How Much Do You Know About the Most Famous Treaties in History?

John Miller

Image: Reading Through History

About This Quiz

Will it be a bargain worth dying for or a deal with the Devil? Only history knows how nations will perceive the treaties that their leaders negotiate. And those treaties might mark the start of a new expansionist era … or the downfall of an empire. How much do you know about history’s most famous treaties?

It’s hard to get two people to agree on lunch, so imagine the difficulty in finding common ground between millions of citizens in multiple nations, particularly in a time of warfare. Diplomats work overtime to find solutions, and sometimes there is a breakthrough that makes its way into hard-copy form. Do you know the treaties that ended the world’s terrible wars?

Just as treaties can make or break countries, they can seal the legacies of the men and women who negotiate them. In our quiz, can you name the people who were instrumental in bargaining their way to major peace resolutions?

The Treaty of Versailles, the Treaty of Paris, the Camp David Accords … the list goes on. Some created lasting peace, while others set the stage for murderous conflict of the worst kind. Take our famous treaties quiz and see if you’re a political genius or a warmongering madman!

The Treaty of Versailles helped to end which horrifying conflict?

The Treaty of Versailles is one of the most famous treaties in human history. Completed in 1919, it helped seal the end of World War I.

The Treaty of Versailles forced _____ to accept responsibility for starting World War I.

As one of its many powerful details, the Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to accept responsibility for sparking WWI. The "War Guilt" clause was a hard one for the German people to swallow.

What was the name of the treaty that ended the American Revolution?

It was an end that Britain never saw coming — its New World colonies successfully vying for independence and creating a new country. The Treaty of Paris helped to end the American Revolution.

True or false, is the 1783 Treaty of Paris the oldest treaty signed by the United States?

The Treaty of Paris is indeed the U.S.’s oldest treaty. Not only did it end the Revolution, it also established America as a sovereign state.

The 1814-15 Congress of Vienna had a major impact on which area?

The Congress of Vienna was completed at the end of a long period of conflict in Europe. It dramatically altered the continent by forcing politicians to set aside their differences and face territorial and political realities.

The 1814-15 Congress of Vienna helped to prevent a major European war for how long?

The Congress of Vienna was remarkably successful in tamping down European tensions. For 100 years, there were no major wars on the continent. Then, of course, WWI changed everything.

The 1814-15 Congress of Vienna saw the end of which empire?

For years, French emperor Napoleon captured European lands and basically did what he liked. But the French defeat at the hands of a coalition was the end of his reign, and the Congress of Vienna helped to sort out the resulting mess.

The Russo-Japanese War ended thanks to which treaty?

In the early 20th century, the Russians and Japanese were at each other’s throats. The Treaty of Portsmouth helped to end the conflict.

The Treaty of Ghent ended which war?

Soon after the Revolution, the War of 1812 threatened a young America all over again, as Britain and the United States clashed in a years-long fight. The Treaty of Ghent brought an official end to this war.

How did the signing of the Treaty of Ghent affect the Battle of New Orleans, a major battle in the War of 1812?

The Treaty of Ghent was signed in Europe, far, far away from New Orleans. The war was officially over, but the news hadn’t reached America yet, so the Battle of New Orleans wasn’t affected at all -- an outnumbered group of American troops soundly defeated a British invasion force.

The 1648 Peace of Westphalia helped to end which fight?

During the Thirty Years’ War, Catholics and Protestants clashed over the finer points of Christianity (and power). The Peace of Westphalia helped to end the bloodshed.

Why did the British decide to give the United States very favorable terms in the Treaty of Paris?

The British signed away huge swaths of territory and important fishing rights via the Treaty of Paris. Why? It wanted a strong United States, largely to keep the French and Spanish from gathering power in North America.

The 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas was an agreement between Spain and _____.

The Treaty of Tordesillas had a major impact on the European colonization of the New World. Spain got access to Central and much of South America, while Portugal scored Brazil. In the end, Spain’s end of the bargain turned out to be very advantageous economically and politically.

