If You're Not an American Revolution Expert, Don't Even Bother With This Quiz!

By: John Miller
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
If You're Not an American Revolution Expert, Don't Even Bother With This Quiz!
Image: wikimedia

About This Quiz

For generations, colonists in the New World looked fondly on the British motherland. It was their ancestral home and a vital link to European affairs in a time when the colonies were still in their infancy. But the British crown saw it fit to bleed the colonies dry of their resources … and resentments eventually boiled over into war. In this carnage-filled quiz, what do you really know about the American Revolution?

It took years for colonists to come to terms with the concept of independence. Many leaders were content to negotiate with Britain for fairer terms on legislative issues. Others, however, felt that the crown would never treat them fairly, and the call for independence grew louder and louder. What do you know about the events that led to the Declaration of Independence?

George Washington eagerly armed his men for the fight against the British redcoats. But there was trouble in the ranks. Few men were really qualified to fight professional British mercenaries. And a lot of colonists wanted nothing to do with life in the army. What do you recall about Washington’s military struggles in the Revolution?

For years, the British ravaged parts of the colonies, capturing cities, intimidating the locals, and doing their best to put down the rebellion. But Washington and his men fought on, eventually finding chinks in the armor of the world’s best army. Take our American Revolution quiz now!

In the years leading up to the American Revolution, which of the following concepts did colonists reject?
monarchy
New World colonists rejected monarchy and aristocracy. They declared that all men were created equal. The British, it’s fair to say, disagreed.
liberalism
equal rights

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In the Declaration of Independence, how many colonies broke away from Britain?
5
8
13
The Thirteen Colonies in America combined forces in the Declaration of Independence. If they remained united, they might have a fighting chance against the British juggernaut.

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Finish this famous slogan from colonial times: "no taxation without ______."
weaponry of all kinds
representation
It was a common gripe amongst the colonists. The British levied huge taxes but didn’t allow the colonists any real representation in their own government. "No taxation without representation" became a real rallying cry.
gold standard

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In 1770, a massacre happened in which colonial city?
Boston
In the 1770 Boston Massacre, British troops fired into an unruly crowd and killed multiple people. Rebel leaders seized on the incident as a way to stoke sentiments against the crown.
Omaha
Charlotte

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What did colonists do in the Boston Tea Party?
played very loud music and drank ale
threw cargo from ships
Exasperated with Britain’s oppression, colonists clambered aboard ships in Boston Harbor and dumped valuable tea into the water. The British were furious.
paired tea with scones

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Who was Britain’s king in the late 1700s?
King George III
King George III took the throne in 1760 and reigned during the American Revolution. He was infuriated when he heard the news about the Declaration of Independence.
King Henry VIII
King Richard I

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What was the name of the army that the colonists created?
United States Armed Forces
Continental Army
The colonists organized what was called the Continental Army. They put a respected military man — George Washington — in charge.
American Army

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What action did the British take in the wake of the Boston Tea Party?
killed all first-born sons of colonists
major blockade
After the Tea Party, the British implemented a major blockade of the area. The blockade was no joke and had a terrible impact on colonists — and it rapidly caused tensions to escalate.
tried to murder George Washington

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After the Boston Tea Party, the British passed laws that historians often call _____.
Intolerable Acts
The British lashed out at colonists after the Boston Tea Party, passing laws that are now called the Intolerable Acts, which were measures meant to punish the colonies. What the Acts really did was throw gasoline on the fire of the Revolution.
Insufferable Silliness
Untoward Advances

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True or false, was the Declaration of Independence ratified before Revolution fighting broke out?
true
false
Fighting had already been raging for months before the Declaration was a done deal. The Declaration added gravity and new purpose to the fight.

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What was the first battle of the Revolution?
Battle of Gettysburg
Battles of Lexington and Concord
On April 19, 1775, British troops clashed with rebels in the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The shooting war was officially underway.
Battle of the Rhine

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What sparked the Battles of Lexington and Concord?
Boston Massacre
Colonists attempted to assassinate a general.
The British wanted to seize colonists’ weapons.
British troops set off to seize a store of weapons from the colonists. The situation erupted in gunfire and the first bloodshed of the war.

