History Guild General History Quiz 164
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History Quiz 164

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The stories behind the questions

1. In the century leading up to 1871 how many states were unified to become the modern country of Germany?

300 – With it’s beginnings in the Holy Roman Empire, which at times included more than 1,000 entities, the states of what is now Germany were gradually combined and centralised, culminating in the creation of Germany in 1871.

2. Which country did the Kuomintang rule from 1928 to 2000?

Republic of China – Formed in 1919, the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek successfully led the Northern Expedition against regional warlords and unified China in 1928. It ruled the majority of China until the Communist victory of 1949 saw them limited to the island of Taiwan. From 1949 to 1987, the KMT ruled Taiwan as an authoritarian one-party state. They ruled Taiwan through the period of full transition to democracy in 1996. They lost power in the 2000 election and are currently the largest opposition party in Taiwan.

3. Who recorded the protest song “Strange Fruit” in 1939?

Billie Holiday – Written and composed by Abel Meeropol, song protests the lynching of Black Americans with lyrics that compare the victims to the fruit of trees. It has been seen as the beginning of the civil rights movement in the USA.

4. Prior to WW1, what caused the most casualties during war?

Illness and disease – From ancient times to the start of the 20th century, illness and disease caused many more casualties than combat. This trend was reversed in WW2, as the impact of better vaccination and medical treatment had its effect.

5. In the late 1500’s and early 1600’s English merchants in India had developed a bad reputation. Why was this?

They regularly got drunk and started fights – The first English ambassador to the Mughal court arrived in 1615. His first task was to attempt to repair the reputation of the English, which had been badly tarnished by the behaviour of ‘factors’, English merchants who had arrived to establish trade. The English were very minor players in this arena at this stage with the Portuguese being the most significant European trading power in the area.

6. When did the Bantu expansion begin?

1500 BCE – The Bantu Expansion – the migration of Bantu-speaking people across the African continent – is one of Ancient history’s largest migrations. Beginning around 1500BCE, members of the proto-Bantu language group migrated eastward and southward from West Africa, crossing vast swathes of the continent over hundreds of years. These migrants changed population demographics, spread farming across sub-equatorial Africa, introduced iron technology, and built powerful states that continue to influence the African continent today.

7. The 1645 Battle of Naseby was part of which conflict?

English Civil War – The Parliamentarian New Model Army, commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell, destroyed the main Royalist army under Charles I and Prince Rupert.

8. How many assassination attempts did Queen Victoria survive?

7 – Over the period 1840 to 1882 Victoria was shot at by would be assailants a staggering four times, all of which missed. In another attempt the assassin’s pistol failed to fire, one armed with a pistol was apprehended before he could open fire and the one assailant who drew blood did so with a metal tipped cane. Two of her attackers were found to be mentally ill and spent long periods of time in the Bedlam or Broadmoor asylums. The remainder were all apprehended, convicted and sentenced, mostly to transportation to Australia. Incredibly, none were executed, particularly considering how regularly this punishment was used at the time.

9. Which of these texts were completed earlier?

Rig Veda – Composed between 1500 and 1000 BCE, this is one of the four sacred canonical Hindu texts known as the Vedas.

The Bible – The New Testament of the Bible was completed in close to its current form around 382 CE.

The Koran – Uniformly compiled in the period 644–656 CE.

Book of Mormon – Published in 1830 by Joseph Smith.

10. Which colonial power controlled Egypt from 1882 to 1956?

Britain – Britain occupied Egypt in 1882 and directly or indirectly controlled the country until 1956.

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