N-400 "Application for Naturalization" If you got this right, then consider applying for citizenship.

20. Which of these contains three rights or freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights? The correct grouping is "Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion".

I'll post the answers to my quiz on Monday to give people time to submit their answers.

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Comments

25 Comments

RE: MyDD Civic Literacy Test

Off the top of my head...

1) Name the 14th state admitted to the Union. Vermont

2) How many men have served as President? 43

3) George Washington did not let his Vice President, John Adams, sit in the Cabinet setting a precedent that would last for over a century. Name the President who first welcomed his VP into the Cabinet and name the Vice President. Carter/Mondale

4) The first comprehensive immigration reform legislation was passed and signed by which President? John Adams

5) Name the first President to be born an American citizen. Van Buren

6) Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution but the Constitution wasn't considered binding until the ninth state had ratified. Which was the ninth state to ratify the Constitution? New York

7) The Seven Years' War fought between 1757 and 1763 is considered the first global war. The North American portion of that war is also known by which another name? French and Indian War

8) Which historic event took place on March 5, 1770? Boston Massacre

9) What are the Federalist Papers? Who wrote them? Hamilton, Madison, Jay

10) Who was the only President to also later become a Supreme Court Justice? Taft

11) What is meant by the term "Accidental President"? Who was the first? Bonus if you can name them all. Veep who becomes President. Tyler was first, followed by Fillmore, Johnson, Arthur, TR, Coolidge, Truman and Johnson

12) Name the state that has been the birthplace of more Presidents than any other. Bonus if you can name them all. New York

13) Name the first President not born in Virginia or Massachusetts. Hint: he was born in North Carolina. Jackson

14) Which state did not send any representatives to the Constitutional Convention? Pennsylvania

15) Barack Obama is the first sitting Senator to be elected President since John F. Kennedy. Name the previous Senator to be elected directly to the Presidency. Harding

16) The case of Marbury vs Madison established which important principle? Judicial review

17) Though Washington has the capital of the United States since 1800, eight other cities have served as capitals of the United States. Name them. Bonus if you can identify the one that served as the US capital for only one day. Hints: Three are in Pennsylvania, two others are state capitals today. Philadelphia, New York City

18) Which battle proved to be the decisive battle in the War for Independence? Ticonderoga

19) From 1781 to 1788, the United States was governed by another constitution. That constitution went by what name? Articles of Confederation

20) Who coined the phrase "We The People"? Jefferson

21) What is meant by the Connecticut Compromise? Who offered it? Hint: It was the topic of a previous post. Bicameral legislature; two Senators, House apportioned by population

22) Elbrigde Gerry is unique among the Founding Fathers. Why? Drew his own district

23) George Washington is considered to the "Father of his Country" but which founder is considered to be the "Father of the Federal Government"? Who is considered the "Father of the Constitution"? Hamilton and Madison

24) What is meant by the "separation of powers"? Delineating powers between the three branches of the federal government

25) The United States has what type of electoral system? Democratic Republic

by Jonathan Singer 2010-02-06 01:58AM | 0 recs
RE: MyDD Civic Literacy Test

By my count you got 16/25 right and one partially right.

Mondale did begin the process of redefining the modern Vice Presidency but the first VP to sit in the Cabinet happened earlier.

New York has given us Van Buren, Fillmore, Cleveland and two Roosevelts. So that's five which is good enough for third place. Arthur came to the Presidency from New York but he was born in Vermont.  This state has given us seven. It's a bit of a trick question since Presidents born in one state are often elected from another. Lincoln was elected from Illinois but was born in Kentucky.

Our type of government is a Democratic Republic, but the question was what type of electoral system?

You got the trick question right. 43 men have served as President because Grover Cleveland is counted twice. Very good.

New York was the 11th state to ratify the Constitution.

Pennsylvania sent Benjamin Franklin to the Constitutional Convention. 

Most impressed that you got Father of the Federal Government right. I thought that would be a hard one. 

"We The People." Not Jefferson because he did not attend the Constitutional Convention.

True that gerrymandering comes from Elbridge Gerry but that's not why he is unique.

On 17 you name 2, there were 6 others.

Not Ticonderoga though I should re-write that question to final decisive battle (though it actually wasn't the last encounter of the war).

by Charles Lemos 2010-02-06 03:10AM | 0 recs
Deja Vu...

They used to have literacy "tests" to determine voter elegibility in some states didn't they? It sort of rung a bell somewhere....

by vecky 2010-02-06 02:37AM | 0 recs
Are we to answer in Tea Party character?

