American History Trivia Quiz Questions And Answers

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American History Trivia Quiz Questions And Answers - Quiz


Dive into the captivating world of our US History Trivia and put your knowledge of America’s past to the ultimate test! This comprehensive quiz is designed for history buffs and curious minds alike, offering a deep dive into the events and figures that have shaped the United States.

From the early colonial times through the revolutionary era, to the civil rights movements and modern-day America, our trivia covers a wide range of critical periods. Each question in our American History Trivia is carefully crafted to challenge your understanding and provide insightful feedback that enriches your grasp of historical contexts.

Whether Read moreyou're preparing for an academic challenge, looking to brush up on your history for personal enrichment, or just aiming to outscore your friends in a spirited competition, our US History Quiz is the perfect tool. With questions ranging from easy to hard, everyone from beginners to experts can enjoy testing their knowledge.


American History Trivia Questions and Answers

  • 1. 

    The Declaration of Independence was written to what King of what country, to state the reasons we were declaring our Independence.

    • A.

      King Louis XVI of France

    • B.

      King George III of England

    • C.

      King Henry V of England

    • D.

      Queen Elizabeth I of England

    • E.

      King Louis XIV of France

    Correct Answer
    B. King George III of England
    Explanation
    The Declaration of Independence was written to King George III of England to state the reasons for declaring independence. King George III was the monarch of England during the American Revolution, and the colonists sought to break away from British rule. The Declaration of Independence outlined grievances against the king and asserted the rights of the American colonies to govern themselves. This document marked the formal declaration of independence and the beginning of the American Revolutionary War.

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  • 2. 

    What famous Government Building was burned by the British during the War of 1812

    • A.

      The Pentagon

    • B.

      The Treasury Building

    • C.

      The White House

    • D.

      The Capitol Building

    • E.

      The Lincoln Memorial

    Correct Answer
    C. The White House
    Explanation
    During the War of 1812, the British burned down the White House, which is the famous government building referred to in the question. This event occurred in August 1814 when British troops invaded Washington, D.C. and set fire to several government buildings, including the White House. The burning of the White House was a significant event in American history and symbolized the British retaliation for the American attack on York (now Toronto) earlier in the war.

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  • 3. 

    Who is famous for saying "Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."

    • A.

      Thomas Jefferson

    • B.

      Benjamin Franklin

    • C.

      Patrick Henry

    • D.

      Nathan Hale

    • E.

      Samuel Adams

    Correct Answer
    C. Patrick Henry
    Explanation
    Patrick Henry is famous for saying the quote "Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death." This quote is from his speech in 1775, known as the "Give me liberty or give me death" speech, which he delivered during the Virginia Convention. In this speech, Henry passionately argued for the colonies to take up arms against the British and fight for independence. His words became a rallying cry for the American Revolution.

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  • 4. 

    How many verses does "The Star Spangled Banner" have?

    • A.

      1

    • B.

      2

    • C.

      3

    • D.

      4

    • E.

      5

    Correct Answer
    D. 4
    Explanation
    Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
    O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
    And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
    Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
    Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
    In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
    'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
    A home and a country should leave us no more!
    Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
    Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

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  • 5. 

    Who is next in line for the presidency if the President and Vice President are no longer able to serve in office?

    • A.

      President Pro Tempore of the Senate

    • B.

      Senate Majority leader

    • C.

      No one. A special election will be held

    • D.

      The most senior Cabinet member

    • E.

      The Speaker of the House

    Correct Answer
    E. The Speaker of the House
    Explanation
    If both the President and Vice President are unable to serve in office, the next in line for the presidency is the Speaker of the House. This is because the Speaker of the House is the third in line for presidential succession, after the President and Vice President.

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  • 6. 

    When Francis Scott Key, during the war of 1812, wrote the lyrics for the Star Spangled Banner, he was describing the bombardment of what important installation?

    • A.

      The Capitol Building, Washington DC

    • B.

      West Point, New York

    • C.

      Fort McHenry, Maryland

    • D.

      Fort Sumter, South Carolina

    • E.

      Fort Lee, Massachusetts

    Correct Answer
    C. Fort McHenry, Maryland
    Explanation
    During the war of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics for the Star Spangled Banner while describing the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland. This historic fort was a crucial installation that defended Baltimore Harbor and played a significant role in the defense of the United States during the war. Key witnessed the bombardment firsthand and was inspired by the resilience and determination of the American forces defending Fort McHenry, which led him to write the iconic lyrics that eventually became the national anthem of the United States.

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  • 7. 

    Which of the following is NOT a right protected by the 1st Amendment?

    • A.

      Freedom of the press

    • B.

      Freedom of speech

    • C.

      The right to peaceably assemble

    • D.

      The right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

    • E.

