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American Civil War: How Much Do You Really Know?
The American Civil War undoubtedly is one of the most pivotal, if not the pivotal, points in American history. As the late author Shelby Foote said in Ken Burn's Civil War documentary, "Any understanding of this nation has to be based, and I mean really based, on an understanding of the Civil War. I believe that firmly. It defined us. The Revolution did what it did. Our involvement in European wars, beginning with the First World War, did what it did. But the Civil War defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things. And it is very necessary, if you are going to understand the American character in the twentieth century, to learn about this enormous catastrophe of the mid-nineteenth century. It was the crossroads of our being, and it was a hell of a crossroads."
A current survey shows that the average high school curriculum covers more foreign history than US history and that the American Civil War, for most cases, is left with a very brief overview that basically involves slavery and the assassination of President Lincoln. Nothing about the facts that civil war almost erupted during the Andrew Jackson presidency, the Missouri Compromise, "Bleeding Kansas", the Dred Scott case or any of the battles other than a mention of Gettysburg. Most college students have no understanding of the Civil War - many don't even know who fought.in the war - let alone it's importance.
Below is a brief quiz to test your knowledge of the American Civil War. It is by no means inclusive, but also presents information that should be taught in high school and college and thus should be general knowledge of the Civil War. Good Luck!