Sunday, July 4, 2010

That Whole Independence Thing

And as we celebrate America's birthday, let's keep in mind the details as to why we have a day off.
Every Fourth of July, Americans gather to celebrate the country's declaration of independence from ... um, what country was that again?
If you answered the above question with the word "England" or "Britain," you would be obviously correct. But a new Marist poll finds that more than a quarter -- 26 percent -- of Americans polled couldn't bring to mind the name of the country from whom the original 13 colonies gained independence.
Results were especially poor among the young: Of respondents aged 18 to 29, only 60 percent correctly identified Great Britain. A full one-third were unsure.
Maybe history class was too long ago. Or maybe, as the New York Daily News would have it, Americans are "pretty dumb."
Overall, 20 percent of the population answered "not sure" to the question, while six percent declared it to be a country other than Great Britain. "Among the countries mentioned are France, China, Japan, Mexico, and Spain," Marist reports.
Given the state of our economy, China may actually be a quasi-acceptable answer if we ever do get free of them.  But France?  Really?


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