History Guild General History Quiz 206
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History Quiz 206

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The stories behind the questions

1. Which colonial power did India eject from Goa in 1961?

Portugal – In 1961, the colony was manned by a small garrison of Europeans supported by native Goans and visiting contingents of Mozambicans and Angolans, both countries then under Portuguese rule, and armed police. Indian ground forces alone would outnumber the Portuguese by at least nine to one. The operation took just two days, 22 Indian and 30 Portuguese soldiers were killed.

2. Who was the first monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland?

James VI and I – He was King of Scotland as James VI from 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603 until his death in 1625.

3. What caused the disproportionately high rate of shipwrecks of the Spanish Galleons on the Manila route?

Corruption – To regulate the trade, the Spanish crown had introduced rules and systems – ships had to sail before mid-July to avoid monsoon season, they couldn’t exceed their cargo limit, and allocation of cargo space was based on a ticket system. For most other shipping lanes in the world, there was no such restriction of one voyage a year – so if you couldn’t get a slot on the first ship, why not wait for the next one? But in Manila, missing out on a voyage meant a year’s wait at best. Because of this, bending the rules was a much more appealing prospect.

Looking at the ship’s logs of found wrecks of Manila Galleons, most seem to leave after the cut-off date of mid-July, willingly sailing during the treacherous Monsoon season, and now the reason to take that risk is revealed. With low pay and all the power, Captains of each Galleon were practically incentivised to take bribes, overloading their ships with extra cargo, and leaving later than intended as it took time to load up the ship.

4. Which group was responsible for the Srebrenica massacre?

Bosnian Serb Army – More than 8,000 Muslim Bosniaks, mainly men and boys, would be killed by units of the Army of Republika Srpska (Bosnian Serb Army) under the command of General Ratko Mladić.

5. Which of these European colonies escaped Japanese occupation during WW2?

Macau – The Japanese respected Portuguese neutrality in Macau up to a point. Japanese troops were allowed to transit the enclave. This is in stark contrast to Portuguese Timor, now Timor-Leste, which was subject to a brutal Japanese occupation that saw over 50,000 Timorese die.

The war’s main impact on Macau was as a safe haven for refugees. The only military action it saw was a bombing raid by US carrier aircraft in 1945, which damaged civilian infrastructure. The US paid over $20 million in compensation to Portugal for this raid.

6. When did flight MH370 disappear?

2014 – The Malaysian Boeing 777 disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. The only trace that has been found of the aircraft is the right flaperon, discovered in July 2015 on a beach in Saint-André, Réunion Island.

7. In 1939 which two countries secretly agreed to invade Poland and divide it between them?

Germany and USSR – The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact divided Poland between the two countries. The USSR began their invasion of Poland once the Polish army was fully committed to its desperate struggle against the Germans, which led to a rapid collapse of what had been up to that point very strong Polish resistance.

8. In 1922 the size of the UK House of Commons was reduced from 707 to 615 MPs. Why was this?

The Irish Free State coming into existence – This saw Irish electorates removed from the UK House of Commons, although as neither the Anglo-Irish Treaty nor ratifying legislation had explicitly mentioned the House of Lords, Ireland’s 28 “representative peers” continued to attend Parliament, although no further elections took place.

9. What was the name of Shakespeare’s theatre company for the majority of its existence?

The King’s Men – Known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, they became the King’s Men in 1603 when King James I ascended the throne and became the company’s patron. They continued until 1642 when Puritans in Parliament gained control over the city of London and ordered the closing of all theatres.

10. Which organisation pioneered the ‘just in time’ manufacturing technique?

Toyota – First developed and perfected within the Toyota manufacturing plants in the 1970s by Taiichi Ohno as a means of meeting consumer demands with minimum delays. It emphasizes strict quality control of parts and the need to have a the minimum number of parts on hand to meet assembly needs.

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