Because I'm guessing the Teabagger answer to #2 is "43".

by Endymion 2010-02-06 03:57AM | 0 recs
RE: Are we to answer in Tea Party character?

Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and the 24th President of the United States. Hence the number of men who served as President is always one less than the current occupant.

by Charles Lemos 2010-02-06 04:32AM | 0 recs
RE: Are we to answer in Tea Party character?

Ah, good point.  "42" then. 

by Endymion 2010-02-06 11:29AM | 0 recs
RE: Are we to answer in Tea Party character?

Also, in my defense, I should note I'm a legacy citizen.

by Endymion 2010-02-06 02:24PM | 0 recs
my try

1. Vermont seems right

2, 44 though I now know better

3. My guess would be Nixon...wild guess

4, Wilson in 1919 after the Palmer Raids...but it could actually have been signed by Harding in 1921..yes Harding

5, Van Buren

6. New Hampshire

7. French and Indian War

8. Boston Massacre

9. Hamilton, Madison and John Jay

reason to adopt the new Constitution

10, Taft

11. Tyler, Johnson, Arthur, Teddy Roosevelt, Truman and LBJ

To succeed due to death of the president

12.I would have said Virginia but NY does seem right

13. Andrew Jackson as all those prior were either Mass or Va

14. Rhode Island was being difficult

15.  Don't know....way back when....Harrison maybe

16. Judicial review

17. Philadelphia, NY , Albany, Trenton, Richmond

18. Battle of Yorktown, though it was too vague a question and Ticonderoga is also a good answer

19. Articles of Confederation

20. Whoever wrote the preamble...Hamilton or Madison or Gouverneur Morris

21. Roger Sherman offered the Conn. compromise which created the Seante as an elite chamber and the House as a popular chamber.

22. Gerry was a farmer who fought at Lexingotn and Concord??

23. Hamilton and Madison though I don't know which is which

24.  3 branches of govt

25.  It is a Republic...don't know what you mean by electoral system....winner takes all, no proportional voting?

by debcoop 2010-02-06 04:44AM | 0 recs
Watching The Tea Party Convention

C-Span has been running the videos from the Tea Party Convention in Nashville all night, and I started watching when I got up in the morning... and, believe me, this is scary stuff. I especially was taken by one Joseph Farah, who is the Founder, CEO and Editor In Chief of WorldNetDaily.

This is scathing stuff about the country's move to Socialism over 90 or so years, the Marxist description of President Obama, and the focus on changing our underlying culture with its non-political organizations away from the socialist-leaning entities that, he says, they have become.

It is particularly frightening to me because Theatre is one of the areas (Entertainment Industry) that Farah fingers and encourages his followers to overcome.

He ties everything together with ACORN (which he seems to think is an openly Obama-operated organization) and uses that connection to attack the poor, the immigrant population, etc., with the notion of "turning make believe crises into real crises... and why?... to take away our freedom and the American Way of life.

Is it dangerous to have this stuff up on TV... even at 6 in the morning? You bet it is. But, if like me, you believe in free speech, which I don't think Farah does, you have to let this crap go on. If you want to accept his notion that Obama is using Government to replace God for Americans (and here I will go beyond my own non-religion base), then you will see that he is calling for an Above The Government control of the population.

If you see, as he does, that our elected leaders are a judgment on us and that we have to find tea-party-related leaders to elect, then you are already removed from freedom.

Time to actively work against these monsters.

<a href="http://underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com"&gt;Under The LobsterScope</a>

by btchakir 2010-02-06 07:24AM | 0 recs
Just going to say...

I would not be able to vote if I had to pass that quiz.  I believe that Tom Tancredo certainly would not be able to pass that either.

by lojasmo 2010-02-06 10:05AM | 0 recs
Those questions

are an odd mixture of civic literacy and trivia.

by DavidD 2010-02-06 10:28AM | 0 recs
I flunked

badly..

by Ravi Verma 2010-02-06 12:45PM | 0 recs
RE: MyDD Civic Literacy Test

1. Vermont

2. 43

3. Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Marshall

4. Harding

5. Martin Van Buren

6. New Hampshire

7. The French and Indian War

8. The Boston Massacre

9. They were arguments in favor of the ratification of the Constitution, written by Hamilton, Madison, and John Jay.

10. William Howard Taft

11. An accidental President is one who succeeds to the office without being elected. Tyler was the first, and there have been a total of nine. The others were Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Coolidge, Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Ford.

12. Virginia: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, W.H. Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, Wilson.

13. Andrew Jackson

14. Rhode Island

15. Harding

16. Judicial review

17. New York, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, York, PA, Annapolis, MD, Trenton, NJ. York was only a day.

