1 Learn About the United States Quick Civics Lessons for the Naturalization Test M-638 (rev. 02/19)
2 Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lessons Thank you for your interest in becoming a citizen of the United States of America. Your decision to apply for On the naturalization test, some IMPORTANT NOTE: U.S. citizenship is a very meaningful demonstration of answers may change because of elections or appointments. your commitment to this country. As you study for the test, make sure that you know the most current answers to these questions. Answer these As you prepare for U.S. citizenship, Learn About the United questions with the name of the official who is serving States: Quick Civics Lessons will help you study for the civics at the time of your eligibility interview with USCIS. The and English portions of the naturalization interview. USCIS Officer will not accept an incorrect answer. There are 100 civics (history and government) questions on the naturalization test. During your naturalization interview, you will be asked up to 10 questions from the list of 100 questions. You must answer correctly 6 of the 10 questions to pass the civics test. More Resources to Help You Study Applicants who are age 65 or older and have been a permanent resident for at least 20 years at the time of Visit the at USCIS Citizenship Resource Center filing the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, to find additional educational uscis.gov/citizenship are only required to study 20 of the 100 civics test materials. Be sure to look for these helpful study questions for the naturalization test. These questions are tools: flagged with an asterisk (*) in this booklet. 100 Civics Questions and Answers for the • contains short lessons based Learn About the United States Naturalization Test on each of the 100 civics questions. This additional The official list of civics questions and answers information will help you learn more about important for the naturalization test is available in English, concepts in American history and government. During Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and your naturalization interview, you will not be tested Vietnamese. The English version is also available on the additional information in the short lessons. in large print and text-only format. There are three components to the English portion of the test: speaking, reading, and writing. Your ability to Audio is available in English and Spanish. speak English is determined by the USCIS Officer based on your answers to questions normally asked during the • Civics Flash Cards for the Naturalization Test eligibility interview on the Form N-400, Application These easy-to-use cards include each of the for Naturalization. 100 civics questions and answers on the naturalization test. The Civics Flash Cards are For the reading test, you must read one (1) out of three available in English and Spanish. (3) sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to read in English. There is a reading vocabulary list with all • Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and the words found in the English reading portion of the Civics for Citizenship naturalization test included in the back of this booklet. This online resource provides videos and For the writing test, you must write one (1) out of interactive activities on the 100 civics questions three (3) sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability and answers. It also highlights museum objects to write in English. There is a writing vocabulary list from the Smithsonian Institution. with all the words found in the English writing portion • Civics Practice Test of the naturalization test included in the back of this Online study tool to help test your knowledge booklet. of U.S. history and government.
3 • The USCIS Naturalization Interview and Test Video This short video provides an overview of the naturalization process and testing requirements. The video highlights scenes from the naturalization interview, including the naturalization test. • Understanding Commands for the Naturalization Interview This activity has commands that you may hear during the naturalization interview. Vocabulary for the Naturalization Interview • Self-Test 1 This reading activity has words and phrases that you may read on Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, or hear during the naturalization interview. Vocabulary for the Naturalization Interview • Self-Test 2 This reading and listening activity has words and phrases that you may read on Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, or hear during the naturalization interview. Find Help in Your Community • Find an English and/or citizenship class or legal assistance in your local area. • Naturalization Information Sessions USCIS regularly holds information sessions for the public to learn about naturalization eligibility, testing, and citizenship rights and responsibilities. Information in Other Languages • Find USCIS citizenship publications and resources available in other languages as you prepare for U.S. citizenship. Hard copies of some of these products are available for purchase from the U.S. Government Bookstore by calling 1-866-512-1800 (toll free) or by visiting http: / /bookstore.gpo.gov
4 esT T iviCs C Learn About the United States Civics Test AMERICAN GOVERNMENT In the United States, the government gets its power to govern from the people. We have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Citizens in the United States shape their government and its policies, so they must learn about important public issues and get involved in their communities. Learning about American government helps you understand your rights and responsibilities and allows you to fully participate in the American political process. The Founders of this country decided that the United States should be a representative democracy. They wanted a nation ruled by laws, not by men. In a representative democracy, the people choose officials to make laws and represent their views and concerns in government. The following section will help you understand the principles of American democracy, the U.S. system of government, and the important rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. and state governments. The name for this division A: Principles of American Democracy of power is “federalism.” Federalism is an important idea in the Constitution. We call the Founding Fathers What is the supreme law of the land? 1. who wrote the Constitution the “Framers” of the • the Constitution Constitution. The Framers wanted to limit the powers of the government, so they separated the powers into The Founding Fathers of the United States wrote three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. the Constitution in 1787. The Constitution is the The Constitution explains the power of each branch. “supreme law of the land.” The U.S. Constitution has The Constitution also includes changes and additions, lasted longer than any other country’s constitution. called “amendments.” The first 10 amendments It establishes the basic principles of the United States are called the “Bill of Rights.” The Bill of Rights government. The Constitution establishes a system established the individual rights and liberties of all of government called “representative democracy.” Americans. In a representative democracy, citizens choose representatives to make the laws. U.S. citizens also 3. The idea of self-government is in the first three choose a president to lead the executive branch of words of the Constitution. What are these government. The Constitution lists fundamental rights words? for all citizens and other people living in the United • We the People States. Laws made in the United States must follow the Constitution. The Constitution says: What does the Constitution do? 2. “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect • sets up the government Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for defines the government • the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the • protects basic rights of Americans Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” The Constitution of the United States divides government power between the national government 1
5 L bout u nited S tateS the a earn individual rights and limits on the government. These With the words “We the People,” the Constitution rights appear in the first 10 amendments, called the states that the people set up the government. The Bill of Rights. Some of these rights include freedom government works for the people and protects the of expression, the right to bear arms, freedom from rights of people. In the United States, the power to search without warrant, freedom not to be tried twice govern comes from the people, who are the highest for the same crime, the right to not testify against power. This is called “popular sovereignty.” The yourself, the right to a trial by a jury of your peers, the people elect representatives to make laws. right to an attorney, and protection against excessive fines and unusual punishments. The Bill of Rights was What is an amendment? 4. ratified in 1791. • a change (to the Constitution) • an addition (to the Constitution) right or freedom from the First 6. What is one Amendment?* An amendment is a change or addition to the speech • Constitution. The Framers of the Constitution knew • that laws can change as a country grows. They did not religion want to make it too easy to modify the Constitution, • assembly the supreme law of the land. The Framers also did not press • want the Constitution to lose its meaning. For this • petition the government reason, the Framers decided that Congress could pass amendments in only two ways: by a two-thirds vote The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights protects in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives a person’s right to freedom of expression. Freedom or by a special convention. A special convention has of expression allows open discussion and debate to be requested by two-thirds of the states. After an on public issues. Open discussion and debate are amendment has passed in Congress or by a special important to democracy. The First Amendment also convention, the amendment must then be ratified protects freedom of religion and free speech. This (accepted) by the legislatures of three-fourths of the amendment says that Congress may not pass laws states. The amendment can also be ratified by a special that establish an official religion and may not limit convention in three-fourths of the states. Not all religious expression. Congress may not pass laws proposed amendments are ratified. Six times in U.S. that limit freedom of the press or the right of people history amendments have passed in Congress but were to meet peacefully. The First Amendment also gives not approved by enough states to be ratified. people the right to petition the government to change laws or acts that are not fair. Congress may not What do we call the first ten amendments to the 5. take away these rights. The First Amendment of the Constitution? Constitution guarantees and protects these rights. the Bill of Rights • 7. How many amendments does the Constitution The Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments to have? the Constitution. When the Framers wrote the twenty-seven (27) • Constitution, they did not focus on individual rights. They focused on creating the system and structure The first 10 amendments to the Constitution are of government. Many Americans believed that the called the Bill of Rights. They were added in 1791. Constitution should guarantee the rights of the Since then, 17 more amendments have been added. people, and they wanted a list of all the things a The Constitution currently has 27 amendments. The government could not do. They were afraid that a 27th Amendment was added in 1992. It explains how strong government would take away the rights people senators and representatives are paid. Interestingly, won in the Revolutionary War. James Madison, one Congress first discussed this amendment back in 1789 of the Framers of the Constitution, wrote a list of as one of the original amendments considered for the Bill of Rights. *If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, 2 you may study just the questions marked with an asterisk.
