On Thursday, we celebrate our nation's birthday. But just how well do you know our country?

If you were born in the United States, you are automatically an American citizen. Good thing: Most natural-born citizens would struggle to earn their way in.

When the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation put the questions from the exam given to those seeking to become naturalized citizens to 41,000 Americans, only 40% passed. Vermont was the only state where more than half (53%) earned a passing grade.

Brace yourselves: Louisiana residents had the worst grade at 27%.

Surely, readers of The Advocate were seriously unrepresented in this survey, because such an enlightened group would have no problem acing the citizenship test.

We’ve selected 13 possible questions from the test in honor of the original colonies (you knew there were 13, right?) so you can see if you know America the way you should. Because we’re confident in you, we’re skipping easy questions like “Who is the current president?”

Do Louisiana proud.



1. There were 13 original states. Name three.

2. What do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution?

3. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?

4. What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?

5. The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution. Name one of the writers.

6. When was the Constitution written?

7. How many amendments does the Constitution have?

8. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?

9. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?

10. Who is the chief justice of the United States?

11. If both the president and the vice president can no longer serve, who becomes president?

12. The House of Representatives has how many voting members? (Note: “Too many” is not an acceptable answer.)

13. Name one U.S. territory.

Lagniappe: What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?


14 correct: You’re as American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie.

8-13 correct: Congratulations! You passed.

5-7 correct: Are you sure you read The Advocate?

0-4 correct: Don’t consider moving to Vermont.

Email George Morris at gmorris@theadvocate.com.