The Revolutionary War Quiz

Staff

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

If you live in the United States, you probably don't mind hosting a cookout and watching fireworks light up the sky each July 4th. But how much do you know about the war that originally inspired this great holiday? Take our quiz to find out!

After all, when it comes to the war for American independence, we tend to remember the most well-worn tales and famous names learned during our early school days. The Boston Tea Party. The first Continental Congress. The midnight ride of Paul Revere.

If you're thinking of the archetypal Founding Fathers, for instance, you're probably conjuring up the image of somebody like Benjamin Franklin or John Adams. Then there's Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and even Alexander Hamilton — legacies that are all still evolving today. 

But there were many other unprecedented historical events and early American heroes during the Revolutionary era, all key to the course of United States history. It's not just the biggest signatures on the Declaration of Independence that matter, but also the first shots to be fired and the first casualty after war broke out. It's the stalwart support of the French and the many British attempts to stamp out the rebellion.

Together, these legendary people and moments shaped not just a new government, but the ideals of a new national identity. We bet you've done your homework since grade school if you know them all. Ready to find out if you're a U.S. history expert? 





How many American colonies fought for independence from Britain?

Thirteen colonies joined forces to fight for their independence from the British crown.

Where were the first shots fired to kick off the war?

The first shots in the American Revolution were fired at Lexington and Concord, in the state of Massachusetts.

What year did the colonists issue their Declaration of Independence?

On July 4, 1776, the colonists boldly declared independence. The U.S. marks this courage with parades, fireworks and celebration every July 4th.

Which city served as a capital, of sorts, for the colonies?

Philadelphia not only hosted both the first and second meetings of the Continental Congress, but also served as a meeting spot for Congress after the war ended.

Whose side did France take during the American Revolution?

France became an important American ally in 1778, with Spain joining the fight against the British the next year.

True or false: the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party happened mere days apart.

The Boston Massacre — during which five colonists were killed by the British — occurred in 1770, while the famous Boston Tea Party took place three years later.

How were the colonists punished after they dumped British tea into Boston Harbor?

No individual was punished after the Boston Tea Party. Instead, the British stripped Massachusetts of its local government and brought in more British leaders to take control of the state.

Who was the British king during the American Revolution?

King George III ruled Britain and its colonies as the Americans fought for independence.

Other than his famous midnight ride, what was Paul Revere best known for?

Paul Revere was actually a well-known silversmith when he took his famous ride in 1775.

True or false: African-Americans were not permitted to fight in the war.

After 1778, the colonists permitted African-Americans to fight, and they eventually made up 5 percent of the Continental Army.

What is a "Hessian"?

The British hired around 30,000 German troops to fight the war on their behalf. Around 3,000 of these stayed to live in America when the war was finally over.

Where did the British surrender to the colonists?

After France helped the colonists win the Battle of Yorktown, the British surrendered the war in 1781.

What policies were implemented by the British after the Boston Tea Party?

The British enacted the Intolerable Acts after the Boston Tea Party in an effort to regain control. These acts restricted trade and shut down Boston's famous harbor.

What was the goal of the first Continental Congress?

When the first Continental Congress met in 1774, its primary goal was to fight against taxation without representation, not to win independence for the colonies.

When did the colonists form their first united and official army?

The colonists decided to form the Continental Army in 1775 at the second Continental Congress, when it was clear that war was about to break out.

Who was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence?

Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence with help from other colonists — including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.

Where is Valley Forge located?

The Continental Army's time in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, between 1777 and 1778, left the colonists with an army that was more cohesive and better prepared.

Which side did Benedict Arnold originally fight for?

Benedict Arnold originally fought on the side of the colonists before switching his loyalties to Britain and attempting to surrender West Point to British forces.

How long did the war drag on after the British surrendered at Yorktown?

It took two years after the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 for the war to finally end and for both sides to withdraw troops.

On which holiday did Washington famously cross the Delaware River and sneak into New Jersey?

Washington led his troops across the river on Christmas night, surprising the British army in New Jersey.

True or false: the British won control of Philadelphia in 1777.

The British struck several blows to the colonists in 1777, including taking over the de facto capital city of Philadelphia.

Who did the colonists choose as their Commander in Chief for the new Continental Army in 1775?

Colonial delegate George Washington became Commander in Chief in 1775 and led the colonists to victory.

Which of these states was not one of the original 13 colonies?

Vermont declared independence separately from the other 13 colonies and went on to become the 14th state in 1790.

Where was the Battle of Bunker Hill fought?

The British defeated colonial forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill in Massachusetts, but they also suffered heavy losses, giving the colonists hope that the war was still winnable.

Who commanded the British army during the American Revolution?

William Howe served as Commander in Chief for the Brits from 1776 to 1778.

Which side did Marquis de Lafayette famously fight on?

Marquis de Lafayette was so passionate about the American cause that he left his home in France to fight for free and was also a key link to critical French supply lines.

Which army was known for their red coats?

The British famously wore red coats as part of their uniform, while the colonists were a more rag-tag bunch.

Who was the first casualty of the American Revolution?

Former slave Crispus Attucks, who was the first to fall at the Boston Massacre, is considered the first victim of the war.

In which state was Fort Ticonderoga located?

New York's Fort Ticonderoga was taken by the British in 1777 during a hard-fought battle.

What was the name of the treaty that officially ended the war?

The Treaty of Paris, signed in 1783, officially ended the war and granted independence to the colonists.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes