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Test Your Knowledge of American History

A national telephone survey, commissioned by Colonial Williamsburg and conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on July 4, 1998, polled 1,004 adults and 502 children on a series of basic history questions, giving multiple-choice answers. The survey has a margin of error of +/-3 percent for adults and +/- 4 percent for children.

  1. What was the main purpose of the Declaration of Independence?
    a. To declare war on Britain
    b. To state that Virginia was independent of the other colonies
    c. To repeal the Stamp Act
    d. To state that the colonies were free of British rule
    e. Don't know
  2. What were the colonists rebelling against when they staged the Boston Tea Party?
    a. Religion
    b. Slavery
    c. Taxes
    d. British imports
    e. Don't know
  3. What was "the shot heard round the world?"
    a. The first shot fired of the Revolutionary War
    b. The first shot fired of the Civil War
    c. The first shot of a "21-gun salute"
    d. The shot that starts a marathon
    e. Don't know
  4. Who were the Redcoats?
    a. The soldiers who fought for the north in the Civil War
    b. The soldiers who fought for the south in the Civil War
    c. British soldiers who fought against American colonists in the Revolutionary War
    d. The soldiers who fought for the independence of the colonies in World War I
    e. Don't know
  5. "Give me liberty or give me death" was uttered by what patriot?
    a. Patrick Henry
    b. Thomas Jefferson
    c. Abraham Lincoln
    d. Paul Revere
    e. Don't know
  6. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are considered "unalienable" rights in which American document?
    a. Bill of Rights
    b. Declaration of Independence
    c. Emancipation Proclamation
    d. Constitution
    e. Don't know
  7. Who was NOT one of our country's founding fathers?
    a. George Washington
    b. Thomas Jefferson
    c. Alexander Hamilton
    d. Abraham Lincoln
    e. Don't know
  8. How many original states were there?
    a. 50
    b. 13
    c. 10
    d. 1
    e. Don't know
  9. Who was the first President of the United States?
    a. James Madison
    b. Thomas Jefferson
    c. George Washington
    d. Benjamin Franklin
    e. Don't know
  10. Which of the following men was NOT President of the United States?
    a. Ben Franklin
    b. Thomas Jefferson
    c. James Madison
    d. George Washington
    e. Don't know
  11. Which one of the following teaching techniques best helps you learn and remember American history?
    a. Reading history books
    b. Field trips to history museums, such as Colonial Williamsburg
    c. Classroom filmstrips
    d. Lectures
    e. All of the above
    f. Don't know

Learn more about this survey.