Most Americans flunk basic citizenship test | Eastern North Carolina Now

The vast majority of the American electorate lacks basic knowledge of how their government works, according to a recent study conducted ahead of President's Day. 

More than 7 in 10 Americans failed a civic literacy quiz on topics like the three branches of government, the number of Supreme Court justices and other basic questions about how the U.S. government works, according to a new study published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

The survey polled 2,000 registered voters on basic questions about Americans civics and found only 25% say they are "very confident" they could explain how our system of government works, while one-third didn't know the three branches of the federal government, about half couldn't correctly identify Congress as the branch that creates laws or name the number of members in the House of Representatives. 

"As we approach our semiquincentennial in 2026, this report amounts to a five-alarm fire drill for the civic health of the nation," Hilary Crow, head of the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s The Civic Trust, said in a press release. "While Americans across backgrounds value civic participation in theory, we are sorely lacking in the basic knowledge that translates values into informed, engaged citizenship." 


"Put plainly, you can't fix what you don't understand," she added. "Without reversing these deficiencies in understanding how our government works, we are risking the long-term health of our civic culture and democracy itself."

Interestingly, over 75% of adults in the U.S. view political division in the country and government as a major problem, but only 19% report significant political tensions at their jobs. In addition, respondents indicated an openness to businesses playing a role in supporting citizenship, with nearly half in support of workplaces, not government bodies, taking the primary role in defusing ideological divides and educating citizens on civics. 

The survey findings also indicated most people hold positive views of large and small businesses, with 82% in agreement that businesses can play an "important role" in bringing people together, with 93% indicating they would react positively if companies publicly tried "improving our country." 

"As the bonds holding our civic culture together fray, places of work stand out as sanctuaries where Americans still connect across differences," Crow said. "The data speak clearly – people welcome employers’ help in ensuring politics don't infect these essential spaces." 

"With our social fabric strained, the business community is being called upon to be a thread that can knit us back together," Crow concluded.  


As a matter of the country's future, only 38% of respondents said they believe children today are prepared to fulfill their roles as informed, active citizens. Political commentator and podcast host Diane Canada, who helps suburban women become educated on topics and amplify their voices in politics, pointed to the American education system and the rise of Marxist ideology as a driving factor behind this trend. 

"If we compare the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, and the GenX'ers to the Millennials, and GenZ'ers, there are clear distinctions between their civic knowledge, which has also greatly affected overall patriotism, and added greatly to this division," she told Fox News Digital. 

"With an intentional agenda to win young minds to the ideology of Marxism through CRT and DEI type programming, it would only make sense that the undoing of civil education and patriotism would have to follow," she added. "In Marxism, the state must have full authority, which goes against everything our country was founded on, so this had to be a boiling of the frog approach. Many people will say that CRT isn't in schools, but it seems the last two generations all got the same memo. So, if it didn't come out of the schools, where did it come from?"


Canada said she believes the slow implementation of the Marxist agenda over the last 50 years is now manifesting in various ways, especially the civic knowledge of the American youth. 

"The dumbing down of our public education system and the introduction of useless degrees that spout knowledge, but lack wisdom, is on full display," she said. "Civic knowledge has been reduced to ideological differences rooted in pure emotion. Their tactics have been well-executed while the GenX'ers and Baby Boomers simply assumed that their kids would receive the same education they did. This is one tough wake up call."

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