Can You Pass This High School U.S. History Test Without Googling?



By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

From the Stamp Act to the Boston Tea Party, tensions between Britain and its 13 New World colonies slowly but surely ratcheted to extreme levels in the 1770s. Finally, on July 4, 1776, the Founding Fathers — after much heated debate — decided to ratify the Declaration of Independence. King George was infuriated, and the American Revolution was on. In this United States history quiz, do you really know how the world’s sole superpower came to be?

Sure, George Washington is often credited as the guy who won the war for the Continental Army. But did you know that the “father” of the country was actually not a great strategist? In warfare, his primary strength was tenacity and perseverance against a larger and better-equipped British force. What else do you think you know about the Revolution and the men who led it?

The tumult of the Revolution had barely ended when another war began. Do you know which war it was, and how it affected America?

As the republic grew and spread, it gained new territories and settled them with wild abandon. How much do recall about the frontier era and its politics?
In the 20th century, the U.S. dealt with major turmoil at home and abroad, grappling with basic human rights, voting issues and a Communist foe that just wouldn’t go away.

Take our U.S. history quiz now! Maybe you’ll tap into your inner Thomas Jefferson and ace this tough challenge, or maybe you’ll “John Tyler” yourself into the oblivion of disgrace!

Which event drew the United States into World War II?

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and sucked America into the Second World War, and the United States would never again be the same.


The Fourth of July celebrates the ratification of which famous document?

On July 4, 1776 colonial leaders ratified the Declaration of Independence, indicating that they intended to separate from Britain. The British, however, didn’t plan to let their prized New World colonies go without a fight.


Which country gave immense support to the colonies during the American Revolution?

During the Revolution, the colonists practically begged France for help in fighting the British. Finally, the French agreed to help the colonists until they managed to win their independence.


Which American president was assassinated in Dallas in 1963?

In early ‘60s, the United States was a buoyant place full of hope. President Kennedy’s murder in Dallas altered the political landscape overnight ... and set fire to the chaos that’s simply called The Sixties.


The Reconstruction Era followed which violent period in American history?

During the Civil War of the 1860s, the North — and particularly, the South — were damaged by bullets and bombs. The Reconstruction era lasted until about 1877, but quality of life in the South didn’t really improve until many decades later.


Which person was a Civil War hero, and later, U.S. president?

During the Civil War, Ulysses Grant was a hero general who helped bring the Confederacy to its knees. He was elected to the presidency and had a highly regarded administration.


When the Cold War with _____ ended in 1991, the United States was the only superpower left standing.

After WWII, the U.S. and USSR began a high-stakes political chess game called the Cold War. For decades, democracy and communism faced off in tense engagements around the world.


How many nuclear weapons did America use during World War II?

The Japanese showed no signs of surrender in 1945 ... but President Truman had had enough. He ordered two atomic attacks on the Japanese homeland, and they are still the only two nuclear bombs ever used in combat.


What did the Mason-Dixon Line mark?

In the late 1700s and early 1800s, the Mason-Dixon Line was the line that separated the slave states of the South from the North, where slavery was abolished by 1804.


Which battle started the Civil War?

On April 12, 1861, the Confederacy attacked Fort Sumter, near Charleston, South Carolina. The Union surrendered, but it was just the beginning of the bloodiest war in American history.


In 1803, the U.S. obtained a huge swath of land from France in the _______ Purchase.

The Louisana Purchase of 1803 — for 11 million measly bucks — literally doubled the size of United States. It was a windfall that greatly impacted the country’s destiny.


What is the longest war in U.S. history?

The Vietnam War was an interminable slog in the jungles, the longest war in U.S. history. The U.S. fought there for more than 17 years ... and that number may soon be eclipsed by the War in Afghanistan.


Before the Civil War, slavery was used to prop up which industry?

The antebellum South was an agrarian (and some would say, backward) place where cotton thrived, and plantation owners needed a lot of human labor. Many relied on slavery to reap their profits.


