Are you a big history buff? Do you love learning about different cultures, periods, and monumental events? If so, then this trivia is for you!
In this post, we invite you to test your knowledge with our carefully-curated world history trivia questions. Below, you’ll find both world history trivia questions and answers, so in case you don’t know the answers, you can learn something new.
From the fall of Rome and the Cold War to fights for independence and women in power — see how much you really know about the world’s history!
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101 World History Trivia Questions
The Prohibition era in the United States lasted from Jan 17, 1920 – Dec 5, 1933. What did this era attempt to ban?
Answer: Prohibition was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages.
We all know about the sad tragedy that is the Titanic. Where was it sailing from and where was it going?
Answer: Southampton, England to New York.
What is the name of the megalithic circle on Salisbury Plain in southern England that ranks among the world’s most iconic and mysterious archaeological sites?
Before the USA’s 16th president took office, he was actually a wrestling champion. The 6’4″ president had only one loss out of approximately 300 contests. Which president was he?
Answer: Abraham Lincoln.
The United States bought Alaska from which country?
Where did Albert Einstein live before moving to the United States?
Which historic French cabaret, home of the high-kicking cancan, celebrated its 125th birthday in October 2014?
Answer: Moulin Rouge.
In France, what is celebrated on Bastille Day?
Answer: The anniversary of the fall of the Bastille in Paris on July 14, 1789 (French Revolution).
During the seventh, century, fireworks were invented by which country?
Who was the merchant, writer, and adventurer from Venice who traveled from Europe to Asia between the years of 1271 to 1295?
Answer: Marco Polo.
Who sent Christopher Columbus to explore the New World?
Answer: King Ferdinand of Spain.
From what country did jazz originate?
Answer: The USA.
Which physicist published four breakthrough scientific papers in 1905, including his particle theory of light and his theory of relativity?
Answer: Albert Einstein.
Who was the Cuban dictator, revolutionary, and politician who led Cuba from 1959 to 2008?
Answer: Fidel Castro.
A famous Christmas truce was a series of widespread but unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front during which war?
Answer: World War I.
Easter Island, also known by its native name Rapa Nui, is famous for what?
Answer: Its stone statues of human figures with oversized heads, known as moai (meaning “statue”).
What ancient civilization built the Machu Picchu complex in Peru?
Answer: The Incas.
Which of the Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World is still in existence?
Answer: Pyramids of Giza.
Who was the first ruler of the Mongol Empire?
Answer: Genghis Khan.
What was the name of the last Queen of France?
Answer: Marie Antoinette.
How old was Queen Elizabeth II when she was crowned the Queen of England?
The modern-day city of Istanbul was known by what name in the 13th century?
Which British ruler is the king in The King’s Speech, which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2011?
Answer: George VI.
Besides Antarctica, which was the last major landmass to be discovered by humans–Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, or The Philippines?
Answer: New Zealand. While experts can’t be sure of the exact year, some think that early settlers arrived in New Zealand in double-hulled canoes between 1250 and 1300 CE.
Which South American country is named after a military leader known as El Libertador (the liberator)?
What was Tsar Ivan IV of Russia known as? “Ivan the ____”
Answer: Ivan the Terrible.
What was the very first nation to reach the surface of the moon with either a manned or unmanned spacecraft?
Answer: USSR (Russia), with an unmanned spacecraft called Luna 2 on 12 September 1959.
From which country did the very first human land on the moon?
Answer: The United States. The first manned mission landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. Commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon.
What years did the Vietnam War start and end?
Answer: 1955 – 1975.
In what year did WWII start and end?
Answer: Started in 1939, and ended in 1945.
In what country was the famous artist Leonardo da Vinci born?
From 1912 to 1948, the Olympic Games had additional competitions for tasks that are not featured in the Olympics in the present day. What were they?
Answer: They held competitions in the fine arts. Medals were given for literature, architecture, sculpture, painting, and music.
What was the name of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant that was the site of a nuclear disaster in April 1986?
In what year was Hong Kong finally returned to China after Britain seized it in 1842 during the First Opium War?
In which country was the Battle of Culloden fought in 1746?
What European city became the first to allow LGBTQ people to marry legally when it permitted four same-sex couples to wed in its City Hall in 2001?
Which European principality is the home to Prince Albert Grimaldi and his wife, Princess Charlene, who gave birth to twins in 2014?
How was Napoleon I related to Napoleon III?
Answer: Napoleon I is the uncle of Napoleon III.
Which former temple on the Athenian Acropolis in Greece serves as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, democracy, and Western civilization?
Answer: The Parthenon.
What country did Mexico gain its independence from in the 1800s?
Which city in the world was the first to be attacked by an atomic bomb?
Which leader, whose given name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has ruled over the smallest country in the world since 2013?
Answer: Pope Francis, of Vatican City.
What president of Russia abruptly resigned in 2000, naming Vladimir Putin as his replacement?
Answer: Boris Yeltsin.
The fall of what city’s wall, allowing free travel from east to west for the first time since 1961, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019?
What Greek physician is considered the “father of modern medicine?”
What Austrian’s assassination kicked off World War I?
Answer: Franz Ferdinand.
During WWII, what was the name of the machine used to create German and Japanese codes?
Which German physicist, who become involved in politics after the fall of the Berlin Wall, was elected the first female chancellor in 2005?
Answer: Angela Merkel.
Who was the prime minister of Britain during WWII?
Answer: Winston Churchill.
What year did 9/11 happen?
Which countries fought in the Hundred Years’ War?
Answer: Britain and France
Which two royal family members were divorced in 1996?
Answer: Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
At its peak, what empire conquered more of the world than anyone else in history — was it the Roman, British, Spanish, or French?
