It's hard to believe that wars, rebellions and revolutions that mean life or death for one generation can be largely forgotten half a century later. Even major conflicts that took millions of lives and changed borders, cultures and traditions may quickly become nothing more than an unfamiliar phrase in the history books. Even worse, there are wars and conflicts taking place on this very day somewhere in the world, and a shocking number of people either know nothing about them or know nothing more than a few key facts from the evening news. Yes, you've heard of Darfur, Kashmir and other war-torn places, but could you point out these spots on a map, or even match them to the correct country?
What about the wars of the past, where the bodies have been buried, the dust has settled and the victors have written their stories? You may know that Paul Revere took a midnight ride, but do you know the foreign power he was warning his neighbors about? Can you remember where the disastrous Bay of Pigs Invasion took place during the Kennedy Administration, which country was invaded during the Gulf War or who fought the UK for control of the Falkland Islands in the '80s? You might not remember all the details of these conflicts, but can you match each to the correct country? Prove it with this quiz.
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Joan of Arc was put to death at age 19 during The Hundred Years War, a conflict between Britain and Joan's home country. Can you name it?
The Hundred Years War endured from 1337 and 1453 as the British and the French fought over who should rule France. Joan of Arc's appearance at the 1429 Siege of New Orleans helped rally the French for a period, giving them a symbol of hope. While Joan was captured and put to death by the British in 1431, France ultimately maintained its own monarchy separate from that of its rival.
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Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm began in the '90s as a result of Iraq's invasion of this nation.
A coalition led by the United States launched an attack on Iraq in 1991 after Iraq invaded the nearby country of Kuwait. Thanks to Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield, which are often referred to as The Gulf War, Iraqi forces were sent packing and Kuwait's monarchy was restored to rule the country.
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From 1775 to 1783, which world power did 13 newly founded colonies take on in The American Revolution?
From the first shots of the war at Lexington and Concord to the final deaths at the Battle of Yorktown, the American Revolution was an 18th-century conflict in which 13 colonies fought for independence from Great Britain. The colonies ultimately won, with a little help from France, and went on to become the United States of America.
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Do you know which nation engaged in a Cold War with the United States that led to schools engaging in duck and cover drills in the '50s?
The communist ideals of the Soviet Union were in pretty much constant conflict with ideals in the west, resulting in tension between the USSR and U.S. that lasted from the '40s all the way through the '90s. It was called a Cold War because no actual direct fighting took place, though each side took part in proxy wars by funding other conflicts, and threats of nuclear action were a constant fear on both sides.
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Which nation engaged in a series of Banana Wars in the Caribbean and Central America beginning in the 1890s?
Spain lost control of many of its territories in the Spanish-American War, including Cuba. The resulting reorganization and confusion in some parts of the Caribbean put some American business interests in the area at risk. As a result, the U.S. sent the Marines in to countries like Honduras, Colombia, Panama and others to protect banana plantations and other commercial sites. The controversial Banana Wars lasted all the way through the 1930s.
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Name the country that engaged in a conflict known as the Whiskey Rebellion in the 1790s, and yes ... it was actually about whiskey.
The newly established United States needed a way to pay its bills in 1791, so the federal government instituted a tax on whiskey. It was less than popular with citizens, so much so that some were violently assaulting tax collectors and their families. The conflict erupted into a Whiskey Rebellion, which lasted all the way through 1794, when George Washington himself led troops to the battlefield to finally end the violence.
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Do you know which nation went to war with the UK in 1982 over control of the Falkland Islands?
The Falklands War began in April 1982, when Argentinian forces invaded the Falkland Islands, which were British territories at the time. After several month of fighting, Argentina surrendered and the UK kept control of the Falklands and a series of other islands in the South Atlantic.
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Name the nation that experienced an historic October Revolution in 1917, which is sometimes referred to as Red October.
