Rediscovering America: A Quiz on Constitution Day

By Gordon Lloyd -

Many citizens have a limited understanding of American history and our unique form of constitutional government. Without this knowledge, how can we expect them to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship?

Constitution Day is September 17. The day is set aside to commemorate the development and signing of the country’s most important document, which for more than 230 years has stood as both the plan for the American system of government and through its 27 Amendments, a summary of the political principles of generations of Americans.

This quiz, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio, provides an opportunity for you to test your knowledge of the U.S. Constitution and those who drafted it.

1. Which of the following provisions in the Bill of Rights fueled the most discussion during the debates in the First Congress?

A. Freedom of speech clause

B. Freedom of religion clause

C. Equal protection clause

D. Right to bear arms clause

2. Which of the following are stated goals in the Preamble to the Constitution?

A. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

B. Equal protection of the law

C. Liberty and justice

D. States’ rights

3. Which is the only state delegation to have a perfect attendance record at the Constitutional Convention?

A. New York

B. New Jersey

C. North Carolina

D. South Carolina

4. Which of the following two delegates at the Constitutional Convention were directly related to each other?

A. Alexander Martin and Luther Martin

B. Charles Pinckney and C.C. Pinckney

C. Robert Morris and Gouverneur Morris

D. William Pierce and Pierce Butler

5. According to The Federalist Papers, in a representative democracy the people should “indulge all their jealousy and exhaust all their precautions” against which branch of government?

A. The legislative branch

B. The executive branch

C. The judicial branch

D. All three branches

6. James Madison, in The Federalist Papers, identifies which of the following as the most common and durable source of faction?

A. Religion

B. Property

C. Race

D. Political party

7. In which city was the Constitution signed on September 17, 1787?

A. Baltimore

B. Philadelphia

C. Boston

D. New York

8. What was the average age of the 39 delegates who signed the Constitution?

A. 44

B. 51

C. 56

D. 62

9. The Northwest Ordinance, passed in July 1787 by the second Continental Congress, specifically banned which of the following from the Northwest Territories?

A. Alcohol

B. Witchcraft

C. Religion

D. Slavery

10. Which of the following events had a direct influence on the call for a Constitutional Convention?

A. Russian Revolution

B. Whiskey Rebellion

C. Shays’ Rebellion

D. French Revolution

Answers: 1-B, 2-C, 3-D, 4-B, 5-A, 6-B, 7-B, 8-A, 9-D, 10-C

By Gordon Lloyd

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