History Guild General History Quiz 183
See how your history knowledge stacks up!
Want to know more about any of the questions? Scroll down to learn more!
Have an idea for a question? Suggest it here and we’ll include it in a future quiz!
The stories behind the questions
1. Which mathematician fought against the Romans to defend the city of Syracuse?
Archimedes – Archimedes is reputed to have created a series of innovative weapons including using mirrors to concentrate the sun’s rays and direct them against the sails of the Roman ships, setting them on fire.
2. Which was the only Axis nation that opposed the Nazi Holocaust?
Japan – The Japanese resisted German pressure to exterminate Jews living in Japanese occupied China. A Japanese diplomat in Lithuania, Chiune Sugihara, assisted over 6,000 Jewish refugees by granting them transit visas which allowed them to escape Nazi persecution. In 1985, the State of Israel honoured Sugihara as one of the Righteous Among the Nations, the only Japanese citizen to receive this honour.
3. In 1990 who devised the World Wide Web?
Tim Berners-Lee – While working at CERN, Berners-Lee collaborated with Robert Calliau to create the framework for the modern internet.
4. Which English Monarch was the 1605 gunpowder plot attempting to kill?
James I – The plot was organised by Robert Catesby, a devout English Catholic who hoped to kill the Protestant King James and establish Catholic rule in England.
5. Where was the famous General Hannibal born?
Carthage – Hannibal commanded the forces of Carthage in their battles against the Roman Republic during the Second Punic War, 218 to 201 BCE.
6. Which Indian ethnolinguistic group was Mahatma Gandhi from?
Gujarati – Comprising around 5% of the Indian population, Gujarati people have a reputation for being merchants, industrialists, business entrepreneurs and politicians. Other very prominent Gujaratis include Narendra Modi, India’s current Prime Minister, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
7. Which countries kidnapped and enslaved Polynesians in the practice known as ‘blackbirding’?
All of the above – Beginning in 1847 when Melanesians were kidnapped and brought to New South Wales, approximately 60,000 Polynesians were enslaved by the Australian colonies before the practice was ended in 1901. Around 15,000 of these died while working in Australia. French Colonies in the Pacific enslaved approximately 15,000 Polynesians between 1865 and 1935. Almost half of these people died while working or within a year of being released from servitude. Peru kidnapped 3,600 Polynesians in 1862-3. Within four years 93% of them had died.
8. Which country fought a war that lasted over 50 years against the FARC guerrilla movement?
Colombia – The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (FARC) is a guerrilla movement involved in the continuing Colombian armed conflict since 1964. It employs a variety of military tactics in addition to more unconventional methods, including terrorism. The FARC-EP, formed during the Cold War as a Marxist-Leninist peasant force, promotes a political line of agrarianism and anti-imperialism. The operations of the FARC-EP were funded by kidnap and ransom, illegal mining, extortion or taxation of various forms of economic activity, and the taxation, production, and distribution of illegal drugs. The United Nations has estimated that 12% of all killings of civilians in the Colombian conflict have been committed by FARC and ELN guerrillas, with 80% committed by right-wing paramilitaries, and the remaining eight percent committed by security forces.
9. Where was the code breaking unit that cracked the German Enigma code during WW2 based?
Bletchley Park – Housing the UK Government Code and Cypher School during WW2, they utilised automatic machinery to help with decryption, culminating in the development of Colossus, the world’s first programmable digital electronic computer.
10. Which of these places have been ruled by the USA?
All of the above – All of these were taken from the Spanish during the 1898 Spanish American War. In the Philippines the USA fought against Filipino’s who wanted independence for decades. The USA ruled the country for 48 years.
The USA directly ruled Cuba for 4 years, however it only granted Cuba independence on the condition that it maintained control over Cuba’s right to make treaties with other nations and restricted Cuba in the conduct of foreign policy and commercial relations. It also required Cuba to sell or lease lands to the USA.
Puerto Rico remains a US territory.