1 in 4 Americans Don't Know Who We Fought for Independence

Poll shows some Americans need to brush up on the Revolutionary War

By Juan DeJesus
|  Monday, Jul 5, 2010  |  Updated 11:20 AM EDT
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Getty Images/Spencer Platt

NEW YORK - JULY 03: A woman looks at a view part of the Declaration of Independence, which is on view at the New York Public Library on July 3, 2009 in New York City. Written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 and announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, were now independent states. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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As grills across America fire up this weekend some Americans may want to crack open a history book instead of a cold beer.

A Marist poll finds that 26 percent of Americans don’t know whom the United States declared its independence from.

The 26 percent includes 6 percent that are unsure that the United States fought any war of independence at all. Other respondents gave a range of countries that included France, China, Mexico, Spain and Japan, according to the pollsters at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

For the record, it was Great Britain we broke away from.

The telephone poll which surveyed 1,004 Americans ages 18 and over. Callers were selected based on a list of telephone exchanges from throughout the nation.

The exchanges were selected to ensure that each region was represented in proportion to its population. In an effort to increase coverage, the land-line sample was supplemented by random dialing of cell phone numbers.

The results of the survey are statistically significant with a margin of error of 3 percent.

This news comes as the U.S. Citizenship and immigration Service held ceremonies for 150 candidates for citizenship on Ellis Island and naturalized more than 3,800 citizenship candidates in approximately 55 special ceremonies held across the United States and abroad.

“Independence Day reminds us all what it means to be an American,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas.

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