History Guild General History Quiz 168
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History Quiz 168

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The stories behind the questions

1. Who coined the phrase ‘a date which will live in infamy’?

Franklin D. Roosevelt – delivered to a joint session of Congress on December 8, 1941 after Japan attacked US bases at the Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the Philippines, and declared war on the US and Britain.

2. When was the first British army campaign medal, issued to every soldier who took part in a conflict, first created?

1816 Waterloo Medal – After the 1815 victory at Waterloo, the House of Commons voted that a medal be struck for all those who participated in the campaign. The medal was issued in 1816–1817 to every soldier present at one or more of the battles of Ligny, Quatre Bras and Waterloo. This was the first medal issued by the British Government to all soldiers present during an action.

3. When did the largest single day drop in US sharemarket value occur?

1987 – The Black Monday crash saw a 22% one day drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the largest ever seen. Unusually for sharp sharemarket drops the impact on the real economy was relatively limited and short-lived and it wasn’t associated with a recession or economic downturn. In the wake of this crash legislation was introduced to allow for trading halts when there was large market movements. These were used several times in the stock market crashes of 2020, reducing it’s severity.

4. Which of these countries had democratic governments for the entirety of the 20th century?

None of the above – Spain was ruled by the dictator Francisco Franco from 1937 to 1975. Portugal was ruled by the dictator António de Oliveira Salazar from 1932 to 1968. Argentina was ruled by military dictatorships for more years than democratic governments during the 20th century.

5. What industry led to Mecca becoming a prosperous city?

Trade, particularly in spices – In the 5th century, the Quraysh tribes took control of Mecca and became skilled merchants and traders. In the 6th century, they joined the lucrative spice trade, since battles in other parts of the world were causing traders to divert from the dangerous sea routes to the more secure overland routes.

6. Which of these prominent Britons were strong supporters of slavery?

Sir Francis Drake – Drake was instrumental in introducing the English to the slave trade. Approximately 1,200 Africans were enslaved on the four voyages he undertook that enslaved and sold people.

Queen Victoria and Benjamin Disraeli were both supporters of the abolition of slavery.

7. The Romanovs were the Royal house of which country?

Russia – The Romanov Dynasty was established in 1613 and ruled Russia until the Russian revolution in 1917.

8. What occurred in the weeks prior to Julius Caesar’s death?

He was declared ‘dictator for life’ – His increasing power and great ambition agitated many senators who feared Caesar aspired to be king.

9. Which country created the the largest battleships ever built?

Japan – The Yamato and Musashi were the largest battleships were the heaviest ever constructed and mounted the largest naval guns ever fitted to a warship, nine 460-mm (18.1 in) guns, each capable of firing 1.5 ton shells over 42 km.

10. Why did tea become more popular than coffee in Britain from the 1600’s onwards?

The British East India company (EIC) made more profit on tea than on coffee – Tea was available to the EIC from China. They encouraged Indian production of Opium in order to use this to pay for the Chinese tea. The coffee trade was controlled through Arabia at this time, which the EIC had less access to. They had to buy coffee from middlemen, rather than directly from producers, which made it less profitable for them.

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