History Guild General History Quiz 158
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History Quiz 158

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The stories behind the questions

1. When did Islam become a dominant power in Arabia?

630 CE – Muhammad unified Arabia into a single religious polity under Islam. He created the first Islamic state when he wrote the Constitution of Medina, a formal agreement between Muhammad and all of the significant tribes and families of Medina, including Muslims, Jews, Christians, and pagans.

2. Which US President utilised a self proclaimed ’madman theory’ in his diplomacy?

Richard Nixon – Nixon and his administration tried to make the leaders of hostile Communist Bloc nations think he was irrational and volatile. This was in the hope that these countries would avoid anything that may provoke an American response, as they would fear that it could be arbitary and unpredictable. The theory has been assessed as “ineffective and dangerous”.

3. Which group did German colonists in what is now Namibia commit genocide against?

Herero – From the 1880’s until they lost the colony at the end of WW1 the German colonial government embarked on a brutal and genocidal campaign against the Herero and Nama peoples. This saw over 100,000 people killed, mass rape and theft of land and livestock.

4. Where was the ancient Minoan civilisation based?

Crete – The Minoans were an Aegean Bronze Age civilization on the island of Crete that flourished between 2800-1450 BCE. They left behind extensive material culture showing the extent of their handicraft and influence upon Mycenaean culture.

5. Which country did Muammar Gaddafi rule from 1969 to 2011?

Libya – Gaddafi took power in a coup and transformed Libya into an Islamic socialist state. He was deposed during the Arab Spring revolution and killed in 2011.

6. Who composed The Ride of the Valkyries?

Richard Wagner – Famously featured in the film Apocalypse Now, this piece is part of Wagner’s Ring cycle and was composed in 1851.

7. Who wrote the following letter 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.”

Josip Broz Tito – While both communists, Stalin and Tito did not work together. Stalin saw Tito as a rival and attempted to bring Yugoslavia into the Soviet orbit. He didn’t succeed in this, and Tito maintained and solidified his control over the Communist Party of Yugoslavia as well as the army and the secret police.

8. Where did the Portuguese royal family flee to exile during the Napoleonic wars?

Brazil – From 1807 to 1811, Napoleonic French forces invaded Portugal three times. During the invasion of Portugal (1807), the Portuguese royal family fled to Brazil, establishing Rio de Janeiro as the de facto capital of Portugal. From Brazil, the Portuguese king João VI ruled his trans-Atlantic empire for 13 years.

9. Which of these buildings was constructed first?

Buckingham Palace – 1703

The White House – 1800

The Crystal Palace – 1851

Sydney Opera House – 1973

10. In 2001 which country saw a Royal massacre in which the King and Queen were killed?

Nepal – Nine members of the royal family, including King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya, were killed in a mass shooting by Crown Prince Dipendra. Dipendra slipped into a coma after shooting himself in the head. Dipendra was declared King of Nepal while comatose after the death of King Birendra. He died in hospital three days after the massacre without regaining consciousness. Birendra’s brother Gyanendra then became king.

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