18. Battle of Yorktown

19. Articles of Confederation

20. James Wilson

21. The agreement to have a bicameral legislature with a Senate having two members from each state and a House of Representatives apportioned by population.

22. He served as Vice President under two Presidents.

23. Hamilton is the Father of the Federal Government; Madison is the Father of the Constitution.

24. Separation of powers refers to the division of the powers of the federal government between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches.

25. There is more than one type of electoral system in the United States. The most common is what the British call "first past the post" meaning that the highest vote-getter wins, whether or not he or she has a majority. But in some places there is a runoff system, or an instant runoff.

 

 

by Ron Thompson 2010-02-06 01:27PM | 0 recs
RE: MyDD Civic Literacy Test

You did very well. Only three are wrong (3, 4 & 22) and one is incomplete. Harrisburg was never a US capital. 

Most people think Ohio is the state with most Presidents (because it claims to be the birthplace of Presidents) but Virginia tops it. 

Ohio: Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Harrison (though he was elected from Indiana), McKinley, Taft and Harding. That's seven but Virginia has eight: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, W.H. Harrison (elected from Ohio), Tyler, Taylor (elected from Louisiana), Wilson (elected from New Jersey).

So by birth Virginia has sent the most to the White House. Ohio can claim that it has elected the most of its citizens directly to the White House but by birth Virginia holds the title.

Great job on the electoral system. I think that's an important concept to understand. We have single member districts elected with FPTP system and that we are now experimenting with runoff systems.

Most impressed with James Wilson. That's a tough one. An amazing display of historical prowess.

Gerry only served as VP under James Madison. He was the first VP not to run for President. He was one of a very few men who attended both the Second Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The answer to my question lies in this.

 

by Charles Lemos 2010-02-06 05:45PM | 0 recs
RE: MyDD Civic Literacy Test

Poor James Wilson, who got short shrift for his portrayal in "1776".

by Khun David 2010-02-06 06:10PM | 0 recs
RE: MyDD Civic Literacy Test

I don't remember James Wilson in "1776" the musical. Wasn't it John Dickinson also of Pennsylvania who was portrayed negatively? That would make more sense since Dickinson was steadfastly opposed to independence. Then again, he had a lot to lose as he was perhaps the wealthiest American at the time.

Edward Rutledge of South Carolina is the other Founder who was portrayed negatively in the musical. He sang the Molasses to Rum song. He at 26 was the youngest to sign the Declaration of Independence. I forget who portrayed him the HBO series John Adams but that portrayal was stunningly brilliant.

Rutlegde is an odd character. Educated at Oxford, he was opposed to independence but signed the Declaration for the sake of unaminity. He was a staunch defender of Southern planter interests. He led the effort that successful removed from the Declaration of Independence the references that condemned slavery and the slave trade. He did take up arms and was captured by the British and spent most of the war as POW. After the war he was one of the leading advocate for the explusion of loyalists and the confiscation of their property.

Dickinson did not sign the Declaration of Independence but ironically he was one the staunchest advocates of the Constitution which he did sign writing a series of pamphlets under the pseudonym Fabius.

Dickinson is also interesting because I think he was only the man to represent two states. He was a delegate from Pennsylvania to Continental Congress but a delegate from Delaware to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Dickinson College is named in his honor.

There are a whole number of "secondary' Founding Fathers who deserve greater attention. Dickinson is certainly one of these. His Letters of a Pennsylvania Farmer written in the late 1760s was one of the more eloquent arguments against the British mercantile system and provided an impetus in the rallying against the Stamp Act of 1765.

Roger Sherman is another Founder who merits greater attention. He was one of those who was self-educated. A cobbler by profession, he became a lawyer and was instrumental in writing the Declaration and the Constitution. His Connecticut Compromise that gave us the Senate and the House of Representatives is viewed by a number of historians as the pivotal moment in the Constitutional Convention.

Elbridge Gerry had a different path. From Massachusetts, he was overshadowed at the Continental Congress by John Adams. He also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention but refused to sign the document because it did not have a Bill of Rights. He became one of the leading Anti-Federalists and of course lent his name to gerrymandering.

As for James Wilson, he served on the Committee of Detail that wrote the first draft of the Constitution. The Preamble is his work. Had Wilson's vision prevailed, we would likely be a more democratic country. He was appointed by Washington to the Supreme Court. He also went bankrupt in the Panic of 1796. That landed him in debtor's prison. There were some Wilson notes discovered just last week so we should see his name crop up more in the scholarship.

