History Guild General History Quiz 186
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The stories behind the questions
1. When did the Spanish Inquisition begin?
1478 – Unique among Inquisitions, the Spanish Inquisition was controlled by local monarchs, rather than directly by the Pope. Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile argued that they needed to examine the piety of Jewish and Muslim converts in their realm, known as Conversos and Moriscos respectively.
This followed in 1492 by the Alhambra decree, which expelled all practicing Jews. This decree was only rescinded in 1968.
2. In 1944 where did the Japanese launch their largest military campaign of WW2?
China – Operation Ichi-Go was fought from April to December 1944, involving successful Japanese invasions of the Chinese provinces of Henan, Hunan and Guangxi. The Japanese suffered over 100,000 casualties, while inflicting over 500,000 casualties on the nationalist Chinese forces.
3. Where did the Empire Windrush famously sail in 1948?
Trinidad to Tillbury, UK – The Empire Windrush became emblematic of the migration from the British Caribbean colonies to the UK. Many of these migrants had served in the armed forces during WW2 and were responding to a British drive to find workers to replace those who had been killed or disabled during the war. They faced significant and overt racism from many white Britons, being denied housing and employment in many places.
4. How did Michael Collins, the father of an independent Ireland, die?
Assassinated by the IRA – Collins led the Irish government which made the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty, granting Ireland independence. This was opposed by hardline members of the IRA who wanted to continue their war with Britain in an attempt to win the complete island of Ireland. Collins was travelling from negotiations with the IRA when he was ambushed and shot in the head.
The war between the Irish National Army and the IRA intensified after this, with around 2,000 Irish people killed in the fighting over the following year.
5. What part did the Cherokee Nation play during the US Civil War?
Fought on the Confederate side – The Cherokee Nation had been at War with the US government several times in the preceding century as well as being badly treated and cheated of their rights under treaties. This makes their decision to join the Confederacy and fight against the US government more understandable. The Cherokee also held African-American slaves, further aligning their interests with that of the Confederacy.
In all between 20,000 and 30,000 Native Americans served in the conflict, mostly on the Confederate side. Cherokee politician Stand Waite rose to become a Major General in the Confederate Army, and was the last General to surrender to the Union.
6. When did Isaac Newton publish ‘Principia’?
1687 – This book details his theory of Universal Gravitation, and became one of the most influential books in physics of the following two centuries.
7. Which US state was founded by a Quaker?
Pennsylvania – William Penn was a prominent British Quaker. He was granted a charter to establish a colony in North America by King Charles II in 1681.
8. When did China regain control of Hong Kong?
1997 – The 1842 Treaty of Nanking, which ended the First Opium War between the UK and China, granted perpetual sovereignty of Hong Kong Island to the UK. In 1898 the UK obtained a 99 year lease of Kowloon and the New Territories, which expired in 1997. The negotiations leading up to this time resulted in China regaining sovereignty over all of Hong Kong in 1997.
9. The rise of which religion saw the city of Medina gain prominence from 622 CE onwards?
Islam – During the pre-Islamic period Medina was known as Yathrib, an oasis city. Yathrib was dominated by Jewish tribes until around 400 CE, when several Arab tribes gained political power. In 622 CE, Muhammad and around 70 Meccan Muhajirun believers left Mecca for sanctuary in Yathrib, an event that transformed the religious and political landscape of the city completely. Medina is celebrated for containing the mosque of Muhammad.
10. Which conflict saw the first combat mission for US Delta Force?
The Iran hostage crisis – Operation Eagle Claw, the attempt to rescue US hostages in Tehran in 1980.
Formed in 1977 as a counter terrorism force, their first operation was a disaster. A series of accidents, miscalculations and errors saw 8 US servicemen killed without the mission coming close to rescuing any of the hostages.