US Citizenship Test Question Answers 2020 with Explanation (UPDATED)

US Citizenship Test Question Answers 2020 with Explanation (UPDATED). Listed below are the 128 civics questions and answers for the 2020 version of the civics test. These questions cover important topics about the American government and history. The civics test is an oral test and the USCIS officer will ask you to answer 20 out of the 128 civics test questions. You must answer at least 12 questions (or 60%) correctly to pass the 2020 version of the civics test.

US Citizenship Test Question Answers 2020 with Explanation (UPDATED)

65/20 Special Consideration If you are 65 years old or older and have been living in the United States as a lawful permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, you may study just the 20 questions that have been marked with an asterisk ( ) found at the end of each question.

US Citizenship Test Question Answers 2020 with Explanation

Name of the Exam US Citizenship Test Question Answers
Country USA
Exam Type Naturalization Test 2020
Time Duration N/A
Number of Question 128
Question Type Questions Answers
Free Printable PDF Coming Soon!

Q1. What is the form of government of the United States?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Republic
  • Constitution-based federal republic
  • Representative democracy

Explanation: 

2. What is the supreme law of the land?*

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • (U.S.) Constitution

Explanation: Generally and informally, the “supreme law of the land” refers to the highest or most authoritative form of law in a given country, usually its written constitution.

3. Name one thing the U.S. Constitution does.

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Forms the government
  • Defines powers of government
  • Defines the parts of government
  • Protects the rights of the people

Explanation: The Constitution has three main functions. First, it creates a national government consisting of a legislative, an executive, and a judicial branch, with a system of checks and balances among the three branches. Second, it divides power between the federal government and the states. And third, it protects various individual liberties of American citizens.

4. The U.S. Constitution starts with the words “We the People.” What does “We the People” mean?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Self-government
  • Popular sovereignty
  • Consent of the governed
  • People should govern themselves
  • (Example of) social contract

Explanation: The first three words in the Constitution are the most powerful: We the People. They declare that the Constitution derives its power from a king or a Congress but the people themselves. This concept of popular sovereignty—power to the people—is the foundation upon which the entire Constitution depends.

5. How are changes made to the U.S. Constitution?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Amendments
  • The amendment process

Explanation: 

An amendment may be proposed by a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress or, if two-thirds of the States request one, by a convention called for that purpose. The amendment must then be ratified by three-fourths of the State legislatures or three-fourths of conventions called in each State for ratification.

6. What does the Bill of Rights protect?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • (The basic) rights of Americans
  • (The basic) rights of people living in the United States

Explanation: 

It spells out Americans’ rights concerning their government. It guarantees civil rights and liberties to the individual—like freedom of speech, press, and religion. It sets rules for due process of law and reserves all powers not delegated to the Federal Government to the people or the States.

7. How many amendments does the U.S. Constitution have?*

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Twenty-seven (27)

Explanation: 

The Constitution has been amended 27 times, most recently in 1992. The first ten amendments constitute the Bill of Rights.

8. Why is the Declaration of Independence important?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • It says America is free from British control.
  • It says all people are created equal.
  • It identifies inherent rights.
  • It identifies individual freedoms.

Explanation: 

The Declaration summarized the colonists’ motivations for seeking independence. By declaring themselves an independent nation, the American colonists could confirm an official alliance with the Government of France and obtain French assistance in the war against Great Britain.

9. What founding document said the American colonies were free from Britain?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Declaration of Independence

Explanation: 

The Declaration summarized the colonists’ motivations for seeking independence. By declaring themselves an independent nation, the American colonists could confirm an official alliance with the Government of France and obtain French assistance in the war against Great Britain.

10. Name two important ideas from the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Equality
  • Liberty
  • Social contract
  • Natural rights
  • Limited government
  • Self-government

Explanation: 

11. The words “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” are in what founding document?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Declaration of Independence

Explanation: The second paragraph of the first article in the Declaration of Independence contains “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

12. What is the economic system of the United States?*

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Capitalism
  • Free market economy

Explanation: The United States has a mixed economy. It works according to an economic system that features characteristics of both capitalism and socialism.