Which famous American was instrumental in the Treaty of Portsmouth, which helped to end the Russo-Japanese War?

Theodore Roosevelt had mad diplomatic skills, and he put them to good use by pushing along the Treaty of Portsmouth. For his efforts, he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Which American president helped to negotiate the 1978 Camp David Accords?

As the fierce Israeli-Egyptian conflict dragged on, Jimmy Carter worked his magic at the Camp David Accords. The Accords helped normalize political relations between the two countries.

What was one major provision of the Treaty of Versailles?

The Treaty of Versailles was packed with major clauses. One of those clauses forced Germany to drastically reduce its military, a provision meant to prevent the country from launching future attacks.

How did the Treaty of Paris affect a young America’s territory?

The Treaty of Paris handed the new United States land all the way to the Mississippi River, greatly boosting westward expansion. In just a few decades, Americans would populate much of the continent.

The 1819 Adams-Onis Treaty ultimately helped America gain control of _____.

After America paid France for the Louisiana Purchase, Spain contested control of many areas in North America. The Adams-Onis Treaty essentially allowed Spain to sell the area of Florida to the United States.

How did the Camp David Accords affect Egypt’s standing among other Middle East countries?

In negotiating with Israel, Egypt earned the scorn of other Middle Eastern countries. And later, the circumstances led to assassination of Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat.

Which treaty helped to end the Mexican-American War?

The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed in Mexico City, ended hostilities between the U.S. and Mexico. The treaty granted huge swaths of the Southwest to America.

The "Big Four" was a group of four men who were instrumental in signing which treaty?

At the end of WWI, four major leaders, "the Big Four," came together for the Treaty of Versailles. They were Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd-George (Britain), Georges Clemenceau (France), and Vittorio Orlando (Italy).

The Spanish-American War was ended thanks to which treaty?

There were quite a few treaties signed in Paris. But the 1898 Treaty of Paris is notable for ending the vicious Spanish-American War.

How did Japan as a whole respond to the Treaty of Portsmouth, which ended the Russo-Japanese War?

Japan had Russia on the ropes until the Treaty of Portsmouth ended the fighting. The Japanese public expected major territorial concessions but received almost nothing ... leading to widespread disgust from citizens.

How did the Treat of Ghent affect national boundaries after the War of 1812?

The War of 1812 was basically a pointless ordeal for both countries. By the time the Treaty of Ghent was signed, no one wanted anything except peace — so no national boundaries were affected.

True or false, did the Treaty of Westphalia force European nations to embrace all type of religions?

The Treaty of Westphalia pushed its signers to at least tolerate some variations of Christianity ... but other religions? No.

The Treaty of Versailles forced which country to make huge reparations to other nations?

The Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to make major reparations to the countries it damaged during WWI. With its many burdensome clauses, the treaty essentially guaranteed that Germany would rise again in anger.

The 1929 Lateran Treaty had a major impact on which religion?

The Lateran Treaty greatly affected the Catholic world, establishing Vatican City and making Catholicism the official religion of Italy, a clause that was ended in the 1980s.

The Treaty of Westphalia basically said that a given country’s ruler would dictate that country’s _____.

The religion-heavy Treaty of Westphalia established a cultural norm, in which a given country’s official religion would be that of its top ruler. Perhaps it would mark the end of conflict between Catholics and Protestants. Or, perhaps not.

True or false, was the Treaty of Tordesillas the final say in the dividing of the New World between Spain and Portugal?

Not by a long shot. Sure, the Treaty of Tordesillas temporarily created imaginary lines between the New World holdings of Portugal and Spain, but both sides continually pushed for further concessions.

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, signed in 1918, was ultimately overturned by which famous treaty?

In the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Russia handed over large areas, such as Ukraine and Belarus, to Germany. But after Germany lost WWI, the Treaty of Versailles returned these lands to Russian hands.

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