10 Facts Americans Don’t Know About American Politics, History And Basic Knowledge

2/7/14 10:16AM EST

10 Facts Americans Dont Know About American Politics History And Basic Knowledge  10 Facts Americans Dont Know About American Politics, History And Basic Knowledge

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Think you know America? Here are some basic facts that many Americans don’t know. Give yourself a pat on the back if you can correctly identify these tidbits about America (and one about the world).

1. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of…

…speech, religion, press, assembly and petition. Only a quarter of Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms laid out by the First Amendment. And only one in 1,000 could name all five.

2. The three branches of government are…

…the executive, legislative and judicial. The three branches can be identified by only 40 percent of Americans.

3. “GOP” stands for…

…“Grand Old Party.” Only 45 percent of Americans know what the GOP acronym stands for. About 35 percent of people believed it to mean “Government of the People,” and 7 percent of respondents guessed “Grumpy Old People.”

4. Christianity in the Constitution?

Christianity is not written in the Constitution. An entire 55 percent of Americans believe the founding fathers wrote Christianity into the Constitution, throwing the whole “separation of church and state” idea out the window. A whopping 58 percent believe teachers should be allowed to lead prayer in public schools, and half say public school teachers should be able to use the Bible in history class as a factual text.

5. Freedom of religion applies to…

…everyone. More than a quarter of people say the Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom doesn’t apply to “extreme” groups. Only 56 percent of people say the freedom applies to everyone, “regardless of how extreme their beliefs are.”

6. New York and the Pacific Ocean

A poll of Americans aged 18 to 24 found that only 51 percent could correctly identify New York on a map, and only 71 percent could find the Pacific Ocean.

7. The Earth and the sun

The Earth revolves around the sun. In one poll, 18 percent of Americans said it was the other way around.

8. The first person to walk on the moon was…

Neil Armstrong. Half of people couldn’t name him. And only 5 percent of Americans know exactly how many people have walked on the moon. That answer is 12.

9. The first four presidents, in order, were…

Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison. Only 7 percent of Americans can correctly identify all four in order. In fact, 6 percent couldn’t even name Washington as the first president.

10. The United States won its independence from…

Great Britain. About a quarter of Americans are unable to correctly identify the country from which America gained its independence. Most of these people said they weren’t sure, while some named other countries including France, China, Japan, Mexico and Spain.


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