Educate, Participate, Connect: Those are the three roles OVF wants to play with overseas voters. We're expanding on our Educational role with the Citizenship Challenge: a series of questions that test how much you -- and your expat friends and family -- know about our civic heritage. Could you pass the citizenship test asked of naturalized American citizens?
Question #1: What is the supreme law of the land?
Answer: The Constitution
Tell Me More: Article VI, Section 2 states:
2. This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The U.S. Constitution has endured longer than any other nation’s; it defines the fundamental rights of citizenship and all other laws passed within the U.S. must conform to it.
Delegates from 12 states – all excepting Rhode Island – wrote the Constitution at the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787.
Thirty-nine delegates signed the final document in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, thereby replacing the Articles of Confederation that had originally created the Union of the 13 former colonies.
All 13 states had ratified the Constitution by June 21, 1788.
The Constitution nearly never existed: the debate over equal vs. proportional representation – small states v. big states – nearly brought the Convention to a full stop. The compromise that saved the day was the creation of two legislative houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and 36 seats in the Senate will be contested in November 2010.
Did You Know? The First Congress added the Bill of Rights in 1791.
Did You Know? Thomas Jefferson was not at the Constitutional Convention nor did he sign the Constitution. He was in France representing the U.S. as a Minister: one of the first overseas citizens! (John Blair and James Madison, Jr. represented Virginia at the Convention.)
Citizenship Challenge questions are drawn from the civics portion of the Naturalization Test prepared by U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Services. Applicants for U.S. citizenship must pass an English proficiency test and respond correctly to at least six out of 10 questions taken from a list of 100 possibles.
Bonus Question: In the country where you’re living, what is the supreme law of the land?