13. What is the rule of law?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Everyone must follow the law.
  • Leaders must obey the law.
  • Government must obey the law.
  • No one is above the law.

Explanation: The rule of law is the political philosophy that all citizens and institutions within a country, state, or community are accountable to the same laws.

14. Many documents influenced the U.S. Constitution. Name one.

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Declaration of Independence
  • Articles of Confederation
  • Federalist Papers
  • Anti-Federalist Papers
  • Virginia Declaration of Rights
  • Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
  • Mayflower Compact
  • Iroquois Great Law of Peace

Explanation:

15. There are three branches of government. Why?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • So one part does not become too powerful
  • Checks and balances
  • Separation of powers

Explanation: To ensure a separation of powers, the U.S. Federal Government comprises three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. To ensure the government is effective and citizens’ rights are protected, each branch has its powers and responsibilities, including working with the other branches.

B: System of Government

16. Name the three branches of government.

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Legislative, executive, and judicial
  • Congress, president, and the courts

Explanation:

17. The President of the United States is in charge of which branch of government?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Executive branch

Explanation: The Executive Branch’s power is vested in the President of the United States, who also acts as head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

18. What part of the federal government writes laws?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • (U.S.) Congress
  • (U.S. or national) legislature
  • Legislative branch

Explanation: Congress is the federal government’s legislative branch and makes laws for the nation. Congress has two legislative bodies or chambers: the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

19. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Senate and House (of Representatives)

Explanation: Established by Article I of the Constitution, the Legislative Branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, forming the United States Congress.

20. Name one power of the U.S. Congress.*

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Writes laws
  • Declares war
  • Makes the federal budget

Explanation: Congress has the power to Make laws. Declare war. Raise and provide public money and oversee its proper expenditure.

21. How many U.S. senators are there?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • One hundred (100)

Explanation: The Constitution prescribes that the Senate be composed of two senators from each State (therefore, the Senate currently has 100 Members) and that a senator must be at least thirty years of age, have been a citizen of the United States for nine years, and, when elected, be a resident of the State from which he or she is chosen. A senator’s term of office is six years and approximately one-third of the total membership of the Senate is elected every two years.

22. How long is a term for a U.S. senator?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Six (6) years

Explanation: Article I, section 3 of the Constitution, requires the Senate to be divided into three classes for elections. Senators are elected to six-year terms, and every two years, the members of one class—approximately one-third of the senators—face election or reelection.

23. Who is one of your state’s U.S. senators now?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents and residents of U.S. territories should answer that D.C. (or the territory where the applicant lives) has no U.S. senators.]

24. How many voting members are in the House of Representatives?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Four hundred thirty-five (435)

Explanation: There are currently 435 voting representatives. Five delegates and one resident commissioner serve as non-voting members of the House, although they can vote in committee. Representatives must be 25 years old and have been U.S. citizens for at least seven years. Representatives serve 2-year terms.

25. How long is a term for a member of the House of Representatives?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Two (2) years

Explanation: Representatives must be 25 years old and have been U.S. citizens for at least seven years. Representatives serve 2-year terms.

26. Why do U.S. representatives serve shorter terms than U.S. senators?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • To more closely follow public opinion.

Explanation: However, supporters of one-year terms said longer terms bordered on tyranny. The Convention settled on two-year terms for Members of the House as a true compromise between the one- and three-year factions.

27. How many senators does each state have?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Two (2)

Explanation: The Constitution prescribes that the Senate be composed of two senators from each State (therefore, the Senate currently has 100 Members)

28. Why does each state have two senators?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Equal representation (for small states)
  • The Great Compromise (Connecticut Compromise)

Explanation: According to Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution, “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the legislature thereof for six Years.” The framers believed that in electing senators, state legislatures would cement their ties with the national government.

