Sunday, July 6, 2014

Independence Day / American history quiz answers

Answers appear in red
1. How many states in the U.S.?
a. 50
b. 51.
c. 46

'c.' is the more correct answer; 4 of the original 15 states to join or become the United States are technically commonwealths: Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky.

(yes - it IS a trick question! so are some of the others)

2. The first U.S. President was:
a. George Washington
b. Peyton Randolph
c. John Hancock

Peyton Randolph was the first person to hold the title of U.S. President, presiding over the Continental Congress, referring to the nation formed by the confederation of states.  George Washington held the title President of the United States, which refers to the nation under the governance of the subsequent U.S. Constitution.

3. How many U.S. Presidents were there between  September 1774 and November 1788?
a.   3
b.   9
c. 14

Peyton Randolph was the first of these U.S. Presidents under the authority of the Continental Congresses and the Articles of Confederation.  The subsequently reformed/reorganized nation began after 1788, with Washington as the first president.

4. The UK has commonwealths, like the nations of Canada and Australia. 
Does the U.S. have any commonwealths?  If so, how many and what are their names? 4. See above.  As noted in the wikipedia entry:
This designation, which has no legal impact, emphasizes that they have a "government based on the common consent of the people" as opposed to one legitimized through their earlier royal colony status that was derived from the monarch of Great Britain. The word commonwealth in this context refers to the common "wealth", or welfare, of the public and is derived from a loose translation of the Latin term res publica (cf. the 17th-century Commonwealth of England).
The use of the term also derives from the use of English common law in colonial America.

5.The War of 1812 started in 1812; what year did it end?
a. 1815
b. 1814
c. 1812

6. Who declared war on whom in that war?
a. France declared war on the British (and we joined in, on the side of the French by treaty, but did not actually declare war)
b. the U.S. declared war on the British
c. Spain declared war on the British over Florida, and we tried to take it from both of them while they were fighting each other

 7. What is the "Chowder and marching club" group in Congress, and when was it started?
A Republican group in Congress formed after WW II. 
From the History, Art and Archives of the House of Representatives:

In an institution where legislative victories are often stitched together with shifting blocs, coalitions, and alliances, it isn’t surprising that most Members of Congress are joiners. For new Representatives particularly, membership in caucuses and other informal clubs and groups fills a yearning to belong, to swap legislative strategies freely, to learn the chamber’s folkways and norms, and, sometimes, simply to socialize.
After World War II, a cadre of Republican up-and-comers in the House formed a group that embodied these impulses to join and make a mark: the Chowder and Marching Club (C&M). “All of us were young, all of us were new members of Congress. All of us were veterans of World War II,” Richard Nixon of California, a charter member, explained years later. “We were concerned about the strength of the United States and we were concerned about how we could help secure peace.”
C&M coalesced in 1949 out of opposition to a veterans’ pension bill pushed by the autocratic chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, John Rankin of Mississippi, during the 81st Congress (1949–1951). Rankin wanted to cut generous $90 monthly checks to First and Second World War veterans older than 65; the first-year cost was $2 billion and thereafter soared higher. Opponents like Glenn Davis of Wisconsin, a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and Don Jackson of California, questioned the need and price tag. Both former U.S. servicemen organized 13 other Republican colleagues (indeed, most were young veterans)—in Jackson’s words—to “get some fellows together to see what their attitudes are, and what might be done about this legislation.” Jackson hosted the first gathering in his office on a Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m., after the conclusion of legislative business. C&M eventually helped to defeat the Rankin bill (by a single vote) and a longstanding tradition was started.

 8.  Yankee Doodle Dandy was another patriotic American song, also written by the British along with dancing, to mock the colonists.  It subsequently became a battle tune for Washington and his troops, to mock the Brits.  And then in 1904, George M. Cohan wrote a Broadway musical, "Little Johnny Jones" in which he updated the tune and music as "Yankee Doodle Boy".  True or false, the tune was actually a British drinking song 'stolen' by the American revolutionaries?

Originally used by Brits to mock revolutionary Americans, Americans picked it up, changed some of the lyrics, and used it to mock the Brits.

9. Yankee Doodle was also a northern/ Union Civil War song, with changes to the earlier lyrics, True or False?
There were many lyrics over time and during the same time, but 'yank' came to mean northener, usually specifically New Englander, in the 19th century, where before it meant all Americans - and still does in some usage.