The October Revolution swept the city of Petrograd, Russia, now called St. Petersburg, beginning on Nov. 7, 1917. Sometimes known as Red October or the Bolshevik Revolution, this event resulted in Lenin and the Bolsheviks taking control of Russia, leading to the bloody Russian Civil War.
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Ecuador and another South American country fought the Cenepa War in 1995. Name the second nation involved in this conflict.
Ecuador and Peru fought a war in the early 20th century that ended in a 1941 treaty. When Ecuador decided they didn't like some of the terms of the treaty, it launched the Cenepa War against Peru in January 1995. While both sides claimed victory the next month, the conflict didn't really result in significant long-term changes.
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Can you guess which nation lost a whole bunch of North American territory to Great Britain in Queen Anne's War in the 1700s?
Fought between 1702 and 1703, Queen Anne's War was a conflict between two familiar enemies ... France and Great Britain. Also known as the second French and Indian War, it was a huge victory for the British, giving them control of most of France's North American territories, including the Hudson Bay, the southeast of what is now the U.S., and much of eastern Canada.
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The Winter War of 1939 pitted the USSR against a nearby neighbor. Do you know which one?
Concerned about the proximity of the city of Leningrad to the Finnish border, Russia invaded Finland in November 1939. While the aggression got Russia kicked out of the League of Nations, by the time the two nations signed a treaty in March 1940, Finland had given up huge swaths of territory to its opponent.
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Name the nation that fought in the War of 1812 against the United States.
In the early 19th century, Great Britain was really interfering with U.S. trade and travel at sea, even going so far as to force U.S. ships and seamen into the British Navy. The resulting War of 1812 between the two nations was a victory for the U.S., and one battle in Baltimore inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."
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The War of the Triple Alliance pitted Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay against a single country, but do you know which one?
A coup in Uruguay in the 1860s led to the War of the Triple Alliance, which lasted from 1864 to 1870. Ultimately, Paraguay lost nearly half its adult population fighting against the combined forces of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay in this conflict which is sometimes called the Paraguayan War.
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Guess the country that fought against the U.S. in an 1898 war that was ignited when the USS Maine sank in Havana Harbor.
The 1898 Spanish-American War did not go well for Spain. By the signing of the Treaty of Paris at the end of the year, Spain had lost most of its colonies, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.
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Which country, then known as Saint-Domingue, engaged in a War of Knives from 1799 to 1800?
Haiti was a French colony known as Saint-Domingue in 1799 when it erupted into a civil war that was later called the War of Knives. The north, led by former slave Toussaint Louverture and backed by the U.S., defeated southern Haitian forces and the war ended by the next year.
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From 1754 to 1763, this nation fought Great Britain in a conflict known as the Seven Years' War. Think you can name the correct country?
The Seven Years' War, or French and Indian War, was a conflict between Great Britain and France over North American territories. By the signing of the 1763 Treaty of Paris, France had lost all territory east of the Mississippi to its rival, according to the U.S. Department of State.
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Remember which country spurred the 1956 Suez Crisis when it attempted to seize control of the Suez Canal?
Opened in 1869, the Suez Canal connects the Red and Mediterranean seas. When the Egyptian government attempted to take control of the canal in July 1956, it faced conflict with Israel, France and Great Britain, as well as a threat of sanctions from the U.S. By March of 1957, the conflict had ended and all forces were withdrawn from the area around the canal.
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It was called the Mexican War, but which country was Mexico at war with in this 1846 conflict?
Eager to expand its territory, the U.S. declared war on Mexico on May 13, 1846. By the time this conflict ended via the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on May 26, 1848, Mexico had ceded control of huge swaths of land in what is now Texas and the southwest.
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Where did the Hukbalahap Rebellion take place between the 1940s and 1950s?
Japan occupied the Philippines throughout much of WWII. During that time, Philippine guerrilla fighters known as the Hukbalahaps, or the People's Army Against the Japanese, began a resistance movement against the Japanese. Eventually quashed by the government, the Huk Rebellion did little to cure poverty and inequality in the Philippines at the time.