29. Name your U.S. representative.

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Answers will vary. [Residents of territories with nonvoting Delegates or Resident Commissioners may provide the name of that Delegate or Commissioner. Also acceptable is any statement that the territory has no (voting) representatives in Congress.]

30. What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?*

Show Answers
 

Answers:

31. Who does a U.S. senator represent?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Citizens of their state
  • People of their state

Explanation: Senators represent their entire states, but members of the House represent individual districts. The number of districts in each state is determined by a state’s population. Each state has a minimum of one representative in Congress. The House and Senate have evolved into very different bodies.

32. Who elects U.S. senators?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Citizens from their state

Explanation: United States senators have been elected directly by voters since 1913.

33. Who does a member of the House of Representatives represent?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Citizens in their (congressional) district
  • Citizens in their district
  • People from their (congressional) district
  • People in their district

Explanation: United States senators have been elected directly by voters since 1913.

34. Who elects members of the House of Representatives?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Citizens from their (congressional) district

Explanation: The U.S. House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

35. Some states have more representatives than other states. Why?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • (Because of) the state’s population
  • (Because) they have more people
  • (Because) some states have more people

Explanation: Some states have more representatives because they have more people. If the state has a large population, there are more representatives.

36. The President of the United States is elected for how many years?*

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Four (4) years

Explanation: The president is elected indirectly through the Electoral College to a four-year term, along with the vice president.

37. The President of the United States can serve only two terms. Why?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • (Because of) the 22nd Amendment
  • To keep the president from becoming too powerful

Explanation: The nation’s first president, George Washington chose not to try to be elected for a third term. This suggested that two terms were enough for any president. Washington’s two-term limit became the unwritten rule for all Presidents until 1940.

38. What is the name of the President of the United States now?*

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

Explanation: Visit uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates for the name of the President of the United States.

39. What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now?*

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Kamala Devi Harris

Explanation: Visit uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates for the name of the Vice President of the United States.

40. If the president can no longer serve, who becomes president?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • The Vice President (of the United States)

Explanation: If the president dies, resigns, or is removed from office, the vice president becomes president for the rest of the term. If the vice president is unable to serve, the speaker of the House acts as president.

41. Name one power of the president.

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Signs bills into law
  • Vetoes bills
  • Enforces laws
  • Commander in Chief (of the military)
  • Chief diplomat

Explanation: The President has the power either to sign the legislation into law or to veto bills enacted by Congress, although Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds vote of both houses.

42. Who is Commander in Chief of the U.S. military?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • The President (of the United States)

Explanation: It is clear that the President is Commander in Chief of all the armed forces of the United States comprised within the national military establishment—the Air Force as well as the Army and the Navy.

43. Who signs bills to become laws?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • The President (of the United States)

Explanation: The president can approve the bill and sign it into law or not approve (veto) a bill. If the president chooses to veto a bill, in most cases, Congress can vote to override that veto, and the bill becomes a law. But, if the president pocket vetoes a bill after Congress has adjourned, the veto cannot be overridden.

44. Who vetoes bills?*

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • The President (of the United States)

Explanation: The power of the President to refuse to approve a bill or joint resolution and thus prevent its enactment into law is the veto. The president has ten days (excluding Sundays) to sign a bill passed by Congress.

45. Who appoints federal judges?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • The President (of the United States)

Explanation: Supreme Court justices, court of appeals judges, and district court judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate, as stated in the Constitution.

46. The executive branch has many parts. Name one.

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • President (of the United States)
  • Cabinet
  • Federal departments and agencies

Explanation: The executive branch carries out and enforces laws. It includes the president, vice president, the Cabinet, executive departments, independent agencies, and other boards, commissions, and committees. American citizens have the right to vote for the president and vice president through free, confidential ballots.

