American History To 1865

39 Questions | Total Attempts: 384

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American History Quizzes & Trivia

A quiz on tidbits of American history to 1865, inspired by the Dictionary of Cultural Literarcy and prepared in preperation for the FSOT. Many obvious historical items (e. G. Johnny Appleseed, Daniel Boone, etc) skipped.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    A series of laws, passed during the presidency of John Adams at the end of the 18th century, that sought to restrict the public activities of radicals that sympathized with the French Revolution and were anti-Federalist.
    • A. 

      Commonweil Act of 1798

    • B. 

      Alien and Sedition Acts

    • C. 

      Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions

    • D. 

      The Federalist Act of 1799

  • 2. 
    "These are the times that try men's souls" came from what pamphlet?
    • A. 

      Common Sense by Thomas Paine

    • B. 

      The Federalist Papers by James Madison

    • C. 

      Hutchinson Letters by Benjamin Franklin

    • D. 

      The American Crisis by Thomas Paine

  • 3. 
    It is said that the first black American to die in the struggle for liberty was
    • A. 

      Crispus Attucks

    • B. 

      James Somersett

    • C. 

      Thomas Schifter

    • D. 

      Henry Dustoque

  • 4. 
    Benjamin Banneker taught himself calculus and trigonometry in order to make astronomical calculations for almanacs. However, he roused the ire of some Americans for stating that
    • A. 

      "the powers of the mind are disconnected with the color of the skin".

    • B. 

      "the Revolution has come too far too fast to be sustainable".

    • C. 

      "the nation must eventually split into two disparate halves, the one of which will be dominated by the other".

    • D. 

      "the new government has spiritually divorced itself from the divine right to rule".

  • 5. 
    "John Brown's body lies a-mold'ring in the grave; His soul marching on" was a verse from a song honoring John Brown, who was known for
    • A. 

      Being the first American shot and killed at the Boston Massacre, leading to popular furor against the crown.

    • B. 

      Opening the first leg of the underground railroad; he was executed for his troubles in 1848.

    • C. 

      Being killed by Seminole indians in Florida; his death led to relocation of several Floridian tribes.

    • D. 

      Violently advocating the freedom of slaves; he led an ill-fated attack on a federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry in Virginia.

  • 6. 
    The Battle of Bull Run was won by the ____________________, and is also known as ____________. It was the first battle of the Civil War.
    • A. 

      The North / the Battle of Manassas

    • B. 

      The South / the Battle of Manassas

    • C. 

      The North / the Battle of Shiloh

    • D. 

      The South / the Battle of Shiloh

  • 7. 
    The first great battle of the Revolutionary War encouraged the colonists by showing them that they could compete with the British. The Americans were driven from their stronghold at Breed's Hill, showed well. The battle is known as
    • A. 

      Battles of Lexington and Concord

    • B. 

      Battle of Bunker Hill

    • C. 

      Battle of Trenton

    • D. 

      Battle of Ticonderoga

  • 8. 
    This American political character not only killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, but was later acquited on charges of treason; he had been involved in a conspiracy to sever the western states from the Union.
    • A. 

      John Calhoun

    • B. 

      James Madison

    • C. 

      Kit Carson

    • D. 

      Aaron Burr

  • 9. 
    This man was the leading southern politician of the early 19th century. From South Carolina, he was VP under both J.Q. Adams and Andrew Jackson. A towering intellect, he was a champion of state's rights and slavery, and was involved in the "nullification" movement.
    • A. 

      Aaron Burr

    • B. 

      Abel Upshur

    • C. 

      Eldred Simpkins

    • D. 

      John Calhoun

  • 10. 
    This frontier guide won respect for his considerable trapping and guiding - and opening California to settlement - but was also involved in the forceful relocation of Navajos in the 1860s.
    • A. 

      Kit Carson

    • B. 

      Daniel Boone

    • C. 

      Sam Bowie

    • D. 

      Sam Houston

  • 11. 
    Though a Southern victory, this battle proved costly, as General Stonewall Jackson was accidentally killed by his troops shortly after it.
    • A. 

      Battle of Gettysburg

    • B. 

      Battle of Chickamauga

    • C. 

      Battle of Chancellorsville

    • D. 

