Hillsdale College Independence Day Quiz


Hillsdale College Independence Day Quiz

Test your knowledge of the American Revolution by completing the quiz below.

The following quiz questions come from the Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum, a K-12 history and civics curriculum that covers the triumphs and tragedies of American history fairly and comprehensively. It gives educators the support they need to teach young people a truthful account of American history.

This curriculum has been designed not by activists or ideologues but by teachers and professors at Hillsdale College—and we’ve made it available free of charge.

Complete the quiz below to find out how to download the Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum for free today.

1. Who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence?

Question 1 of 10

At 33 years old, Thomas Jefferson was the primary drafter of the Declaration of Independence. The document served at once as a press release to the world listing specific reasons for the Americans’ actions and as a presentation of key elements of a foundational American political philosophy.

2. On what day did the Second Continental Congress vote for independence?

Question 2 of 10

On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a motion stating “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.” The resolution passed on July 2, 1776. Two days later, on the Fourth of July, the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.

3. Included within the universal assertions of the Declaration of Independence was a long list of   outlining the ways in which the British crown had acted tyrannically toward its own people.

Question 3 of 10

The list of grievances found in the Declaration of Independence laid nearly all of the blame for the separation at the feet of King George. The grievances led to the Declaration’s conclusion that echoed Richard Henry Lee’s motion.

4. According to Captain Levi Preston, the common soldier fought the Revolutionary War because the British would not allow the colonists to  ?

Question 4 of 10

Perhaps nothing illustrates the importance of self-rule to the colonists more than the comments of Captain Levi Preston, a soldier who fought the British at Concord in 1775. In 1843, at the age of 91, Captain Preston said: “Young man, what we mean in going for those red-coats was this: we always had governed ourselves, and we always meant to. They didn’t mean we should.”

5. Which side had the overall advantage at the beginning and for much of the War of Independence?

Question 5 of 10

At the time of the American Revolution, the British were the greatest military force and most powerful empire in the world. The Americans went into the struggle with huge disadvantages. The country was not fully united in embracing the revolutionary cause, with perhaps as many as one-third of Americans remaining loyal to the Crown and opposed to the Revolution.

6. Which figure proved indispensable to the American cause?

Question 6 of 10

George Washington was the indispensable man that led the American war effort. He had extensive military experience and looked the part of a natural leader. He was known and admired as a man of exceptionally noble character who self-consciously modeled himself on the classical republican ideal of the unselfish, virtuous man who constantly sought the public good.

7. What did the Americans do on Christmas night in 1776?

Question 7 of 10

On Christmas night, 1776, General George Washington led a force through snow and sleet across the icy Delaware River and surprised a sleeping force of Hessians at Trenton, New Jersey.

8. Who wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls”?

Question 8 of 10

The winter of 1776-77 was harsh and full of discouragement for the Americans. But the Patriots’ morale was lifted by a timely pamphlet written by Thomas Paine, the first in a series of pamphlets called The American Crisis. It began with his famous inspirational words: “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

9. The Battle of Saratoga was of great significance in the war because it proved that the Americans could fight in a battle and be victorious. What country decided to ally with the Americans, largely as a result of the Battle of Saratoga?

Question 9 of 10

In 1777, the British General John “Gentlemen Johnny” Burgoyne became bogged down in the dense woods north of Saratoga in upstate New York. The American forces swelled in numbers and enthusiasm as volunteers and militia flocked to the area, and eventually, Burgoyne found himself hopelessly surrounded and forced to surrender on October 17. The victory was a clear signal to France that the Americans were up to the fight.

10. What was the last major battle of the war, in which the Americans defeated the British General Charles Cornwallis?

Question 10 of 10

After capturing Savannah and Charleston, British General Charles Cornwallis took his forces toward Virginia, ending up in Yorktown, a small port city located near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Cornwallis found himself trapped between the land and sea, hopelessly outmaneuvered there. He had no choice but to surrender on October 19. With the surrender of Cornwallis, the war was effectively over.

You Win

Happy Independence Day!

Thank you for taking our short quiz on the American Revolution. Your ongoing support is reaching and teaching millions nationwide, including the young, about America’s great heritage of liberty.

You can download and help promote the Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum to educators, parents, and concerned citizens using the button below.

“Educate and inform the whole mass of the people . . . They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” —Thomas Jefferson

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