6 iviCs C T esT What did the Declaration of Independence do? 8. • announced our independence (from Great Britain) • declared our independence (from Great Britain) • said that the United States is free (from Great Britain) The Declaration of Independence contains important ideas about the American system of government. The Declaration of Independence states that all people are created equal and have “certain unalienable rights.” These are rights that no government can change or take away. The author of the Declaration, Thomas Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson in Jefferson, wrote that the American colonies should “Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776,” by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. be independent because Great Britain did not respect Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USZC4-9904. the basic rights of people in the colonies. Jefferson believed that a government exists only if the people What is freedom of religion? 10. think it should. He believed in the idea that the You can practice any religion, or not practice a • people create their own government and consent, religion. or agree, to follow laws their government makes. This idea is called “consent of the governed.” If the Colonists from Spain, France, Holland, England, and government creates laws that are fair and protect other countries came to America for many different people, then people will agree to follow those laws. reasons. One of the reasons was religious freedom. The In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson wrote rulers of many of these countries told their citizens a list of complaints the colonists had against the King that they must go to a certain church and worship in of England. Jefferson ended the Declaration with the a certain way. Some people had different religious statement that the colonies are, and should be, free and beliefs than their rulers and wanted to have their own independent states. The Second Continental Congress churches. In 1620, the Pilgrims were the first group voted to accept the Declaration on July 4, 1776. that came to America seeking religious freedom. Religious freedom was also important to the Framers. rights in the Declaration of two 9. What are For this reason, freedom of religion was included in Independence? the Constitution as part of the Bill of Rights. The First • life Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of • liberty religion. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall pursuit of happiness • make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The First The Declaration of Independence lists three rights that Amendment also prohibits Congress from setting up the Founding Fathers considered to be natural and an official U.S. religion, and protects citizens’ rights to “unalienable.” They are the right to life, liberty, and hold any religious belief, or none at all. the pursuit of happiness. These ideas about freedom and individual rights were the basis for declaring What is the economic system in the United 11. America’s independence. Thomas Jefferson and the States?* other Founding Fathers believed that people are born capitalist economy • with natural rights that no government can take away. market economy • Government exists to protect these rights. Because the people voluntarily give up power to a government, The economic system of the United States is they can take that power back. The British government capitalism. In the American economy, most businesses was not protecting the rights of the colonists, so the are privately owned. Competition and profit motivate colonies took back their power and separated from businesses. Businesses and consumers interact in the Great Britain. marketplace, where prices can be negotiated. This is 3
7 earn the u nited S tateS bout L a The executive branch enforces the laws that Congress called a “market economy.” In a market economy, passes. The executive branch makes sure all the people businesses decide what to produce, how much to produce, and what to charge. Consumers decide what, follow the laws of the United States. The president is when, and where they will buy goods or services. In the head of the executive branch. The vice president and members of the president’s cabinet are also part a market economy, competition, supply, and demand of the executive branch. Article III of the Constitution influence the decisions of businesses and consumers. establishes the judicial branch. The judicial branch places the highest judicial power in the Supreme What is the “rule of law”? 12. Court. One responsibility of the judicial branch is Everyone must follow the law. • to decide if government laws and actions follow the Leaders must obey the law. • Constitution. This is a very important responsibility. Government must obey the law. • No one is above the law. • branch of government from one 14. What stops becoming too powerful? John Adams was one of the Founding Fathers and checks and balances • the second president of the United States. He wrote • separation of powers that our country is, “a government of laws, and not of men.” No person or group is above the law. The The Constitution separates the government’s power rule of law means that everyone (citizens and leaders) into three branches to prevent one person or group must obey the laws. In the United States, the U.S. from having too much power. The separation of Constitution is the foundation for the rule of law. government into three branches creates a system of The United States is a “constitutional democracy” checks and balances. This means that each branch can (a democracy with a constitution). In constitutional block, or threaten to block, the actions of the other democracies, people are willing to obey the laws branches. Here are some examples: the Senate (part because the laws are made by the people through of the legislative branch) can block a treaty signed by their elected representatives. If all people are governed the president (the executive branch). In this example, by the same laws, the individual rights and liberties the legislative branch is “checking” the executive. The of each person are better protected. The rule of law U.S. Supreme Court (the judicial branch) can reject helps to make sure that government protects all people a law passed by Congress (the legislative branch). equally and does not violate the rights of certain In this example, the judicial branch is “checking” people. the legislative branch. This separation of powers limits the power of the government and prevents the B: System of Government government from violating the rights of the people. branch or part of the government.* 13. Name one 15. Who is in charge of the executive branch? • Congress • the President • legislative President • The job of the executive branch is to carry out, or execute, federal laws and enforce laws passed • executive by Congress. The head of the executive branch is • the courts the president. The president is both the head of judicial • state and the head of government. The president’s powers include the ability to sign treaties with other The Constitution establishes three branches of countries and to select ambassadors to represent the government: legislative, executive, and judicial. Article United States around the world. The president also I of the Constitution establishes the legislative branch. sets national policies and proposes laws to Congress. Article I explains that Congress makes laws. Congress The president names the top leaders of the federal (the Senate and the House of Representatives) is the departments. When there is a vacancy on the Supreme legislative branch of the U.S. government. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch. *If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, 4 you may study just the questions marked with an asterisk.
8 C iviCs T esT Court, the president names a new member. However, the Senate has the power to reject the president’s choices. This limit on the power of the president is an example of checks and balances. Who makes federal laws? 16. • Congress Senate and House (of Representatives) • (U.S. or national) legislature • Congress makes federal laws. A federal law usually applies to all states and all people in the United States. Either side of Congress—the Senate or the House of Representatives—can propose a bill to address an issue. When the Senate proposes a bill, it sends the bill to a Senate committee. The Senate committee studies the issue and the bill. When the House of Representatives proposes a bill, it sends the bill to a House of Representatives committee. The committee studies The Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. the bill and sometimes makes changes to it. Then the Courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol. bill goes to the full House or Senate for consideration. When each chamber passes its own version of the How many U.S. Senators are there? 18. bill, it often goes to a “conference committee.” The one hundred (100) • conference committee has members from both the House and the Senate. This committee discusses the There are 100 senators in Congress, two from each bill, tries to resolve the differences, and writes a report state. All states have equal power in the Senate because with the final version of the bill. Then the committee each state has the same number of senators. States sends the final version of the bill back to both houses with a very small population have the same number for approval. If both houses approve the bill, it is of senators as states with very large populations. The considered “enrolled.” An enrolled bill goes to the Framers of the Constitution made sure that the Senate president to be signed into law. If the president signs would be small. This would keep it more orderly the bill, it becomes a federal law. than the larger House of Representatives. As James , the Senate should Madison wrote in Federalist Paper #63 two What are the 17. parts of the U.S. Congress?* be a “temperate and respectable body of citizens” that • the Senate and House (of Representatives) operates in a “cool and deliberate” way. Congress is divided into two parts—the Senate 19. We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years? and the House of Representatives. Because it has • six (6) two “chambers,” the U.S. Congress is known as a “bicameral” legislature. The system of checks and The Framers of the Constitution wanted senators to balances works in Congress. Specific powers are be independent from public opinion. They thought assigned to each of these chambers. For example, a fairly long, six-year term would give them this only the Senate has the power to reject a treaty signed protection. They also wanted longer Senate terms to by the president or a person the president chooses balance the shorter two-year terms of the members to serve on the Supreme Court. Only the House of of the House, who would more closely follow public Representatives has the power to introduce a bill that opinion. The Constitution puts no limit on the number requires Americans to pay taxes. of terms a senator may serve. Elections for U.S. senators take place on even-numbered years. Every two years, one-third of the senators are up for election. 5
9 the L nited S tateS u bout earn a one of your state’s U.S. Senators now?* 20. Who is Name your U.S. Representative. 23. Answers will vary. [Residents of territories with Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents and • • nonvoting Delegates or Resident Commissioners may residents of U.S. territories should answer that D.C. (or the territory where the applicant lives) has no U.S. provide the name of that Delegate or Commissioner. Senators.] Also acceptable is any statement that the territory has no (voting) Representatives in Congress.] For a complete list of U.S. senators and the states they . represent, go to For a complete list of U.S. representatives and the senate.gov . house.gov districts they represent, go to The House of Representatives has how many 21. voting members? Who does a U.S. Senator represent? 24. all people of the state • • four hundred thirty-five (435) Senators are elected to serve the people of their state The House of Representatives is the larger chamber of Congress. Since 1912, the House of Representatives for six years. Each of the two senators represents has had 435 voting members. However, the the entire state. Before the 17th Amendment to the distribution of members among the states has changed Constitution was ratified in 1913, the state legislatures elected the U.S. senators to represent their state. Now, over the years. Each state must have at least one representative in the House. Beyond that, the number all the voters in a state elect their two U.S. senators of representatives from each state depends on the directly. population of the state. The Constitution says that the government will conduct a census of the population 25. Why do some states have more Representatives than other states? every 10 years to count the number of people in each state. The results of the census are used to recalculate (because of) the state’s population • the number of representatives each state should have. (because) they have more people • For example, if one state gains many residents that • (because) some states have more people state could get one or more new representatives. If another state loses residents, that state could lose The Founding Fathers wanted people in all states to one or more. But the total number of voting U.S. be represented fairly. In the House of Representatives, representatives does not change. a state’s population determines the number of representatives it has. In this way, states with many 22. We elect a U.S. Representative for how many people have a stronger voice in the House. In the years? Senate, every state has the same number of senators. • two (2) This means that states with few people still have a strong voice in the national government. People who live in a representative’s district are called “constituents.” Representatives tend to reflect the We elect a President for how many years? 26. views of their constituents. If representatives do not • four (4) do this, they may be voted out of office. The Framers of the Constitution believed that short two-year terms Early American leaders thought that the head of the and frequent elections would keep representatives British government, the king, had too much power. close to their constituents, public opinion, and Because of this, they limited the powers of the head more aware of local and community concerns. The of the new U.S. government. They decided that the Constitution puts no limit on the number of terms a people would elect the president every four years. representative may serve. All representatives are up for election every two years. *If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, 6 you may study just the questions marked with an asterisk.