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In addition to the Continental Army, what other forces did the colonies have at their disposal?
local militias
The Continental Army worked in tandem with local militias to fight the British. Some of the militias were, at best, kind of bedraggled.
landmines
George Washington’s secret superpowers

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Who was Thomas Gage?
an American martyr
a British commander
Thomas Gage was the commander of all British forces in America. At the outset of the war, he was severely short of men, but did his best to suppress the rebellion.
a French chef

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What was the purpose of the Sons of Liberty, a secret colonial group?
to fight unfair taxation
The Sons of Liberty was a group that formed to fight the Stamp Act and other unfair forms of taxation. They became symbol of resistance against the crown in the years before the Revolution.
to murder the king
to play folk music

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How long did men commit to serving in the local militias?
3 months
It’s no wonder the discipline and fighting skills of the militias were lacking. Men signed up for three-month rotations in the militia, not long enough to learn to really fight.
12 months
2 years

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Paul Revere is famous for what act?
executing a plot against Thomas Gage
alerting colonists to a British advance
On his trusty steed, Revere rode through the night alerting colonists that the British were coming. They gathered their weapons and the result was the start of the shooting war at the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
killing a British officer with his bare hands

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How did the British acquire many of the troops they needed for the war?
They bought them.
The British didn’t use a draft. Instead, they actually bought tens of thousands of troops from German royalty — these Hessian mercenaries traveled to America to fight. For American colonists, it was an insult of the highest order.
conscription
slavery

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By the end of the war, soldiers in the Continental Army were committed to service for what length of time?
3 years
At the start of the war, soldiers enlisted for a minimum of one year — by the end of the war, a three-year committment was necessary. Even those stipulations found the army lacking in manpower.
8 years
12 years

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Which side won the Battle of Bunker Hill?
British
In Boston, the British won the Battle of Bunker Hill, but they lost an inordinate number of men in the process. The colonists took heart, realizing that the British weren’t indomitable after all.
colonists
indecisive

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Why did military leaders struggle to maintain troop levels in the Continental Army?
Colonies really loved Britain, mostly because of fun royal weddings.
Colonists were pacifist hippies.
Colonists didn’t trust standing armies.
The very principles of liberty that sparked the Revolution were at odds with the concept of a standing army ... so many men were opposed to joining the force meant to free them from British oppression.

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What was one way military leaders tried to tempt men into enlisting into the Continental Army?
zero taxes for the rest of their lives
promises of land
Military leaders tried to bait men into serving by offering free land. Even then, many men were less than excited about fighting in the war.
$100,000 guaranteed

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On April 2, 1780, where did the colonists lose a major battle?
Charleston
It was a devastating defeat, the worst of the war for the colonists. About 10,000 troops surrendered to the British at Charleston, and many wondered whether the Revolution might be lost.
New Orleans
Los Angeles

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In 1777, British General William Howe set off to capture the seat of the Second Continental Congress, in ______.
Ohio
Philadelphia
Howe wanted to capture the home of the Second Continental Congress, in Philadelphia. He managed to invade and occupy the city.
Newark

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What happened to colonial troops at Valley Forge?
They mostly deserted.
They became a better fighting force.
During a brutal winter at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, colonial troops suffered. They also learned new discipline and tactics that made them a much better fighting force.
Most of them died.

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On Christmas Night 1776, what did George Washington do?
He suffered a heart attack.
He led a surprise attack.
On Christmas night, Washington led his men across the icy Delware River. They took Hessian troops completely by surprised and captured 1,000 enemies.
He inspired his men by eating a British officer for lunch.

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In 1776, what actions did the French take in secret?
laid siege to London
supplied money and arms to colonists
In 1776, the French secretly began supplying money and aid to the colonists. Later, the French would become much more active in the fight.
organized food drives for starving colonists

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In 1777, British General John Burgoyne was ordered to take the northern colonies. What happened?
He succeeded.
He surrendered.
Burgoyne’s northern campaign ran into the buzzsaw of colonial resistance ... and he was forced to surrender. His capitulation gave France the confidence to join the war. With France and America working side by side, the British were in serious peril.
He misunderstood and went to Canada instead.

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What happened at the Siege of Yorktown?
The French accidentally attacked colonists.
The colonists were soundly defeated.
The British lost an army.
At the Siege of Yorktown, colonial and French troops captured an entire British army. The war was essentially over, and the colonists continued retaking city after city from the redcoats.

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