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Which country took on Bolivia and Peru in the 1880s War of the Pacific?
The Atacama Desert in South America is rich in sodium nitrate, which was once known as saltpeter. Until synthetic saltpeter was developed in the 1940s, this land was also hugely valuable for mining. A terrain dispute in this region erupted into the War of the Pacific in 1879, with Bolivia and Peru facing off against Chile over mineral rights. Chile ultimately won the war, which ended in 1884 ... and became a moot point in the 1940s when all those worthless saltpeter mines were abandoned.
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Named for the Militia United in Righteousness, a group nicknamed the Boxers fought a rebellion from 1899 to 1901 in this country.
Nicknamed the Boxers because of their martial arts background, the Militia United in Righteousness struck out against foreigners and Christians in China beginning in 1899. Thousands were killed and huge amounts of foreign-owned property was damaged or destroyed before the rebellion ended in 1901. China ultimately paid more than $300 million in reparations to those harmed in the conflict, according to the History Channel.
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A group named Boko Haram made global headlines when it kidnapped 276 girls in 2014. Where did this take place?
An insurgency group called Boko Haram formed in 2002. As part of its effort to bring Sharia Law to Nigeria, members kidnapped more than 250 girls from a boarding school in 2014, making headlines around the world. While some of the lost girls were later found, the group took another 100 students from a Nigerian school in 2018.
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Sometimes known as the Forgotten War, which nation was the setting for the Ifni War of 1957 to 1958?
In 1957, the Moroccan Army of Liberation invaded Spanish colonies in northern Africa. By the next year, Spain had relinquished control over this region, known as Ifni, which is part of modern-day Morocco.
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Which country's president was indicted on charges of genocide in 2009 thanks to a conflict many refer to as the War in Darfur?
Rebel groups took on the Sudanese government beginning in 2003, with hundreds of thousands of citizens slaughtered by the time a 2010 ceasefire was arranged. The War in Darfur was so bad that Sudan's president was indicted on genocide charges in 2009. Ten years later, more than a million Sudanese were still living in refugee camps, according to the BBC.
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It's called the Yom Kippur or Ramadan War depending on who you ask, but which nation took on a coalition of Arab states in a 1973 conflict?
From Oct. 6 through Oct. 25, 1973, Israel fought a war against a group of Arab states, which included Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and others. This battle for control of the Sinai Peninsula and the Suez Canal occurred over major Jewish and Muslim holidays, including Yom Kippur and Ramadan.
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No, not Cold Wars! Which nation took on the UK in the Cod Wars of the 20th century?
The Cod Wars pitted the UK against Iceland for rights to valuable fishing grounds in the North Atlantic. Taking part in three stages between the 1950s and 1970s, the wars were a decisive victory for Iceland, and severely limited the UK's fishing industry.
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People in this nation still gather every Thursday to commemorate the Dirty War of the '70s and '80s. Name the country where this conflict occurred.
Part of the U.S.-sponsored Operation Condor, Argentina's Dirty War saw more than 30,000 people disappear. These political dissidents and other citizens were tortured and killed, their bodies randomly disposed of. To this day, Argentinians gather at the Plaza de Mayo every Thursday to hold vigil for those lost in the Dirty War.
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Know which nation fought against Pakistan in the Kargil War, which is also known as Operation Vijay?
Tensions have been high between India and Pakistan many times over the years, with armed conflict erupting during the Kargil War in the spring of 1999. The result of undercover Pakistani soldiers crossing the border into India, the war ended after just a few months with both sides declaring victory.
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The U.S. launched Action in the Gulf of Sidra after Muammar Gaddafi established a "line of death" in the area. Which nation did Gaddafi rule?
In 1986, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi claimed the Gulf of Sidra for Libya, warning that anyone who crossed his line of death would be executed. The U.S. sent troops to the region, resulting in some dogfighting, though the U.S. suffered no casualties in the conflict.
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Guess which European nation fought against Russia, Poland and their allies in the Great Northern War of the 18th century.