10 C iviCs T esT The president is the only official elected by the entire country through the Electoral College. The Electoral College is a process that was designed by the writers of the Constitution to select presidents. It came from a compromise between the president being elected directly by the people and the president being chosen by Congress. Citizens vote for electors, who then choose the president. Before 1951, there was no limit on the number of terms a president could serve. With the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, the president can only be elected to two terms (four years each) for a total of eight years. 27. In what month do we vote for President?* • November The Constitution did not set a national election day. In the past, elections for federal office took place on different days in different states. In 1845, Congress passed legislation to designate a single day for all Americans to vote. It made Election Day the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Congress chose The inauguration of President Theodore Roosevelt on March 4, 1905. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-231. November because the United States was mostly rural. By November, farmers had completed their harvests If the President can no longer serve, who 30. and were available to vote. Another reason for this date becomes President? was the weather. People were able to travel because it was not yet winter. They chose Tuesday for Election the Vice President • Day so that voters had a full day after Sunday to travel to the polls. If the president dies, resigns, or cannot work while still in office, the vice president becomes president. 28. What is the name of the President of the United For this reason, the qualifications for vice president States now?* and president are the same. A vice president became president nine times in U.S. history when the • Visit uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates for the name of president died or left office. William Henry Harrison the President of the United States. died in office in 1841. Zachary Taylor died in office in 1850. Abraham Lincoln was killed in office in For more information about the president of the 1865. James Garfield was killed in office in 1881. United States, visit whitehouse.gov . William McKinley was killed in office in 1901. Warren Harding died in office in 1923. Franklin Roosevelt 29. What is the name of the Vice President of the died in office in 1945. John F. Kennedy was killed in United States now? office in 1963. Richard Nixon resigned from office in for the name of • Visit uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates 1974. No one other than the vice president has ever the Vice President of the United States. succeeded to the presidency. For more information about the vice president of the . whitehouse.gov United States, visit 7
11 earn the u nited S tateS bout L a Who signs bills to become laws? 31. If both the President and the Vice President can 33. no longer serve, who becomes President? • the President • the Speaker of the House Every law begins as a proposal made by a member of Congress, either a senator (member of the If both the president and vice president cannot serve, Senate) or representative (member of the House of the next person in line is the speaker of the House of Representatives. This has not always been the Representatives). When the Senate or House begins to procedure. Soon after the country was founded, a debate the proposal, it is called a “bill.” After debate in both houses of Congress, if a majority of both the law was passed that made the Senate president pro tempore the next in line after the president and vice Senate and House vote to pass the bill, it goes to the president. The president pro tempore presides over president. If the president wants the bill to become the Senate when the vice president is not there. Later law, he signs it. If the president does not want the in U.S. history, the secretary of state was third in line. bill to become law, he vetoes it. The president cannot introduce a bill. If he has an idea for a bill, he must ask With the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, Congress returned to the original idea of having a congressional a member of Congress to introduce it. leader next in line. In 1967, the 25th Amendment was ratified. It established procedures for presidential and 34. Who vetoes bills? vice presidential succession. the President • 32. Who is the Commander in Chief of the military? The president has veto power. This means that the • president can reject a bill passed by Congress. If the the President president vetoes a bill, he prevents it from becoming a The Founding Fathers strongly believed in republican law. The president can send the bill back to Congress unsigned. Often he will list reasons why he rejects ideals. A republic is a government where a country’s it. The president has 10 days to evaluate the bill. If political power comes from the citizens, not the rulers, the president does not sign the bill after 10 days and and is put into use by representatives elected by the citizens. That is why they made the president the Congress is in session, the bill automatically becomes a law. If the president does nothing with the bill and commander in chief. They wanted a civilian selected by the people. They did not want a professional Congress adjourns within the 10-day period, the bill military leader. The president commands the armed does not become law—this is called a “pocket veto.” If two-thirds of the House and two-thirds of the Senate forces, but Congress has the power to pay for the armed forces and declare war. In 1973, many vote to pass the bill again, the bill becomes a law, even though the president did not sign it. This process is members of Congress believed that the president was misusing or abusing his powers as commander in called “overriding the president’s veto.” It is not easy chief. They thought that the president was ignoring to do. the legislative branch and not allowing the system of checks and balances to work. In response, Congress What does the President’s Cabinet do? 35. passed the War Powers Act. The War Powers Act advises the President • gave Congress a stronger voice in decisions about the use of U.S. troops. President Richard Nixon vetoed The Constitution says that the leaders of the executive this bill, but Congress overrode his veto. Because we departments should advise the president. These have a system of checks and balances, one branch of department leaders, most of them called “secretaries,” government is able to check the other branches. make up the cabinet. The president nominates the cabinet members to be his advisors. For a nominee to be confirmed, a majority of the Senate must approve the nominee. Throughout history, presidents have *If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, 8 you may study just the questions marked with an asterisk.
12 C iviCs T esT been able to change who makes up the cabinet or add departments to the cabinet. For example, when the Department of Homeland Security was created, President George W. Bush added the leader of this department to his cabinet. 36. What are two Cabinet-level positions? Secretary of Agriculture • Secretary of Commerce • • Secretary of Defense • Secretary of Education Secretary of Energy • • Secretary of Health and Human Services • Secretary of Homeland Security • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development • Secretary of the Interior • Secretary of Labor • Secretary of State • Secretary of Transportation The Contemplation of Justice statue outside the U.S. Supreme Court • Secretary of the Treasury building in Washington, D.C. Courtesy of the Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States. Secretary of Veterans Affairs • • Attorney General Supreme Court. Congress created the other federal Vice President • courts. All these courts together make up the judicial branch. The courts review and explain the laws, and The people on the president’s cabinet are the they resolve disagreements about the meaning of the vice president and the heads of the 15 executive law. The U.S. Supreme Court makes sure that laws departments. The president may appoint other are consistent with the Constitution. If a law is not government officials to the cabinet. When George consistent with the Constitution, the Court can declare Washington was president, there were only four it unconstitutional. In this case, the Court rejects the cabinet members: the secretary of state, secretary of law. The Supreme Court makes the final decision about the treasury, secretary of war, and attorney general. all cases that have to do with federal laws and treaties. The government established the other executive It also rules on other cases, such as disagreements departments later. between states. What does the judicial branch do? 37. What is the highest court in the United States? 38. • reviews laws • the Supreme Court • explains laws The U.S. Supreme Court has complete authority over • resolves disputes (disagreements) all federal courts. Its rulings have a significant effect. decides if a law goes against the Constitution • A Supreme Court ruling can affect the outcome of many cases in the lower courts. The Supreme Court’s The judicial branch is one of the three branches of interpretations of federal laws and of the Constitution government. The Constitution established the judicial are final. The Supreme Court is limited in its power branch of government with the creation of the over the states. It cannot make decisions about state 9
13 tateS earn the u nited S L bout a Under our Constitution, some powers belong to law or state constitutions. The Court can decide that 42. power of the states? one the states. What is a state law or action conflicts with federal law or with the U.S. Constitution. If this happens, the state • provide schooling and education law becomes invalid. The Supreme Court case ruling • provide protection (police) established this power, known as Marbury v. Madison provide safety (fire departments) • “judicial review.” The Supreme Court also rules on give a driver’s license • cases about significant social and public policy issues that affect all Americans. The Supreme Court ruled • approve zoning and land use on the court case Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka , which ended racial segregation in schools. In the United States, the federal and state governments both hold power. Before the Constitution, the 13 39. How many justices are on the Supreme Court? colonies governed themselves individually much like state governments. It was not until the Articles • for the number Visit uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates of Confederation and then the Constitution that a of justices on the Supreme Court. national or federal government was established. Today, although each state has its own constitution, For more information on the justices on the Supreme these state constitutions cannot conflict with the U.S. . supremecourt.gov visit Court, Constitution. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The state governments hold powers Who is the Chief Justice of the United States 40. not given to the federal government in the U.S. now? Constitution. Some powers of the state government are • Visit uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates for the name of the power to create traffic regulations and marriage the Chief Justice of the United States. requirements, and to issue driver’s licenses. The Constitution also provides a list of powers that the For more information about the chief justice of the states do not have. For example, states cannot coin . United States, visit supremecourt.gov (create) money. The state and federal governments also share some powers, such as the ability to tax Under our Constitution, some powers belong to 41. people. the federal government. What is one power of the federal government? Who is the Governor of your state now? 43. • to print money Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents • • to declare war should answer that D.C. does not have a Governor.] to create an army • To learn the name of the governor of your state or to make treaties • . Similar to the territory, go to usa.gov/states-and-territories federal government, most states have three branches The powers of government are divided between the federal government and the state governments. The of government. The branches are executive, legislative, federal government is known as a limited government. and judicial. The governor is the chief executive of the state. The governor’s job in a state government Its powers are restricted to those described in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution gives the federal is similar to the president’s job in the federal government. However, the state laws that a governor government the power to print money, declare war, create an army, and make treaties with other nations. carries out are different from the federal laws that the Most other powers that are not given to the federal president carries out. The Constitution says that certain issues are covered by federal, not state, laws. All other government in the Constitution belong to the states. issues are covered by state laws. The governor’s duties and powers vary from state to state. The number of years that a governor is elected to serve—called a “term”—is four years. The exceptions are New *If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, 10 you may study just the questions marked with an asterisk.
