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American Dream Quiz
by Staff
Are you a dreamer of the American dream? Test your knowledge of our nation's characteristic aspirations with this quiz.

Which of these historians is credited with first popularizing the idea of an American dream?

  • James Truslow Adams
  • Howard Zinn
  • Will Durant

The idea of the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is contained in what document?

  • The Federalist Papers
  • Declaration of Independence
  • The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

What is the median U.S. household income?

  • $33,000
  • $112,000
  • $52,000

What portion of Americans are poor?

  • 13.2 percent
  • 5 percent
  • 27 percent

Is home ownership rising or falling in America?

  • rising
  • falling
  • staying the same

Who described Americans as possessing "the charm of anticipated success"?

  • Ronald Reagan
  • Karl Marx
  • Alexis de Toqueville

Who first spoke the phrase "a chicken in every pot"?

  • French King Henry IV
  • Herbert Hoover
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt

Which U.S. president called for "a wider and constantly rising standard of living" for Americans?

  • William McKinley
  • George W. Bush
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt

Between 1979 and 2005, how much did the incomes of the richest one percent of Americans increase?

  • 30 percent
  • 75 percent
  • 225 percent

What songwriter coined the phrase "this land was made for you and me"?

  • Bob Dylan
  • Woody Guthrie
  • Irving Berlin

Which constitutional amendment said the following: "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of laws."

  • 17th Amendment
  • 11th Amendment
  • 14th Amendment

Who wrote the 1980 oral history compilation "American Dreams: Lost and Found"?

  • Studs Terkel
  • Glenn Beck
  • James Agee

Who said, "part of the American Dream is to live long and die young"?

  • Lou Reed
  • Douglas MacArthur
  • Emma Lazurus

In the poem "Let America Be America Again," what did Langston Hughes say was interfering with the American dream?

  • economic inequality
  • strike-breaking
  • both

Which of these is generally viewed as part of the American dream?

  • upward economic mobiity
  • home ownership
  • both

According to a 2007 Brookings Institution study, which nation has more upward economic mobility than the United States?

  • France
  • Canada
  • both

Who first used the term "American Exceptionalism"?

  • Sarah Palin
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • The American Communist Party

What portion of American teenagers believe they could someday become president of the United States?

  • 54 percent
  • 12 percent
  • 37 percent

What percentage of American teenagers actually want to be president when they grow up?

  • 70 percent
  • 50 percent
  • 20 percent

The Bruce Springsteen song "Born to Run," which talks of a "runaway American dream," is the "unofficial youth anthem" of which state?

  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • New Jersey

Who wrote the line, "Thanks for the American dream, to vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through"?

  • Irving Berlin
  • William S. Burroughs
  • Hubert Selby, Jr.