The Declaration of Independence
What do you know about The Declaration of Independence?
Try this U.S. History Made Easy Trivia quiz. "Check Your Answers" at the end of
By the time the Declaration of Independence was adopted in July 1776, the
Thirteen Colonies and Great Britain had been at war for more than a year.
Relations between the colonies and the parent country had been
deteriorating since the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763.
2. Parliament believed that these acts were a legitimate means of
having the colonies pay their fair share of the costs to keep the colonies
in the British Empire. What was NOT an act?
Stamp Act of 1765
Townshend Acts of 1767
Stuart Acts of 1774
3. The issue of parliamentary sovereignty in the colonies became a
crisis after Parliament passed the Coercive Acts in 1774 to punish the
Province of Massachusetts. What was the event?
Boston Tea Party
Boycott of New York
4. Many colonists saw the Coercive Acts as a violation of the British
Constitution and a threat to the liberties of all of British America. In
September 1774, the First Continental Congress convened to coordinate a
response. Where was the event held?
5. When the Second Continental Congress convened at the Pennsylvania
State House in Philadelphia in May 1775, some delegates hoped for eventual
independence, but no one yet advocated declaring it.
6. In January 1776, just as it became clear in the colonies that the
king was not inclined to act as a conciliator, the pamphlet Common
Sense was published. Who wrote the pamphlet?
7. As was the custom, Congress appointed a committee to draft a
preamble that would explain the purpose of the resolution. John Adams
wrote the preamble, which stated that because King George had rejected
reconciliation and was even hiring foreign mercenaries to use against the
colonies, "it is necessary that the exercise of every kind of
authority under the said crown should be totally suppressed".
Everyone understood that Adams's preamble was meant to encourage the
overthrow of the governments of Pennsylvania and Maryland, which were
still under proprietary governance. Congress passed the preamble on May 15
after several days of debate, but four of the middle colonies voted
against it. Adams regarded his May 15 preamble as effectively an American
declaration of independence, although he knew that a formal declaration
would still have to be made. What state walked out of the Congress in
protest of Adam's preamble?
8. In accordance with those instructions, who presented a three-part
resolution to Congress on June 7?
Richard Henry Lee of Virginia
Harry "Lighthouse" Lee of Virginia
Patrick Henry of Virginia
9. On June 11, 1776, Congress appointed a "Committee of
Five", consisting of Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas
Jefferson of Virginia, Robert R. Livingston of New York, and Roger Sherman
of Connecticut, to draft a declaration. Who was the fifth member of the
John Adams of Massachusetts
Robert Morris of Pennsylvania
John Hart of New Jersey
10. The resolution of independence had been adopted with twelve
affirmative votes and one abstention. With this, the colonies had
officially severed political ties with Great Britain. In a now-famous
letter written to his wife on the following day, John Adams predicted that
(the adoption of the independence resolution) would become a great
American holiday. What was the date?