14 C iviCs esT T Hampshire and Vermont, where governors serve for two years. What is the capital of your state?* 44. • Answers will vary. [District of Columbia residents should answer that D.C. is not a state and does not have a capital. Residents of U.S. territories should name the capital of the territory.] To learn the capital of your state or territory, go to census.gov/schools/facts . Each state or territory has its own capital. The state capital is where the state government conducts its business. It is similar to the Map of the United States including state capitals. Courtesy of the National Atlas of the United States, March 5, 2003, nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., where the federal http://nationalatlas.gov . government conducts its business. Some state capitals have moved from one city to another over the years, What is the political party of the President now? 46. but the state capitals have not changed since 1910. Visit • for the political uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates Usually, the governor lives in the state’s capital city. party of the President 45. two major political parties in the What are the For more information about the political party of the United States?* president, visit whitehouse.gov . Democratic and Republican • What is the name of the Speaker of the House of 47. The Constitution did not establish political parties. Representatives now? President George Washington specifically warned for the name of • Visit uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates against them. But early in U.S. history, two political the Speaker of the House of Representatives. groups developed. They were the Democratic- Republicans and the Federalists. Today, the two For more information on the speaker of the House of major political parties are the Democratic Party and . house.gov Representatives, visit the Republican Party. President Andrew Jackson created the Democratic Party from the Democratic- C: Rights and Responsibilities Republicans. The Republican Party took over from the Whigs as a major party in the 1860s. The There are four amendments to the Constitution 48. first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln. of them. one about who can vote. Describe Throughout U.S. history, there have been other parties. These parties have included the Know-Nothing Citizens eighteen (18) and older (can vote). • (also called American Party), Bull-Moose (also called You don’t have to pay (a poll tax) to vote. • Progressive), Reform, and Green parties. They have • Any citizen can vote. (Women and men can vote.) played various roles in American politics. Political • A male citizen of any race (can vote). party membership in the United States is voluntary. Parties are made up of people who organize to Voting is one of the most important civic promote their candidates for election and to promote responsibilities of citizens in the United States. In a their views about public policies. democratic society, the people choose the leaders who will represent them. There are four amendments to the Constitution about voting. The 15th Amendment permits American men of all races to vote. It was 11
15 L u a bout the earn nited S tateS written after the Civil War and the end of slavery. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. It resulted from the women’s suffrage movement (the women’s rights movement). After the 15th Amendment was passed, some leaders of the southern states were upset that African Americans could vote. These leaders designed fees called poll taxes to stop them from voting. The 24th Amendment made these poll taxes illegal. The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. 49. What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?* • serve on a jury • vote in a federal election The American flag is an important symbol of the United States. Two responsibilities of U.S. citizens are to serve on a jury and vote in federal elections. The Constitution rights of everyone living in the two 51. What are gives citizens the right to a trial by a jury. The jury United States? is made up of U.S. citizens. Participation of citizens • freedom of expression on a jury helps ensure a fair trial. Another important • freedom of speech responsibility of citizens is voting. The law does not require citizens to vote, but voting is a very important freedom of assembly • part of any democracy. By voting, citizens are freedom to petition the government • participating in the democratic process. Citizens vote freedom of religion • for leaders to represent them and their ideas, and the the right to bear arms • leaders support the citizens’ interests. Thomas Jefferson said, “[The] best principles [of our one 50. Name right only for United States citizens. republic] secure to all its citizens a perfect equality of • vote in a federal election rights.” Millions of immigrants have come to America run for federal office • to have these rights. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights give many of these rights to all people living in U.S. citizens have the right to vote in federal elections. the United States. These rights include the freedom of Permanent residents can vote in local or state elections expression, of religion, of speech, and the right to bear that do not require voters to be U.S. citizens. Only U.S. arms. All people living in the United States also have citizens can vote in federal elections. U.S. citizens can many of the same duties as citizens, such as paying also run for federal office. Qualifications to run for taxes and obeying the laws. the Senate or House of Representatives include being a U.S. citizen for a certain number of years. A candidate 52. What do we show loyalty to when we say the for Senate must be a U.S. citizen for at least 9 years. A Pledge of Allegiance? candidate for the House must be a U.S. citizen for at the United States • least 7 years. To run for president of the United States, the flag • a candidate must be a natural-born (not naturalized) citizen. In addition to the benefits of citizenship, The flag is an important symbol of the United States. U.S. citizens have certain responsibilities—to respect The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag states, “I pledge the law, stay informed on issues, participate in the allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, democratic process, and pay their taxes. and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation *If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, 12 you may study just the questions marked with an asterisk.
16 C T iviCs esT under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for the law; and that I take this obligation freely without all.” When we say the Pledge of Allegiance, we usually any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.” stand facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Francis Bellamy wrote the pledge. It was first How old do citizens have to be to vote for published in The Youth’s Companion magazine in 1892 54. for children to say on the anniversary of Columbus’s President?* discovery of America. Congress officially recognized eighteen (18) and older • the pledge on June 22, 1942. Two changes have been made since it was written in 1892. “I pledge allegiance For most of U.S. history, Americans had to be at least to my flag” was changed to “I pledge allegiance to the 21 years old to vote. At the time of the Vietnam War, Flag of the United States of America.” Congress added during the 1960s and 1970s, many people thought the phrase “under God” on June 14, 1954. that people who were old enough to fight in a war should also be old enough to vote. In 1971, the 26th promise you make when you one 53. What is Amendment changed the minimum voting age from become a United States citizen? 21 to 18 for all federal, state, and local elections. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 made it easier give up loyalty to other countries • for people to register to vote. Now they can register to defend the Constitution and laws of the United States • vote by mail, at public assistance offices, or when they • obey the laws of the United States apply for or renew their driver’s license. • serve in the U.S. military (if needed) • serve (do important work for) the nation (if needed) ways that Americans can two 55. What are participate in their democracy? • be loyal to the United States • vote When the United States became an independent join a political party • country, the Constitution gave Congress the power to • help with a campaign establish a uniform rule of naturalization. Congress join a civic group • made rules about how immigrants could become • join a community group citizens. Many of these requirements are still valid today, such as the requirements to live in the United give an elected official your opinion on an issue • States for a specific period of time, to be of good call Senators and Representatives • moral character, and to understand and support the • publicly support or oppose an issue or policy principles of the Constitution. After an immigrant run for office • fulfills all of the requirements to become a U.S. citizen, the final step is to take an Oath of Allegiance write to a newspaper • at a naturalization ceremony. The Oath of Allegiance states, “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and Citizens play an active part in their communities. entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity When Americans engage in the political process, to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty democracy stays alive and strong. There are many of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or ways for people to be involved. They can volunteer citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution to help new immigrants learn English and civics, join and laws of the United States of America against all the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of their child’s enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true school, run for a position on the local school board, faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms or volunteer to help at a polling station. People can on behalf of the United States when required by the also vote, help with a political campaign, join a civic law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the or community organization, or call their senator or Armed Forces of the United States when required representative about an issue that is important to them. by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by 13
17 bout the u nited S tateS a L earn When is the last day you can send in federal 56. 57. When must all men register for the Selective income tax forms?* Service? • at age eighteen (18) • April 15 between eighteen (18) and twenty-six (26) • The last day to send in your federal income tax to the Internal Revenue Service is April 15 of each year. The President Lincoln tried to draft men to fight during Constitution gave the federal government the power the Civil War, but many people became angry and to collect taxes. The federal government needs money rioted. In 1917, Congress passed the Selective Service to pay the nation’s debts and to defend and provide Act. This act gave President Woodrow Wilson the for the needs of the country. When the country was power to temporarily increase the U.S. military during young, it was difficult to raise money from the 13 World War I. In 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt original states. The government began collecting signed the Selective Training and Service Act, which income tax for the first time through the Revenue created the first draft during peacetime. This was Act of 1861. This was only temporary. In 1894, the beginning of the Selective Service System in the a flat-rate federal income tax was enacted, but the United States today. The draft was needed again for Supreme Court said this was unconstitutional. Finally, the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Today, there is no in 1913, the 16th Amendment was ratified. It gave draft, but all men between 18 and 26 years old must Congress the power to collect income taxes. Today, register with the Selective Service System. When a man “taxable income” is money that is earned from wages, registers, he tells the government that he is available self-employment, tips, and the sale of property. The to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. He can register at a government uses these taxes to keep our country safe United States post office or on the Internet. To register and secure. It also tries to cure and prevent diseases for Selective Service on the Internet, visit the Selective through research. In addition, the government uses . sss.gov Service website at these taxes to educate children and adults, and build and repair our roads and highways. Taxes are used to do these things and many more. *If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, 14 you may study just the questions marked with an asterisk.
