How Well Do You Know the Constitution?

How+much+do+you+love+your+country%3F+And+how+much+do+you+know+about+it%3F

Aaron Schwartz by Pexels

How much do you love your country? And how much do you know about it?

Sonya S Smith, Guest Writer

We all probably know by heart the first line of our favorite novel, but how well do we know these words:

“We the people of the United States…”

The US Constitution is perhaps one of the most important documents of the United States of America, but how well do we know it? One survey shows that not very many people know it very well. According to an article found on Woodrow.org, a mere 15% of those surveyed knew when the Constitution was written, and only 25% knew how many amendments to the Constitution there were. 25% of surveyed Americans did not know that the freedom of speech is guaranteed by the First Amendment. 

That is not very impressive, especially considering the fact that all questions in the survey were taken of the US Citizenship Test, which cannot be passed with a score lower than 60%. According to CNN, 37% of Americans cannot name a single right protected by the First Amendment; only 26% could name all three branches of government; and 33% couldn’t name even one branch of government.

Okay, but really, how important is that? Well, it depends on how much you want to be free people, and how free you want to be.

Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

Another founding father, James Madison said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

But how, exactly, does knowing the Constitution help us as a nation remain free? Knowing the Constitution can help us know when lawmakers are doing something wrong, making the people the “fourth branch of the government.”

How well do YOU know the constitution?

You can find out by taking a survey offered by Woodrow.org at https://woodrow.org/americanhistory/

Bibliography:

How Well Do Americans Know The Constitution? https://woodrow.org/news/how-well-americans-know-constitution/

Americans Know Literally Nothing About The Constitution https://www.cnn.com/2017/09/13/politics/poll-constitution/index.html

Quote by Thomas Jefferson: https://www.azquotes.com/quote/145687

Quote by James Madison: https://www.azquotes.com/quote/183560