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Quiz about 15 Amendments You May Not Know
Quiz about 15 Amendments You May Not Know

15 Amendments You May Not Know Quiz


How well do you know the Amendments to the US Constitution? Not the first or fifteenth or twenty-first - the less well known Amendments where you probably know they're in the Constitution but not sure *where*.

A matching quiz by MariaVerde. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
MariaVerde
Time
3 mins
Type
Match Quiz
Quiz #
413,781
Updated
Sep 27 23
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
12 / 15
Plays
128
Last 3 plays: Guest 75 (0/15), Buddy1 (15/15), andymuenz (11/15).
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
QuestionsChoices
1. Prohibition of poll taxes  
  7th Amendment
2. Non-enumerated rights retained by the people  
  11th Amendment
3. Presidential Inauguration moved to January 20  
  3rd Amendment
4. Prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and excessive bail  
  8th Amendment
5. District of Columbia residents obtained the right to vote for President  
  27th Amendment
6. Involuntary quartering of troops  
  26th Amendment
7. Restricts the right of individuals to sue states in Federal Court  
  12th Amendment
8. Voting age lowered to 18  
  9th Amendment
9. Method of electing President and Vice President  
  10th Amendment
10. Presidential term limits  
  22nd Amendment
11. Federal Income Tax  
  16th Amendment
12. States rights/Federalism  
  20th Amendment
13. Representatives cannot increase their own pay   
  23rd Amendment
14. Direct election of Senators  
  17th Amendment
15. Right to jury trial in civil lawsuits  
  24th Amendment





Select each answer

1. Prohibition of poll taxes
2. Non-enumerated rights retained by the people
3. Presidential Inauguration moved to January 20
4. Prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and excessive bail
5. District of Columbia residents obtained the right to vote for President
6. Involuntary quartering of troops
7. Restricts the right of individuals to sue states in Federal Court
8. Voting age lowered to 18
9. Method of electing President and Vice President
10. Presidential term limits
11. Federal Income Tax
12. States rights/Federalism
13. Representatives cannot increase their own pay
14. Direct election of Senators
15. Right to jury trial in civil lawsuits

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Prohibition of poll taxes

Answer: 24th Amendment

"Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

After Reconstruction, southern states took action to disenfranchise African American votes, and one method was requiring a poll tax in order to vote. This was upheld by the 1937 case, Breedlove v. Suttles. Congress tried to outlaw poll taxes during the New Deal era but were unsuccessful. Poll taxes were repealed by the 24th Amendment which was proposed on August 27, 1962 and ratified on January 23, 1964, at which point five states (Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia), still had poll tax laws. The 1966 case Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections confirmed that poll taxes are unconstitutional.
2. Non-enumerated rights retained by the people

Answer: 9th Amendment

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

The 9th Amendment has generally been used to prevent the expansion of federal powers and is sometimes used in conjunction with other Amendments, such as the 14th, in judicial decisions. It is favored by those who consider themselves originalists, but not many cases have tuned on the 9th Amendment.
3. Presidential Inauguration moved to January 20

Answer: 20th Amendment

"Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Section 3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President-elect shall have died, the Vice President-elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President-elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President-elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President-elect nor a Vice President-elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Section 4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

Section 5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

Section 6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission."

A long Amendment for a fairly simple task. Until 1937, Presidents and the Congress were sworn in on March 4. In a time with slow travel it made sense but by the 20th century the long "lame duck" period had become both unnecessary and potentially problematic. The 20th Amendment was proposed on March 2, 1932 and ratified on January 23, 1923.
4. Prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and excessive bail

Answer: 8th Amendment

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

The 8th Amendment is similar to a clause in the 1689 English Bill of Rights. It has been used to limit but not completely outlaw the death penalty (the United States was one of 21 countries to carry out at least one execution in 2022) and prohibit some other physical punishments. The excessive bail clause applies both to pre-trial bail to ensure a defendant's appearance at trial and to excessive fines as post conviction punishment. Along with the rest of the Bill of Rights, it was adopted on December 15, 1791.
5. District of Columbia residents obtained the right to vote for President

Answer: 23rd Amendment

"Section 1. The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

Until 1961, although residents of the District of Columbia are citizens of the US, they were unable to vote in Presidential elections. Enfranchising residents of the capital city was first suggested in the late 19th Century but the movement didn't catch on until the 1950s. The 23rd Amendment was proposed on June 16, 1960 and ratified on March 29, 1961, allowing DC residents to vote for President in 1964. As of the 2020 election, DC has three votes in the Electoral College and has a population greater than two states, Vermont and Wyoming. DC does not have full representation in Congress, with a non-voting Delegate rather than a Representative and no Senators (like other US Territories such as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).
6. Involuntary quartering of troops

Answer: 3rd Amendment

"No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

There's a reason why the 3rd Amendment is rarely discussed - troops usually have their own quarters (either a base or, in the past, camps). The Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights in reaction to the Quartering Act of 1774 anquartering troops was one of the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence. There is a 1982 case, Englbom v. Carey, which turns on the 3rd Amendment, though. It concerns National Guard members who were called in to replace striking prison guards.
7. Restricts the right of individuals to sue states in Federal Court

Answer: 11th Amendment

"The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State."