      The right of separation of Church and State

    Correct Answer
    E. The right of separation of Church and State
    Explanation
    The right of separation of Church and State is not a right protected by the 1st Amendment. The 1st Amendment protects freedom of the press, freedom of speech, the right to peaceably assemble, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. However, the concept of separation of Church and State is not explicitly mentioned in the 1st Amendment. It is a principle derived from the 1st Amendment's establishment clause, which prohibits the government from establishing or favoring any particular religion.

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  • 8. 

    Who is the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?

    • A.

      John Roberts

    • B.

      Samuel Alito

    • C.

      Anthony Kennedy

    • D.

      Clarence Thomas

    • E.

      Antonin Scalia

    Correct Answer
    A. John Roberts
    Explanation
    John Roberts is the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He was appointed to this position in 2005 by President George W. Bush. Roberts is known for his conservative judicial philosophy and has played a significant role in shaping the court's decisions on various issues, including healthcare and voting rights. He has been involved in several high-profile cases and has been seen as a key swing vote on the court.

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  • 9. 

    Who is known as the 'Father of the Constitution'?

    • A.

      James Madison

    • B.

      John Jay

    • C.

      Thomas Jefferson

    • D.

      John Adams

    • E.

      Alexander Hamilton

    Correct Answer
    A. James Madison
    Explanation
    Madison went on to succeed Thomas Jefferson, becoming the 4th President of the United States.

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  • 10. 

    This battle ended the Revolutionary war, by forcing General Cornwallis to surrender, because the British army had become trapped on the coast between the Continental army and the French Fleet.

    • A.

      Battle of Yorktown

    • B.

      Battle of Trenton

    • C.

      Valley Forge

    • D.

      Battle of Cowpens

    • E.

      Battle of Saratoga

    Correct Answer
    A. Battle of Yorktown
    Explanation
    The Battle of Yorktown is the correct answer because it was the battle that ended the Revolutionary War. General Cornwallis was forced to surrender because his British army was trapped on the coast between the Continental army and the French Fleet. This strategic position made it impossible for Cornwallis to escape or receive reinforcements, leading to his surrender and ultimately the end of the war.

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  • 11. 

    Who, of the following, was not a U.S. President?

    • A.

      James K. Polk

    • B.

      Alexander Hamilton

    • C.

      John Adams

    • D.

      Millard Fillmore

    • E.

      Thomas Jefferson

    Correct Answer
    B. Alexander Hamilton
    Explanation
    Alexander Hamilton was not a U.S. President. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and served as the first Secretary of the Treasury under President George Washington. While he was influential in shaping the early government and economic policies of the United States, he never held the position of President.

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  • 12. 

    What is the purpose of the 2nd Amendment?

    • A.

      To ensure the People always have a means of hunting for food

    • B.

      To provide Muskets and ammunition to citizens if the British attack

    • C.

      To ensure citizens always retained the ability and right of armed resistance against their own gov't

    • D.

      For the purpose of forming the National Guard in each State

    • E.

      For the formation of Militias which are regulated by the Federal Government

    Correct Answer
    C. To ensure citizens always retained the ability and right of armed resistance against their own gov't
    Explanation
    The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to guarantee that citizens always have the ability and right to resist their own government through armed means. This amendment was included in the Constitution to ensure that the government does not become too powerful and oppressive, and that the people have the means to defend their rights and liberties if necessary. It serves as a safeguard against potential tyranny and allows citizens to protect themselves and their freedoms.

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  • 13. 

    To help secure foreign assistance, this founding Father spent much of the Revolutionary War as Ambassador to France trying to convince the French Fleet to come to the aid of our cause. 

    • A.

      Benjamin Franklin

    • B.

      John Hancock

    • C.

      Richard Henry Lee

    • D.

      Samuel Adams

    • E.

      Benjamin Rush

    Correct Answer
    A. Benjamin Franklin
    Explanation
    During the Revolutionary War, Benjamin Franklin served as an Ambassador to France. He spent a significant amount of time trying to persuade the French Fleet to assist the American cause. Franklin's diplomatic skills and reputation as a respected figure played a crucial role in securing foreign assistance for the American Revolution.

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  • 14. 

    How many amendments to the Constitution have there been since its ratification? 

    • A.

      27

    • B.

      22

    • C.

      25

    • D.

      29

    • E.

      20

    Correct Answer
    A. 27
    Explanation
    Since its ratification, there have been 27 amendments to the Constitution. This means that the original Constitution has been modified and updated 27 times since it was first ratified. These amendments have addressed a range of issues, including expanding civil rights, clarifying governmental powers, and establishing procedures for electing officials. Each amendment requires a specific process to be ratified, involving approval by both federal and state governments.

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  • 15. 

