HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
We Hold These Truths to Be Self-evident: The Declaration of Independence Quiz
by Staff
The Declaration of Independence is the defining document of U.S. history. Take this quiz to test your knowledge of the story behind the declaration.

How long had the Colonies been at war with England when the Declaration of Independence was written?

  • War had not yet been declared.
  • about three months
  • about a year

To which king was the declaration addressed?

  • George III
  • George IV
  • George V

In the months leading up to the drafting of the declaration, many Colonies issued their own independence documents. Which two Colonies were the last holdouts?

  • Maryland and New York
  • Delaware and Connecticut
  • New Jersey and New Hampshire

On June 7, 1776, this Virginia representative proposed a resolution to Congress that included instructions for an official declaration of independence.

  • Richard Henry Lee
  • George Read
  • Francis Hopkinson

On June 11, the Continental Congress appointed the "committee of five" to write the declaration. Of the five, this guy ended up being the only person to sign the declaration, the Constitution, the Continental Association and the Articles of Confederation.

  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Roger Sherman
  • Carter Braxton

This member of the committee of five was also the oldest representative in the Continental Congress.

  • Ezekiel Thomas
  • Robert Thorpe
  • Benjamin Franklin

Most of the committee thought this member should write the declaration.

  • John Adams
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Robert Livingston

Who did Adams think should write it?

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Roger Sherman

How old was Jefferson when he wrote the declaration?

  • 33 years old
  • 37 years old
  • 41 years old

How long did it take Jefferson to write the declaration?

  • four days
  • 17 days
  • 32 days

After Jefferson submitted his work to Congress on June 28, the delegates set to editing it. About how much of Jefferson's work was deleted?

  • one-fourth
  • one-third
  • half

A passage on this subject was the main section deleted from the document.

  • slavery
  • taxes
  • states' rights

How did Jefferson feel about that?

  • He didn't mind.
  • He was angry.
  • He didn't realize until after the fact.

When did the Second Continental Congress vote on independence?

  • April 16, 1776
  • July 2, 1776
  • They didn't.

What was the result of the vote?

  • split
  • 41-13 for independence
  • unanimous for independence

When did the delegates sign the declaration?

  • July 7, 1776
  • Aug. 2, 1776
  • Sept. 19, 1776

Who was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence?

  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • John Hancock

How many people signed the declaration?

  • 24
  • 56
  • 72

Which state had the most signers?

  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • New York

How many future presidents signed the declaration?

  • two
  • three
  • four

How old was the youngest declaration signer?

  • 22 years old
  • 26 years old
  • 29 years old

Who printed the first copies of the declaration on July 4, 1776?

  • John Dunlap
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Thaddeus Porth

How many of the Dunlap broadsides survive?

  • none
  • 26
  • 53

Where is the original declaration?

  • Library of Congress
  • National Archives
  • National Museum of American History

The priceless documents are preserved in titanium and aluminum cases filled with this kind of gas.

  • oxygen
  • argon
  • xenon

Is there a secret message on the back of the Declaration of Independence?

  • yes
  • no

What event caused the declaration and Constitution to be whisked away to Fort Knox for several years?

  • the Civil War
  • Pearl Harbor
  • 9/11

Fill in the blank: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain _______ rights …

  • indivisible
  • inalienable
  • unalienable

Fill in the blank: That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of ______.

  • joy
  • happiness
  • ecstasy

Fill in the blank: That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to _______ it.

  • abolish
  • restore
  • destroy