The French History Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
3 min
The French History Quiz
Image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Think you know your Louis XIV from your Louis XVIII, your Mitterrand from your Chirac? Take this French history quiz to find out.
Where did France get its name?
Francia trees used to line the Rhone River.
The Franks used to rule the area.
It's derived from "francia," Latin for "country of the Franks." The Franks controlled the area from the 5th century C.E.
Julius Caesar's wife was named Francia.

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What was it called before that?
Aquitania
Gaul
"Gaul" was the term for the enormous area that included much of present-day western Europe.
Celtica

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Who controlled Gaul before the Franks took over?
the Greeks
the Romans
There was a long period of Roman invasion before Caesar finally got the job done around 50 B.C.E. The area was then part of the Roman Empire until 486 C.E.
the Gauls

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Who were the first kings of France?
the Merovingians
Childeric I was the first of the Merovingian kings.
the Visigoths
the Druids

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What title did King Charlemagne obtain in the year 800?
the Divine King
Charlemagne the Great
Holy Roman Emperor
Charlemagne took the French throne in 768, and Pope Leo III made him the Holy Roman Emperor in 800.

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There was something of a power vacuum when Charlemagne's three grandsons were left in charge for various reasons. The grandsons in question were Lothar, Louis the _____ and Charles the ______.
German, Bald
Louis the German had the German areas (duh), and Charles the Bald took the Frankish areas.
Black, Brave
Great, Wicked

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What name did the Vikings give to the area they conquered and colonized in the 10th and 11th centuries?
Picardy
Normandy
The Vikings, otherwise known as "Northmen," called the area Normandy.
Alsace

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For roughly 350 years, starting around 1000, this line of kings controlled the area around Paris.
Bourbons
Courtenays
Capetians
The Capetians reigned over the Ile-de-France.

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What was the deciding battle when William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066?
Naseby
Hastings
William, duke of Normandy, invaded England and eventually bested King Harold at the Battle of Hastings. He then became the first Norman king of England, ending Anglo-Saxon reign.
Marston Moor

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In the Hundred Years' War against England, the English House of Plantagenet battled the French House of _________.
Valois
The House of Valois finally won the war in 1453.
Avignon
Evreux

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In which major battle did Joan of Arc lead France to victory?
Orleans
Joan of Arc successfully stopped the English siege of Orleans.
Lyon
Toulouse

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In 1598, the Edict of Nantes gave religious freedom to this group of French Protestants.
the Huguenots
The Huguenots were followers of John Calvin.
the Carolingians
the Carcassonnes

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Which French king established absolute monarchy during his reign?
Louis XIII
Louis XIII established absolute monarchy, and his son Louis XIV took it to new heights during his long reign.
Philip the Fair
Francis I

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What was Louis XIV's nickname?
Master of Versailles
Dapper King
Sun King
"Nickname" is probably too trite a word for it, but Louis XIV was also known as the Sun King.

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The storming of this prison by a Parisian mob marked the start of the French Revolution.
Perpignan
Marseille
Bastille
And that is why we have Bastille Day.

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When is Bastille Day?
October 6
July 14
The storming of the Bastille happened on July 14, 1789.
April 23

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The next month, the National Constituent Assembly passed the Declaration of ________, which strove to give all citizens equal status.
Citizens' Rights
the Rights of Man
The Declaration of the Rights of Man is now considered an essential document in the history of human rights.
Liberty

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The conflict between the Girondins and this other French political group was the cause of the Reign of Terror in 1793 and 1794.
the Nationales
les Marat
the Jacobins
More than 30,000 French citizens were executed during the 10-month Reign of Terror, which started because of the ongoing conflict between the Girondins and Jacobins.

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Who engineered a coup in 1799 and became the emperor of the French in 1804?
Napoleon
Army commander Napoleon Bonaparte installed himself as first consul of the republic in 1799 and stepped up to emperor five years later.
Richelieu
Robespierre

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Where was Napoleon defeated?
Bruges
Waterloo
Napoleon abdicated in 1814 but escaped from exile the following year and came back to power. The British finally defeated him at Waterloo, Belgium, in 1815.
Rotterdam

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Which royal family was restored to power after Napoleon was exiled again?
the Capulets
the Valois
the Bourbons
The Bourbons came back, with Louis XVIII taking the throne.

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What happened on Aug. 3, 1914?
the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
the Battle of the Somme
France and Germany declared war on each other.
Germany declared war on France early in the day, and France responded in kind later on, thus setting World War I into motion.

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What happened on Aug. 25, 1944?
The Allies liberated Paris.
Paris was freed from Nazi occupation on Aug. 25, 1944.
D-Day
The Nazis occupied Paris.

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When was World War II hero Charles de Gaulle elected president?
1948
1952
1958
De Gaulle became the 18th president of France in 1958 and ruled until 1969.

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Which was NEVER a French colony or occupied by the French?
Andorra
Canada
Senegal
Haiti
Morocco
United States
Ivory Coast
Saudi Arabia
The French have held plenty of colonies over the years, but Saudi Arabia was not one.

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Who was the first female prime minister of France?
Francoise Chretien
Edith Cresson
Edith Cresson was prime minister from 1991-92.
Jacqueline Ribaud

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Who was the longest-serving president of France?
Georges Pompidou
Jacques Chirac
Francois Mitterrand
Mitterrand was president from 1981-95.

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In 2012, Francois Hollande was sworn in as the first French president from this party in 17 years.
Socialist
Hollande was the first Socialist president since Mitterrand.
Green
Republican

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What is the name of the French magazine that was targeted by Islamic terrorists in 2015?
Paris Match
Charlie Hebdo
A pair of brothers shot and killed 11 people in the Charlie Hebdo offices on Jan. 7, 2015.
Jalouse

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How many people were killed in the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris?
85
130
One hundred thirty people were killed in suicide bombings and mass shootings across Paris on Nov. 13, 2015.
165

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You Got:
/30
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