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The American Revolution – who cares?

(NewsUSA) – When you say the Pledge of Allegiance, do you know what values you’re swearing to uphold?

Most Americans would say that they know their nation’s history. In fact, according to the first national survey of adult knowledge of the American Revolution, 89 percent of Americans said that they could pass a basic test on their nation’s founding. But only 17 percent of those same adults actually managed to do so.

The American Revolution secured our nation’s independence and established its enduring form of representative government. Many of the everyday freedoms that most Americans exercise without a second thought — including the freedom to practice the religion of their choice, or not to worship at all — were established by the American Revolution.

Only in understanding the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights will Americans know how to preserve them. As Dr. Bruce Cole, president and CEO of The American Revolution Center, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, says, “Knowledge of the ideas on which our constitutional system is built is essential to maintain the relevance and vibrancy of our government that is of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Everyday Americans do not disagree — 90 percent think that U.S. citizens should know the history and principles of the American Revolution, even if they vastly overestimate their own knowledge.

To help future generations remember America’s legacy, The American Revolution Center plans to construct The Museum of the American Revolution in historic Philadelphia, just steps away from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. It will be the first national museum to tell the entire story of the American Revolution.

“Through The Museum of the American Revolution, we hope to engage rising generations in the ongoing story that is America’s democracy,” says Dr. Cole.

Think that you could have passed the quiz? Maybe some of the survey’s findings will surprise you:

* More than 50 percent of Americans wrongly attributed the quote, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” to George Washington, Thomas Paine, or President Barack Obama, when it is in fact a quote from Karl Marx, author of “The Communist Manifesto.”

* Sixty percent of Americans can correctly identify the number of children in reality-TV show couple Jon and Kate Gosselin’s household (eight), but more than one-third do not know the century in which the American Revolution took place (the 18th).

* Nearly 50 percent of Americans believe the Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation or War of 1812 occurred before the American Revolution.

For more information, visit

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Posted by Andrea Freygang on Feb 23 2010. Filed under Broward County, Culture, Federal Government. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “The American Revolution – who cares?”

  1. Ken Westervelt

    Fun fact: The Pledge of Allegiance wasn’t even written until 1892. It originally read “I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands-one Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”


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