If You Can Ace This U.S. History Test, You May Be Smarter Than, Like, 90% Of Americans


By: Isadora Teich

6 Min Quiz

Image: W. O. Geller

About This Quiz

Think you've got a handle on U.S. History? America may be a young country compared to many others in the world, like China or Japan, but it has a history absolutely jam-packed with wars, rebellions, progress and drama. As a powerful player on the world stage since the very beginning, the United States of America has a history unlike any other. There is a lot about the past of the U.S. to discover even now. New discoveries are made all the time as more and more key players become revealed and recognized.   

However, outside the very basics, many Americans are largely unaware of the events and complexity of this history. In fact, at any given time, there is a chunk of Americans who don't even know who the current vice president is, let alone much about those of the past. In fact, even some of history's facts that are considered common knowledge, things that everyone knows, are actually not correct. They say that those who don't know their own history are doomed to repeat it, and if that's true, then we might just be in trouble.   

If you think you know more about U.S. history than the average American, then get historical with this quiz! 

Who gifted the U.S. the Statue of Liberty?

France gave the U.S. the Statue of Liberty. The copper statue was given to America in 1886.


Who was the first president of America?

George Washington was America's first president. An opponent of political parties, he was also the only U.S. president to be unaffiliated with one.


How many stars were on the original American flag?

There were 13 stars on the original American flag. Each star represented one of the original 13 colonies.


Who said "Give me liberty of give me death"?

This quote is from founding father Patrick Henry. He was a governor of Virginia.


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

Arizona was created later as westward expansion spread from the east coast to the west coast. The original 13 colonies were Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island.


Which of these founding fathers was never president?

Despite being a renowned polymath, politician and inventor, Benjamin Franklin was never a U.S. president. He did serve numerous other government roles and founded the University of Pennsylvania.


Who was president during the Civil War?

Abraham Lincoln was president from 1861-1865. He was the 16th president of the United States.


Which first lady is considered by many to be America's most influential first lady?

Eleanor Roosevelt was the first lady and wife of Franklin Roosevelt. She fought for women's rights, civil rights and New Deal proposals.


Who founded Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania was founded in 1787 by Quaker William Penn. It means "Penn's Woods."


What was the first U.S. capital?

New York City was the first capital of the U.S. once the constitution was ratified. It was the capital from 1785-1790.


Who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence?

Thomas Jefferson wrote the document largely in Philadelphia. It was adopted at the Second Continental Congress.


Was everyone living in the colonies in favor of the American Revolution?

It was considered treason by Great Britain, which was considered an extreme measure to be taken by many people. Those in favor of staying a part of Great Britain were called loyalists, and many of them fled the country after the American Revolution.


Maine was initially a part of:

Maine was a district of the state of Massachusetts until 1820. It entered the union as a free state in that year as a part of the Missouri Compromise.


Which country helped the colonies defeat the British, leading to their total independence?

France and Britain have a historic rivalry spanning the centuries. The French decided to back America to hurt Great Britain.


What issue largely divided the north and the south leading up the Civil War?

The northern states had a factory-based economy largely, while the south relied on a farming economy that depended on slave labor. The south fought and lost to keep slaves and maintain their way of life.


What were Lewis and Clark trying to find on their expedition?

In 1804 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out to find a path across the country to the Pacific Ocean. The American west had recently been purchased and President Thomas Jefferson commissioned them to discover it.


Which president is known for playing a big role in preserving America's public lands?

President Theodore Roosevelt began America's National Wildlife Refuge System. He set aside more than 100 million acres for national forests.


How many people signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776?

56 men signed this document, risking their lives and livelihoods. Signers include John Hancock and Thomas Jefferson.


Which war came first?

The Korean War was fought from 1950-1953. The war ended in a stalemate and caused over 30,000 American casualties.


What was the aim of the Declaration of Independence?

This document announced that the 13 colonies considered themselves independent of Great Britain and declare war. It said that the colonies had formed a new nation, The United States of America.


Which American state was a Spanish colony first?

The first textual records of Florida come from Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon. The area was under colonial rule by Spain, France and Great Britain before becoming a U.S. state.


Which famous figure toured the country giving talks on human rights for slaves and women?

Sojourner Truth was an escaped slave who became a prominent abolitionist. She was involved in reform causes including prison reform, universal suffrage and property rights.


Minnesota was settled largely by immigrants from which area of the world during the 19th and 20th centuries?

This country had an influx of immigrants from Scandinavia and Germany during this time. Today, the state is a center of German-American and Scandinavian-American culture.


Who was the only president to serve more than 2 terms?

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only U.S. president to be elected for 4 terms. He is widely considered by scholars to be one of the best presidents of all time due to how his administration coped with The Great Depression.


When was the U.S. Army desegregated?

The U.S. Army became desegregated in 1948. This was 3 years after WWII.


Salutary neglect refers to a period in history when Great Britain acted in what way toward its North American colonies?

For over a century, Great Britain left the colonies to basically govern themselves. During this period of time, they became used to self-rule and were enraged when Britain tried to enforce stricter rules in the mid-1700s.


Who was John F. Kennedy's vice president?

Lyndon B. Johnson was the vice president from 1961-1963. Following JFK's assassination, he was the 36th president of the United States from 1963-1969.


The Stonewall Riots sparked what movement in the U.S.?

Throughout the first half of the 20th century, violent police raids on bars and other locations where LGBT people were thought to meet were common. The Stonewall Riots were a reaction to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, and are considered to be the beginnings of the LGBT rights movement.


Which was the first U.S. state?

Delaware unanimously ratified the constitution on Dec. 7, 1787. It was the first colony to do this, making it the first US state.


Who wrote the famous political pamphlet "Common Sense?"

Thomas Paine's successful political pamphlet "Common Sense" presented arguments in favor of American Independence. Despite its popularity, he died penniless years later.


What religion did Thomas Jefferson's beliefs align most closely with?

Deists believe that while God created the world, it does not interfere with minor daily workings, or much at all. Jefferson's beliefs were complex and involved several different philosophies as well as what he considered to be the moral ideas of Christianity.


What was the Boston Tea Party a protest against?

In 1773, patriot group the Sons of Liberty boarded 3 ships in the Boston Harbor disguised as Mohawk Native Americans and threw over 300 chests of tea overboard. This was to protest the Tea Act, which was meant to raise money to bail out the failing East India Company by taxing colonists.


Which of these men was president first?

Andrew Jackson, known as "Old Hickory," was the 7th U.S. president. He served from 1829-1837.


Who was born a slave but became a prominent intellectual and presidential adviser?

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in Maryland around 1818. He traveled America and the UK giving anti-slavery talks. He advised presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.


The land that would become which eventual U.S. state was acquired in the Louisiana Purchase?

In 1803, the US bought a huge chunk of land from France in the Louisiana Purchase. This land would eventually become over a dozen U.S. states, including Louisiana.


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