Which president led America through most of World War II?

Franklin Roosevelt was the man in the big chair during both the Great Depression and World War II. The stress of leadership took a toll — his ill health spiraled into death just before WWII ended.


In 1773, angry colonists dressed up like _____ and dumped British tea into the ocean as part of the Boston Tea Party.

On December 16, 1773, colonists enraged by British taxes shoved tons of precious tea into Boston Harbor. They were dressed up like Indians, but come on, the British weren’t quite that stupid ... and the two sides edged ever closer to war.


The Great Migration marked a massive movement of ______ in the United States.

Following World War I, blacks began leaving the South in droves as part of the Great Migration. It was the biggest movement of humanity in history that wasn’t caused by war, and spoke volumes about the low quality of life that blacks endured in the South.


The Battle of New Orleans was part of which U.S. war?

In late December 1814, as part of the War of 1812, the Battle of New Orleans saw outnumbered American troops fending off a determined British attack. Unbeknownst to the combatants, the war had officially ended weeks earlier ... but the news hadn’t yet reached the Louisiana area.


Why did John Wilkes Booth assassinate Abraham Lincoln?

Booth was a Confederate diehard who was dejected about the North slowly but surely winning the Civil War. He managed to kill Lincoln, but was himself shot and killed by Union pursuers in the weeks that followed.


Which man wrote most of the Declaration of Independence?

Thomas Jefferson was a true renaissance man, one with exquisite writing skills that helped him pen the Declaration. Later, Jefferson would become a two-term president.


True or false, did George Washington own slaves?

It’s true, the father of America had more than 120 slaves. But in his will, he set them all free, giving them an opportunity to at least a taste of independence.


What was the purpose of the Bill of Rights?

Created right after the Constitution, the Bill of Rights clarified and reiterated inalienable rights of American citizens. But, you know, slavery was still legal.


The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was especially important to which segment of the U.S. population?

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to end racial discrimination at the polls. It was a major success of the Civil Rights Movement.


The Battle of the Argonne Forest was a deadly battle in which war?

During WWI, the Battle of the Argonne Forest lasted for a month — and became the deadliest single battle in American history. More than 26,000 Americans died and about 95,000 were wounded.


How many U.S. presidents have been assassinated while in office?

On at least 30 occasions, assassins have tried to kill a U.S. president. Four times they succeeded, with Lincoln, McKinley, Garfield and Kennedy.


The "Ghost Dance" movement was driven by which people?

In the late 1880s, some Native Americans took up the Ghost Dance movement, a religious movement that hoped to drive white settlers out of traditional native lands. The movement increased tensions between the U.S. and Indians and likely played a role in the famous Wounded Knee Massacre, in which more than 150 Indians were killed.


In 1917, America declared war on which country?

President Wilson hesitated to join the European mess in World War I. But after a lot of dawdling, the United States finally declared war on Germany and slowly helped turn the tide of the conflict.


The New Deal was a political response to which event?

It was all about the three "Rs," relief, recovery and reform — the New Deal of the 1930s, planned by President Franklin Roosevelt, was meant to tackle the problems of the Great Depression. The New Deal showed that the government was serious about trying to end the financial desperation of the Depression.


Which president signed legislation banning the importation of slaves?

In 1807, Thomas Jefferson signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves. It was the beginning of the end for slavery in America, but the ultimate abolishment of this inhumane tradition wasn’t ended until decades later.


In 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom saw the U.S. invading which country?

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, President G.W. Bush initiated Operation Enduring Freedom, an invasion of Afghanistan meant to make it harder for terrorists to organize and implement attacks around the world.


Who is the only three-term president in U.S. history?

Franklin Roosevelt, or simply FDR, showed immense resolve during the Great Depression and WWII, and was elected to three terms. He died in office during his final term, and Congress later implemented a two-term maximium.


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