Poll: Many Teens Don't Know July 4 History


Poll: Many Teens Don’t Know July 4 History


That’s according to a new study, which finds a sizable percentage of high school-age Americans don’t really know what all the fuss is about today. More than a fifth of the survey respondents didn’t know which country we declared our independence from, including 14 percent who thought it was France, not Britain.

The survey reported that 15 percent of U.S. teens didn’t know the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. Nine percent thought we ratified the Constitution that day. (That didn’t happen for another 13 years.)

Take an Independence Day History Quiz

How Many Colonies?

A significant percentage of teens weren’t sure who was doing the declaring, either — 17 percent didn’t know there were 13 original colonies.

“When you look at these numbers, it means that more than 5 million U.S. teenagers don’t understand the true meaning of Independence Day,” said Colin Campbell, head of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which sponsored the study. The survey polled 1,020 people between the ages of 12 and 17. It has a margin of error of 3 percent.

It found other gaps in their knowledge, as well: 19 percent couldn’t name the third branch of government, after the executive and judicial.

More than a quarter of those surveyed didn’t know the two sides fighting in the Civil War — 13 percent said the conflict was between the United States and Great Britain, and 5 percent said it was between East and West.


Not surprising, they no longer teach about the Revolution in American schools. I bet if you asked them about “Stonewall” you’d get a much better response.


I learned about the Revolution growing up and I was of the high school graduates of this year. :slight_smile:
I actually had to look up what “Stonewall” was. :blush:


Public or parochial school?


Parochial until High School. I had a U.S. History class, then, in 10th grade At the public school and I remember that we even had to memorise things like the Bill of Rights. I homeschooled, though, the past 2.5 years of high school, but I did take an online course through a public school called A.P. U.S. history. :slight_smile:
I have heard things about how some do not know their history as well as they should though. I just wanted to point it out that the Revolution is still taught in places. :slight_smile:
In fact, I remember my U.S. history teacher from the public school giving us a sheet of paper that said, “Why Study History” and it was a very nice article.

Happy 4th of July!! :smiley:


So glad I had an excellent us history teacher, whom devoted nearly one whole semester to the American Revolution. He retired this year, so my niece won’t get a chance to have him as a teacher junior year.

In fact, my summer vacation request after I graduated from high school was going to Boston. This year we returned briefly to Boston, before driving to Maine, and I got to take a trolley history tour of Lexington and Concord.


People’s heads are too cluttered up with race, so-called gay “marriage”, putting teacher’s unions first and other nonsense.

Surprised at the result?



This is unfortunate. I think it is somewhat like this in Russia with kids not knowing about the Soviet period.


Yup, it’s a well known fact that learning about gay marriage makes it impossible to learn history. And don’t get me started about race, I lose at least one fact out of my head every time I see a black person.


Sheesh, even back in grade school, I knew what that was.

Big call out to School House Rock






Now, what day did we declare independence?

Note, some of the kids surveyed are in Middle School so they very well might not have covered US history yet in school.


It appears that there are many schools that no longer talk about the Revolutionary War. Students don’t know what the founding fathers gave in blood and treasure to found this Republic we have. There also seems to be a lack of Civics classes in schools. Thus the students do not know the three branches of government and the duties ascribed to each. If they did we would have many more people railing against the usurpation of powers by one branch from another. Sad, really.


I only have my kids’ school experience to go on, but this year my elder son learned all that one would expect about the original thirteen colonies and the War of Independence. And they seem to repeat a lot of the same information so I’m sure he’ll be revisiting it. This weekend we visited Fort Ticonderoga so hopefully he’ll remember something from that.

I have a theory that if a child’s parents take an interest in history he or she will too. And if not, not.


Good point. But there are many, many people who could care less about current events and certainly about history. They are too busy on social media. Your kids are blessed to have parents who care about history and give that curiosity to their kids.


It has always been thus. Most kids remember things just long enough to pass the class unless they find the subject interesting.


IMHO if you think this is an accident you are wrong. Preparing a populace to accept one world government takes time. .


Thanks for the compliment, Mary.

My coworker who is my age - not a kid let’s say - even admitted after seeing this news story to not being sure whether we fought the War of Independence against England or France, which I have a hard time wrapping my head around. I felt like saying, here’s a clue - which language are we speaking right now, English or French?


People have been in a frenzy trying to improve education since I was a child, but it never seems to make any difference.


There is evidence that it is only getting worse. Speculating why would fill volumes.


I don’t think it’s getting worse or that there’s a conspiracy behind it, just that there is always a large portion of the population who are happy to be ignorant about history.

If there were an easy solution it would probably have been tried and succeeded by now.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.