Are you informed? : 30 Questions EVERY Voter Should Know

Here are some basic questions I believe everyone should know the answers to in order to make an educated and informed vote for any elected official. These are all questions that any high school history student has seen before. However, how many adults learned the lessons? How can we be a great nation when so many of us fail to understand our basic historical foundations?

These questions are just some of the most important. They outline the basics for the reasons behind our founding; how we got to where we are today; what framed the original classic divides of the modern era of politics and why a voter should care.

In my humble opinion, these questions form a foundation, like that of a house made of bricks. One or two missing bricks in a supporting wall and the house will stand. However, enough missing bricks and the house will crumble. See how many of these questions you can answer without Googling them. How many can your friends answer? How many can your adult family members and co-workers answer?

Listed in no particular order:

1. What was the case Plessy v. Ferguson about and why is it important?
2. What was the Dredd Scott case and how did it affect race relations in America?
3. What was the Stamp Act and how did it affect American history?
4. Who were the Molly MacGuires?
5. What was the Louisiana Purchase?
6. Who is William Jennings Bryan?
7. What was the Scopes Monkey Trials?
8. What are the Rights granted in the Bill of Rights? And who grants these Rights?
9. What is the difference in the original terms between Natural Conservationists and Environmentalists?
10. Who was Standard Oil, and why is knowing that important?
11. Why did the founders protest with the phrase “No Taxation without Representation”, if there were representatives for the colonies in the British Parliament?
12. What was the Iran-Contra affair? And how did it reveal the political atmosphere in Washington D.C.?
13. What was the Land Act of 1820 and how have we changed since then?
14. What specific powers are given to the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the government according to the U.S. Constitution as ratified by the Continental Congress?
15. What rights were are granted in the Geneva Convention? Who granted them?
16. Who was Martin Luther? Why is he important?
17. Who voted to abolish Jim Crowe laws in the South? Who voted to uphold them?
18. What was Medicaid /Medicare/ Social Security originally setup for? What was the original cost estimate per year?
19. Who was the Mujahideen? How did the US help them? Who did they become?
20. Who were the Vietcong? Who backed them throughout the Vietnam War?
21. Throughout the history of ‘voting’ societies, Greece and Rome, what criterion for the ability to vote was constant? How did the U.S. compare at its foundation? Why did it change?
22. Who were the Axis, and who were the Allied powers in WWII?
23. Who first coined the term “Iron-Curtain”? Why?
24. Who are Stalin, Lenin, Gorbachev, and Khrushchev? Why is that important?
25. Who were the Bolsheviks?
26. What is the difference between Communism, Socialism, Marxism, and Capitalism?
27. What is a Representative Republic v. a Democracy?
28. Who are the Palestinians? And who were they prior to the creation of the state of Israel after WWII?
29. What U.S. President served for the longest period of time and what major historical events occurred under his watch?
30. What does the phrase “E Pluribus Unum” translate into, and why would the U.S. choose it as a motto?

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