47. What does the President’s Cabinet do?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Advises the President (of the United States)

Explanation: The Cabinet’s role is to advise the President on any subject he or she may require relating to the duties of each member’s respective office.

48. What are two Cabinet-level positions?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Attorney General
  • Secretary of Agriculture
  • Secretary of Commerce
  • Secretary of Defense
  • Secretary of Education
  • Secretary of Energy
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  • Secretary of the Interior
  • Secretary of Labor
  • Secretary of State
  • Secretary of Transportation
  • Secretary of the Treasury
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs
  • Vice President (of the United States)
[/su_accordion

49. Why is the Electoral College important?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • It decides who is elected president.
  • It provides a compromise between the popular election of the president and congressional selection.

Explanation: When citizens cast their ballots for president in the popular vote, they elect a slate of electors. Electors then cast the votes that decide who becomes president of the United States.

50. What is one part of the judicial branch?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Supreme Court
  • Federal Courts

Explanation: The U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court in the United States, is part of the judicial branch. The Supreme Court comprises 9 judges called justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

51. What does the judicial branch do?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Reviews laws
  • Explains laws
  • Resolves disputes (disagreements) about the law
  • Decides if a law goes against the (U.S.) Constitution

Explanation: What is the role of the judicial branch? The judicial branch decides the constitutionality of federal laws and resolves other disputes about federal laws. However, judges depend on our government’s executive branch to enforce court decisions. Courts decide what really happened and what should be done about it.

52. What is the highest court in the United States?*

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Supreme Court

Explanation: The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the land and the only part of the federal judiciary specifically required by the Constitution.

53. How many seats are on the Supreme Court?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Nine (9)

Explanation: Shortly after the Civil War, the number of seats on the Court was fixed at nine. Today, there is one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices of the United States Supreme Court.

54. How many Supreme Court justices are usually needed to decide a case?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Five (5)

Explanation: According to these rules, four of the nine Justices must vote to accept a case. Five of the nine Justices must vote in order to grant a stay, e.g., a stay of execution in a death penalty case. Under certain instances, one Justice may grant a stay pending review by the entire Court.

55. How long do Supreme Court justices serve?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • (For) life
  • Lifetime appointment
  • (Until) retirement

Explanation: The Constitution states that Justices “shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour.” This means that the Justices hold office as long as they choose and can only be removed from office by impeachment.

56. Supreme Court justices serve for life. Why?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • To be independent (of politics)
  • To limit outside (political) influence

57. Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • John Glover Roberts Jr.

Explanation: John Glover Roberts Jr. is an American lawyer and jurist serving as the 17th chief justice of the United States since 2005.

58. Name one power that is only for the federal government.

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Print paper money
  • Mint coins
  • Declare war
  • Create an army
  • Make treaties
  • Set foreign policy

Explanation: Only the federal government can coin money, regulate the mail, declare war, or conduct foreign affairs. These powers make a lot of sense: imagine if Wyoming could declare war on Canada, or Michigan could coin the Michigan Dollar. The federal government’s exclusive powers help the nation operate as a unified whole.

59. Name one power that is only for the states.

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Provide schooling and education
  • Provide protection (police)
  • Provide safety (fire departments)
  • Give a driver’s license
  • Approve zoning and land use

60. What is the purpose of the 10th Amendment?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • (It states that the) powers not given to the federal government belong to the states or to the people.

61. Who is the governor of your state now?*

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. does not have a governor.]

62. What is the capital of your state?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. is not a state and does not have a capital. Residents of U.S. territories should name the capital of the territory.]

C: Rights and Responsibilities

63. There are four amendments to the U.S. Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Citizens eighteen (18) and older (can vote).
  • You don’t have to pay (a poll tax) to vote.
  • Any citizen can vote. (Women and men can vote.)
  • A male citizen of any race (can vote).

