This is perhaps why many controversial political and societal movements and others gain so much traction. A shocking number of Americans don't know how our government works, can't name branches of government, and don't even know what's legal and what's not.

According to, a recent survey shows only 25% of Americans could name one of the three branches of government (the exective-President, judicial-Supreme Court, and legislative-Congress).

The Annenberg Public Policy Center spoke to 1,000 people and found the following remarkable information:

  • 37% couldn't name any rights granted by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, freedom to petition the government-to name a few)
  • Only 15% knew freedom of religion was protected
  • Only 3% knew the right to petition the government was protected.

The study went on to say that a number of other people in the study couldn't even name a single department in the U.S. Government, whether it be the Department of Defense, EPA, Education etc!

They went on to say this is "troubling," and it showed the need for more emphasis on civics education in schools.

Lack of knowledge and facts, said critics of the study, shows why numerous controversial political movements and protest groups are allowed to flourish despite often flirting with the law or it's principles.

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