The 11th Amendment was written in reaction to the 1793 case Chisholm v. Georgia in which Alexander Chisholm, the executor of Robert Farquhar's estate, tried to enforce payment on a contract for goods which had not been paid before Farquhar's death. The Supreme Court gave the citizens the right to sue states in Federal Court and the Amendment codified that right. It was proposed on March 4, 1794 and ratified on February 7, 1797.
8. Voting age lowered to 18

Answer: 26th Amendment

"Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

"Old enough to fight - old enough to vote." Although the first proposals to lower the voting age to 18 started in the 1940s, it was the Vietnam War which led to a popular movement to lower the voting age because draftees were being sent to fight before they were legally old enough to vote. Despite complaints that 18-year-olds might not be mature enough to vote, the 26th Amendment was the fastest to pass, introduced on March 2, 1971 and ratified eight days later on March 10.
9. Method of electing President and Vice President

Answer: 12th Amendment

"The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;

The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;

The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.[a]

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States."

The 12th Amendment superseded Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 of the Constitution which governed the Electoral College's selection of the President and Vice President. Under the prior clause, the electors did not distinguish between Presidential and Vice Presidential votes and the runner-up became Vice President. With the rise of political parties, this led to the election of President/Vice President pairs who were at political odds, notably the 1796 election of John Adams as President and Thomas Jefferson as Vice President. The 12th Amendment was proposed on December 9, 1803 and ratified on June 15, 1804. Massachusetts voted to ratify the Amendment in 1961.
10. Presidential term limits

Answer: 22nd Amendment

"Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
Section 2. This Article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission to the states by the Congress."

Although it wasn't codified, most Presidents followed George Washington's example and never ran for a third term (Teddy Roosevelt, who ran on the Progressive ticket four years after serving nearly 8 years, was an exception) before Franklin Roosevelt won a third and then fourth term in 1940 and 1944. One can argue that it was wise to keep the same President in light of the Depression and WWII, but his poor health, leading to his death three months into his final term, was a drawback. In reaction to FDR's three-plus terms, the 22nd Amendment was introduced on March 12, 1947 and ratified on February 27, 1951.
11. Federal Income Tax

Answer: 16th Amendment

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

Likely everyone's least favorite Amendment (at least in April), the 16th Amendment allowed income taxes. There had been prior income taxes, including those instituted by the Revenue Act of 1861 (repealed in 1872), but previously most federal revenue came from tariffs. Those fell harder on the poor and the Progressive movement began to press for an income tax which would weigh more heavily on the affluent. A 1894 tariff law included an income tax provision but was struck down in the 1894 case Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and trust Company. The 16th Amendment was proposed on July 12 1909 and ratified on February 23, 1913.
12. States rights/Federalism

Answer: 10th Amendment

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

The 10th Amendment is the basis of Federalism (or state's rights) in the US Constitution. Anti-civil rights activists have used it, with varying degrees of success, to counter the 14th Amendment based actions to increase rights. Since the 1992 case New York v. United States, the 10th Amendment has prohibited the United States from forcing states to pass or enforce specific legislation.
13. Representatives cannot increase their own pay

Answer: 27th Amendment

"No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened."

The newest (as of 2023) Amendment was initially proposed in 1789 as part of the Bill of Rights but was not ratified (although 7 states ratified it by 1792 and Ohio in 1973). Nearly two centuries later, objections to Congressional pay raises revived interest in the Amendment and between 1978 and May 7, 1992 an additional 30 states ratified the Amendment, allowing it to be enacted.
14. Direct election of Senators

Answer: 17th Amendment

"The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution."

Until the 17th Amendment, Senators were selected by state legislatures according to Article I Section 3 of the Constitution. During the 19th Century this led to a sense that the Senate may be corruptible or that Senators may be more beholden to their political benefactors than the public. A 1866 Act of Congress instituted a two step process for approving Senators, but that led to deadlocks and empty states in several states. Direct election of Senators was first proposed in 1911 and the 17th Amendment was ratified on April 8, 1913.
15. Right to jury trial in civil lawsuits

Answer: 7th Amendment

"In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."

The 7th Amendment doesn't get a lot of attention because it's fairly straightforward and uncontroversial. Trial by jury had long been part of English common law, so including it in the Bill of Rights (and soon after setting the minimum jury size at 6 and amount in controversy at $20) led to relatively few judicial cases.
Source: Author MariaVerde

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