64. Who can vote in federal elections, run for federal office, and serve on a jury in the United States?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  • Citizens
  • Citizens of the United States
  • U.S. citizens

65. What are three rights of everyone living in the United States?

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  1. Freedom of expression
  2. Freedom of speech
  3. Freedom of assembly
  4. Freedom to petition the government
  5. Freedom of religion
  6. The right to bear arms

Explanation: Everyone living in the United States has basic rights. This means that both citizens and non-citizens have rights.

66. What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?*

Show Answers
 

Answers:

  1. The United States
  2. The flag

67. Name two promises that new citizens make in the Oath of Allegiance.

Show Answers
 

  • Give up loyalty to other countries
  • Defend the (U.S.) Constitution
  • Obey the laws of the United States
  • Serve in the military (if needed)
  • Serve (help, do important work for) the nation (if needed)
  • Be loyal to the United States

68. How can people become United States citizens?

Show Answers
 

  • Naturalize
  • Derive citizenship
  • Be born in the United States

Explanation: You can become a U.S. citizen by birth or through naturalization. Generally, people are born U.S. citizens if they are born in the United States or if they are born abroad to U.S. citizens. You may also derive U.S. citizenship as a minor following the naturalization of one or both parents.

69. What are two examples of civic participation in the United States?

Show Answers
 

  • Vote
  • Run for office
  • Join a political party
  • Help with a campaign
  • Join a civic group
  • Join a community group
  • Give an elected official your opinion (on an issue)
  • Contact elected officials
  • Support or oppose an issue or policy
  • Write to a newspaper

70. What is one way Americans can serve their country?

Show Answers
 

  • Vote
  • Pay taxes
  • Obey the law
  • Serve in the military
  • Run for office
  • Work for local, state, or federal government

71. Why is it important to pay federal taxes?

Show Answers
 

  • Required by law
  • All people pay to fund the federal government
  • Required by the (U.S.) Constitution (16th Amendment)
  • Civic duty

Explanation: The federal income tax is the largest source of revenue for the U.S. government. Federal income tax is used for various expenses ranging from building and repairing the country’s infrastructure to improving education and public transportation and providing disaster relief.

72. It is important for all men age 18 through 25 to register for the Selective Service. Name one reason why.

Show Answers
 

  • Required by law
  • Civic duty
  • Makes the draft fair, if needed

Explanation: Registration with the Selective Services is how the U.S. government collects names and addresses of men ages 18 through 25 to use in case a national emergency requires rapid expansion of the armed forces. Registration is mandatory for male U.S. citizens ages 18 through 25.

Americans History

A: Colonial Period and Independence

73. The colonists came to America for many reasons. Name one.

Show Answers
 

  • Freedom
  • Political liberty
  • Religious freedom
  • Economic opportunity
  • Escape persecution

74. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?*

Show Answers
 

  • American Indians
  • Native Americans

Explanation: Great American Indian tribes such as the Navajo, Sioux, Cherokee, and Iroquois lived in America at the time the Pilgrims arrived. The Pilgrims settled in an area where a tribe called the Wampanoag lived.

75. What group of people was taken and sold as slaves?

Show Answers
 

  • Africans
  • People from Africa

76. What war did the Americans fight to win independence from Britain?

Show Answers
 

  • American Revolution
  • The (American) Revolutionary War
  • War for (American) Independence

Explanation: The Revolutionary War was an insurrection by American Patriots in the 13 colonies to British rule, resulting in American independence.

77. Name one reason why the Americans declared independence from Britain.

Show Answers
 

  • High taxes
  • Taxation without representation
  • British soldiers stayed in Americans’ houses (boarding, quartering)
  • They did not have self-government
  • Boston Massacre
  • Boston Tea Party (Tea Act)
  • Stamp Act
  • Sugar Act
  • Townshend Acts
  • Intolerable (Coercive) Acts

78. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?*

Show Answers
 

  • (Thomas) Jefferson

Explanation: The Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. We now credit Thomas Jefferson with the Declaration’s authorship, but that was not the case on that momentous day, nor for a significant time afterwards.