Answer: The British Empire is the largest empire in history. At its height, it controlled 13.71 million square miles on every continent.
Who was the first Emperor of Rome?
In which country did Benazir Bhutto serve two terms as prime minister before she was assassinated in 2007–Pakistan, Iran, or Turkey?
World War I began in which year?
Who invited 12,000 people to attend an open-air pop concert in her gardens on June 3, 2002, to celebrate her Golden Jubilee?
Answer: Queen Elizabeth II.
Brexit refers to which country leaving the European Union?
Answer: The United Kingdom.
The ancient Egyptians used to sleep on pillows made of what — stones, gold, hay, or diamonds?
What was the name of the ancient trade route that connected the East with the West?
Answer: The Silk Road.
What is Nelson Mandela’s significance in world history?
Answer: He is considered the father of Modern South Africa. He was instrumental in tearing down the oppressive government in South Africa in the 20th century. He was incarcerated from 1964 to 1982 and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for peacefully destroying the Apartheid regime and laying the foundation for democracy.
What is Mahatma Gandhi’s significance in world history?
Answer: Gandhi is widely recognized as one of the 20th century’s greatest political and spiritual leaders. He is fondly known as the ‘Father of the Nation’. He became the leader of the nationalist movement against the British rule of India, practicing resistance to tyranny through mass nonviolent protest (satyagraha).
Who was the first woman to be elected Vice President of the United States in 2020?
Answer: Kamala Harris.
What city was Poland’s capital in the fourteenth century?
The disease that ravaged and killed a third of Europe’s population in the 14th century is known as what?
Answer: The Black Plague or Bubonic Plague.
Adolf Hitler was born in which country?
Along with Hiroshima, Japan, which Japanese city was hit by an atomic bomb in 1945?
Answer: Nagasaki. The two cities were struck just three days apart. It led to Japan’s unconditional surrender in World War II.
After the acquisition of territory known as The Louisiana Purchase by the United States from France in 1803, who led the expedition to explore the newly purchased territory?
Answer: Lewis and Clark.
Which peasant girl led the French army at Orléans during the Hundred Years’ War?
Answer: Joan of Arc.
The Reign of Terror was a period during which revolution where tens of thousands of people were tried and executed, with countless others dying in prison?
Answer: French Revolution.
Which German city and capital of Bavaria was the home of the original Oktoberfest?
Which famous monument did Shah Jahān build to immortalize his wife?
Answer: Taj Mahal.
The Magna Carta was published by the King of which country?
Which member of the royal family left the British Army in 2015 after 10 years of service, including two tours in Afghanistan?
Answer: Prince Harry.
The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang. What was his significance in history?
Answer: He was the first emperor of China.
Which country’s King Juan Carlos ended his 39-year reign in 2014 and handed the crown to his son, Filipe?
Answer: Spain (he wanted to make way for “younger people with new energies”).
What does “kamikaze” mean in the war sense?
Answer: It was a suicide bombing tactic used by the Empire of Japan during World War II, in which a pilot would deliberately crash an explosives-laden plane into an enemy warship.
Who discovered the Rosetta Stone near Alexandria, Egypt, in 1799?
When was the wreck of the Titanic discovered? 1991, 1985, 1941, or 1920?
In what country did the Battle of Waterloo take place?
Tsai Ing-wen was the first female president of which country?
In what country are the ruins of the ancient city of Troy located?
What is the name of the imperial palace complex at the heart of Beijing, China?
Answer: Forbidden City.
What major Tuscan city is located northwest of Rome on the Arno River and is the birthplace of the Renaissance?
Answer: Florence, Italy.
Who founded the first film production company in France, which created more than 400 films from 1896 to 1913 — was it Pierre Étaix, August Lumiere, or Georges Méliès?
Answer: Georges Méliès.
Which famous 225-ton gift was given on Christmas Day in 1886?
Answer: The Statue of Liberty (from France to the USA).
World War II started after the invasion of which capital city?
Answer: Warsaw (Poland).
Which Nordic country was first to give women the right to vote, in 1906?
What is the largest democratic country in the world?
Which world-changing invention was patented on Valentine’s Day, 1876?
What British ruler’s long reign did Queen Elizabeth II surpass in September 2015?
Answer: Queen Victoria (she ruled for 63 years until her death in 1901).
Which civilization from the 15th and early 16th centuries considered cacao beans more valuable than gold?
Answer: The Aztecs. They believed cacao beans were a gift from the gods and used them as a currency that was more precious than gold.
In the Middle Ages, wealthy women used a combination of water and what fruit as blush?
In what modern-day country was Karl Marx, the communist philosopher, born?
Who was the wartime nurse known as the “Lady with the Lamp”?
Answer: Florence Nightingale.
The people of which country were the earliest participants in the Age of Discovery (also known as the Age of Exploration)?
Answer: The Portuguese.
What French Emperor was notorious for both his height and his temper as he came into power after the French Revolution?
Answer: Napoleon Bonaparte.
The USSR and the United States faced a global stalemate during what infamous conflict?
Answer: Cold War.
After World War II concluded, what organization was created to prevent such conflict from ever breaking out again?
Answer: United Nations.
Which Paris landmark celebrated its 850th anniversary in 2013 by installing nine new bells?
Answer: Notre Dame Cathedral.
In a 2012 referendum, which US territory voted for the first time to become the 51st star on the US flag?
Answer: Puerto Rico.
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…I should have known that! Trivia Game
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And that about wraps up this post — these were some fun and interesting facts about world history, weren’t they?
We hope you enjoyed reading these world trivia questions as much as we enjoyed finding and writing them! Be sure to check back for more trivia goodness in the future!
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