Welcome back! This week doesn't really have a theme exactly, but there are three questions regarding the Declaration of Independence I wanted to address together, as well as a couple of other questions about early American history.
Question 56: Name one American Indian tribe in the United States.
Answers: Cherokee; Navajo; Sioux; Chippewa; Choctaw; Pueblo; Apache; Iroquois; Creek; Blackfeet; Seminole; Cheyenne; Arawak; Shawnee; Mohegan; Huron; Oneida; Lakota; Crow; Teton; Hopi; Inuit
Keep in mine you only need to provide one of these answers to get this question correct.
As I discussed in Week 2 of this blog series, the United States has had a tumultuous relationship with the Native American tribes who lived here first. These problems haven't ended -- even today, the Dakota Pipeline controversy involved Native American rights here.
There are actually over 500 federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States. The ones listed as answer choices for this question are simply the largest and most well known tribes. For more information about these tribes, visit the Bureau of Indian Affairs website here.
Question 57: What is one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for?
Answers: US Diplomat; oldest member of Constitutional Convention; first Postmaster General of the US; writer of "Poor Richard's Almanac"; started the first free libraries
Keep in mind you only have to provide one of these answers to get this question correct.
Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a prolific writer, newspaper editor, and inventor. During the Revolutionary War, he was sent to France on behalf of the United States, and he was instrumental in getting French support, which helped us win the war. The list of possible answers above are just some of Benjamin Franklin's achievements.
Question 58: Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
Answer: Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was chosen to write the Declaration of Independence out of a group of patriots who met at the Second Continental Congress in 1776. These men risked their lives to write and sign the document; if the United States had lost the war against Great Britain, they would have been convicted of treason and likely executed.
Beyond drafting one of our most important political documents, Thomas Jefferson went on to famously become the third President of the United States. His notable achievement was the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the territory of the United States. Additionally, he founded the University of Virginia, which is my alma mater!
Question 59: What did the Declaration of Independence do?
Answer: announced/declared our independence from Great Britain
This question may seem self-explanatory, as the answer to the question is in the name of the document. The bulk of the text in the Declaration of Independence discusses the problems, or "grievances" the colonists had with King George of England, who ruled over them from across the Atlantic Ocean. It announced to the world that the United States did not want to be part of the British Empire anymore.
However, it is worth noting how important this document was for other reasons. By adopting the Declaration of Independence and subsequently winning the Revolutionary War, the United States of America became the first modern democracy. That means that the Founding Fathers who signed the document were the first people in modern history to successfully establish that all people, rather than only the rich and powerful, should have a deciding voice in the way their country is governed. The Declaration of Independence also asserted that all people are created equal, and have certain rights that can't be taken away from them.
Question 60: When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?
Answer: July 4, 1776
The Second Continental Congress met in Independence Hall in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, where they signed what would become one of the most important governmental documents in the world. Even though the Revolutionary War wouldn't be over and we wouldn't technically be our own country until 1783, we celebrate Independence Day on July 4 because that was the day the Declaration of Independence was signed.