The document was drafted by a committee made up of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston.

79. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?

Show Answers
 

  • July 4, 1776

Explanation: The United States Declaration of Independence, formally The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, is the pronouncement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776

80. The American Revolution had many important events. Name one.

Show Answers
 

  • (Battle of) Bunker Hill
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Washington Crossing the Delaware (Battle of Trenton)
  • (Battle of) Saratoga
  • Valley Forge (Encampment)
  • (Battle of) Yorktown (British surrender at Yorktown)

81. There were 13 original states. Name five.

Show Answers
 

  1. New Hampshire
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Connecticut
  5. New York
  6. New Jersey
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Delaware
  9. Maryland
  10. Virginia
  11. North Carolina
  12. South Carolina
  13. Georgia

Explanation: The United States of America initially consisted of 13 states that had been British colonies until their independence was declared in 1776 and verified by the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

82. What founding document was written in 1787?

Show Answers
 

  • (U.S.) Constitution

Explanation: The Constitution. Written in 1787, ratified in 1788, and in operation since 1789, the U.S. Constitution is the world’s longest surviving written charter of government.

83. The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.

Show Answers
 

  • (James) Madison
  • (Alexander) Hamilton
  • (John) Jay
  • Publius

Explanation: The 85 essays succeeded by helping to persuade doubtful New Yorkers to ratify the Constitution. Today, The Federalist Papers help us to more clearly understand what the writers of the Constitution had in mind when they drafted that amazing document 200 years ago.

84. Why were the Federalist Papers important?

Show Answers
 

  • They helped people understand the (U.S.) Constitution.
  • They supported passing the (U.S.) Constitution.

85. Benjamin Franklin is famous for many things. Name one.

Show Answers
 

  • Founded the first free public libraries
  • First Postmaster General of the United States
  • Helped write the Declaration of Independence
  • Inventor
  • U.S. diplomat

Explanation: Benjamin Franklin was a Founding Father and a polymath, inventor, scientist, printer, politician, freemason and diplomat. Franklin helped to draft the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, and he negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War.

86. George Washington is famous for many things. Name one.*

Show Answers
 

  • “Father of Our Country”
  • First president of the United States
  • General of the Continental Army
  • President of the Constitutional Convention

Explanation: George Washington is often called the “Father of His Country.” He not only served as the first president of the United States, but he also commanded the Continental Army during the American Revolution (1775–83) and presided over the convention that drafted the U.S. Constitution.

87. Thomas Jefferson is famous for many things. Name one.

Show Answers
 

  • Writer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Third president of the United States
  • Doubled the size of the United States (Louisiana Purchase)
  • First Secretary of State
  • Founded the University of Virginia
  • Writer of the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom

88. James Madison is famous for many things. Name one.

Show Answers
 

  • “Father of the Constitution”
  • Fourth president of the United States
  • President during the War of 1812
  • One of the writers of the Federalist Papers

89. Alexander Hamilton is famous for many things. Name one.

Show Answers
 

  • First Secretary of the Treasury
  • One of the writers of the Federalist Papers
  • Helped establish the First Bank of the United States
  • Aide to General George Washington
  • Member of the Continental Congress

B: 1800s

90. What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?

Show Answers
 

  • Louisiana Territory
  • Louisiana

Explanation: The Louisiana Purchase encompassed 530,000,000 acres of territory in North America that the United States purchased from France in 1803 for $15 million.

91. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s.

Show Answers
 

  • War of 1812
  • Mexican-American War
  • Civil War
  • Spanish-American War

92. Name the U.S. war between the North and the South.

Show Answers
 

  • The Civil War

Explanation: The Civil War was fought between the Northern and the Southern states from 1861-1865. The American Civil War was fought between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America, a collection of eleven southern states that left the Union in 1860 and 1861.

