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Independence Day

(CNN) – As Americans get ready to spend a long weekend marking this country's independence 234 years ago, a new poll suggests more than 1 in 4 Americans don't know which country America declared its independence from.

According to a new survey from Marist College, 26 percent failed to correctly identify Great Britain as the country the United States fought an eight-year war with to gain its independence.

That percentage of Americans includes the 20 percent who were "unsure" and the six percent who thought the U.S. fought a revolution against another country. Among the countries mentioned were France, China, Japan, Mexico, and Spain, according to the poll.

The poll's internals show younger Americans know least about this country's founding: only 60 percent of 18-29 year-olds could correctly name Great Britain. Men also had a considerable 81-67 percent advantage over women in naming the correct country.

The poll surveyed 1,004 Americans between June 17 and 24. It carries a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Don't know much about history?



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
3rd Jul, 2010 09:59 (UTC)
Wow that's... actually rather depressing.
3rd Jul, 2010 11:22 (UTC)
While "Great Britain" is technically correct, I and I suspect most kids my age would have said "England" because that's how I remember it being was written up in my history books when I was a kid (1970's).

Since the poll writeup does not include the wording of the question asked (big red flag suggesting the pollster is not very good or trustworthy), we can't know if "England" was accepted as a correct answer to the question or not.
3rd Jul, 2010 23:37 (UTC)
I would have expected so but they didn't mention it. There was a brief exchange here as to what the precise title of that country was in 1776. It was Great Britain, as per the Acts of Union of 1707. This requires a bit more British history; but not nearly as much as understanding the Glorious Revolution and the Right to Bear Arms.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )