History Guild General History Quiz 155
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History Quiz 155

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The stories behind the questions

1. What was the capital of Japan prior to 1868?

Kyoto – This became the seat of Japan’s imperial court in 794, where it remained until it was transferred to Tokyo in 1868.

2. Who wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

Lewis Carroll – One of the best-known works of Victorian English fiction, its narrative, structure, characters and imagery have had huge influence on popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre. The book has never been out of print and has been translated into at least 97 languages.

3. Who ruled Yugoslavia from 1944 to 1980?

Josip Broz Tito – During World War II Tito was the leader of the Yugoslav Partisans, often regarded as the most effective resistance movement in occupied Europe. After the war, he was the chief architect of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), serving as both prime minister and subsequently president. He established Yugoslavia as a communist country out of the Soviet orbit, rejecting Stalin’s attempts to control his country.

Here is an extract from one of his letters to Stalin “Stop sending people to kill me. We’ve already captured five of them, one of them with a bomb and another with a rifle… If you don’t stop sending killers, I’ll send one to Moscow, and I won’t have to send a second.”

4. In 1655 an English force captured Jamaica from which European power?

Spain – An English force led by Admiral William Penn was ordered to attack the Spanish posessions in the Carribbean by Oliver Cromwell. Jamaica remained a British colony until 1962.

5. Where was the Battle of Red Cliffs fought?

Yangtze River, China – The Battle of Red Cliffs, was a decisive naval battle in the winter of AD 208–209 at the end of the Han dynasty. The battle was fought between the allied forces of the southern warlords Sun Quan, Liu Bei, and Liu Qi against the numerically-superior forces of the northern warlord Cao Cao.

The southern warlords prevailed, giving them control of the Yangtze. The battle has been called the largest naval battle in history in terms of the numbers involved, although this is far from certain given the sources available.

6. Where was Catherine the Great born?

Stettin, Germany – Catherine II of Russia reigned Russia from 1762 until her death in 1796. Born Sophia Augusta Fredericka to Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, and Princess Johanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp in Stettin, Pomerania, her fate was decided after she was chosen to become wife of her second cousin, the prospective tsar Peter of Holstein-Gottorp (as Peter III).

7. Which colonial power ruled what is now Indonesia from 1800 to 1949?

The Netherlands – Formed from the nationalised trading posts of the Dutch East India Company, which became established in the region around 1602. The Netherlands East Indies maintined strong control of the territory until the Japanese invasion of 1942 pushed them out. The Dutch returned in 1945, but were confronted with an insurgency which led to Indonesian independence in 1949.

8. What was Christopher Columbus’ flagship on his 1492 expedition to the Americas?

Santa María – A 100 ton Carrick, she had a single deck and three small masts. It had a crew of 40.

9. Cochise was a warrior from which Native American Nation?

Apache – Cochise was one of the most celebrated Apache leaders. He strongly resisted intrusions by Mexicans and Americans into their lands during the 19th century.

10. Which ancient ruler specified a fair price for beer as part of his law code?

Hammurabi – Law 108 – If a tavern-keeper does not accept grain according to gross weight in payment of drink, but takes money, and the price of the drink is less than that of the grain, she shall be convicted and thrown into the water.

This means tavern keepers who cheat customers by serving less beer than they have paid for shall be punished by drowning.

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