Only a True Brit Can Ace This History Quiz


By: Annette

5 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Do you know which castle the British monarch calls home, or how many countries make up the UK? Remember which countries were colonized by the British, or which ancient people had the guts to invade Britain nearly 2,000 years ago? Can you recall how the Brits fared in major battles like WW I or the American Revolution? If you know the answers to these questions, you might have what it takes to ace this British history quiz!

In 2018, the UK ranks as the 78th largest sovereign state in the world by area. Yet for a relatively small piece of land tucked away on an island off the coast of Europe, Britain has an incredibly complex and rich history that stretches all the way across the globe.

Since the dawn of the British Empire, the citizens of this nation have not been content to remain within their own land. Instead, they formed colonies around the world, spreading British culture, politics and way of life to virtually every continent. In fact, around 90 percent of the 196 countries on Earth today were at one point colonized in some fashion by the British. 

British colonialism gave birth to nations like the United States, Canada, Australia and India, as well as many others, and all that travel meant the decisions of the British monarchy and government were felt well beyond Britain's borders.

Think you know all there is to know about the growth of Great Britain? Take our quiz to find out!

Who were the Brythons?

The Brythons were a Celtic tribe. It is where the word "Britain" comes from.


Who were the Angles?

The Angles, or Anglii, were.a Viking tribe. The word "England" is derived from "Angle-land."


When was the zenith of the British Empire?

The zenith of the British Empire was in the 18th century. At that time, the empire stretched over 20% of the world.


Traditionally, being a British monarch has been _____.

Throughout history, it has been tough to be a monarch. Many were killed in battle, beheaded or assassinated.


Who built Windsor Castle?

Willliam the Conqueror is famous for building Windsor Castle. The royal residence was built in approximately 1080 A.D.


Windsor Castle is the ____ royal home in the world.

Windsor Castle is the largest royal home in the world. It's the oldest continuously inhabited royal residence in Britain.


What is the national dish of the United Kingdom?

Well, that's just a fun factoid. The national dish of the United Kingdom is chicken tikka masala. In India, they have no idea what that is.


How many Americans can trace their ancestry back to King Edward III?

50 million Americans can trace their ancestry back to King Edward III. This is an estimate put forth by the New England Historic Genealogical Society.


How many languages are spoken in London today?

There are roughly 300 languages spoken in London today. That means that Londoners speak more languages than any other city in the world.


Today, the British Isles have how many sovereign states?

Today, the British Isles have two sovereign states. These include the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.


How many Crown dependencies are there?

Today there are also three Crown dependencies. These include Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man.


True or False: Parts of Britain were once a part of the Roman Empire.

It's true that southern Britain was once part of the Roman Empire. This was true between 43 and 410 A.D.


Who invaded Britain in the early medieval period?

The Saxons invaded Britain around the early medieval period. This took place at the beginning of the fourth century.


Due to early medieval invasions, _____ kingdoms were formed.

Due to invasions by the Saxons, Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were formed throughout Britain. Seven principal kingdoms emerged by 600 AD.


Who conquered England in the 9th century?

The Vikings conquered Britain in the 9th century. They came from Denmark and Norway.


What famous tapestry depicts the Norman conquest of England?

The Bayeux Tapestry famously depicts the Norman conquest of England. This event would define the future of the British Isles.


Who defeated King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings?

William, Duke of Normandy, defeated King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings. This took place in 1066.


King William I ordered a census of his kingdom, called what?

King William I ordered a census of his new kingdom. This census would famously be called the Domesday Book.


Who was involved in the Hundred Years' War?

Well, that was easy. France and England fought long and hard during the Hundred Years' War. This was in the late medieval period, 1337 to 1453.


Which house did the monarchs of the late medieval period come from?

These three houses are where the major monarchs of the late medieval period came from. As you can imagine, there was a lot of fighting between them.


What year was the start of the Victorian era?

1837 was the start of the Victorian era. This was when Queen Victoria came to power, and lasted until her death in 1901.


During Victoria's reign, the height of ______ took place.

Victoria's reign saw the height of the Industrial Revolution in Britain. This was also the apex of the British Empire.


In the First World War, Britain declared war on _______.

In the First World War, Britain declared war on Germany. This took place in 1914, and nearly a million Britons were killed.


In what years was the Irish War of Independence?

The Irish War of Independence took place from 1919 to 1921. Negotiations led to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922.


Which famous king was in love with Wallis Simpson?

King Edward VIII succeeded his father in 1936. Problems ensued due to his love for the American Wallis Simpson, and he abdicated his throne.


Who declared that he achieved "peace for our time"?

Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain famously declared that he achieved "peace for our time" after trying to appease Hitler. Sadly, this wasn't the truth.


Britain declared war on Germany after their invasion of which country?

Britain declared war on Germany after they invaded Poland. This took place on September 3, 1939.


Who is the longest-serving monarch in British history?

The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is the longest-ruling monarch in British history. If you want to learn more about it, then rent "The Crown." Just saying.


5,000 years ago, Britain was covered in ______.

About 5,000 years ago, Britain was covered in forests. Today, only 10% of the land is forest.


Who are considered the very first Britons?

The Picts are considered the very first Britons. They arrived on the Isles around the third century.


Where did the Celts arrive from?

The Celts arrived from Europe in the 8th century B.C. By 43 AD, the Romans invaded.


When did Henry Tudor claim the English crown?

The Welsh noble Henry Tudor claimed the English crown in 1485. He would become King Henry VII.


How many Tudor monarchs would there be in total?

There would be a total of five Tudor monarchs on the English throne. Several lines of kings and queens followed. Lady Jane Grey reigned as queen for just nine days and was never crowned.


What gave Britain so much wealth in the 1800s?

Trade was responsible for Britain's immense wealth in the 1800s. The country would build a huge overseas empire.


What would drain Britain's wealth and lead to the loss of the empire?

Both WWI and WWII would drain Britain of wealth and lead to the loss of the empire. Most of its colonies would eventually gain independence.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!