In place of the weekly quiz, try ISI’s Civic Literacy quiz…(from ISI Intercollegiate Studies Institute) – Are you more knowledgeable than the average citizen? The average score for all 2,508 Americans taking the following test was 49%; college educators scored 55%. Can you do better? Questions were drawn from past ISI surveys, as well as other nationally recognized exams.
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–Answers to this quiz can be found by taking the quiz at: isi.org.
1. Which of the following are the unalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence?
a) life, liberty, and property
b) honor, liberty, and peace
c) liberty, health, and community
d) life, respect, and equal protection
e) life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
2. In 1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposed a series of government programs that became known as:
a) the Great Society
b) the Square Deal
c) the New Deal
d) the New Frontier
e) supply-side economics
3. What are the three branches of government?
a) executive, legislative, judicial
b) executive, legislative, military
c) bureaucratic, military, industry
d) federal, state, local
4. What was the main issue in the debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in 1858?
a) Is slavery morally wrong?
b) Would slavery be allowed to expand to new territories?
c) Do Southern states have the constitutional right to leave the union?
d) Are free African Americans citizens of the United States?
5. The United States Electoral College:
a) trains those aspiring for higher political office
b) was established to supervise the first televised presidential debates
c) is otherwise known as the U.S. Congress
d) is a constitutionally mandated assembly that elects the president
e) was ruled undemocratic by the Supreme Court
6. The Bill of Rights explicitly prohibits:
a) prayer in public school
b) discrimination based on race, sex, or religion
c) the ownership of guns by private individuals
d) establishing an official religion for the United States
e) the president from vetoing a line item in a spending bill
7. What was the source of the following phrase: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”?
a) the speech “I Have a Dream”
b) Declaration of Independence
c) U.S. Constitution
d) Gettysburg Address
8. In 1935 and 1936 the Supreme Court declared that important parts of the New Deal were unconstitutional. President Roosevelt responded by threatening to:
a) impeach several Supreme Court justices
b) eliminate the Supreme Court
c) appoint additional Supreme Court justices who shared his views
d) override the Supreme Court’s decisions by gaining three-quarter majorities in both houses of Congress
9. Under Our Constitution, some powers belong exclusively to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?
a) make treaties
b) make zoning laws
c) maintain prisons
d) establish standards for doctors and lawyers
10. Name one right or freedom guaranteed by the first amendment.
a) right to bear arms
b) due process
d) right to counsel
11. What impact did the Anti-Federalists have on the United States Constitution?
a) their arguments helped lead to the adoption of the Bill of Rights
b) their arguments helped lead to the abolition of the slave trade
c) their influence ensured that the federal government would maintain a standing army
d) their influence ensured that the federal government would have the power to tax
12. Which of the following statements is true about abortion?
a) it was legal in most states in the 1960s
b) the Supreme Court struck down most legal restrictions on it in Roe v. Wade
c) the Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that underage women must notify their parents of an impending abortion
d) the National Organization for Women has lobbied for legal restrictions on it
e) it is currently legal only in cases of rape or incest, or to protect the life of the mother
13. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas would concur that:
a) all moral and political truth is relative to one’s time and place
b) moral ideas are best explained as material accidents or byproducts of evolution
c) values originating in one’s conscience cannot be judged by others
d) Christianity is the only true religion and should rule the state
e) certain permanent moral and political truths are accessible to human reason
14. The Puritans:
a) opposed all wars on moral grounds
b) stressed the sinfulness of all humanity
c) believed in complete religious freedom
d) colonized Utah under the leadership of Brigham Young
e) were Catholic missionaries escaping religious persecution
15. The phrase that in America there should be a “wall of separation” between church and state appears in:
a) George Washington’s Farewell Address
b) the Mayflower Compact
c) the Constitution
d) the Declaration of Independence
e) Thomas Jefferson’s letters
16. In his “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
a) argued for the abolition of slavery
b) advocated black separatism
c) morally defended affirmative action
d) expressed his hopes for racial justice and brotherhood
e) proposed that several of America’s founding ideas were discriminatory
17. Sputnik was the name given to the first:
a) telecommunications system
b) animal to travel to space
c) hydrogen bomb
d) manmade satellite
18. Susan B. Anthony was a leader of the movement to
a) guarantee women the right to vote in national elections
b) guarantee former slaves the right to vote
c) ensure that harsher laws against criminals were passed
d) reduce the authority of the Constitution of the United States
19. The Scopes “Monkey Trial” was about:
a) freedom of the press
b) teaching evolution in the schools
c) prayer in the schools
d) education in private schools
20. Who is the commander in chief of the U.S. military?
a) Secretary of the army
b) Secretary of state
d) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
21. Name two countries that were our enemies during World War II.
a) Canada and Mexico
b) Germany and Japan
c) England and Spain
d) China and Russia
22. What part of the government has the power to declare war?
b) the president
c) the Supreme Court
d) the Joint Chiefs of Staff
23. In October 1962 the United States and the Soviet Union came close to war over the issue of Soviet:
a) control of East Berlin
b) missiles in Cuba
c) support of the Ho Chi Minh regime in Viet Nam
d) military support of the Marxist regime in Afghanistan
24. In the area of United States foreign policy, Congress shares power with the:
b) Supreme Court
c) state governments
d) United Nations
25. Free enterprise or capitalism exists insofar as:
a) experts managing the nation’s commerce are appointed by elected officials
b) individual citizens create, exchange, and control goods and resources
c) charity, philanthropy, and volunteering decrease
d) demand and supply are decided through majority vote
e) government implements policies that favor businesses over consumers
26. Business profit is:
a) cost minus revenue
b) assets minus liabilities
c) revenue minus expenses
d) selling price of a stock minus its purchase price
e) earnings minus assets
27. Free markets typically secure more economic prosperity than government’s centralized planning because:
a) the price system utilizes more local knowledge of means and ends
b) markets rely upon coercion, whereas government relies upon voluntary compliance with the law
c) more tax revenue can be generated from free enterprise
d) property rights and contracts are best enforced by the market system
e) government planners are too cautious in spending taxpayers’ money
28. A progressive tax:
a) encourages more investment from those with higher incomes
b) is illustrated by a 6% sales tax
c) requires those with higher incomes to pay a higher ratio of taxes to income
d) requires every income class to pay the same ratio of taxes to income
e) earmarks revenues for poverty reduction
29. A flood-control levee (or National Defense) is considered a public good because:
a) citizens value it as much as bread and medicine
b) a resident can benefit from it without directly paying for it
c) government construction contracts increase employment
d) insurance companies cannot afford to replace all houses after a flood
e) government pays for its construction, not citizens
30. Which of the following fiscal policy combinations has the federal government most often followed to stimulate economic activity when the economy is in a severe recession?
a) increasing both taxes and spending
b) increasing taxes and decreasing spending
c) decreasing taxes and increasing spending
d) decreasing both taxes and spending
31. International trade and specialization most often lead to which of the following?
a) an increase in a nation’s productivity
b) a decrease in a nation’s economic growth in the long term
c) an increase in a nation’s import tariffs
d) a decrease in a nation’s standard of living
32. Which of the following is a policy tool of the Federal Reserve?
a) raising or lowering income taxes
b) increasing or decreasing unemployment benefits
c) buying or selling government securities
d) increasing or decreasing government spending
33. If taxes equal government spending, then:
a) government debt is zero
b) printing money no longer causes inflation
c) government is not helping anybody
d) tax per person equals government spending per person on average
e) tax loopholes and special-interest spending are absent
For previous StudentNewsDaily quizzes, see our Archives at: studentnewsdaily.com/archive/news-quiz
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