I hope you had a great holiday season. If you're considering citizenship, it's a new year, and the perfect time to apply!
This week's theme is geography. There are a few questions on the citizenship test about geography, so I decided to group them all together in one blog post. Some of them are very easy, and won't have any explanation. Some are a little more complicated.
Question 66: What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?
President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from France. The territory contained what are now 15 US states, as well as two Canadian provinces. As you can see in the map above, the Louisiana Purchase almost doubled the amount of land possessed by the United States.
Question 67: Name one US territory.
Answers: (a) Puerto Rico; (b) US Virgin Islands; (c) American Samoa; (d) Northern Mariana Islands; (e) Guam
Keep in mind you only have to provide one of these answers to get this question correct.
United States territories are areas that are controlled by the United States, but in which only part of the Constitution applies. People born in these territories are United States citizens by birth, and they can come and go to the United States as they please. However, US territories do not have representatives in Congress, and US laws apply to them differently than the laws apply to the states.
a) Puerto Rico is an island in the Greater Antilles (a group of islands in the Caribbean). It was a Spanish colony from the 1400s until the Spanish American War. After the United States defeated Spain in the war, it gained the territory of Puerto Rico. In recent years, Puerto Rico has been debating whether or not it wants to be the 51st state. There are three major arguments: some people want to become a state, and get the full benefits of statehood; some people want to have total independence; and some people want things to remain the way they are now.
b) The US Virgin Islands are a group of islands in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. The US Virgin Islands includes the islands of St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, as well as several dozen smaller islands. They were once owned by the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway, but were sold to the United States in 1916.
c) American Samoa is a territory in the Pacific Ocean consisting of five main islands and two coral atolls. This territory is next to the country of Samoa, which is an independent nation. Both Samoans and American Samoans speak the Samoan language, and most American Samoans are also fluent in English. American Samoa became a United States territory in 1900.
d) The Northern Mariana Islands is a territory consisting of 15 islands in the Pacific Ocean. The island of Guam is also in the same archipelago as the Northern Mariana Islands, but is a separate US territory. The United States gained control over the Northern Mariana Islands after World War II, and it became a United States territory in 1978.
e) Guam is a small island in the Pacific Ocean. It was originally colonized by Spain in the 1600s, but was won by the United States in the Spanish-Ameican War, which ended in 1898.
Question 68: What ocean is on the West Coast of the United States?
Question 69: What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States?
Question 70: Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.
Answers: Missouri; Mississippi
The Missouri River is the longest river in the United States. It flows east and south from Montana to Missouri, where it connects with the Mississippi River.
The Mississippi River flows south from Minnesota all the way to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. The Mississippi River is a tourist attraction in many US States. If you're interested, you can find out how to travel on the river and learn some fun facts about it by clicking here.