18 C T esT iviCs AMERICAN HISTORY For more than 200 years, the United States has strived to become a “more perfect union.” Its history has been one of expansive citizenship for all Americans. By learning about our shared history, you will be able to understand our nation’s traditions, milestones, and common civic values. Our country is independent because of the strength, unity, and determination of our forefathers. It is important for future Americans to know this story. We are people working toward great ideals and principles guided by equality and fairness. This is important to keep our country free. As Americans, we have been committed to each other and our country throughout our history. The following section will help you understand American history from the colonial period and independence to the Civil War and other important events during the 1800s, 1900s, and today. with some American Indian tribes became tense and A: Colonial Period and Independence confrontational as more Europeans moved to America and migrated west. Eventually, after much violence, 58. What is one reason colonists came to America? the settlers defeated those American Indian tribes and • freedom took much of their land. • political liberty religious freedom • 60. What group of people was taken to America and • economic opportunity sold as slaves? practice their religion • • Africans • escape persecution • people from Africa In the 1600s and 1700s, colonists from England and Slavery existed in many countries long before America other European countries sailed across the Atlantic was founded. By 1700, many Africans were being Ocean to the American colonies. Some left Europe brought to the American colonies as slaves. Men, to escape religious restrictions or persecution, to women, and children were brought against their practice their religion freely. Many came for political will. They were often separated from their families freedom, and some came for economic opportunity. when they were sold as slaves. Slaves worked without These freedoms and opportunities often did not exist payment and without basic rights. Most worked in the colonists’ home countries. For these settlers, in agriculture, but slaves did many other kinds of the American colonies were a chance for freedom and work in the colonies, too. Slavery created a challenge a new life. Today, many people come to the United for a nation founded on individual freedoms and States for these same reasons. democratic beliefs. It was one of the major causes of the American Civil War. 59. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived? 61. Why did the colonists fight the British? • American Indians because of high taxes (taxation without representation) • • Native Americans • because the British army stayed in their houses (boarding, quartering) Great American Indian tribes such as the Navajo, • because they didn’t have self-government Sioux, Cherokee, and Iroquois lived in America at the time the Pilgrims arrived. The Pilgrims settled in an The American colonists’ anger had been growing for area where a tribe called the Wampanoag lived. The years before the Revolutionary War began in 1775. Wampanoag taught the Pilgrims important skills, such The decision to separate from the British was not as how to farm with different methods and how to an easy choice for many colonists. However, Great grow crops such as corn, beans, and squash. Relations 15
19 tateS earn bout the u nited S a L Britain’s “repeated injuries” against the Americans, as it to John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and the others noted in the Declaration of Independence, convinced on the committee to review it. After changes were many to join the rebellion. The British taxed the made by the committee, the Declaration was read to the members of the entire Congress. The purpose colonists without their consent, and the colonists had nobody to represent their needs and ideas to the of the Declaration was to announce the separation British government. They were also angry because of the colonies from England. The Declaration of ordinary colonists were forced to let British soldiers Independence stated that if a government does not sleep and eat in their homes. The colonists believed the protect the rights of the people, the people can create British did not respect their basic rights. The British a new government. For this reason, the colonists governed the colonists without their consent, denying separated from their British rulers. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the them self-government. Declaration of Independence. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? 62. . three There were 13 original states. Name 64. (Thomas) Jefferson • New Hampshire • Delaware • Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Massachusetts Maryland • • Independence in 1776. He was a very important • • Rhode Island Virginia political leader and thinker. Some of the most • Connecticut North Carolina • important ideas about the American government are South Carolina • • New York found in the Declaration of Independence, such as the idea that all people are created equal. Another • • Georgia New Jersey important idea is that people are born with certain • Pennsylvania rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Jefferson was the third president of the The 13 original states were all former British colonies. United States, serving from 1801 to 1809. Before Representatives from these colonies came together and becoming president, Jefferson was governor of declared independence from Great Britain in 1776. Virginia and the first U.S. secretary of state. He After the Revolutionary War, the colonies became free strongly supported individual rights, especially and independent states. When the 13 colonies became freedom of religion. Jefferson wanted to protect states, each state set up its own government. They these rights. For this reason, he did not want a strong wrote state constitutions. Eventually, the people in national government. these states created a new form of national government that would unite all the states into a single nation When was the Declaration of Independence 63. under the U.S. Constitution. The first three colonies to adopted? become states were Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New July 4, 1776 • Jersey. This happened in 1787. Eight colonies became states in 1788. These were Georgia, Connecticut, In 1774, representatives from 12 of the 13 colonies Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the First Hampshire, Virginia, and New York. North Carolina Continental Congress. Of the 13 colonies, only became a state in 1789. Rhode Island became a state Georgia was absent. These representatives were angry in 1790. Although the colonies were recognized as about British laws that treated them unfairly. They states after the Declaration of Independence, the date began to organize an army. The Second Continental of statehood is based on when they ratified (accepted) Congress met in 1775 after fighting began between the U.S. Constitution. Today, the United States has 50 the colonists and the British Army. This Congress asked states. Thomas Jefferson and others to write the Declaration of Independence. When Thomas Jefferson finished his draft of the Declaration of Independence, he took *If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, 16 you may study just the questions marked with an asterisk.
20 iviCs C esT T What happened at the Constitutional 65. Convention? • The Constitution was written. • The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. The Constitutional Convention was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from May to September 1787. Fifty-five delegates from 12 of the original 13 states (except for Rhode Island) met to write amendments to the Articles of Confederation. The delegates met because many American leaders did not like the Articles. The national government under the Articles of Confederation was not strong enough. Instead of changing the Articles of Confederation, the delegates decided to create a new governing document with a stronger national government—the Constitution. Each state sent delegates, who worked for four months in secret to allow for free and open discussion as they wrote the new document. The delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention The Constitution of the United States. are called “the Framers.” On September 17, 1787, 39 Courtesy of the National Archives. of the delegates signed the new Constitution. The Federalist Papers supported the passage of 67. When was the Constitution written? 66. of the writers. one the U.S. Constitution. Name 1787 • • (James) Madison • (Alexander) Hamilton The Constitution, written in 1787, created a new system of U.S. government—the same system we (John) Jay • have today. James Madison was the main writer of • Publius the Constitution. He became the fourth president of the United States. The U.S. Constitution is short, but The Federalist Papers were 85 essays that were it defines the principles of government and the rights printed in New York newspapers while New York of citizens in the United States. The document has a State was deciding whether or not to support the U.S. preamble and seven articles. Since its adoption, the Constitution. The essays were written in 1787 and Constitution has been amended (changed) 27 times. 1788 by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Three-fourths of the states (9 of the original 13) Madison under the pen name “Publius.” The essays were required to ratify (approve) the Constitution. explained why the state should ratify the Constitution. Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution Other newspapers outside New York also published on December 7, 1787. In 1788, New Hampshire was the essays as other states were deciding to ratify the the ninth state to ratify the Constitution. On March 4, Constitution. In 1788, the papers were published 1789, the Constitution took effect and Congress met together in a book called The Federalist . Today, people for the first time. George Washington was inaugurated still read the Federalist Papers to help them understand as president the same year. By 1790, all 13 states had the Constitution. ratified the Constitution. 17
21 tateS L bout the u nited S a earn one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous 68. What is own country and the world by voluntarily giving up for? power. The tradition of a president serving no more than two terms continued in the United States until • U.S. diplomat Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was elected to office four oldest member of the Constitutional Convention • times (1933–1945). The 22nd Amendment to the • first Postmaster General of the United States Constitution, passed in 1947, now limits presidents to writer of “Poor Richard’s Almanac” • two terms. • started the first free libraries B: 1800s Benjamin Franklin was one of the most influential What territory did the United States buy from 71. Founding Fathers of the United States. He was the France in 1803? oldest delegate to the Constitutional Convention and one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution. He was • the Louisiana Territory a printer, author, politician, diplomat, and inventor. Louisiana • By his mid-20s, he was an accomplished printer, and he began writing books and papers. Franklin’s The Louisiana Territory was a large area west of the . He most famous publication was Poor Richard’s Almanac Mississippi River. It was 828,000 square miles. In also organized America’s first library. Its members 1803, the United States bought the Louisiana Territory loaned books to one another. He was very active in from France for $15 million. The Louisiana Purchase colonial politics. He also visited England and France Treaty was signed in Paris on April 30, 1803. It was many times as a U.S. diplomat. In 1775, the Second the largest acquisition of land in American history. Continental Congress appointed Franklin the first Farmers could now ship their farm products down postmaster general. the Mississippi River without permission from other countries. This was important because the city of New 69. Who is the “Father of Our Country”? Orleans was a major shipping port. The Louisiana • (George) Washington Purchase doubled the size of the United States and expanded it westward. Meriwether Lewis and William George Washington is called the Father of Our Clark led an expedition to map the Louisiana Territory. Country. He was the first American president. Before that, he was a brave general who led the Continental 72. Name war fought by the United States in the one Army to victory over Great Britain during the 1800s. American Revolutionary War. After his victory over • War of 1812 the British Army, Washington retired to his farm in Mexican-American War • Virginia named Mount Vernon. He left retirement to Civil War • help create the new country’s system of government. He presided over the Constitutional Convention in Spanish-American War • Philadelphia in 1787. The United States fought four major wars in the Who was the first President?* 70. 1800s—the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War. • (George) Washington The War of 1812 lasted from 1812 through 1815. George Washington was the first president of the President James Madison asked Congress to declare United States. He began his first term in 1789. war on Great Britain. The British were stopping He served for a second term beginning in 1793. and seizing American ships. They were also arming Washington played an important role in forming American Indians to fight against the Americans. As the new nation and encouraged Americans to unite. a result of this war, the nation’s trade was disrupted He also helped define the American presidency. He voluntarily resigned from the presidency after two terms. He set an example for future leaders in his *If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, 18 you may study just the questions marked with an asterisk.