    This Founding Father from Virginia, now known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights", Has a University named after him in that state.

    • A.

      Henry Clay

    • B.

      John Jay

    • C.

      Alexander Hamilton

    • D.

      John Adams

    • E.

      George Mason

    Correct Answer
    E. George Mason
    Explanation
    George Mason University is located in Fairfax, Virginia. "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people...To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." George Mason, during Virginia's ratification convention (1788) in debating the wording of the 2nd Amendment.

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  • 16. 

    What is the 'Bill of Rights'?

    • A.

      The 1st ten amendments to the Constitution

    • B.

      Another name for the preamble of the Constitution

    • C.

      The original name for the Articles of Confederation

    • D.

      The rights granted to you by the Constitution

    • E.

      None of the Above

    Correct Answer
    A. The 1st ten amendments to the Constitution
    Explanation
    The Bill of Rights refers to the first ten amendments to the Constitution. These amendments were added to the Constitution to protect individual rights and liberties. They include important provisions such as freedom of speech, religion, and the right to bear arms. The Bill of Rights is considered a crucial part of the Constitution and has been instrumental in shaping the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the people of the United States.

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  • 17. 

    What is the MOST correct statement below defining the purpose of the Constitution?

    • A.

      To give rights to the people

    • B.

      To make sure the Federal Government is the supreme law of the land

    • C.

      To tell the people what they can and cannot do.

    • D.

      To restrain and inhibit the power of the Federal Government

    • E.

      To enumerate the rights that the states may retain for themselves.

    Correct Answer
    D. To restrain and inhibit the power of the Federal Government
    Explanation
    The purpose of the Constitution is to restrain and inhibit the power of the Federal Government. The Constitution establishes a system of checks and balances to prevent any one branch of government from becoming too powerful. It outlines the powers and limitations of the federal government, ensuring that it does not infringe upon the rights and liberties of the people. By placing limitations on the federal government's authority, the Constitution protects individual freedoms and prevents the abuse of power.

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  • 18. 

    What Constitutional Amendment gave women the right to vote in 1920?

    • A.

      15th

    • B.

      17th

    • C.

      19th

    • D.

      21st

    • E.

      25th

    Correct Answer
    C. 19th
    Explanation
    The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1920, granted women the right to vote. This amendment was a significant milestone in the women's suffrage movement, which fought for equal voting rights for women. Prior to this amendment, women were denied the right to vote, and the 19th Amendment was a crucial step towards achieving gender equality in the United States.

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  • 19. 

    Who was the President during World War One? 

    • A.

      Franklin Roosevelt

    • B.

      Calvin Coolidge

    • C.

      William McKinley

    • D.

      Warren Harding

    • E.

      Woodrow Wilson

    Correct Answer
    E. Woodrow Wilson
    Explanation
    Woodrow Wilson was the President during World War One. He served as the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921. During his presidency, Wilson led the country through the tumultuous years of World War One, making significant contributions to the war effort and playing a key role in negotiating the Treaty of Versailles. His leadership during this time shaped the United States' stance on international relations and set the stage for the country's future involvement in global affairs.

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  • 20. 

    Which of the following was not one of the original 13 colonies?

    • A.

      Massachusetts

    • B.

      Maine

    • C.

      Georgia

    • D.

      Virginia

    • E.

      Delaware

    Correct Answer
    B. Maine
    Explanation
    Maine was not one of the original 13 colonies. The original 13 colonies were established by the British in the 17th and 18th centuries, and Maine was not one of them. Maine was originally part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but it did not become a separate state until 1820. Therefore, Maine cannot be considered one of the original 13 colonies.

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  • 21. 

    The booklet written by Thomas Paine, which was instrumental in changing public opinion towards supporting the revolution, was named what? 

    • A.

      The times that try men's souls

    • B.

      Liberty and Tyranny

    • C.

      Government is a necessary evil

    • D.

      Common Cause

    • E.

      Common Sense

    Correct Answer
    E. Common Sense
    Explanation
    "Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one". -Thomas Paine, “Common Sense”, 1776

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  • 22. 

    What is the purpose of a corporation?

    • A.

      To provide needed goods and services

    • B.

      To create jobs

    • C.

      To pay taxes to fund social programs

    • D.

      To make a profit

    • E.

      All of the above

    Correct Answer
    D. To make a profit
    Explanation
    While corporations may engage in activities such as providing goods and services, creating jobs, and paying taxes, their primary purpose is to generate profit for their shareholders or owners. Profit-making is the fundamental objective of most corporations, driving their business operations and strategies.

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  • 23. 

    Who was the first President to be impeached?

    • A.

      Andrew Johnson

    • B.

      Bill Clinton

    • C.

      William Howard Taft

    • D.

      Richard Nixon

    • E.