 

 

 

by Charles Lemos 2010-02-06 09:19PM | 0 recs
RE: MyDD Civic Literacy Test

In "1776", James Wilson was portrayed as Dickenson's bi'atch and nothing he did or said could be done without Dickenson's approval.

In the movie, he only voted for the Declaration of Independence because to vote for the Declaration, he'd be one among many.  If he voted against the Declaration, he'd be one among few.

Dickenson was also portrayed negatively.  He truly loved the new nation that he was part of, but was seen as an obstructionist in "1776".

by Khun David 2010-02-07 04:02AM | 0 recs
RE: MyDD Civic Literacy Test

     Thanks, Charles. American History has always been an area of great interest for me.

     I enjoy your posts very much.

     On James Wilson, I wouldn't have known that a week ago, but it was in the news this past week because somebody discovered a draft copy of the Constitution in his hand, and the article mentioned his authorship of the phrase.

     In Gerry's defense, he had a very good reason not to run for President--he died during his term as VP. Did Clinton run for VP?

 

by Ron Thompson 2010-02-06 07:39PM | 0 recs
RE: MyDD Civic Literacy Test

Trying to answer the once which weren't already solved:

18. Last country upon which the US declared war: Can't exactly name one, but would make sense to be either Bulgaria, Romania or Hungary.

24. Separation of powers: Executive, Legislative and Judicative

by argovia 2010-02-06 01:52PM | 0 recs
I think I only know 12 of those

I did get your trick question right--43 men have served as president.

Was Valley Forge the decisive battle?

I think Ohio has produced the greatest number of presidents, but I can't name them all. They were all from the 19th century except for Taft.

I used to know which president was the first native-born American citizen, but I can't remember!

by desmoinesdem 2010-02-06 04:35PM | 0 recs
RE: I think I only know 12 of those

Perhaps I didn't word the question right because I was thinking Yorktown in October 1781 because that's what led the British to sue for peace.

Ohio has elected the most Presidents directly to the White House but the state with the most native-born Presidents is Virginia though not one since Wilson and no Virginian has been elected directly to the White House since James Monroe though John Tyler ascended to the Presidency after the death of William Henry Harrison who was born in Virginia but elected from Ohio. The devil is in the details.

Martin Van Buren was the first born after 1776.

I think I'll work on a quiz for President's day. 43 questions, one for each President.

So who is the only Iowan to become President?

by Charles Lemos 2010-02-06 05:51PM | 0 recs
RE: I think I only know 12 of those

That's too easy for me--I'll let others try to guess, though.

by desmoinesdem 2010-02-06 10:42PM | 0 recs
Give it a try

1. Vermont

2. 43. I'd say 42 because Obama is currently serving, but the tense is present perfect, so 43 it is.

3.

4. John Adams, Alien and Sedition Acts.

5. Martin Van Buren

6. New Hampshire

7. French and Indian War

8. Boston Massacre

9. Papers written to sell the need for a constitution. Madison, Hamilton, and Jay

10. Taft

11. Veep that ascended. Tyler, Fillmore, A. Johnson, Arthur, TR, Coolidge, Truman, LB Johnson, Ford

12. Virginia. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, Wilson

13. Andrew Jackson, who was born either in North or South Carolina, depending on who you ask about the borders.

14. Rhode Island

15. Hoover

16. Judicial review

17. I peeked, but New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Trenton, Annapolis, Princeton, Lancaster, York

18. Yorktown, although Saratoga showed that it wouldn't be if but when.

19. Articles of Confederation

20. John Jay. (?) The Virginians writing it would have preferred, "We The States."

21. Establishment of a Senate to keep small states from getting run over by large states.

22. First veep to die in office

23. Constitution - James Madison Federal Government - Hamilton

24. Each of the 3 branches have their own powers that are not to be infringed by the other branches.

25. Winner take all of each state.

 

by Dr Squid 2010-02-06 05:55PM | 0 recs
RE: Give it a try

The Alien and Sedition Acts didn't really tackled immigration though one of the four acts was the Naturalization Act which extended the time required before any immigrant could become a citizen to 14 years. Passed in 1796, three of the four acts were repealed in 1802. Only the Alien Enemies Act remains on the books today.

The first comprehensive immigration act came later. Post Civil War.

Well done. A solid A.

by Charles Lemos 2010-02-07 04:36AM | 0 recs
One question

To quote from Jimmy Driftwood's song "Soldiers Joy"

General Washington and Rochambeau
Drinking their wine in the camp fire's glow
Big Dan Morgan comes gallopin' in
Says we caught Cornwallis in the old Cowpens

My vote for the decisive battle.

by johnmorris 2010-02-07 08:32PM | 0 recs

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