22 C T esT iviCs and the U.S. Capitol was burned. The Americans won the war. This was the first time after the Revolutionary War that America had to fight a foreign country to protect its independence. The Mexican-American War was a conflict between Mexico and America. The war began in Texas in 1846. President James Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor and his forces to occupy land claimed by both the United States and Mexico. President Polk believed westward expansion was important for the United Civil War soldiers with cannon and caisson, Fort C.F. Smith, Co. L, States to grow. When Mexico attacked, the United 2d New York Artillery. States went to war with Mexico. When the war ended Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-115177. in February 1848, the United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This treaty gave states. The Civil War was fought in many places Texas to the United States and extended the boundaries across the United States, but most battles were of the United States west to the Pacific Ocean. fought in the southern states. The first battle was at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. The first major In the Civil War, the people of the United States battle between the northern (Union) army and the fought against each other. Americans in the northern southern (Confederate) army took place at Bull Run, states fought to support the federal government in Manassas, Virginia, in July 1861. The Union (“the Union”) against Americans from the southern expected the war to end quickly. After its defeat at states. The southern states were trying to separate the Battle of Bull Run, the Union realized that the war themselves to form a new nation, the Confederate would be long and difficult. In 1865, the Civil War States of America (“the Confederacy”). The war lasted ended with the capture of the Confederate capital in from 1861 to 1865, when the Confederate army Richmond, Virginia. Confederate General Robert E. surrendered to the Union army. Many lives were lost Lee surrendered to Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant of the in the American Civil War. Union army at Appomattox Courthouse in central Virginia. Over the four-year period, more than 3 In 1898, the United States fought Spain in the Spanish- million Americans fought in the Civil War and more American War. The United States wanted to help than 600,000 people died. Cuba become independent from Spain because the United States had economic interests in Cuba. The problem that led to the Civil War. 74. Name one war began when a U.S. battleship was sunk near • slavery Cuba. Many Americans believed it was the Spanish economic reasons • who attacked the ship. For this reason, America went to war with Spain. By the end of 1898, the war was • states’ rights over with a victory for the United States. Cuba had its independence, and Guam, Puerto Rico, and the The Civil War began when 11 southern states voted Philippines became territories of the United States. to secede (separate) from the United States to form their own country, the Confederate States of America. Name the U.S. war between the North and the 73. These southern states believed that the federal South. government of the United States threatened their right to make their own decisions. They wanted states’ • the Civil War rights with each state making their own decisions the War between the States • about their government. If the national government contradicted the state, they did not want to follow the The American Civil War is also known as the War national government. The North and South had very between the States. It was a war between the people in the northern states and those in the southern 19
23 earn L u nited S tateS bout the a What did the Emancipation Proclamation do? 76. different economic systems. The South’s agriculture- based economy depended heavily on slave labor. • freed the slaves The southern states feared that the United States freed slaves in the Confederacy • government would end slavery. The southern states • freed slaves in the Confederate states believed that this would hurt their economic and • freed slaves in most Southern states political independence. The economy of the northern states was more industrial and did not depend on In 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, President slavery. The northern states fought to keep all the Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation United States together in “the Union.” They tried to Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation declared stop the southern states from separating into a new that slaves living in the southern or Confederate Confederate nation. There were also many people states were free. Many slaves joined the Union army. in the North who wanted to end slavery. These In 1865, the Civil War ended and the southern differences led to the American Civil War, which lasted slaves kept their right to be free. The Emancipation from 1861 until 1865. Proclamation led to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which ended slavery in all of the United 75. What was one important thing that Abraham States. Lincoln did?* freed the slaves (Emancipation Proclamation) • What did Susan B. Anthony do? 77. • saved (or preserved) the Union • fought for women’s rights • led the United States during the Civil War • fought for civil rights Abraham Lincoln was president of the United States Susan B. Anthony was born in Massachusetts on from 1861 to 1865, and led the nation during the February 15, 1820. She is known for campaigning for Civil War. Lincoln thought the separation of the the right of women to vote. She spoke out publicly southern (Confederate) states was unconstitutional, against slavery and for equal treatment of women in and he wanted to preserve the Union. In 1863, the workplace. In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the during the Civil War, he issued the Emancipation Constitution gave women the right to vote. Susan Proclamation. It declared that the slaves who lived B. Anthony died 14 years before the adoption of in the rebelling Confederate states were forever free. the 19th Amendment, but it was still widely known Lincoln is also famous for his “Gettysburg Address.” as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. In 1979, she He gave that speech at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in became the first woman whose image appeared on a November 1863. Earlier that year, at the Battle of circulating U.S. coin. The coin is called the Susan B. Gettysburg, the northern (Union) army had won Anthony dollar and is worth one dollar. a major battle to stop the Confederate army from invading the North. To honor the many who died in C: Recent American History and Other Important this battle, the governor of Pennsylvania established Historical Information the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg. Lincoln spoke at the dedication ceremony and praised those 78. Name war fought by the United States in the one who fought and died in battle. He asked those still 1900s.* living to rededicate themselves to saving the Union • World War I so that “government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” On April • World War II 14, 1865, soon after taking office for his second term, Korean War • Abraham Lincoln was killed by a southern supporter, • Vietnam War John Wilkes Booth, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, • (Persian) Gulf War D.C. The United States fought five wars in the 1900s: World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the (Persian) Gulf War. *If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, 20 you may study just the questions marked with an asterisk.
