History Guild General History Quiz 143
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The stories behind the questions
1. Which country operated the Mexico-Manila galleon trade from the 16th to the 19th centuries?
Spain – The Manila galleons sailed to the Americas, mostly bringing cargoes of Chinese produced luxury goods and spices, which were purchased with New World silver.
2. Military forces from which country overthrew the Khmer Rouge in 1979?
Vietnam – During the Vietnam War, Vietnamese and Cambodian communists had formed an alliance to fight U.S.-backed governments in their respective countries. With the removal of the common enemy of the USA, previous tensions between the countries came to the surface. There were numerous skirmishes between the two countries, culminating in the Vietnamese invasion. This led to the Sino-Vietnamese war, which attempted to pressure the Vietnamese into withdrawing. The Vietnamese resisted this pressure, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge and installing a Vietnamese puppet government which ruled until 1989. This action ended the Cambodian Genocide, which had seen a quarter of all Cambodians die between 1975 and 1978.
3. Who first planted grape vines in the Champagne region?
Romans – First planting grapes in the region in the 5th century, the region started to produce a light, fruity, red wine. The region began producing sparking wine in the 17th century, with Ruinart being the oldest champagne house that is still in operation, first producing the wine in 1729.
4. How tall was the Great Pyramid at Giza when it was first built?
146m – Constructed in 2570 BCE, the Great Pyramid at Giza was the tallest building in the world for over 3,800 years, when it was surpassed by Lincoln Cathedral in 1311.
5. Pictured in Biak, northern Papua, what type of tank is this?
Type 95 Ha-Go – A lightly armed and armoured tank, it was first produced in 1934. It was only effective against infantry who were unsupported by anti-tank weapons or artillery and couldn’t fight opposing tanks. It could be disabled by concentrated heavy machine gun fire.
6. What year did Fidel Castro take power in Cuba?
1959 – Castro and his forces overthrew the government of General Fulgencio Batista, who had ruled Cuba since 1952 and was backed by the USA.
7. Where did the Austronesian peoples originate?
Taiwan – Read more about the incredible process by which Austronesian people travelled as far as the mid Pacific Ocean to Madagascar.
8. How many German spies in WW2 Britain successfully completed their missions?
0 – The German intelligence operations in Britain in WW2 stand out as one of the most disastrous in modern history.
9. In early 20th century USA where was ‘Black Wall Street’?
Tulsa – The Greenwood neighbourhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma was a hub for black business and wealth from 1906 to 1921. In 1921 an angry white mob fell on Tulsa and attacked it violently. Many of the police and National Guard who were sent in to keep order also took part in the violence and destruction. More than 1,000 buildings were burned and hundreds of residents killed.
10. In 2014 which country imprisoned Australian Journalist Peter Greste?
Egypt – Investigative Journalist Peter Greste was arrested by the Egyptian authorities and charged with news reporting that was “damaging to national security”. They subsequently convicted him of this crime and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment. This was widely condemned across the world. Greste was imprisoned for over a year before he was deported to Australia.