93. The Civil War had many important events. Name one.

Show Answers
 

  • (Battle of) Fort Sumter
  • Emancipation Proclamation
  • (Battle of) Vicksburg
  • (Battle of) Gettysburg
  • Sherman’s March
  • (Surrender at) Appomattox
  • (Battle of) Antietam/Sharpsburg
  • Lincoln was assassinated.

94. Abraham Lincoln is famous for many things. Name one.*

Show Answers
 

  • Freed the slaves (Emancipation Proclamation)
  • Saved (or preserved) the Union
  • Led the United States during the Civil War
  • 16th president of the United States
  • Delivered the Gettysburg Address

95. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

Show Answers
 

  • Freed the slaves
  • Freed slaves in the Confederacy
  • Freed slaves in the Confederate states
  • Freed slaves in most Southern states

Explanation:  President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

96. What U.S. war ended slavery?

Show Answers
 

  • The Civil War

Explanation:  The Civil War ended slavery and preserved the Union, but failed to end the sectional bitterness and racial strife that would continue for generations.

97. What amendment gives citizenship to all persons born in the United States?

Show Answers
 

  • 14th Amendment

Explanation:  Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

98. When did all men get the right to vote?

Show Answers
 

  • After the Civil War
  • During Reconstruction
  • (With the) 15th Amendment
  • 1870

Explanation: The original U.S. Constitution did not define voting rights for citizens, and until 1870, only white men were allowed to vote. Two constitutional amendments changed that. The Fifteenth Amendment (ratified in 1870) extended voting rights to men of all races.

99. Name one leader of the women’s rights movement in the 1800s.

Show Answers
 

  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Lucretia Mott
  • Lucy Stone

C: Recent American History and Other Important Historical Information

100. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900s.

Show Answers
 

  • World War I
  • World War II
  • Korean War
  • Vietnam War
  • (Persian) Gulf War

101. Why did the United States enter World War I?

Show Answers
 

  • Because Germany attacked U.S. (civilian) ships
  • To support the Allied Powers (England, France, Italy, and Russia)
  • To oppose the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria)

102. When did all women get the right to vote?

Show Answers
 

  • 1920
  • After World War I
  • (With the) 19th Amendment

Explanation: After a hard-fought series of votes in the U.S. Congress and in state legislatures, the Nineteenth Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution on August 18, 1920. It states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

103. What was the Great Depression?

Show Answers
 

  • Longest economic recession in modern history

Explanation: Among the suggested causes of the Great Depression are: the stock market crash of 1929; the collapse of world trade due to the Smoot-Hawley Tariff; government policies; bank failures and panics; and the collapse of the money supply.

104. When did the Great Depression start?

Show Answers
 

  • The Great Crash (1929)
  • Stock market crash of 1929

105. Who was president during the Great Depression and World War II?

Show Answers
 

  • (Franklin) Roosevelt

Explanation:  Franklin Delano Roosevelt, often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician and attorney who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945

106. Why did the United States enter World War II?

Show Answers
 

  • (Bombing of) Pearl Harbor
  • Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor
  • To support the Allied Powers (England, France, and Russia)
  • To oppose the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan)

107. Dwight Eisenhower is famous for many things. Name one.

Show Answers
 

  • General during World War II
  • President at the end of (during) the Korean War
  • 34th president of the United States
  • Signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 (Created the Interstate System)

108. Who was the United States’ main rival during the Cold War?

Show Answers
 

  • Soviet Union
  • USSR
  • Russia

109. During the Cold War, what was one main concern of the United States?

Show Answers
 

  • Communism
  • Nuclear war

Explanation: The United States’ main concern during the Cold War was communism. The Cold War was not a traditional war. It was “cold” because the U.S. and the Soviet Union did not fight each other directly. The Cold War began after World War II ended in 1945.

