Are You a World History Expert?


By: Allison Lips

6 Min Quiz

Image: izusek/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

In U.S. schools, much of the curriculum focuses on our home country. If you're lucky, you will get a teacher who knows how to teach World History well. Even then, there are times when World History feels more like European History because Africa, Asia, South America and Australia are often glossed over in favor of Western democracies. However, this quiz will broaden your horizons past the United States, the United Kingdom, their allies and their enemies. 

This quiz will still include some questions about the United States and the United Kingdom because the two countries have had an enormous impact on world history, but it will also cover the Mongol Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, Ancient Rome and more. 

How much do you know about the Troubles? Do you know who the last pharaoh of Egypt was? Can you remember Mumbai's former name or that of other renamed cities? Are you an expert on the League of Nations and the United Nations? If you can ace this quiz, you'll make your history teachers proud! 

Are you ready for this challenge? Find out if you should become a World History professor or if you need to brush up on your history! 

Which Chinese destination was the site of protests in 1989?

In 1989, Chinese protesters demonstrated in Tiananmen Square. On June 4 of that year, Chinese troops entered the square and shot at civilians. The number of deaths is estimated to be in the hundreds to thousands.


Whose assassination led to World War I?

On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. A month later, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia with Germany's support.


Which Argentinian became a notable figure in the Cuban Revolution?

Ernesto "Che" Guevara was born June 15, 1928. Prior to becoming a revolutionary, he studied medicine at the University of Buenos Aires.


Which international organization formed after World War I was headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland?

On January 10, 1920, the League of Nations was created. After World War II, the League of Nations was dissolved and replaced with the United Nations. In total, the League of Nations lasted 26 years.


Which country did England send convicts to between 1788 and 1868?

Over the course of 80 years, England sent over 160,000 convicts to Australia. The major colonies were New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia.


In 1989, the fall of which wall began the reunification of Germany?

The Berlin Wall was constructed in 1961. While more than 5,000 East Germans were able to escape over the wall, 171 people were killed trying to get to West Germany.


Who ran the USSR during World War II?

From 1929 to 1953, Joseph Stalin was dictator of the USSR, which stands for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. He was born on December 18, 1878 as Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili and took the name Stalin in his 30s, which means "man of steel."


Which of the following was not one of Christopher Columbus' ships?

Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean four times for Spain. His trips took place in 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502.


Which British prime minister coined the term "special relationship" to describe the bond between the US and the UK?

Winston Churchill was born on November 30, 1874 to an American mother and a British father. He would serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice: once from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955.


Which war did the Reign of Terror take place during?

The Reign of Terror lasted from September 5, 1793 to July 1794. On September 5, 1793, Maximilian Robespierre declared terror to be "the order of the day." The Reign of Terror ended on on July 28, 1794 with the execution of Robespierre.


Which movie star married the Prince of Monaco on April 18, 1956?

Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier. They remained married until her death in 1982.


Who was the last Egyptian pharaoh?

Cleopatra VII became pharaoh after the death of her father, Ptolemy XII. She was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty and came from Macedonian Greek ancestry.


Who was the only person to serve as president of the Soviet Union?

In 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev received The Nobel Peace Prize for his role in bringing the Cold War to a peaceful end. The collapse of the Soviet Union would officially end the Cold War in 1991.


Which union has 28 member countries, many of which use the euro as their currency?

The European Union was founded on November 1, 1993 in Maastricht, Netherlands. However, the concept of a united Europe started in 1950 with the European Coal and Steel Community, which had six member nations.


Which conflict ended with the Good Friday Agreement?

The Troubles lasted approximately 40 years. The Irish Republican Army and other Catholic paramilitary groups staged bombings, kidnappings and murders with the goal of a United Ireland.


Which British ocean liner did a German U-boat torpedo on May 7, 1915?

The RMS Lusitania was traveling from Liverpool to New York City. It sank off the southern coast of Ireland, killing approximately 1,200 people.


Which Roman leader was stabbed to death by his own senators?

Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Albinus and Marcus Junius Brutus led the conspiracy to assassinate Julius Caesar. Caesar was killed on March 15 of the year 44 BC.


Who discovered Greenland?

Erik the Red was born Erik Thorvaldsson in Norway. His son, Lief Erikson, would visit North America before Christopher Columbus.


Which empire did Charlemagne rule?

Charlemagne was crowned emperor in 800. The empire lasted for over 1,000 years until Napoleon and the French destroyed it in 1806.


What is the name of the island Napoleon was exiled to?

In 1814, Napoleon was forced to abdicate to Elba. However, he escaped in February 1815 and regained control of France. Eventually, the British exiled him to Saint Helena, where he would die six years later.


Who was the founder of the Mongol Empire?

In 1206, Genghis Khan founded the Mongol empire. At it's peak, it covered 9 million square miles. The empire collapsed in 1368.


What modern-day city was known as Bombay?

Mumbai is India's most populous city. As of 2011, over 18 million people live in the city.


Who were the two major players in the Cold War?

The Cold War began in 1945. It lasted for 45 years and ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union.


Which country was not part of the Triple Entente?

The "Entente" comes from the French word for "understanding." In World War I, the Triple Entente fought against the Triple Alliance, which consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy.


Who sold Alaska to the United States?

The United States purchased Alaska in 1867. Those against the purchase nicknamed it "Seward's Folly" because William H. Seward was the Secretary of State at the time.


What is the name of the strip of land that divides the Korean Peninsula?

Military activity is forbidden in the Korean Demilitarized Zone. However, the border after the strip is heavily guarded. The Korean Demilitarized Zone is 160 miles long and approximately 2.5 miles wide.


Which country did Soviet Troops occupy from 1979 to 1989?

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan lasted approximately 9 years. The Soviet Union joined the Afghan Civil War to support the Democratic Party of Afghanistan's control of the government because mujahideen insurgents were fighting to overthrow it.


Who was the first and so far only female prime minister of Israel?

Golda Meir served as Prime Minister of Israel from March 17, 1969 to June 3, 1974. She was born in Kiev and immigrated to the United States in 1906.


What documents were responsible for establishing the 17th Parallel as the line that separated Vietnam during the Vietnam War?

The Geneva Accords were a result of the Geneva Conference, which took place from April 26 to July 21, 1954. They consist of 10 documents.


Who was the president of the United States during the Iran Hostage Crisis?

The Iran Hostage Crisis started on November 4, 1979 when a group of Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy. It would end 444 days later on January 21, 1981. The crisis ended hours after Ronald Reagan's inauguration.


Which city served as a capital of the Ottoman Empire?

The Ottoman Empire lasted 600 years. It ended in 1922. The empire was succeeded by the Turkish Republic.


What city was formerly known as Saigon?

As Saigon, the city was the capital of Cochinchina, a French colony. It was renamed on July 2, 1976.


Which country did the United Kingdom fight against in the Falklands War?

The Falklands War is also known as the Malvinas War. The war lasted 10 weeks. It began on April 2, 1982 and ended with Argentina's surrender on June 14, 1982.


Who was one of the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest?

Edmund Hillary reached the summit of Mount Everest with Tenzing Norgay. The two men spent about 15 minutes at the summit.


Which organization has 193 member countries?

The United Nations was formed on October 24, 1945. To form the UN, 50 countries met in San Francisco to draft the UN Charter.


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