Fourth of July Shocker: 26% of U.S. Don’t Know We Declared Independence from Great Britain

July 3, 2010

(ChattahBox)—On July 4, 1776, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, establishing our sovereignty apart from Great Britain. “When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,” begins the famous words of our most enduring founding document. And every year since, on the Fourth of July, we as a nation celebrate our independence from the British yokes of oppression. Unfortunately however, according to a new Marist poll, 26 percent of Americans don’t know what country we declared independence from. And perhaps worse, 6 percent of that group believe we sought independence from another country, such as China.

In a good news, bad news poll, on the flip side, at least 74 percent of us do know we declared our independence from Great Britain:

“There’s good news for American education. About three-quarters of residents — 74% — know the U.S. declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776. The bad news for the academic system — 26% do not. This 26% includes one-fifth who are unsure and 6% who thought the U.S. separated from another nation. That begs the question, “From where do the latter think the U.S. achieved its independence?” Among the countries mentioned are France, China, Japan, Mexico, and Spain.”

The breakdown of the poll results show that the younger you are, the less you know about U.S. history.

Keep studying kids. And Happy Fourth of July to those who know what we are really celebrating.


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