Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Thursday Quiz XLVIII

The Thursday Quiz!

The Thursday Quiz is an "Is It or Isn't It" game. From the list of twelve items, your job is to determine whether each IS or ISN'T a true example of the week's category.

Remember always the enduring lessons of the past:

No research, Googling, Wikiing, or use of reference books. The Thursday Quiz is a POP quiz. Violators will be doomed to repeat history.
This Week's Category is one of those long, rambling, wordy ones!

Real and Bogus in American History II

Which ones actually happened? And which ones only kind of seem like they might have happened, but really didn't?

1. The Barbary Wars (1801-15): The first overseas military operations of the newly independent United States are against the Berber peoples of northwestern Africa. Several of the Berber rulers promote piracy in and around the western Mediterranean; the American economy, heavily dependent on transatlantic trade, is threatened by this organized threat to shipping. The successful campaign is important in establishing the form and role of the American military.

2. Republic of Texas (1836-1845): In Mexico's Northeasternmost province, immigrants from the American South grow resentful of having to live under Mexican laws, especially the ones against slaveholding, and are disgusted by the overtly corrupt administration of dictator Santa Anna. After a successful war of independence, Texas functions as an independent country for nine years before accepting annexation by the United States.

3. Benjamin Harrison! (1840s): The tenth President is the first Vice-President to assume the office at the death of his predecessor (John Tyler). Constantly at odds with Congress -- he is even expelled from his own party (the Whigs) -- Harrison consequently has a hard time enacting much of a legacy. However, the states of Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma are added to the Union during his tenure.

4. 54'40" or Fight (1840s): As the United States begins to settle the western half of North America, territorial tensions with Great Britain heat up. The British claim to all lands north of the Columbia River would put most of today's Washington state into their Canadian colony. However, the American insistence on a border at 54 degrees, 40 minutes North -- and the threat of military action -- won the day, and that line of latitude forms the modern international boundary.

5. Battle of Borodino (1846): After being humiliated by his inability to penetrate Mexican defenses during the first few months of the Mexican-American war, General Zachary Taylor finally ambushes five divisions attempting to retreat over the Borodino River. The resulting rout effectively puts an end to organized Mexican resistance.

6. Impeachment of Andrew Johnson (1869): Taking the Presidency at the end of the Civil War, Johnson pursued what was considered a "radical" policy of creating social, economic, and political opportunities for the newly freed Southern slaves. Conservative forces in the Senate put a stop to this through the impeachment process. He remains the only American president to ever have been unwillingly forced from office (Richard Nixon having resigned before he could be kicked out).

7. The Spanish-American War (1898): The United States, supporting an independence movement in Cuba and spurred by the mysterious (but likely coincidental) explosion of its biggest warship in Havana Harbor, launches naval attacks on Spanish colonies worldwide. The war lasts four months, and ends with the U.S. holding Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, and with Cuba as a nominally independent client state. By thoroughly defeating a major European country, the United States gains recognition as an ascending world power.

8. Eugene V. Debs runs for President (1900-1920): A former state Representative from Indiana, labor leader Eugene Debs became somewhat against his will the leading political figure of the Socialist movement in the United States. While never a serious contender for the White House, he was nevertheless more than a fringe phenomenon. In 1912, he polled 6% of the popular vote, and in 1920, despite having been jailed for espousing un-American ideas, he still managed to muster 3.4% of the vote from his cell.

9. The Teapot Dome Scandal (1920s): Warren Harding's Secretary of the Interior leases public oil reserves, which are supposed to be an emergency supply for the Navy, to oil industry bigwigs in return for a portfolio of gifts, cash, and no-interest loans. A Congressional inquiry into the matter is harassed, and its members' offices are bugged and ransacked by the pre-FBI Bureau of Investigation. The resulting scandal destroys Harding's reputation and damages American confidence in government.

10. Passage of the 20th Amendment (1930): Even after the horrors of child labor were exposed by the muckrakers of the late 19th Century, it took more than 30 more years before a Constitutional Amendment limiting the practice was finally passed. Opposed by both farming and industrial interests, the 20th Amendment's prohibition of heavy labor for children under thirteen was largely passed through the efforts of women's groups and religious organizations.

11. Passage of the 25th Amendment (1976): After years of political resistance, the so-called "Equal Rights Amendment" finally becomes law after being ratified by the state of Iowa. Requiring equal treatment under the law for men and women, the 25th Amendment creates major changes in government, in law, and in many other aspects of American society throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s.

12. Passage of the 27th Amendment (1992): This simple prohibition on Congress voting itself a pay increase was originally proposed as part of the Bill of Rights in 1789, but was not ratified with the others. Dug up in the late 1970s, it was subsequently approved by thirty additional states; when added to the eight states that had ratified it more than a century earlier, this was enough to reach the 3/4 mark required to pass a Constitutional Amendment.

Submit your answers in the comments.

(The first Thursday Quiz on Famous Poems was TQXX. Missy took the Gold.)


Cartophiliac said...

1. Is, from the shores of Tripoli!
2. Is. Maybe they should have stayed that way...
3. Isn't. Tyler succeeded Benjamin Harrison's grandfather, Tippicanoe and Tyler Too!
4. Isn't. Thanks to the Webster Ashburton Treaty, the 49th parallel keeps the peace.
5. Isn't. Borodino was one of Napoleon's battles...
6. Isn't. Johnson WAS impeached, but aquitted.
7. Is. It was a "splendid little war."
8. Is. An American Hero of the working class.
9. Is. Fortunately, Harding died in office before he could screw up any further.
10. Isn't. Children are not even mentioned in the Constitution.
11. Isn't. Phyllis Schlaffly, may you rest uncomfortably.
12. Is! The revival of the amendment was some guy's class project in school!

d said...