24 iviCs C T esT World War I began in 1914. It was a long and bloody struggle. The United States entered the war in 1917 after German submarines attacked British and U.S. ships, and the Germans contacted Mexico about starting a war against the United States. The war ended in 1918 when the Allied Powers (led by Britain, France, Italy, and the United States) defeated the Central Powers (led by Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire). The Treaty of Versailles officially ended the war in 1919. World War I was called “the war to end all wars.” World War II began in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. France and Great Britain then declared war on Germany. Germany had alliances with Italy and Japan, and together they formed the Axis powers. The United States entered World War II in 1941, after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The United States joined France, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union as the Allied powers and led the 1944 invasion of France known as D-Day. The liberation of Europe “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima,” photographed by Joe Rosenthal, from German power was completed by May 1945. Associated Press, 1945. Courtesy of the National Archives, 80-G-413988. World War II did not end until Japan surrendered in September 1945. Vietnam was under total communist control. Almost The Korean War began in 1950 when the North 60,000 American men and women in the military died Korean Army moved across the 38th parallel into or were missing as a result of the Vietnam War. South Korea. The 38th parallel was a boundary established after World War II. This boundary On August 2, 1990, the Persian Gulf War began separated the northern area of Korea, which was when Iraq invaded Kuwait. This invasion put the under communist influence, from the southern area Iraqi Army closer to Saudi Arabia and its oil reserves, of Korea, which was allied with the United States. which supplied much of the world with oil. The At the time, the United States was providing support United States and many other countries wanted to to establish a democratic South Korean government. drive the Iraqi Army out of Kuwait and prevent it from The United States provided military support to stop invading other nearby countries. In January 1991, the the advance of the North Korean Army. In the Korean United States led an international coalition of forces conflict, democratic governments directly confronted authorized by the United Nations into battle against communist governments. The fighting ended in 1953, the Iraqi Army. Within a month, the coalition had with the establishment of the countries of North Korea driven the Iraqis from Kuwait. The coalition declared a and South Korea. cease-fire on February 28, 1991. From 1959 to 1975, United States Armed Forces Who was President during World War I? 79. and the South Vietnamese Army fought against the • (Woodrow) Wilson North Vietnamese in the Vietnam War. The United States supported the democratic government in the Woodrow Wilson was the 28th president of the south of the country to help it resist pressure from the United States. President Wilson served two terms from communist north. The war ended in 1975 with the 1913 to 1921. During his first term, he was able to fall of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam. In 1976, keep the United States out of World War I. By 1917, Wilson knew this was no longer possible, and he asked 21
25 earn u nited S tateS the a L bout Congress to declare war on Germany. On January 8, Before he was President, Eisenhower was a 82. general. What war was he in? 1918, he made a speech to Congress outlining “Fourteen Points” that justified the war and called • World War II for a plan to maintain peace after the war. President Wilson said, “We entered this war because violations Before becoming the 34th president of the United of right had occurred which touched us to the quick States in 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower served as a and made the life of our own people impossible unless major general in World War II. As commander of they were corrected and the world secure once for all U.S. forces and supreme commander of the Allies against their recurrence.” The war ended that year and in Europe, he led the successful D-Day invasion of Wilson traveled to Paris to work out the details of the Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944. In 1952, he surrender by Germany. retired from active service in the military. He was elected president of the United States later that year. Who was President during the Great Depression 80. As president, he established the interstate highway and World War II? system and in 1953, the Department of Health, (Franklin) Roosevelt Education, and Welfare (now known as Health and • Human Services) was created. He oversaw the end of the Korean War. Eisenhower left the White House in Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was president of the United States from 1933 until 1945. He was elected 1961, after serving two terms as president. during the Great Depression, which was a period of During the Cold War, what was the main 83. economic crisis after the stock market crash of 1929. concern of the United States? His program for handling the crisis was called “the New Deal.” It included programs to create jobs and Communism • provided benefits and financial security for workers across the country. Under his leadership, the Social The main concern of the United States during the Cold Security Administration (SSA) was established in War was the spread of communism. The Soviet Union 1935. Roosevelt led the nation into World War II after (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR) was a Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. He powerful nation that operated under the principles of gave the country a sense of hope and strength during a communism. The United States and its allies believed time of great struggle. Roosevelt was elected to office that a democratic government and a capitalist economy four times. He died in 1945, early in his fourth term were the best ways to preserve individual rights and as president. His wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, was a human freedoms. The United States and its allies feared the rights leader throughout her lifetime. expansion of communism to countries outside the Soviet Union. The Cold War began shortly after the 81. Who did the United States fight in end of World War II and lasted for more than 40 World War II? years. It ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990, Japan, Germany, and Italy • and the breakup of the USSR in 1991. The Japanese bombed U.S. naval bases in a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, What movement tried to end racial 84. 1941. The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, discrimination? as commander in chief of the military, obtained an civil rights (movement) • official declaration of war from Congress. Japan’s partners in the Axis, Italy and Germany, then declared The modern civil rights movement in the United war on the United States. The Allies fought against the States began in 1954 when the Supreme Court German Nazis, the Italian Fascists, and Japan’s military ruled that racial segregation in public schools empire. This was truly a world war, with battles was unconstitutional. The goal of the civil rights fought in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Ocean. movement was to end racial discrimination against *If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, 22 you may study just the questions marked with an asterisk.
26 C esT T iviCs African Americans and to gain full and equal rights for Americans of all races. Using nonviolent strategies such as bus boycotts, sit-ins, and marches, people came together to demand social change. As a result, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Civil Rights Act made segregation in public facilities and racial discrimination in employment and education illegal. The law protects African Americans, women, and others from discrimination. The Voting Rights Act banned literacy tests and other special requirements that had been used to stop African Americans from registering to vote. American Indian woman and her baby in 1899. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-94927. 85. What did Martin Luther King, Jr. do?* fought for civil rights • American Indian tribe in the one 87. Name • worked for equality for all Americans United States. [USCIS Officers will be supplied with a list of federally Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister and recognized American Indian tribes.] civil rights leader. He worked hard to make America Cheyenne • • Cherokee a more fair, tolerant, and equal nation. He was the • Arawak • Navajo main leader of the civil rights movement of the Shawnee • Sioux • 1950s and 1960s. Because of this movement, civil Mohegan • • Chippewa rights laws were passed to protect voting rights and end racial segregation. King believed in the ideals of • Huron • Choctaw the Declaration of Independence—that every citizen Oneida • • Pueblo deserves America’s promise of equality and justice. In • Lakota • Apache 1963, King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” Crow Iroquois • • speech, which imagines an America in which people of all races exist together equally. He was only 35 • Creek • Teton years old when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in • Hopi • Blackfeet 1964 for his civil rights work. King was killed on Seminole • Inuit • April 4, 1968. American Indians lived in North America for What major event happened on September 11, 86. thousands of years before the European settlers arrived. 2001, in the United States? Today there are more than 500 federally recognized • Terrorists attacked the United States. tribes in the United States. Each tribe has its own social and political system. American Indian cultures On September 11, 2001, four airplanes flying out are different from one tribe to another, with different of U.S. airports were taken over by terrorists from languages, beliefs, stories, music, and foods. Earlier in the Al-Qaeda network of Islamic extremists. Two their history, some tribes settled in villages and farmed of the planes crashed into the World Trade Center’s the land for food. Other tribes moved frequently as Twin Towers in New York City, destroying both they hunted and gathered food and resources. The buildings. One of the planes crashed into the Pentagon federal government signed treaties with American in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth plane, originally Indian tribes to move the tribes to reservations. These aimed at Washington, D.C., crashed in a field in reservations are recognized as domestic, dependent Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people died in these nations. attacks, most of them civilians. This was the worst attack on American soil in the history of the nation. 23
27 nited tateS L earn a bout the u S INTEGRATED CIVICS An understanding of America’s geography, symbols, and holidays is important. They provide background and more meaning to historical events and other landmark moments in U.S. history. The following section offers short lessons on our country’s geography, national symbols, and national holidays. The geography of the United States is unusual because of the size of the country and the fact that it is bordered by two oceans that create natural boundaries to the east and west. Through visual symbols such as our flag and the Statue of Liberty, the values and history of the United States are often expressed. Finally, you will also learn about our national holidays and why we celebrate them. Most of our holidays honor people who have contributed to our history and to the development of our nation. By learning this information, you will develop a deeper understanding of the United States and its geographical boundaries, principles, and freedoms. explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the ocean in A: Geography 1514 when he crossed the Isthmus of Panama. Later, Ferdinand Magellan sailed across the Pacific as he 88. Name one of the two longest rivers in the United traveled around the Earth in search of spices. “Pacific” States. means “peaceful.” Magellan named the Pacific Ocean • Missouri (River) the “peaceful sea,” because there were no storms on Mississippi (River) • his trip from Spain to the spice world. The U.S. states that border the Pacific Ocean are Alaska, Washington, The Mississippi River is one of America’s longest Oregon, California, and Hawaii. rivers. It runs through 10 U.S. states. The Mississippi River was used by American Indians for trade, food, What ocean is on the East Coast of the United 90. and water before Europeans came to America. It States? is nicknamed the “Father of Waters.” Today, the Atlantic (Ocean) • Mississippi River is a major shipping route and a source of drinking water for millions of people. The Atlantic Ocean is on the East Coast of the United The Missouri River is also one of the longest rivers States. The ocean was named after the giant Atlas in the United States. The Missouri River is actually from Greek mythology. It is the second largest ocean longer than the Mississippi River. It starts in Montana in the world. The Atlantic Ocean is a major sea route and flows into the Mississippi River. In 1673, the for ships. It is one of the most frequently traveled French explorers Jolliet and Marquette were the first oceans in the world. The Atlantic Ocean is also a Europeans to find the Missouri River. It is nicknamed source of many natural resources. The Atlantic Ocean “Big Muddy” because of its high silt content. was formed by the separation of the North American and European continents millions of years ago. The What ocean is on the West Coast of the United 89. ocean covers about one-fifth of the Earth’s surface. States? In the middle of the ocean is the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Pacific (Ocean) • an immense underwater mountain range that extends the length of the Atlantic and is a source of volcanic The Pacific Ocean is on the West Coast of the United activity. The U.S. states that border the Atlantic Ocean States. It is the largest ocean on Earth and covers are Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, one-third of the Earth’s surface. The Pacific Ocean is Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New important to the U.S. economy because of its many Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South natural resources such as fish. Europeans first learned Carolina, and Virginia. about the Pacific Ocean in the 16th century. Spanish *If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, 24 you may study just the questions marked with an asterisk.