10.  The Pennamite - Yankee War was an actual "shooting war" that ended in 1799, although the Continental Congress tried to end it in 1782.  Who was that war between?
a. New York and Pennsylvania
b. Pennsylvania and the Pennamite Indians
c. Connecticut, Vermont (briefly), and Pennsylvania

 11.  Yankee appears to have been a word used originally as an insult by Dutch colonists for the English colonists as far back as the latter 1600's and then by the English towards the Dutch, and then by the English towards Americans, during the American Revolution and the War of 1812 onwards.
Americans first applied the term "Damned Yankees" as a disparaging term towards their fellow Americans :
 a. Civil War southerners towards northerners
 b. disgruntled Texans after joining the United States as the 28th state in 1845
 c. disgruntled sports fans towards the New York baseball team in the mid- 20th century, following the book, Broadway musical and movie

12.  In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase, buying land which subsequently became  all or part of  16 states comprising the central United States sometimes referred to as 'Tornado Alley".  One point for every one of the 15 states correctly named. (some states are partial)

In no particular order:
Louisiana (obviously), 
North and South Dakota,
Texas (northern),
New Mexico

13.  Florida became the 27th state of the Union in 1845, but the area of that state became U.S. territory because of a treaty related to the Louisiana purchase, through the Adams - Onis treaty of 1819.  The treaty not only settled through diplomacy and treaty who got Florida, but also settled and ceded large parts of the U.S., expanding it from the western boundaries of the Louisiana purchase all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Which Adams of the early political dynastic Adams family negotiated the treaty, and with what country? (hint - he also negotiated the end of the war of 1812)

a. John Adams with France
b. John Quincy Adams with Spain (while Secretary of State) 
He also settled and established our border with Canada, the part where it becomes a mostly straight line all the way across to the Pacific Ocean
c. Charles Francis Adams (son of John Quincy, grandson of John Adams) with Mexico

14. - 20. Pretty much everyone knows about the Civil War in the mid-19th century.  The deep southern states from Virginia to Texas, attempted to nullify their membership in the United States through armed rebellion, and to thereby secede (as distinct from the legitimate process of secession under the Constitution).  Virginia and Kentucky had promoted the idea of nullification, in 1798-99 but not attacked the United States. South Carolina initiated that first treasonous act of armed rebellion by firing on Fort Sumter, but had previously attempted the failed effort at nullification creating the Nullification Crisis of 1832, over tariffs, which laid the ground work for the actions of the south in the Civil War and the conservative issue of states rights, which continues into the 21st century.
Secession, states rights, and the sovereign citizens movement continue from those issues and incidents through our modern era.

14. States rights advocates are or have been colloquially referred to as:
a. quids
b. 98s
c. tenthers
d. secessionists
e. sovereign citizens
f. all of the above

15. The resolutions of 1798 and 1799 were secretly written by then Vice President Thomas Jefferson for Kentucky, and James Madison for Virginia.  Nullification is refuted by what part of the Constitution?
a. Supremacy Clause
b. Enumerated Powers
c. Preamble
d. all of the above

16. The resolutions and the subsequent Nullification Act of South Carolina relied on the compact theory and the theory of state interposition.  Compact theory presumes the Constitution is a 'compact' between the states, which the states can break or end, and 'interposition', that the states hold a position between the federal government and the people.  One of the opposing arguments is that, under the U.S. Constitution, the nation was formed by the will of the people, not individual states as was the case with the earlier Articles of Confederation. 

This refutation is based on what parts of the Constitution:
a. Preamble and Article III (preamble establishes the nation is formed by 'we the people' not the individual states; Article III establishes the judicial branch, and sets the SCOTUS as the determining body for what is and is not Constitutional, not the states)
b. Supremacy Clause
c. 14th Amendment and the Incorporation Doctrine
d. all of the above

17. We tend to think of the U.S. as having a two-party system.  John Quincy Adams negotiated the resolution to the Nullification Crisis of 1832 through legislation; which of the following political parties did he belong to during his presidency?
a. Federalist party
b. Democratic-Republican party
c. National Republican party
d. Anti-Masonic party
e.Whig party
f. all of the above
g. none of the above

18. There were key differences between the Articles of Confederation established by the Continental Congress, notably that the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union defined the United States as a confederation of states.  The Articles of Confederation also defined the chief executive as the President, but the office was more similar to that the current speaker of the House of Representatives.   Who was the first President under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, and how many were there before the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union were replaced?
a. Peyton Randolph of Virginia, first of 14 Presidents
b. John Hancock, first of 20 Presidents
c. Cyrus Griffin, first of 6 Presidents

19.  George Washington was elected unanimously as the President of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 to repair and replace the failures of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.  In what two years was he first elected President of the United States?
a. 1781 and 1785
b.  1792 and 1796
c. 1788 and 1792

20. Although not an official party member, President George Washington was associated with the Federalist party.  True or false, the Jeffersonian party delayed the beginning of the Washington monument, even though Congress had authorized it after Washington died in 1799, because they had distrusted Washington, much like the modern Republicans and Tea partiers distrust and obstruct President Obama?

Bonus question:
What was George Washington's middle name?
a. Henry
b. Thomas
c.  Fairfax
d. none of the above - he had no middle name

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