Founders Signing

Constitution Basics eCourse

Understanding the original US Constitution

Signing Constitution

Presented by

Sharon Skousen Krey

(c) Sharon S. Krey 2010


100 Citizenship Questions — New

The following is a list of the official 100 questions and answers used on the new U.S. citizenship test in 2011. They are a little different from the former exam before October, 2008. Both tests have great information.

The answers in red are all of the possible answers. All answers in red are correct. Use a piece of paper to cover each answer and see how many you can get correct.

A. Principles of American Democracy:

(1) What is the supreme law of the land?
The Constitution
(2) What does the Constitution do?
Sets up the government
Defines the government
Protects basic rights of Americans
(3) The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?
“We the people…”
(4) What is an amendment?
A change to the Constitution
An addition to the Constitution
(5) What are the first ten amendments to the Constitution called?
The Bill of Rights
(6) What is one right or freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment?
The freedom of: speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly, petition the government
(7) How many amendments does the Constitution have?
Twenty-seven (27)
(8) What did the Declaration of Independence do?
It announced/declared the United States’ independence from Great Britain.
(9) What are the rights granted by the Declaration of Independence?
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
(10) What is the freedom of religion?
The right to practice any religion, or not practice a religion
(11) What is the economic system used in the United States?
Capitalism economy or Market economy
(12) What is the “rule of law”?
The idea that everyone must obey the law. This includes political leaders, social icons, wealthy members of society etc. No one is above the law; it applies to everyone.

B. United States System of Government:

(13) Name one branch of government
(1) The legislative branch (Congress)
(2) The executive branch (the President)
(3) The judicial branch (the court system)
(14) What prevents one branch of government from becoming too powerful?
(1) Checks and balances
(2) The separation of powers
(15) Who is in charge of the executive branch?
The President
(16) Who makes federal laws?
The legislative branch or Congress
(17) What are the two parts of the United States Congress?
The Senate and the House of Representatives
(18) How many United States Senators are there?
One hundred (100)
(19) For how many years is a United States Senator elected?
Six (6)
(20) Name one of your state Senators.
Answers will vary. Residents of the District of Columbia and U.S. territories have no
(21) How many voting members are in the House of Representatives?
Four hundred thirty-five (435)
(22) For how many years is a United States Representative elected?
Two (2)
(23) Name your U.S. representatives.
Answers will vary
(24) Who does a Senator represent?
All the people of the state [originally Senators represented his state as a whole.]
(25) Why do some states have more Representatives than other states?
Number of Representatives is based on state population. If one state has a higher
population than another, then they will have more Representatives.
(26) For how many years is a United States President elected?
Four (4)
(27) In what month do Americans vote for President?
(28) What is the name of the current United States President?
Barack Obama
(29) What is the name of the current United States Vice President?
Joseph Biden
(30) If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
The Vice President
(31) If both the President and Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
The Speaker of the House
(32) Who is the Commander in Chief of the military?
The President
(33) Who signs bills to become laws?
The President
(34) Who can veto bills?
The President
(35) What does the President’s Cabinet do?
Advise the President
( 36) What are two cabinet level positions in the United States?
[These are in alphabetical order. See Packet page 7 for Line of Succession]
(1) Secretary of Agriculture
(2) Secretary of Commerce
(3) Secretary of Defense
(4) Secretary of Education
(5) Secretary of Energy
(6) Secretary of Health and Human Resources
(7) Secretary of Homeland Security
(8) Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
(9) Secretary of the Interior
(10) Secretary of State
(11) Secretary of Transportation
(12) Secretary of Treasury
(13) Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs
(14) Secretary of Labor
(15) Attorney General
(37) What does the judicial branch do?
(1) Review laws
(2) Explain laws
(3) Resolve disputes (disagreements)
(4) Decides if a law is unconstitutional (goes against the Constitution)
(38) What is the highest court in the United States?
The Supreme Court
(39) How many justices are on the Supreme Court?
Nine (9) [See Constitution Basics Class Packet.]
(40) Who is the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?
John Roberts (John G. Roberts, Jr.)
(41) Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power that belongs to the federal government?
(1) Power to print money
(2) Power to declare war
(3) Power to create an army
(4) Power to make treaties
(42) Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power that belongs to the states?
(1) Power to provide schooling and education
(2) Power to provide protection (police)
(3) Power to provide safety (fire department)
(4) Power to issue a driver’s license
(5) Power to approve zoning and land use
(43) Who is the Governor of your state?
Answers will vary.
(44) What is the capital of your state?
Answers will vary.
(45) What are the two major political parties in the United States?
The Democrat Party and the Republican Party
(46) What is the political party of the current president?
The Democrat Party, as of 2008 – 2011
(47) Who is the current Speaker of the House?
John Boehner

C. Rights and Responsibilities:

(48) There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.
(1) Citizens eighteen (18) and older can vote.
(2) You don’t have to pay (a poll tax) to vote.
(3) Any citizen (both men and women) can vote.
(4) A male citizen of any race can vote.
(49) What is one responsibility reserved for United States citizens?
(1) To serve on a jury
(2) To vote
(50) What are two rights reserved for United States citizens?
(3) To apply for a federal job
(4) To vote
(5) To run for office
(6) To carry a U.S. passport
(51) What are two freedoms reserved for everyone living in the United States?
(1) Freedom of expression
(2) Freedom of speech
(3) Freedom of peaceable assembly
(4) Freedom to petition the government
(5) Freedom of worship
(6) The right to bear arms
(52) What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?
The United States as we salute the United States flag.
(53) What is one promise you make when you become a United States citizen?
(1) To give up loyalty to other countries
(2) To defend the Constitution and laws of the United States
(3) To obey the laws of the United States
(4) To serve in the U.S. military if necessary
(5) To serve (do important work for) the nation if necessary
(6) To be loyal to the United States
(54) How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?
Eighteen (18) years old
(55) What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?
(1) Vote
(2) Join a political party
(3) Help with a political campaign
(4) Join a civic group
(5) Give an elected official your opinion on an issue
(6) Call Senators and Representatives
(7) Publically support or oppose an issue or policy
(8) Run for office
(9) Write to a newspaper
(56) When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?
April 15
(57) When must all men register for the Selective Service?
At age eighteen (18)

