What’s the Constitution? Don’t bother asking 70% of Americans: Alarming number of U.S. citizens don’t know basic facts about their own country

Posted: March 23, 2011 in US News

Rachel Quigley
Mail Online
March 23, 20111

First Christina Aguilera forgot the words to the national anthem.

Now it has emerged that 70 per cent of Americans do not know what the Constitution is, and six per cent don’t even know when Independence Day falls.

Newsweek recently gave 1,000 Americans the U.S. Citizenship test and found that their knowledge of the history and running of their own country was seriously lacking.


Stumped: In the U.S. citizenship test, only 38 per cent of Americans passed and some didn’t know answers to basic questions like who is the vice president?

Although the majority passed, more than a third – 38 per cent – failed, and some of the basic questions surrounding citizenship were answered incorrectly.

The U.S. citizenship test is administered to all immigrants applying for citizenship. It is comprised of 100 questions across five categories – American government, systems of government, rights and responsibilities, American history and integrated civics.

Newsweek found that there were huge discrepancies in the kinds of civic knowledge Americans collectively possess.

A mark of 60 per cent was needed to pass.

The questions that Americans could not answer went from the more challenging – how many justices are in the Supreme Court? (63 per cent did not know) To the most basic – who is the Vice President of America? (29 per cent did not know)

An alarming number of Americans did not know basic information about the Constitution, namely that it was the supreme law of the land, that it was set up at the Constitutional Convention and that the first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights.

Newsweek reported that civil ignorance is nothing new. Americans have been misunderstanding checks and balances and misidentifying their senators for as long as they have existed.

Read Article Here

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