1y 2n 3y 4n 5n 6n 7y 8sure just 'cause i like a good underdog story 9y 10y 11n 12y

mhwitt said...

True: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9
False: 4, 6, 10, 11, 12

On number 7, all seems true except perhaps for the notion that Spain is still "a major European country" by 1898. But since "major" does not exactly mean "among the most powerful and influential," I'm going with "true."

Feeling especially unsure about 2, 3 and 5.

mhwitt said...

Well, I did more poorly than a history major ought to admit! I am certain that the quiz master's 88 fluid ounces or more of Diet Cola every day is somehow to blame.

mhwitt said...

And it came down to the final vote, but Andrew Johnson was not impeached. Bill Clinton was the first chief executive to be impeached.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

I used to know all this stuff when I was history major in college. Now, all the space needed for that stuff has been filled with stuff like all the guitar players in Ozzy Osbourne's bands through out the years. It's sad, really, because in my day I could have written you an essay about Eugene Debbs that would have brought a tear to your eye. Now, all my essay would be this: "Uh, the labor guy."

Cartophiliac said...

Sorry, mhwitt: wrong on both counts.

Johnson was "impeached", however the result of the impeachment trial was an aquittal.

Impeached does equal removed from office.

Clinton was also "impeached" and found "not guilty".

Cartophiliac said...

"Impeachment in the United States is an expressed power of the legislature which allows for formal charges to be brought against a civil officer of government for conduct committed in office. The actual trial on those charges, and subsequent removal of an official on conviction on those charges is separate from the act of impeachment itself: impeachment is analogous to indictment in regular court proceedings, trial by the other house is analogous to the trial before judge and jury in regular courts. Typically, the lower house of the legislature will impeach the official and the upper house will conduct the trial."

Nichim said...

1. True
2. True. Once I went to the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park. But I think it was just roller coasters.
3. False
4. True, and my favorite political slogan of all time.
5. False
6. True
7. True
8. True
9. True
10. False
11. False
12. True
If I did terribly, please don't tell my dad.

Rebel said...

I'm getting a strong sense of deja vu from this week's quiz, but here goes:

1 Hmmm... isn't, that sounds like something the British Navy would have taken care of.
2 Isn't... I don't think they were independent for that long, if at all.
3 Is
4 Is?
5 Isn't?
6 Is
7 Is
8 Sure why not
9 I know you've used this one before, and I knew I went & looked it up after the quiz, but I still can't remember what it was all about. I don't think it was about oil though. Isn't.
10 Is
11 Isn't... still not a law - but are you maybe talking about Title 9?
12 Hmm... I don't think so, I'm pretty sure Congress would never pass a law that says they couldn't give themselves a raise.

Anonymous said...

1 yes
2 yes
3 no
4 yes
5 no
6 yes
7 yes
8 no
9 yes
10 no
11 no
12 no

Elizabeth said...

The Thursday Guessing!

1. No.
2. Yes.
3. Yes.
4. Yes.
5. No.
6. No.
7. Yes.
8. Yes.
9. Yes.
10. No.
11. Yes.
12. No.

"History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in.... I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome." - Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Anonymous said...

1 / did
2 / did
3 / dint
4 / dint
5 / dint
6 / did
7 / did
8 / did
9 / did
10 / dint
11 / did
12 / dint

Anonymous said...

"Poetry, therefore, is a more philosophical and a higher theory than history; for poetry tends to express the universal, history the particular."


Michael5000 said...

Well, let's see here:
1. Barbary Wars = Sure. "Shores of Tripoli" and all that.

2. Texas = Yes.

3. Benjamin Harrison = No. He was much later. What's here is a description of John Tyler with a few details (esp. Oklahoma) falsified.

4. 54'40". No friggin' way. 54 40' is roughly the southern tip of the Alaskan Panhandle, way, way north of the main U.S./Canadian border.

5. Battle of Borodino. Nope. That's either a Napoleanic or a WWII battle.

6. Andrew Johnson. No. He really did take the Presidency at the end of the Civil War; everything else is pretty much the opposite of what happened.

7. Spanish-American War. Yep.

8. Debs. Yep.

9. Teapot Dome. Yep. Kind of a Watergate -50 years sorta dealie.

10. Child Labor Amendment. Nope. No such creature.

11. Equal Rights Amendment. Nope. No such creature. It fell, if memory serves, four states short.

12. Congressional Pay Raise Prohibition Amendment. Yep.

Michael5000 said...

Cartophiliac nailed the 48th running of the Thursday Quiz right out of the gate, with a 12/12 on the first entry submitted. The TQXLVIII Gold Star is his 10th Star, of which a whopping SIX are of Golden hue. Carto has more Gold Stars than any other Quiz contestent.

Nichim scores 10/12 to secure the Silver Star. It's a big day for Nichim -- she has completed her Star collection, the twelfth person to have assembled a Complete Set. Having so done, she enters the elite list of Quiz Legends.

d takes the Blue Star, his third and his seventh Star over all.

mhwitt and karmasatre matched d's score to take Green Stars; it's mhwitt's fourth Star overall and karma's 11th. Eleven is a lot of Stars, enough in fact to move karmasartre into a tie for fifth place on the all-time Star acquisition list.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone who dared this Quiz!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't remember half of what I used to know few years ago I guess I'm in need of refreashing my studies

d said...

apparently it really does pay to get in there early. especially if you don't know anything.

mhwitt said...

Cartophiliac is of course correct. I have been thoroughly impeached and convicted on my Andrew Jackson facts.

This reformed history major -- who graduated 19 years ago though it suddenly seems much longer ago than that -- needs a drink!