28 C iviCs esT T one U.S. territory. 91. Name Puerto Rico • • U.S. Virgin Islands • American Samoa • Northern Mariana Islands • Guam There are five major U.S. territories: American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A U.S. territory is a partially self-governing piece of land under the authority of the U.S. government. U.S. territories are not states, Old Spanish Bridge in Umatac, Guam. but they do have representation in Congress. Each Courtesy of the Office of U.S. Representative Madeleine Z. Bordallo. territory is allowed to send a delegate to the House of Representatives. The people who live in American state that borders Mexico. 93. Name one Samoa are considered U.S. nationals; the people in the California • other four territories are U.S. citizens. Citizens of the Arizona • territories can vote in primary elections for president, New Mexico • but they cannot vote in the general elections for president. Texas • one state that borders Canada. 92. Name The border between the United States and Mexico is about 1,900 miles long and spans four U.S. states— Minnesota • Maine • Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. The • North Dakota New Hampshire • United States established the border with Mexico Montana Vermont • • after the Mexican-American War and the Gadsden • Idaho New York • Purchase in 1853. The Gadsden Purchase helped the United States get the land it needed to expand the • Washington • Pennsylvania southern railroad. The United States bought this land Ohio • • Alaska for $10 million. The land bought through the Gadsden Michigan • Purchase is now part of the states of Arizona and New Mexico. The U.S. border with Mexico is one of the The northern border of the United States stretches busiest international borders in the world. more than 5,000 miles from Maine in the East to Alaska in the West. There are 13 states on the border 94. What is the capital of the United States?* with Canada. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 established • Washington, D.C. the official boundary between Canada and the United States after the Revolutionary War. Since that time, When the Constitution established our nation in 1789, there have been land disputes, but they have been the capital of the United States was in New York City. resolved through treaties. The International Boundary Congress soon began discussing the location of a Commission, which is headed by two commissioners, permanent capital city. In Congress, representatives one American and one Canadian, is responsible for of northern states argued with representatives of maintaining the boundary. southern states. Each side wanted the capital to be in its own region. As part of the Compromise of 1790, the capital would be located in the South. In return, the North did not have to pay the debt it owed from the Revolutionary War. George Washington 25
29 S L the u nited tateS earn bout a Why does the flag have 50 stars?* 97. chose a location for the capital along the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia. As part of the because there is one star for each state • compromise, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, became the because each star represents a state • temporary new location for the capital. In 1800, after • because there are 50 states 10 years, the capital was moved to its current location of Washington, D.C. Each star on the flag represents a state. This is why the number of stars has changed over the years from 13 Where is the Statue of Liberty?* 95. to 50. The number of stars reached 50 in 1959, when New York (Harbor) • Hawaii joined the United States as the 50th state. In Liberty Island • 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed the [Also acceptable are New Jersey, near New York City, and first Flag Act, stating, “Resolved, That the flag of the on the Hudson (River).] United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a The Statue of Liberty is on Liberty Island, a 12-acre blue field, representing a new Constellation.” island in the New York harbor. France gave the statue to the United States as a gift of friendship. French artist What is the name of the national anthem? 98. Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi made the statue. It shows The Star-Spangled Banner • a woman escaping the chains of tyranny and holding a torch symbolizing liberty. The Statue of Liberty was During the War of 1812, British soldiers invaded dedicated on October 28, 1886, 110 years after the the United States. On the night of September 13, signing of the Declaration of Independence. President 1814, British warships bombed Fort McHenry. This Grover Cleveland accepted the gift for the American fort protected the city of Baltimore, Maryland. An people. The Statue of Liberty is a well-known symbol American named Francis Scott Key watched the of the United States and of freedom and democracy. bombing and thought that the fort would fall. As the The Statue of Liberty became a symbol of immigration sun rose the next morning, Key looked toward the because it was located next to Ellis Island, which was fort. He saw that the flag above the fort was still flying. the first entry point for many immigrants during the This let him know that the British had not defeated great waves of immigration. The Statue of Liberty was the Americans. Key immediately wrote the words the first thing new immigrants saw as they approached to a poem he called the “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” New York harbor. The words of the poem became “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Congress passed a law in 1931 naming “The B: Symbols Star-Spangled Banner” the official national anthem. Here are the words to the first verse of the national 96. Why does the flag have 13 stripes? anthem: because there were 13 original colonies • • The Star-Spangled Banner because the stripes represent the original colonies Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light, There are 13 stripes on the flag because there were 13 original colonies. We call the American flag “the What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? Stars and Stripes.” For 18 years after the United States Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight; became an independent country, the flag had only 13 stripes. In 1794, Kentucky and Vermont joined the O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming. United States, and two stripes were added to the flag. In 1818, Congress decided that the number of stripes And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, on the flag should always be 13. This would honor Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. the original states that were colonies of Great Britain before America’s independence. Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? *If you are 65 or older and have been a permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, 26 you may study just the questions marked with an asterisk.
30 C esT T iviCs C: Holidays 99. When do we celebrate Independence Day?* July 4 • In the United States, we celebrate Independence Day on July 4 to mark the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. After signing the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote to his wife, “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.” The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, explained why the colonies had decided to separate from Great Britain. Americans celebrate the Fourth of July as the birthday of America, with parades, fireworks, patriotic songs, and readings of the Declaration of Independence. In “The Star-Spangled Banner,” by Percy Moran, Francis Scott Key reaches toward the flag flying over Fort McHenry. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USZC4-6200. 100. Name two national U.S. holidays. • New Year’s Day • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Presidents’ Day • Memorial Day • Independence Day • • Labor Day • Columbus Day • Veterans Day Thanksgiving • • Christmas Many Americans celebrate national or federal holidays. These holidays often honor people or events in our American heritage. These holidays are “national” in a legal sense only for federal institutions and in the District of Columbia. Typically, federal offices are closed on these holidays. Each state can decide whether or not to celebrate the holiday. Businesses, schools, and commercial establishments may choose whether or not to close on these days. Since 1971, federal holidays are observed on Mondays except for New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 27
31 S earn bout the u nited a tate S L English Test There are three components of the English test: speaking, reading, and writing. According to the law, an applicant must demonstrate: “an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write, and speak...simple words and phrases...in This means that to be eligible for naturalization, you must be able to read, write, ordinary usage in the English language...” and speak basic English. You are required to pass each of the three components of the English test with the exception of applicants who qualify as: 50 years of age or older AND a permanent resident for at least 20 years at the time of filing the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization; 55 years of age or older AND a permanent resident for at least 15 years at the time of filing the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization; or, any person who is unable to demonstrate an understanding of English because of a medically determinable physical and/or medical impairment as determined by an approved Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions. Speaking Portion Your ability to speak English will be determined by the USCIS Officer from your answers to questions normally asked during the eligibility interview on the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. Reading Portion Each reading test administered to you will contain no more than three (3) sentences. You must read one (1) out of three (3) sentences correctly to demonstrate an ability to read in English. To help you prepare, USCIS released the reading vocabulary list below containing all the words found in the English reading portion of the naturalization test. The content focuses on civics and history topics. QUESTION WORDS PLACES OTHER (FUNCTION) PEOPLE Abraham Lincoln • How America • • • a • • United States George Washington What • • for • When U.S. here • • CIVICS • in Where • HOLIDAYS • American flag of Who • • Bill of Rights Presidents’ Day • • • • on Why Memorial Day capital • • • the • Flag Day • citizen VERBS to • • • city can Independence Day • • we • come Labor Day • • Congress country • do/does Columbus Day • • OTHER (CONTENT) • • • Thanksgiving Father of Our Country • elects colors have/has dollar bill • • government • • is/are/was/be • first President • largest lives/lived • right • • • Senators many • meet • state/states • name • most • • • White House north • pay • vote one • want • • people • second south • 28
32 E s T E nglish T Writing Portion Each writing test administered to you will contain no more than three (3) sentences. You must write one (1) out of three (3) sentences correctly in order to demonstrate an ability to write in English. To help you prepare, USCIS released the writing vocabulary list below containing all the words found in the English writing portion of the naturalization test. The content focuses on civics and history topics. PLACES HOLIDAYS OTHER (FUNCTION) PEOPLE • • • Presidents’ Day Adams and • Alaska • during California • • • Lincoln Memorial Day Canada • for • Flag Day • • Washington • Independence Day • here Delaware • CIVICS in Mexico • • • Labor Day • American Indians • New York City • Columbus Day • of capital • • • on • Thanksgiving United States citizens • • • Washington the VERBS Civil War • to • Washington, D.C. • • Congress • can • we come • Father of Our Country • MONTHS OTHER (CONTENT) • February flag elect • • have/has blue • • • May • free June • dollar bill • freedom of speech • • is/was/be President • • fifty/50 lives/lived July • • • September • right • meets first • pay • October Senators • • • largest state/states • November • vote • • most • • want White House • north • one • one hundred/100 people • • red • second • south • taxes • white To find this and other educational materials for permanent residents, please visit uscis.gov/citizenship . For more information on the U.S. naturalization test, please visit uscis.gov/citizenshiptest . Note: On the naturalization test, some answers may change because of elections or appointments. As you study for the test, make sure you know the most current answers to these questions. For more uscis.gov/citizenship/testupdates . information, please visit 29
D E A R T M E N T O F D E F E N S E P N A L O F W A R M A W U A L J U N E 2 0 1 5 O F F I C E O F G E N ER A L C O U N S E L D P A R T M E N T E O F D E F E N S EMore info »