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One Hundred Civics Questions and Answers with MP3 Audio

100 Civics Questions and Answers with MP3 Audio

Principles of American Democracy

1. What is the supreme law of the land?

  • the Constitution

2. What does the Constitution do?

  • sets up the government
  • defines the government
  • protects basic rights of Americans

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

  • We the People

4. What is an amendment?

  • a change (to the Constitution)
  • an addition (to the Constitution)

5. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?

  • the Bill of Rights

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

  • speech
  • religion
  • assembly
  • press
  • petition the government

7. How many amendments does the Constitution have?

  • twenty-seven (27)

8. What did the Declaration of Independence do?

  • announced our independence (from Great Britain)
  • declared our independence (from Great Britain)
  • said that the United States is free (from Great Britain)

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

  • life
  • liberty
  • pursuit of happiness

10. What is freedom of religion?

  • You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion.

11. What is the economic system in the United States?

  • capitalist economy
  • market economy

12. What is the “rule of law”?

  • Everyone must follow the law.
  • Leaders must obey the law.
  • Government must obey the law.
  • No one is above the law.

sYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

13. Name one branch or part of the government.

  • Congress
  • legislative
  • President
  • executive
  • the courts
  • judicial

14. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?

  • checks and balances
  • separation of powers

15. Who is in charge of the executive branch?

  • the President

16. Who makes federal laws?

  • Congress
  • Senate and House (of Representatives)
  • (U.S. or national) legislature

17. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?

  • the Senate and House (of Representatives)

18. How many U.S. Senators are there?

  • one hundred (100)

19. We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?

  • six (6)

20. Who is one of your state’s U.S. Senators now?

  • Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents and residents of U.S. territories should answer that D.C. (or the territory where the applicant lives) has no U.S. Senators.]

21. The House of Representatives has how many voting members?

  • four hundred thirty-five (435)

22. We elect a U.S. Representative for how many years?

  • two (2)

23. Name your U.S. Representative.

  • Answers will vary. [Residents of territories with nonvoting Delegates or Resident Commissioners may provide the name of that Delegate or Commissioner. Also acceptable is any statement that the territory has no (voting) Representatives in Congress.]

24. Who does a U.S. Senator represent?

  • all people of the state

25. Why do some states have more Representatives than other states?

  • (because of) the state’s population
  • (because) they have more people
  • (because) some states have more people

26. We elect a President for how many years?

  • four (4)

27. In what month do we vote for President?

  • November

28. What is the name of the President of the United States now?

29. What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now?

30. If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?

  • the Vice President

31. If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?

  • the Speaker of the House

32. Who is the Commander in Chief of the military?

  • the President

33. Who signs bills to become laws?

  • the President

34. Who vetoes bills?

  • the President

35. What does the President’s Cabinet do?

  • advises the President

36. What are two Cabinet-level positions?

  • Secretary of Agriculture
  • Secretary of Commerce
  • Secretary of Defense
  • Secretary of Education
  • Secretary of Energy
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  • Secretary of the Interior
  • Secretary of Labor
  • Secretary of State
  • Secretary of Transportation
  • Secretary of the Treasury
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs
  • Attorney General
  • Vice President

37. judicial branch do?

  • reviews laws
  • explains laws
  • resolves disputes (disagreements)
  • decides if a law goes against the Constitution

38. What is the highest court in the United States?

  • the Supreme Court

39. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?

40. Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now?

41. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government. What is one power of the federal government?

  • to print money
  • to declare war
  • to create an army
  • to make treaties

42. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the states. What is one power of the states?

  • the President
  • provide schooling and education
  • provide protection (police)
  • provide safety (fire departments)
  • give a driver’s license
  • approve zoning and land use

43. Who is the Governor of your state now?

  • Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. does not have a Governor.]

44. What is the capital of your state?

  • Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. is not a state and does not have a capital. Residents of U.S. territories should name the capital of the territory.]

45. What are the two major political parties in the United States?

  • Democratic and Republican

46. What is the political party of the President now?

47. What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?

Rights and responsibilities

  • Citizens eighteen (18) and older (can vote).
  • You don’t have to pay (a poll tax) to vote.
  • Any citizen can vote. (Women and men can vote.)
  • A male citizen of any race (can vote).
  • vote in a federal election
  • run for federal office
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of speech
  • freedom of assembly
  • freedom to petition the government
  • freedom of religion
  • the right to bear arms
  • give up loyalty to other countries
  • defend the Constitution and laws of the United States
  • obey the laws of the United States
  • serve in the U.S. military (if needed)
  • serve (do important work for) the nation (if needed)
  • be loyal to the United States
  • vote
  • join a political party
  • help with a campaign
  • join a civic group
  • join a community group
  • give an elected official your opinion on an issue
  • call Senators and Representatives
  • publicly support or oppose an issue or policy
  • run for office
  • write to a newspaper
  • at age eighteen (18)
  • between eighteen (18) and twenty-six (26)

American History

  • freedom
  • political liberty
  • religious freedom
  • economic opportunity
  • practice their religion
  • escape persecution
  • because of high taxes (taxation without representation)
  • because the British army stayed in their houses (boarding, quartering)
  • because they didn’t have self-government
  • New Hampshire
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia
  • The Constitution was written.
  • The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.
  • U.S. diplomat
  • oldest member of the Constitutional Convention
  • first Postmaster General of the United States
  • writer of “Poor Richard’s Almanac”
  • started the first free libraries
  • (George) Washington
  • War of 1812
  • Mexican-American War
  • Civil War
  • Spanish-American War
  • the Civil War
  • the War between the States
  • slavery
  • economic reasons
  • states’ rights
  • freed the slaves (Emancipation Proclamation)
  • saved (or preserved) the Union
  • led the United States during the Civil War
  • freed the slaves
  • freed slaves in the Confederacy
  • freed slaves in the Confederate states
  • freed slaves in most Southern states
  • fought for women’s rights
  • fought for civil rights
  • World War I
  • World War II
  • Korean War
  • Vietnam War
  • (Persian) Gulf War
  • fought for civil rights
  • worked for equality for all Americans

[USCIS Officers will be supplied with a list of federally recognized American Indian tribes.]

  • Cherokee
  • Navajo
  • Sioux
  • Chippewa
  • Choctaw
  • Pueblo
  • Apache
  • Iroquois
  • Creek
  • Blackfeet
  • Seminole
  • Cheyenne
  • Arawak
  • Shawnee
  • Mohegan
  • Huron
  • Oneida
  • Lakota
  • Crow
  • Teton
  • Hopi
  • Inuit

INTEGRATED CIVICS

  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • American Samoa
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Guam
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Montana
  • Idaho
  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • California
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Texas
  • New York (Harbor)
  • Liberty Island

[Also acceptable are New Jersey, near New York City, and on the Hudson (River).]

  • because there were 13 original colonies
  • because the stripes represent the original colonies
  • because there is one star for each state
  • because each star represents a state
  • because there are 50 states
  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
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