Each Other – Civics Challenge

An interesting theory going around is that most American citizens would not pass the citizenship test. Now, both my sister and my boyfriend were naturalized, so this is something I hold near and dear to my heart. I’m hoping I can learn more so I can say ‘This American would pass a civics test!”. Also it’s still fourth of July week, so I felt this would be a perfect way to celebrate.

Beginner Level

Research and learn the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the supreme law of the land? – The Constitution
  • What does the Constitution do? – It establishes America’s national government and laws of the land, as well as guarantees it’s citizens certain basic rights.
  • The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are they? – We the People
  • What do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution? – Bill of Rights
  • Name two rights or two freedoms listed in the First Amendment (five are possible). – Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion
  • What did the Declaration of Independence do? – Declares United States independent from Britain
  • Name two rights in the Declaration of Independence (three are possible). – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
  • What is freedom of religion? – One of the freedoms protected in the bill of rights, but it means that Americans are free to choose their religion without fear of persecution from the government
  • What is the economic system in the United States? – Capitalism
  • What is the “rule of law”? – the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws
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“We the People…”

I was very pleased that I knew most of these answers without research! Guess that semester of Government in High School paid off! On to the more challenging questions.

Intermediate Level

Research and learn the answers to the following questions:

  • Name the three branches of government. – Legislative, Judicial and Executive
  • What keeps one branch of government from becoming too powerful? – Checks and Balances system, i.e. president can veto laws, judicial branch can challenge and bring rulings on laws, Congress can pass with 2/3rds votes
  • Who is in charge of the executive branch? – The President of the United States
  • Who makes the federal laws? – United States Congress
  • What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress? – House of Representatives and US Senate
  • How many U.S. Senators are there? 100 Senators
  • Name one of your state’s U.S. Senators and one of your state’s U.S. Representatives. Nancy Pelosi, US Representative & Kamala Harris, Senator
  • What is the term of a U.S. Senator? 6 years
  • What is the term of a U.S. Representative? 2 years
  • What is the term of the President? 4 years
  • Who is the Commander in Chief of the military? The President
  • Who signs bills to become laws? The President
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US Congress

Once again, I have to thank my 7th grade History teacher. I knew 90% of these with no research, I only had to look up my Senator and Representative since I’m new to the state.

Expert Level

Research and learn the answers to the following questions:

  • Who vetoes bills? The President
  • What does the judicial branch do? They verify that the laws passed are within the parameters of the Constitution
  • What is the highest court in the United States? The Supreme Court
  • How many justices are on the Supreme Court? 9
  • Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now? Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Under our Constitution, some powers belong solely to the federal government. Name two (four are possible). Regulate commerce with foreign countries, Coin money
  • Under our Constitution, some powers belong solely to the states. Name two (five are possible). Education of residents, ownership of property
  • Who is the Governor of your state now? Jerry Brown
  • What is the capital of your state? Sacramento
  • What are the two major political parties in the United States? Democratic and Republican
  • What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now? Paul Ryan
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California Capital Building
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