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How well do you know origins of U.S. Independence?

So, you think you know your history and the circumstances leading to the American Colonies declaring their independence from the English crown? This quiz, presented as a holiday break from our usual editorial in this space, provides the opportunity for you to reflect on our shared history as a nation and test your knowledge of its creation, marked by the approval of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

It was put together by Jeffrey Sikkenga, executive director of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio, and provided by the political commentary website InsideSources.com. The Ashbrook Center has the mission to restore and strengthen the capacities of the American people for constitutional self-government.

The answers appear below. No peeking.

1. Who is considered to be the primary author of the Declaration of Independence?

A. John Hancock

B. Thomas Jefferson

C. Benjamin Franklin

D. John Adams

2. What was the colonists’ government called at the time of the Declaration of Independence’s signing?

A. Continental Congress

B. Constitutional Convention

C. Articles of Confederation

D. Federal Government

3. Representatives from 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence. Which of the following was not a colony at that time?

A. Delaware

B. South Carolina

C. Vermont

D. New Jersey

4. The Declaration of Independence lists a number of grievances against the British king. Which of the following was not among them?

A. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power

B. He has imposed Taxes on tea

C. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly

D. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance

5. The final sentence of the Declaration of Independence says the signers pledge what three things to each other?

A. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness

B. Loyalty, freedom and security

C. Truth, equality and safety

D. Lives, fortunes and sacred honor

6. Who wrote the pamphlet “Common Sense,” which was an attack on monarchy published in January 1776 that helped to turn American public opinion toward independence?

A. Thomas Paine

B. Alexander Hamilton

C. Benjamin Franklin

D. Marquis de Lafayette

7. Which colony’s “Declaration of Rights” influenced the writing of the Declaration of Independence?

A. Maryland

B. Pennsylvania

C. Rhode Island

D. Virginia

8. The Revolutionary War continued until the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which happened in what year?

A. 1777

B. 1783

C. 1787

D. 1800

9. Who was the king that reigned over the colonists at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence?

A. Henry VIII

B. Charles II

C. George III

D. Edward I

10. Which signer of the Declaration of Independence stated that this holiday “ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more”?

A. John Hancock

B. Thomas Jefferson

C. Benjamin Franklin

D. John Adams

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

9-10 right, American history expert; 7-8 right, you know the basics; 5-6 right, less fireworks, more reading; 4 and under, better up your game for next year. 

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, Managing Editor Tim Cotter, Staff Writer Julia Bergman and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.

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