110. Why did the United States enter the Korean War?

Show Answers
 

  • To stop the spread of communism

111. Why did the United States enter the Vietnam War?

Show Answers
 

  • To stop the spread of communism

112. What did the civil rights movement do?

Show Answers
 

  • Fought to end racial discrimination

Explanation: The civil rights movement was an empowering yet precarious time for Black Americans. The efforts of civil rights activists and countless protesters of all races brought about legislation to end segregation, Black voter suppression and discriminatory employment and housing practices.

113. Martin Luther King, Jr. is famous for many things. Name one.*

Show Answers
 

  • Fought for civil rights
  • Worked for equality for all Americans
  • Worked to ensure that people would “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”

114. Why did the United States enter the Persian Gulf War?

Show Answers
 

  • To force the Iraqi military from Kuwait

115. What major event happened on September 11, 2001 in the United States?*

Show Answers
 

  • Terrorists attacked the United States
  • Terrorists took over two planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York City
  • Terrorists took over a plane and crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia
  • Terrorists took over a plane originally aimed at Washington, D.C., and crashed in a field in Pennsylvania

116. Name one U.S. military conflict after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Show Answers
 

  • (Global) War on Terror
  • War in Afghanistan
  • War in Iraq

117. Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.

Show Answers
 

  • Apache
  • Blackfeet
  • Cayuga
  • Cherokee
  • Cheyenne
  • Chippewa
  • Choctaw
  • Creek
  • Crow
  • Hopi
  • Huron
  • Inupiat
  • Lakota
  • Mohawk
  • Mohegan
  • Navajo
  • Oneida
  • Onondaga
  • Pueblo
  • Seminole
  • Seneca
  • Shawnee
  • Sioux
  • Teton
  • Tuscarora

For a complete list of tribes, please visit bia.gov.

118. Name one example of an American innovation.

Show Answers
 

  • Light bulb
  • Automobile (cars, internal combustion engine)
  • Skyscrapers
  • Airplane
  • Assembly line
  • Landing on the moon
  • Integrated circuit (IC)

SYMBOLS AND HOLIDAYS

A: Symbols

119. What is the capital of the United States?

Show Answers
 

  • Washington, D.C.

Explanation: Washington, DC, the U.S. capital, is a compact city on the Potomac River, bordering the states of Maryland and Virginia.

120. Where is the Statue of Liberty?

Show Answers
 

  • New York (Harbor)
  • Liberty Island [Also acceptable are New Jersey, near New York City, and on the Hudson (River).]

121. Why does the flag have 13 stripes?*

Show Answers
 

  • (Because there were) 13 original colonies
  • (Because the stripes) represent the original colonies

122. Why does the flag have 50 stars?

Show Answers
 

  • (Because there is) one star for each state
  • (Because) each star represents a state
  • (Because there are) 50 states

123. What is the name of the national anthem?

Show Answers
 

  • The Star-Spangled Banner

Explanation:  “The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics come from the “Defence of Fort M’Henry”,[2] a poem written on September 14, 1814, by 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812

124. The Nation’s first motto was “E Pluribus Unum.” What does that mean?

Show Answers
 

  • Out of many, one
  • We all become one

Explanation: “E Pluribus Unum” was the motto proposed for the first Great Seal of the United States by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson in 1776. A latin phrase meaning “One from many,” the phrase offered a strong statement of the American determination to form a single nation from a collection of states.

B: Holidays

125. What is Independence Day?

Show Answers
 

  • A holiday to celebrate U.S. independence (from Britain)
  • The country’s birthday

Explanation: Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States, on July 4, 1776.

126. Name three national U.S. holidays.*

Show Answers
 

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Presidents Day (Washington’s Birthday)
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

127. What is Memorial Day?

Show Answers
 

  • A holiday to honor soldiers who died in military service

Explanation:  Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the United States armed forces. It is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.

128. What is Veterans Day?

Show Answers
 

  • A holiday to honor people in the (U.S.) military
  • A holiday to honor people who have served (in the U.S. military)

Explanation:  Veterans Day is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans of the United States Armed Forces.