The Swedes were building a massive empire in northern Europe at the start of the 1700s, much to the worry of their neighbors. In 1700, Russia and Poland declared war on Sweden to prevent their empire from growing any further. By the time the Great Northern War ended in 1721, more than 200,000 Swedes had been killed and the country had forfeited huge swaths of land.
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Home to the Donbass region, which European nation has been experiencing conflict with Russia since 2013?
Following the Ukrainian Revolution, Russia seized control of Crimea and supplied weapons to separatists fighting in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region beginning in 2014. The War in Donbass continued in April 2019, when Ukraine's Foreign Minister told CNBC that the nation still hoped to retake Crimea at some point.
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Operation Harvest was a campaign launched by a well-organized group of rebels in the '50s. Can you ID where the fighting took place?
Beginning in 1956, the Irish Republican Army began bombing courts, police stations and other institutions in Northern Ireland. Known as Operation Harvest, the attacks were launched to expel the Brits from the North and create a united Irish Republic. The British defeated the IRA by 1962, putting an end to the deadly attacks.
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Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" was inspired by the 1832 June Rebellion in this country. Know which one?
The beloved tale of Jean Valjean, Cosette, Mauris and Fantine was not a product of the French Revolution. It was actually inspired by the June Rebellion of 1832, during which Republican rebels attempted to overthrow the French monarchy and reduce poverty and inequality. If you've ever seen "Les Mis," you probably know that things didn't really end well for the rebels in the conflict.
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The goal of the 1860s Fenian Raids was Irish independence, but where did these raids actually take place?
In 1866, an Irish Republican group known as the Fenians began attacking British forts across Canada as part of their efforts to establish Ireland as an independent nation, free from British rule. The Fenian raids hit targets from New Brunswick to Manitoba before the Canadian government was able to put an end to the attacks in 1871 — though it wasn't until 1937 that Ireland gained its independence.
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Do you know which country fought an Opium War against China's Qing Dynasty from 1839 to 1842?
The Brits took on China over the thriving opium trade in what is now known as the First Opium War. The conflict ended in 1842 with the Treaty of Nanking, which gave Britain control over Hong Kong.
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India and a neighbor have been involved in the Kashmir Conflict over a Himalayan region since 1947. Name the second nation involved in this conflict.
When India won independence from Britain in 1947, the borders for this new nation were hastily drawn, resulting in disputes with Pakistan over control of land around the Himalayas. The Kashmir Conflict has been ongoing ever since, with a seemingly endless series of wars and skirmishes between the two nations.
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Can you name the country whose air force was devastated by Israel during the Six-Day War of June 1967?
Between June 5 and 10, 1967, Israel launched an attack against Egypt and its allies that ultimately destroyed 90% of the Egyptian Air Force and killed 20,000 Arabs, according to the History Channel. This Six-Day or June War was a major victory for Israel, which gained control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in the conflict.
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In part a response to the horrific 1994 Rwandan genocide, which of these nations was involved in the Kivu Conflict beginning in 2004?
The Democratic Republic of the Congo became embroiled in the Kivu Conflict beginning in 2004. Spurred in part by the Rwandan genocide, the conflict is so severe that the UN formed a special group, the UN Stabilized Mission, to work toward peace in the nation.
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Choose the South American country that lost up to 10% of its population in a civil conflict known as the Federal War in the mid-19th century.
The Federal War in Venezuela was a conflict between the Federalists, who wanted a weaker central government, and the Conservatives, who wanted to maintain a strong central government at the cost of regional autonomy. While a treaty ended the conflict in 1863, the war had a huge death toll, and very little changed within the government as a result of all that fighting.
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Identify the nation that thoroughly trounced a U.S.-backed force at the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion.
The U.S. CIA trained more than a thousands rebels to invade Cuba and kill Fidel Castro in the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Things didn't quite go as planned, with Cuban forces easily defeating and capturing the rebels, then demanding a $50 million ransom for their release.
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