Take the Civic Literacy Quiz

Just for fun I put together a Civic Literacy Quiz – don’t think too much about it, just fire through and then post your score in the comments. I’ll post a few notes that explain the answers in the comments a little later.

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  • ***SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't yet taken the quiz – STOP READING. I'm going to give away all of the answers here, just to give some explanation & comment.

    1. George W. Bush established Homeland Security as the 15th Cabinet-level department with its own secretary (Janet Napolitano). Because the WH Chief of Staff, EPA head, OMB head, US Trade Rep, UN Ambassador, and EA Council head are on the cabinet, along with the President and VP – there are actually 23 members of the cabinet.

    2. None of the other presidents were alive when the pledge was first adopted.

    3. I really thought it was Reagan. Truman went to law school at UMKC, but never graduated.

    4. The ammendment lists 2 terms, not 2 consecutive terms. There is a popular movement to change it to two consecutive terms, allowing former 2 term presidents to run again.

    5. The Coast Guard is the only military branch not under the department of defense, although during wartime, it can be transferred to the DOD.

    6. The number of judges is actually not prescribed by the constitution. It is set by the US Congress. FDR actually threatened to get Congress to expand the court to protect parts of his New Deal.

    7. Homeland Security is the last in the line of succession.

    8. Joe Biden is the President, Inouye the president pro tem.

    9. Panetta followed Gates, who held the office for 1643 days.

    10. Capitalism is not a political system, it is an economic system. The Vatican is the most well known, overtly theocratic government of a sovereign state. True Monarchies are becoming more rare, but North Korea doesn't seem primed to leave the dictatorship behind for another generation.

  • Den

    So – I got 40%.

    I must say, I disappointed myself in that. I thought the last president without a college degree was Truman, but I don't ever remember hearing about Reagan's degree, so I went with that impulsive choice. And the two term 22nd amendment – I saw an article this morning in a magazine that talked about Obama 2016. If that were a real possibility, then the current president would have to be a one-term leader to qualify.

    Tim, you've managed to put up something that might surprise a lot of us. And I thought I was a nerd for this kind of stuff; I need to hand in my nerd badge, I guess. Thanks for some humility…

  • You are in good company DB! The one I would never have gotten if I didn't write the quiz is the line of succession thing. I figured Defense or AG would come before treasury. I actually think it's very helpful to study some of this because the world was so very different when much of what we are trying to live up to was decided.