National Debt Clock

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Survey on the American Revolution
  • On the 27-question test within the survey, a national sample of American adults scored an average of only 44 percent correct.
  • Nearly 83 percent received a failing grade.
  • Only four of the 27 questions were answered correctly by 70 percent or more of respondents.
  • Half did not have even a basic understanding of historical chronology, believing that either the Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation, or War of 1812 occurred before the American Revolution.
  • Many more Americans knew that Michael Jackson authored “Beat It” and “Billie Jean” than knew that James Madison was the Father of the Constitution, or that Alexander Hamilton was the first Treasury Secretary.
  • Only 11 percent of Americans could identify John Jay as the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Compare that to the 60 percent who knew the number of children of Jon and Kate Gosselin, a reality-TV show couple.
  • More than 50 percent of Americans wrongly attributed the quote “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” to either George Washington, Thomas Paine, or President Barack Obama, when it is in fact a quote from Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto.
  • One-third did not know that the right to a jury trial is covered in the Bill of Rights, while 40
    percent mistakenly thought that the right to vote is.
  • From a list of major battles, two-thirds of Americans could not correctly name Yorktown
    as the last major military action of the American Revolution.

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