American History Trivia Questions and Answers About The Declaration Of Independence
What is the United States Declaration Of Independence?
A: The Declaration of Independence is the usual name of a statement adopted by
the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen
American colonies formed a new nation—the United States of America.
John Adams was a leader in pushing for what?
A: Independence, which was unanimously approved on July 2.
A committee of five had already drafted what?
A: The formal declaration, to be ready when Congress voted on independence.
The term "Declaration of Independence" is not used where?
A: In the document itself.
Adams persuaded the committee to select whom to compose the
original draft of the document?
A: Thomas Jefferson.
Congress would then what, to produce the final version?
A: Edit it.
The Declaration was ultimately a formal what?
A: Explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from
The national birthday, Independence Day, is celebrated on
July 4, although Adams wanted what date?
A: July 2.
After ratifying the text on July 4, what did Congress do?
A: Issued the Declaration of Independence in several forms.
It was initially published as the what?
A: Printed Dunlap broadside that was widely distributed and read to the public.
Where is Jefferson's original draft, complete with changes
made by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, and Jefferson's notes of changes made
by Congress, preserved?
A: At the Library of Congress.
The most famous version of the Declaration, a signed copy
that is popularly regarded as the official document, is displayed where?
A: At the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
The sources and interpretation of the Declaration have been
A: The subject of much scholarly inquiry.
How did the Declaration justify the independence of the
A: By listing colonial grievances against King George III, and by asserting
certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution.
Having served its original purpose in announcing
independence, references to the text of the Declaration were few for how long?
A: The next four score years.
Abraham Lincoln made it what?
A: The centerpiece of his rhetoric (as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863), and
Since then, it has become a well-known statement on what?
A: Human rights, particularly its second sentence:
What is the second sentence?
A: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among
these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
This sentence has been called what?
A: "one of the best-known sentences in the English language".
The passage came to represent a what?
A: A moral standard to which the United States should strive.
This view was notably promoted by what U.S. President?
A: Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln considered the Declaration to be the foundation of
A: Political philosophy, and argued that the Declaration is a statement of
principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted.
It provided inspiration to who?
A: Numerous national declarations of independence throughout the world.
Who was the principle author of the Declaration of
A: Thomas Jefferson.
When the Declaration of Independence was adopted in July
1776, how long had Colonies and Great Britain had been at war?
A: More than a year.
Relations between the colonies and the mother country had
been deteriorating since the end of the what?
A: Seven Years' War in 1763.
The war had plunged the British government deep into what?
A: Debt, and so Parliament enacted a series of measures to increase tax revenue
from the colonies.
Parliament believed that these acts, such as the Stamp Act
of 1765 and the Townshend Acts of 1767, were a legitimate means of what?
A: Having the colonies pay their fair share of the costs to keep the colonies in
the British Empire.
The issue of Parliament's authority in the colonies became
a crisis after Parliament passed what?
A: The Coercive Acts in 1774 to punish the Province of Massachusetts for the
Boston Tea Party of 1773.
Many colonists saw the Coercive Acts as a violation of the
A: British Constitution and thus a threat to the liberties of all of British
In September 1774, why did the First Continental Congress
convene in Philadelphia?
A: To coordinate a response.
Congress organized a what?
A: A boycott of British goods and petitioned the king for repeal of the acts.
Even after fighting in the American Revolutionary War began
at Lexington and Concord in April 1775, most colonists still hoped for what?
A: Reconciliation with Great Britain.
In January 1776, just as it became clear in the colonies
that the king was not inclined to act as a conciliator, what was published?
A: Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense.
Paine, who had only recently arrived in the colonies from
England, argued in favor of what?
A: Colonial independence, advocating republicanism as an alternative to monarchy
and hereditary rule.
The importance of Common Sense was in stimulating public
debate on a topic that what?
A: Few had previously dared to openly discuss.
Public support for separation from Great Britain steadily
increased after what?
A: The publication of Paine's enormously popular pamphlet.