Check out this American history and First Principles Quiz I originally wrote for the Detroit Free Press (printed last Sunday):
Happy birthday, America! So what was all that hoopla 233 years ago about anyway?
Sharpen your No. 2 pencil and take this quiz focusing on the early history and founding principles of our country.
1. The Declaration of Independence declares that the purpose of government is to: A. Secure the unalienable rights of men, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. B. To ensure a minimum standard of living. C. Promote the general welfare. D. Take from each according to his ability and give according to his need.
2. Among the most important of the long train of abuses suffered by the colonists that sparked the American Revolution was: A. The imposition of higher tea taxes. B. That a king was in charge of the British Empire. C. Taxation without representation, suppression of the right to a jury trial and the dissolution of colonial legislatures. D. The prohibition of American colonists’ attempts to settle Florida.
3. The Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures, and its requirement that search warrants be specific, were primarily motivated by: A. The great Boston justice scandal of 1765. B. The Boston Tea Party. C. The criminal investigation following the Boston Massacre. D. England’s extensive use of “general writs of assistance” that allowed open-ended searches with no probable cause.
4. Prior to the outbreak of Revolutionary War fighting, John Adams wrote that the worst of all of England’s oppressive actions against the colonies was: A. The suppression to the right to jury trial. B. Taxation without representation. C. The Boston Massacre. D. High taxes.
5. The Declaration of Independence did not address slavery because: A. Its main writer, Thomas Jefferson, supported slavery. B. Benjamin Franklin supported slavery. C. The 2nd Continental Congress stripped out Jefferson’s condemnation of slavery at the insistence of two southern states. D. The cotton gin had made slavery too lucrative to abolish.
6. Reflecting his belief that this right was the most important, James Madison listed the protection of this liberty first in the First Amendment: A. Due process of law. B. The right to bear arms. C. Free speech. D. The free exercise of religion.
7. The Declaration of Independence declares that men: A. Are given their rights by government. B. Should balance their rights with obligations to their fellow man. C. Have nothing to lose except their chains. D. Are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.
8. Ben Franklin did not: A. Write the Bill of Rights. B. Act as a diplomat and sign both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. C. Invent the Franklin Stove, the lightning rod and bifocals. D. Establish the University of Pennsylvania, public libraries and abolitionist societies.
9. The Tea Act and tea tax that provoked the Boston Tea Party: A. Decreased the actual cost of tea, but was opposed because it was taxation without representation. B. Increased the actual cost of tea, and was opposed because of its economic burden. C. Increased the actual cost of tea, but was opposed primarily because it was taxation without representation. D. Was widely supported in the colonies as a way to pay their fair share for national defense.
10. Patrick Henry crystallized the perspective of the American revolutionaries when he declared: A. America’s mission was “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” B. “I have not yet begun to fight!” C. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” D. “Give me liberty, or give me death!”
ANSWERS 1. A.; 2. C.; 3. D.; 4. A.; 5. C.; 6. D.; 7. D.; 8. A.; 9. A.; 10. D. HOW’ D YOU DO? 9-10 correct: Strike up the Sousa — you’re an American expert. 6-8 correct: Wave that flag with vigor. 5 or less correct: Hmm. Were you asleep during American History 101? THE QUIZ AUTHOR This quiz was contributed by Oakland County Circuit Judge Michael Warren, author of “America’s Survival Guide, How to Stop America’s Impending Suicide by Reclaiming Our First Principles and History.” The book is available at www .Americas Survival Guide.com or Amazon.com.