D. The Colonial Period and Independence:

(58) What is one reason colonists came to the United States?
(1) Freedom
(2) Political liberty
(3) Religious freedom
(4) Economic opportunity
(5) Escape persecution
(59) Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?
Native Americans or American Indians
(60) What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves?
Africans (people from Africa)
(61) Why did the colonists fight the British?
(1) Because of high taxes (taxation without representation)
(2) Because the British army stayed in their houses (boarding, quartering, marshal law)
(3) Because they didn’t have self-government
(62) Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
Thomas Jefferson
(63) When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?
July 4, 1776
(64) There were thirteen original states in the union. Name three. (See Packet Map, p. 5)
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
New York
New Jersey
North Carolina
South Carolina
(65) What happened at the Constitutional Convention?
The Constitution was written by the Founding Fathers.
(66) When was the Constitution written?
1787 (Officially finished and signed on Sept 17, 1787, “Constitution Day”.)
(67) The Federalist Papers were written in support of the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of its writers.
James Madison
Alexander Hamilton
John Jay
(68) What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for?
(1) He was a U.S. diplomat
(2) He was the oldest member of the Constitutional Convention
(3) He was the first postmaster general of the United States
(4) He was the writer of “Poor Richard’s Almanac”
(5) He started the first free libraries
(69) Who is the “Father of Our Country”?
George Washington
(70) Who was the first President of the United States?
George Washington

E. The 1800s:

(71) What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?
The Louisiana Territory
(72) Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s.
(1) War of 1812
(2) Mexican-American War
(3) Civil War
(4) Spanish-American War
73) Name the U.S. war between the North and South.
The Civil War
(74) Name one problem that led to the Civil War.
(1) Slavery
(2) Economic Reasons
(3) State Rights
(75) What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?
(1) He freed the slaves.
(2) He preserved the Union.
(3) He led the United States during the Civil War.
76) What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?
It freed the slaves.
(77) What did Susan B. Anthony do?
Fought for women’s right and for civil rights

F. Recent American History and Other Important Historical information:

(78) Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900s.
(1) World War I
(2) World War II
(3) The Korean War
(4) The Vietnam War
(5) The Persian Gulf War
(79) Who was President during World War I?
Woodrow Wilson
(80) Who was President during the Great Depression and World War II?
Franklin Roosevelt
(81) Who did the United States fight in World War II?
Japan, Germany, and Italy
(82) Before he was President, Eisenhower was a general. What war did he fight in?
World War II
(83) During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?
(84) What movement tried to end racial discrimination?
The Civil Rights Movement
(85) What did Martin Luther King Jr. do?
He fought for civil rights and the equality of all Americans.
(86) What major event happened on September 11, 2001 in the United States?
Terrorists attacked the United States.
(87) Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.
(1) Cherokee
(2) Navajo
(3) Sioux
(4) Chippewa
(5) Choctaw
(6) Pueblo
(7) Apache
(8) Iroquois
(9) Creek
(10) Blackfeet
(11) Seminole
(12) Cheyenne
(13) Arawak
(14) Shawnee
(15) Mohegan
(16) Huron
(17) Oneida
(18) Lakota
(19) Crow
(20) Teton
(21) Hopi
(22) Inuit

G. Geography:

(88) Name one of the longest rivers in the United States.
(1) The Missouri River
(2) The Mississippi River
(89) What ocean is on the West Coast of the United States?
The Pacific Ocean
(90) What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States?
The Atlantic Ocean
(91) Name one U.S. Territory.
(1) Puerto Rico
(2) U.S. Virgin Islands
(3) American Samoa
(4) Northern Mariana Islands
(5) Guam
(92) Name one state that borders Canada.
(1) Maine
(2) New Hampshire
(3) Vermont
(4) New York
(5) Pennsylvania
(6) Ohio
(7) Michigan
(8) Minnesota
(9) North Dakota
(10) Montana
(11) Idaho
(12) Washington
(13) Alaska
(93) Name one state that borders Mexico.
(1) California
(2) Arizona
(3) New Mexico
(4) Texas
(94) What is the capital of the United States?
Washington, D.C.
(95) Where is the Statue of Liberty?
Acceptable Answers:
(1) New York (Harbor)
(2) Liberty Island
(3) New Jersey
(4) Near New York City
(5) On the Hudson River

H. Symbols:

(96) Why does the U.S. flag have 13 stripes?
Because each stripe represents one of the thirteen original colonies
(97) Why does the U.S. flag have 50 stars?
Because each star represents one of the 50 states
(98) What is the name of the national anthem?
The Star-Spangled Banner

I. Holidays:

(99) When does the United States celebrate Independence Day?
July 4
(100) Name two national U.S. holidays.
(1) New Year’s Day
(2) Martin Luther King Jr. Day
(3) Presidents Day
(4) Memorial Day
(5) Independence Day
(6) Labor Day
(7) Columbus Day
(8) Veterans Day
(9) Thanksgiving
(10) Christmas

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