What's Your American History IQ?


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: History Channel

About This Quiz

Politics, influential figures, society, and culture; these are the things that make American history so amazing to study and reflect on!  Are you an expert on this fascinating subject?

American history is both complicated and inspiring. The United States, as a nation, is still young when thinking about the history of Western civilization, but in that time, the country has established itself as a world power, becoming an economic powerhouse with a strong military backing. This has not been done without controversy, however, and groups of people have been neglected or pushed aside in order to create the America of today. However, even through conflict, ideas of democracy and freedom have driven the country forward throughout its history. 

If this history, the history of America, inspires you and you think your American history IQ is out of this world, then take this quiz and find out how much you really know about that history. You can test your knowledge on a vast range of American subjects. These subjects range from politics to culture. There's something in this quiz for American history fans of all sorts. For many, there might even be something new to learn in this quiz, and maybe your American history IQ will grow even higher when you're finished!

Which ship took the first British settlers to Plymouth Rock?

Settlers on the Mayflower landed near Plymouth Rock. After much debate, the new colonists decided to govern themselves based on majority rule, an early example of American democracy.


For what was George Whitefield known?

George Whitefield was a founder of Methodism, who preached throughout Britain and the colonies during the 18th century. He was a supporter of slavery, though he did preach for better treatment of slaves.


From whom did the United States gain its independence?

With no representation in Parliament, the American colonists began to oppose the taxes that were being placed on them by the British crown. The situation escalated into what has become known as the American Revolution.


Which of these documents preceded the Constitution?

The Declaration of Independence was the announcement from leaders of the 13 American colonies that they were no longer under the rule of the British Empire.


Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

Thomas Jefferson was a statesman from Virginia. He served as the third President of the United States.


What were colonists who still supported the British crown during the American Revolution called?

Loyalists typically came from an older generation in the colonies. They did not want to see rebellion and change brought on by warfare.


Why did farmers rebel during Shays' Rebellion?

Shays' Rebellion was one of the first major dilemmas in the United States, still a young country at the time. However, it did demonstrate the ability of the government to quickly put down an internal conflict.


How many terms did George Washington serve?

George Washington set the precedent of serving only two terms in office. However, a law setting these limits would not pass through Congress until 1947.


Who did the United States fight against in the War of 1812?

After the American Revolution, the British Empire still hoped to reconquer their colonies in America. This hope was put to rest when they were defeated in the War of 1812, which demonstrated the United States' ability to defend itself from foreign invaders.


Which country did the United States purchase the land west of the Mississippi from via the Louisiana Purchase?

The Louisiana Purchase was made in 1803 between the United States and France. At the time, France needed the money to fund its military, which was involved in conflicts across much of Europe.


What belief declared that the United States had the right to spread from coast-to-coast in America?

Manifest Destiny was a controversial belief even within the United States. Many important figures believed the country should spread democracy, not conquest.


Which president signed the Indian Removal Act?

After fighting with and against Native Americans during his time in the United States military, President Andrew Jackson came to believe that Native Americans couldn't live among whites. He began pushing for Indian relocation early in his presidency. While we don't have exact numbers, 4,000 people are believed to have died on the Trail of Tears as the result of Jackson's policies.


Who was an influential abolitionist?

William Lloyd Garrison was a founder of The Liberator, a Boston based newspaper during the mid-18th century. The newspaper was known for its support​ for the abolition of slavery.


Who led the Confederate army during the American Civil War?

Lee was offered a position with the Union army before joining the Confederacy. However, he was from Virginia, and he chose to follow his home state.


Which amendment freed the slaves?

Though the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery in the South, it did not end all slavery across the country. This was because a few slave states chose to support the Union.


Who was NOT an outlaw in the American Wild West?

Jesse James was one of the most notorious outlaws in the American West. Before his career as an outlaw, he served in the Confederate Army.


Which amendment granted women with the right to vote?

Elizabeth B. Stanton was one of the greatest advocates of women's suffrage. However, she died in 1906, before her dream could be realized.


Who led the Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War?

Roosevelt took over as President of the United States after William McKinley was assassinated. As President, he was held in high regard among the common man in America because of his cowboy and military background and his opposition to big businesses and trust companies.


What did President Woodrow Wilson want the United States to enter?

After World War I ended, the United States faced a dilemma.​ Should the country become more involved in foreign affairs or continue its policy of isolation? With this issue raging, Congress refused to accept entrance into the League of Nations, which Woodrow Wilson helped establish.


What crashed in the 1929?

The stock market crash of 1929 sent the United States into the Great Depression. Although the crisis lightened, it lasted throughout much of the 1930s.


How many times was Franklin Roosevelt elected president?

Franklin Roosevelt's policies throughout the 1930s provided millions of Americans with jobs in a stagnant economy after the stock market crash in 1929. The New Deal, as it was called, was widely popular, particularly among poorer Americans.


What military base was bombed by Japan leading the United States into World War II?

Japan bombed the United States on December 7, 1941. The following day, the U.S. declared war on Japan.


For which novel did Ernest Hemingway win a Nobel Prize?

Ernest Hemingway, one of America's greatest writers, was known for his short and direct writing style, which he developed during his time in journalism.


Who was the first African American in Major League Baseball?

Jackie Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers starting in 1947. He was named the NL MVP in 1949. His career was one of the great triumphs​ in American history, as it demonstrated a movement towards equality.


What were accusations of treason by Joseph McCarthy called?

McCarthyism swept across the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Many of the accusations and the penalties suffered​ were later declared unconstitutional.


Who warned about the military-industrial​ complex?

In 1961, Eisenhower left the presidency, delivering a powerful message for the nation. He declared the relationship between the military and the arms industry a danger to the future of democracy.


Which president was assassinated​ in Texas?

During his presidency, John F. Kennedy faced a major threat with Russia and Cuba known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is typically regarded as the closest the world has come to a nuclear war.


Which song did Bob Dylan sing?

Bob Dylan was an influential artist during the counter-culture movement in America. His music would eventually earn him a Nobel Prize for literature.


Who delivered the "I have a dream" speech?

Martin Luther King Jr. preached peace and equality among all races. His voice inspired millions and changed American society.


Which president was involved in Watergate?

Nixon's presidency was surrounded in controversy, but there were also a few successes. He ended the war in Vietnam, helped create the Environmental Protection Agency, and oversaw the desegregation of schools in the South.


In what movie did Ronald Reagan star?

Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States. Before that, he served as the Governor of California.


Which president followed Ronald Reagan?

George H.W. Bush had a relatively successful presidency, which included a quick end to wars in Panama and Iraq. However, he only served one term, mainly because of an economic recession.


Who was a co-founder of Apple Inc.?

Steve Jobs oversaw the merger of Apple Inc. with NeXT. After the merger, he served as the company's CEO.


When were the Twin Towers in New York City attacked?

The attack on the Twin Towers sent America into another war in the Middle East. Though initial support was high, years of involvement would eventually wear down that support.


Who was the first African-American president?

Born in Hawaii, Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United States. He was elected to a second term in 2012.


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