The Quiz


At the start of every undergraduate class at Stanford I asked the students to take the following ungraded quiz. How well would you do?

1) The American Civil War was between:

a)  1750 and 1800

b)  1801-1850

c)  1851-1900

d)  1901-1950


2) The purpose of The Federalist Papers was:

a)  to gain ratification of the Constitution.

b)  to assert U.S. rights in the Western Hemisphere

c)  to give reasons for the War of 1812

d)  to line Thomas Jefferson’s birdcage


3) The controversy surrounding Senator Joseph McCarthy focused on:

a)  Corruption

b)  Communism

c)  Segregation

d)  Baseball


4) The First World War was between:

a)  1900 and 1909

b)  1910-1919

c)  1920-1929

d)  1930-1939

e)  1940-1949


5) The Renaissance was the period in European history noted for:

a)  cultural and technological advances.

b)  the decline of the system of monarchy

c)  the establishment of the Protestant Church

d)  the decline and fall of the Roman empire


6) The guarantee of freedom of speech and religion is found in:

a)  The Constitution

b)  The Magna Carta

c)  The Federalist Papers

d)  There is no guarantee of freedom of speech and religion


7) Who is credited with saying, “And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”?

a)  President George Washington

b)  President Franklin Roosevelt

c)  President John Kennedy

d)  President George W. Bush


8) In its Brown v. Board of Education decision, the Supreme Court ruled:

a)  segregation is constitutional under “separate but equal”

b)   segregation is unconstitutional

c)   students have rights of free speech

d)   classroom walls must be painted puke green


9) Which document includes the words, “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 Constitution

c)  The Bill of Rights

d)  The Declaration of Independence


10) Japanese-Americans were forced into relocation camps during:

a)  World War I

b)   World War II

c)  the Korean Conflict

d)  the Viet Nam War


11) When did Christopher Columbus sail for the New World?

a)  Before 1500

b)  1501-1599

c)  1600-1699

d)  1700-1799


12) The Watergate investigations resulted in:

a)  the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew

b)   the resignation of President Richard Nixon

c)  the resignation of Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein

d)  the movie “Deep Throat”


13) Adolf Hitler was:

a)  a German arms dealer in World War II

b)   the Chancellor of Germany

c)  the King of Germany

d)  all of the above


14) The first permanent English colony in North America was established at:

a)  Plymouth, MA

b)  St. Petersburg, FL

c)  Jamestown, VA

d)  New York City, NY


15) The commander of the American army in the Revolutionary War was:

a)  Paul Revere

b)  Benedict Arnold

c)  George Washington

d)  John Paul Jones


16) The idea that each branch of the federal government should keep the other branches from becoming too strong is called:

a)  checks and balances

b)  checks and credit cards

c)  mutual assured destruction

d)  separate but equal


17) The major enemies of the United States during the Second World War were:

a)  Canada and Mexico

b)  China and the Soviet Union

c)  Germany and Japan

d)   France and England


18) Who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation?

a)  Thomas Jefferson

b)  Harriet Beecher Stowe

c)  Abraham Lincoln

d)  Ulysses S. Emancipation


19) Plato and Aristotle were:

a)  Roman emperors

b)  Greek philosophers

c)  Egyptian kings

d)  the guys who ran a coffee shop on University Avenue


20) The primary author of the Declaration of Independence was:

a)  John Hancock

b)  John Adams

c)  Thomas Jefferson

d)  Benjamin Franklin


21) The United States entered into the Second World War immediately after:

a)  The sinking of the Lusitania

b)  The invasion of Poland

c)  The bombing of Pearl Harbor

d)  The attack on the World Trade Center


Questions 22-30: Write the number of the country in the proper map position.

22 Libya

23 Iran

24 Iraq

25 Egypt

26 Pakistan

27 Syria

28 Yemen

29 Saudi Arabia

30 Afghanistan


How did you do?

Click here for the answers.