As American's rush out to buy $7 billion dollars worth of Coors Light, hamburgers and hot dogs to celebrate the Fourth of July, it seems that roughly one-quarter of them should probably do a quick google search to figure out what exactly they're celebrating. According to a new Marist Poll released yesterday, nearly 25% of Americans can't identify which country the U.S. declared its independence from in 1776. Moreover, a shocking number of those surveyed attributed the holiday to a split with Mexico. Per the Marist Poll:
A notable proportion of Americans may need to brush up on their U.S. history. While 77% of residents nationally correctly cite Great Britain as the country from which the United States declared its independence, nearly one in four, 23%, either mention another country, 8%, or are unsure, 15%. These findings have changed little from when this question was last reported in 2011.
“Curious about other countries that get mentioned?” asks Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Thirteen other countries get tabbed as the country from which the United States gained its independence. A scattering of people mention France, Mexico, and Germany among the longer list of countries. At least one person surveyed mentioned Afghanistan, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Panama, or Russia.”
Meanwhile, ignorance of historical events is a disease that seemingly afflicts Democrats in much greater numbers than Republicans and/or Independents.
Not surprisingly, even fewer Americans, 69%, managed to correctly name the year that the U.S. declared its independence.
But, if there is one silver lining...the nation seems to be showing some steady, albeit marginal, progress.
Perhaps demonstration of these basic facts should be required at polling stations before ballots are passed out...