American citizenship is truly the gold standard of global passports. It guarantees the might of the world's most powerful nation to protect you. Who wouldn't want to join such a winning team?
America is certainly going through strange times. The stock market is up and employment is very high. Women's rights have progressed exponentially in the last 50 years, and many indicators are moving in the right direction. However income equality is getting worse, infrastructure is in a pretty bad state and the government is absolutely dysfunctional. Still, however you feel about a given administration or the state of the union generally, it’s still the case that being an American citizen is like winning a sort of lottery, conferring all sorts of rights and opportunities. For millions of people all over the world, the American dream is still staggering along - and many of them are willing to work hard, fly far and study thoroughly in order to enjoy it for themselves.
About a million legal immigrants a year come to the U.S. This doesn't mean they all become citizens, though: the figure for the last decade is approximately 7.4 million naturalized Americans. They not only had to file their paperwork and stay on the right side of the law, but they also had to take a test including all sorts of facts and figures about their new home. Whether you're born in the U.S.A. or thinking of following in their fabulous footsteps, take this quiz to see if you're ready to pass the test yourself!
There's definitely no olive branch in the American government. The three branches are executive, judicial, and legislative.
Freedom of religion means that you can follow any religion that you want. Or, you can totally do away with religion, it's up to you.
You do have the right to pursue crabbiness, but that's not a right listed in the Declaration of Independence. It does, however, mention your right to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The Declaration of Independence established America's independence from Britain. Signed in the middle of the American Revolution, it became a major political and cultural touchstone for the United States.
Young people reach voting age when they turn 18 years old. That means you're able to vote for the most powerful person on Earth … but still not able to buy a beer.
The First Amendment has nothing to do with health care or rioting. But it does establish freedom of the press, the right to assembly and several other major freedoms.
Colonists arrived in America and encountered many tribes of Native Americans. As the number of Europeans grew, so too did the instances of violent conflict.
America relies on what is mostly a capitalist economic model. Government regulations do set rules for commercial activity, but industrious people have a lot of ability to sell and buy goods and services.
Freedom of religion was a major driver for colonists. Others were looking for political freedom, better economic opportunities or to escape persecution.
America has three main branches of government, each offset by a system of checks and balances meant to keep power between the branches relatively equal.
George Washington, the "Father of Our Country" and a man who was bigger than life, a hero to the generations. He was the first president of the United States and he did NOT have wooden teeth.
No matter their size or population, all 50 states have two senators. That means, of course, that there are exactly 100 senators serving in the federal system.
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It is the guiding force for every aspect of American politics.
Following World War II, the U.S. settled into a Cold War that was mainly a standoff between capitalism and Communism. The primary foe, of course, was the Soviet Union.
Don't blame it on Bo and Luke from "The Dukes of Hazzard." Economic conflicts, slavery and quarrels over states' rights led to the Civil War. It's still the bloodiest war in American history.
State population dictates how many representatives a state has in the House of Representatives. As of 2017, California has 55 representatives; Maine has just four.
Amendments are changes or additions to the Constitution. There have been 27 amendments made to the Constitution since the document was first approved.
The Pacific Ocean is on the West Coast. The Atlantic Ocean, which the earliest colonists sailed, lies on the East Coast.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves (at least on paper). The proclamation was presented as the country entered its third year of the Civil War.
After legislators vote for bills, the president signs those bills into laws. The president also has the power to veto bills he doesn’t like, something that happens more frequently these days.
There are nine Supreme Court justices. They are typically some of the brightest legal minds in the country, but in addition to their brains, they're often chosen for their political positions.
The forefathers adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Each year, American celebrates Independence Day with hot dogs, beer, bald eagles, apple pie, baseball and gigantic explosions.
Self-government is one of the most important concepts of the American Constitution. The first lines read: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
The president is the person who is the top leader of the executive branch of government. Every four years, Americans cast votes for president.
Missouri is much farther west, and as such, wasn't established as a state until long after the 1776 Declaration of Independence. Missouri became a state in 1821.
Woodrow Wilson was the isolationist president who eventually realized that American couldn't dodge The Great War. He helped the Allies win a critical victory against European aggressors.
Thomas Jefferson was responsible for the epic wording of the Declaration of Independence. His incredible intelligence and political savvy eventually landed him a sweet gig … as president.
The Pledge of Allegiance is intended to demonstrate loyalty to the American flag and the country's principles. It wasn't recognized by the federal government until the tumultuous years of World War II.
After they're elected, U.S. senators serve six-year terms. But they can be elected an unlimited number of times.
The Hawaiian Islands aren't a U.S. territory -- they make up the state of Hawaii. At present, the U.S. has 16 territories such as Guam, American Samoa and Puerto Rico.