      Andrew Jackson

    Correct Answer
    A. Andrew Johnson
    Explanation
    Andrew Johnson was the first President to be impeached. He was impeached by the House of Representatives in 1868 for violating the Tenure of Office Act. The Act was passed by Congress to restrict the President's power to remove certain officeholders without the Senate's approval. Johnson's impeachment trial took place in the Senate, but he narrowly avoided removal from office by one vote. Although he completed his term as President, his impeachment set an important precedent in American history and established the process for holding future Presidents accountable for their actions.

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  • 24. 

    Which Founding Father did not become President, but did become the first Secretary of the Treasury?

    • A.

      James Monroe

    • B.

      Aaron Burr

    • C.

      Benjamin Harrison

    • D.

      Alexander Hamilton

    • E.

      Richard Henry Lee

    Correct Answer
    D. Alexander Hamilton
    Explanation
    Alexander Hamilton is the correct answer because he was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, but he did not become President. However, he did hold the position of the first Secretary of the Treasury under President George Washington. Hamilton played a crucial role in establishing the country's financial system and was instrumental in the development of economic policies that shaped the early years of the United States.

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  • 25. 

    "The Shot Heard around the World", starting the Revolutionary War, was fired at Lexington, Massachusetts by the local militia, April 20, 1775, when British soldiers arrived there to do what? 

    • A.

      To confiscate food and provisions for the army's use

    • B.

      Build an outpost to station soldiers there

    • C.

      To seize all weapons and ammunition from the people and the local armory

    • D.

      To try to capture several leaders of the American Rebellion

    • E.

      Both 3 and 4

    Correct Answer
    E. Both 3 and 4
    Explanation
    The shooting started when the British tried to ban guns, in an attempt to control the growing rebellion. The leaders they suspected of hiding there were John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Samuel Adams, however the Redcoats never got that far as they were set upon by the militia and driven out.

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  • 26. 

    What was the primary reason for the Lewis and Clark Expedition?

    • A.

      To find a water route to the Pacific

    • B.

      To establish trade with Native American tribes

    • C.

      To claim land for the United States before European powers

    • D.

      To map and explore the Louisiana Purchase

    • E.

      All of the above

    Correct Answer
    D. To map and explore the Louisiana Purchase
    Explanation
    The Lewis and Clark Expedition, commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, was primarily tasked with mapping and exploring the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase and to find a practical route to the Pacific. Along the journey, they also established trade with Native American tribes and claimed land to assert U.S. sovereignty.

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  • 27. 

    Which Amendment abolished slavery throughout the United States?

    • A.

      13th Amendment

    • B.

      14th Amendment

    • C.

      15th Amendment

    • D.

      16th Amendment

    • E.

      12th Amendment

    Correct Answer
    A. 13th Amendment
    Explanation
    The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1865, abolished slavery in the United States. This amendment was a crucial component of the Reconstruction efforts following the Civil War and legally ended the practice of slavery nationwide.

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  • 28. 

    Who was the American President during the Great Depression and World War II?

    • A.

      Herbert Hoover

    • B.

      Franklin D. Roosevelt

    • C.

      Harry S. Truman

    • D.

      Dwight D. Eisenhower

    • E.

      John F. Kennedy

    Correct Answer
    B. Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Explanation
    Franklin D. Roosevelt was the President during the Great Depression and much of World War II. He took office in 1933 and implemented the New Deal to counter the severe economic downturn and later led the United States through the majority of WWII until his death in 1945.

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  • 29. 

    Which event marked the beginning of the American Revolution?

    • A.

      The signing of the Declaration of Independence

    • B.

      The Battle of Lexington and Concord

    • C.

      The Boston Tea Party

    • D.

      The passing of the Stamp Act

    • E.

      The Battle of Bunker Hill

    Correct Answer
    B. The Battle of Lexington and Concord
    Explanation
    The Battle of Lexington and Concord, fought on April 19, 1775, is considered the starting point of the American Revolution. It was the first military engagement between British soldiers and American colonists, and is famously referred to as the shot heard 'round the world.

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  • 30. 

    What purchase doubled the size of the United States in 1803?

    • A.

      The Gadsden Purchase

    • B.

      The Purchase of Alaska

    • C.

      The Louisiana Purchase

    • D.

      The Florida Purchase

    • E.

      The Oregon Territory Purchase

    Correct Answer
    C. The Louisiana Purchase
    Explanation
    The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 nearly doubled the size of the United States, adding approximately 827,000 square miles of territory west of the Mississippi River. President Thomas Jefferson spearheaded the acquisition from France, dramatically expanding the nation and opening vast tracts of land for settlement and exploration.

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  • Apr 19, 2024
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Nov 15, 2014
    Quiz Created by
    Corpsvet41
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