      Battle of Antietam

  • 12. 
    This American leader was one of the finest politicians never to be elected President. A Whig from Kentucky, he was devoted to keeping the Union together, and was behind the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850.
    • A. 

      Daniel Webster

    • B. 

      John C Calhoun

    • C. 

      Henry Clay

    • D. 

      Robert Young Hayne

  • 13. 
    California came into the Union as a free (non-slave) state as a result of this law, which also allowed some newly-acquired territories to decide on the matter for themselves.
    • A. 

      Missouri Compromise

    • B. 

      California Act of 1848

    • C. 

      13th Amendment

    • D. 

      Compromise of 1850

  • 14. 
    The Decleration of Independence was largely written by
    • A. 

      John Adams

    • B. 

      Thomas Jefferson

    • C. 

      John Hancock

    • D. 

      Benjamin Franklin

  • 15. 
    A famous line from American Revolutionary writings includes the line "we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".
    • A. 

      The Federalist Papers

    • B. 

      The US Constitution

    • C. 

      Common Sense

    • D. 

      The Decaration of Independence

  • 16. 
    The French and Indian War was the American theater for this war, which resulted in the settling of Canada.
    • A. 

      The War of 1812

    • B. 

      The Seven Years' War

    • C. 

      The Franco-Prussian War

    • D. 

      The Hundred Years' War

  • 17. 
    The Fugitive Slave Act gave Southern slave owners tools to capture slaves that had escaped to the free states. Very unpopular in the north, it pushed many indifferent northerns to an antislavery position. It was part of this legal act:
    • A. 

      Alien and Sedition Act

    • B. 

      Missouri Compromise

    • C. 

      Compromise of 1850

    • D. 

      California Act of 1848

  • 18. 
    This woman was a slave owned byThomas Jefferson, and it is alleged that he sired at least one child with her.
    • A. 

      June Templeton

    • B. 

      Sally Hennings

    • C. 

      Margaret Sanger

    • D. 

      Betty Friedan

  • 19. 
    A law passed in the 1860s that offered up to 160 acres of public land to any head of a family who paid a registration fee, lived on the land for five years and cultivated or built on it.
    • A. 

      Homestead Act

    • B. 

      California Act

    • C. 

      Migrants' Act

    • D. 

      West Growth Act

  • 20. 
    This wily Texan wore many hats: as a soldier, he led the Texans during their struggle for independence from Mexico. Later he seved as president of the Republic of Texas; after it became a state he represented it as a senator. Elected governor of Texas just before the Civil War, he was removed when he opposed the state's decision for secession.
    • A. 

      John Kirby Allen

    • B. 

      Steven F Austin

    • C. 

      John Neely Byran

    • D. 

      Sam Houston

  • 21. 
    Someone who came under contract to work for another person for a definite period of time without pay but in exchange for free passage to a new country is known as
    • A. 

      Sharecropper.

    • B. 

      Bond servant.

    • C. 

      Indentured servant.

    • D. 

      Perioded slave.

  • 22. 
    "Let us cross the river and rest in the shade of the trees" are famous dying words of this American:
    • A. 

      "Stonewall" Jackson

    • B. 

      Robert E Lee

    • C. 

      George Washington

    • D. 

      Thomas Jefferson

  • 23. 
    Andrew Jackson's tenure as President is best known for what?
    • A. 

      Sowing the seeds for the Civil War.

    • B. 

      The end of of the Whig political party era, and the beginning of 2-party politics.

    • C. 

      The start of the Jim Crow era, and great westward expansion.

    • D. 

      Jacksonian Democracy, which saw much more direct democracy in the US' governmental system.

  • 24. 
    The President preceeding Andrew Jackson that also advocated for more direct democracy (though less radically than Jackson's) was:
    • A. 

      John Adams

    • B. 

      James Madison

    • C. 

      Thomas Jefferson

    • D. 

      John Quincy Adams

  • 25. 
    A law passed by Congress in 1854 that divided the territory west of the states of Missouri and Iowa into two new territories. It was controversial, as it did not exclude slavery from the new territories, and effectively repealed the Missouri Compromise. It led to the collapse of the Whig party and the rise of the Republican Party.
    • A. 

      Minnesota-Nebraska Act

    • B. 

      Homestead Act

    • C. 

      The Second Missouri Act

    • D. 

      Kansas-Nebraska Act

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