American Dream Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Are you a dreamer of the American dream? Test your knowledge of our nation's characteristic aspirations with this quiz.

Which of these historians is credited with first popularizing the idea of an American dream?

James Truslow Adams, in his 1931 book, "The Epic of America," first popularized the notion of an American dream.


The idea of the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is contained in what document?

The phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is found in the Declaration of Independence.


What is the median U.S. household income?

According to, the median household income in 2008 was $52,029.


What portion of Americans are poor?

According to, 13.2 percent of Americans in 2008 were living below the poverty level, which is about $11,000 a year for a single person.


Is home ownership rising or falling in America?

Home ownership dropped to 62 percent in 2010, the lowest level in 50 years.


Who described Americans as possessing "the charm of anticipated success"?

Nineteenth century French writer Alexis de Toqueville wrote that Americans had "the charm of anticipated success."


Who first spoke the phrase "a chicken in every pot"?

King Henry IV of France told his subjects in the 16th century that he wished each of them had a chicken in a pot.


Which U.S. president called for "a wider and constantly rising standard of living" for Americans?

In 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt called for a wider and constantly rising living standard.


Between 1979 and 2005, how much did the incomes of the richest one percent of Americans increase?

Between 1979 and 2005, the after-tax incomes of the richest one percent increased 225 percent.


What songwriter coined the phrase "this land was made for you and me"?

Woody Guthrie wrote that "this land was made for you and me" in his 1940 protest song, "This Land is Your Land."


Which constitutional amendment said the following: "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of laws."

These words were penned in the 14th Amendment, which was passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress in 1866, a little more than a year after the Civil War ended.


Who wrote the 1980 oral history compilation "American Dreams: Lost and Found"?

Studs Terkel wrote "American Dreams," in which he interviewed both famous and ordinary people about their aspirations.


Who said, "part of the American Dream is to live long and die young"?

Gen. Douglas MacArthur said, paradoxically, that "part of the American dream is to live long and die young."


In the poem "Let America Be America Again," what did Langston Hughes say was interfering with the American dream?

In the poem "Let America Be America Again," Langston Hughes blamed economic inequality and strike-breaking for preventing the American dream from becoming a reality.


Which of these is generally viewed as part of the American dream?

Both upward economic mobility and home ownership generally are viewed as part of the American dream.


According to a 2007 Brookings Institution study, which nation has more upward economic mobility than the United States?

According to the study, both France and Canada, among other nations, have more upward economic mobility than the United States.


Who first used the term "American Exceptionalism"?

The Communist Party first coined the term "American Exceptionalism" in the 1920s, to explain why the United States would be late in converting to communism.


What portion of American teenagers believe they could someday become president of the United States?

In a 2011 ABC News poll, 54 percent of 12 to 17 year olds said they could become president.


What percentage of American teenagers actually want to be president when they grow up?

In a 2011 ABC News poll, about 20 percent of teenagers said they wanted to be president someday.


The Bruce Springsteen song "Born to Run," which talks of a "runaway American dream," is the "unofficial youth anthem" of which state?

The New Jersey legislature designated "Born to Run" as the "unofficial youth anthem" of that state.


Who wrote the line, "Thanks for the American dream, to vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through"?

Beat Generation writer William S. Burroughs wrote the line "Thanks for the American Dream, to vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through," in his poem "Thanksgiving Prayer."


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