100+ History Quiz Questions for Educators

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History is not just about remembering random dates that go back in time. It’s about looking into the past and reflecting on humanity’s lessons, struggles, and aspirations.

If you’re conducting a history lecture and need to gamify the learning experience, why not try a quiz instead?

We’ve curated a list of 100+ history quiz questions and answers from different periods that you can use to break the ice in the classroom.

Ancient history quiz questions

Ancient history is the earliest recorded time in human history, and it goes back to the Middle Ages. The timeline starts with the invention of writing systems around 4,000 BCE and ends in 500 CE shortly after the fall of the Roman Empire.

Let’s look at a few history trivia questions on the topic:

  1. Who was the first female pharaoh of Egypt?

Answer: Sobekneferu

  1. What is considered the world’s first-known civilization?

Answer: Sumerian

  1. Which civilization is credited with inventing the wheel?

Answer: Sumerian

  1. What were the two most important city-states in ancient Greece?

Answer: Athens and Sparta

  1. Where was the ancient library of Alexandria located?

Answer: Egypt

  1. In which modern-world country was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon located?

Answer: Iraq

  1. What material did the ancient Sumerians use to write on?

Answer: Clay

  1. Which country is famous for its Terracotta Army?

Answer: China

  1. What was the name of the first-known legal code created in ancient Mesopotamia?

Answer: Code of Ur-Nammu

  1. Which of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World wonders still exists today?

Answer: Great Pyramid of Giza

  1. When did the first documented Olympic Games take place?

Answer: 776 BCE

  1. Which ancient civilization invented the seismograph?

Answer: Chinese

Medieval history quiz questions

Also known as the Middle Ages, medieval history spans from the fifth to late 15th century. This period lies between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the beginning of the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery.

Let’s look at a few questions about medieval history:

  1. Who was the English king famous for his role in the Third Crusade?

Answer: Richard I

  1. In which year was the Magna Carta signed?

Answer: 1215 CE

  1. Which event is considered the marker for the beginning of the medieval period in Western Europe?

Answer: Fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE

  1. How many divisions does the Medieval Period have?

Answer: Three

  1. Can you name the divisions of the Medieval Period?

Answer: Early Medieval Period (or the Dark Ages), the High Medieval Period, and the Late Medieval Period

  1. In which Medieval Period did the population reduce?

Answer: Late Medieval Period

  1. Genghis Khan founded which empire, the largest contiguous land empire in history?

Answer: Mongol Empire

  1. The Reconquista was the reconquest of which country from Muslim rule?

Answer: Spain

  1. Which king of Wessex prevented England from falling to the Danes in the ninth century?

Answer: Alfred the Great

  1. Which king of England was made a saint due to his pious reputation?

Answer: Edward the Confessor

  1. The Hundred Years’ War was fought between which two countries?

Answer: England and France

  1. Which medieval university, founded in the 11th century, is considered one of the oldest in the world and is located in Italy?

Answer: University of Bologna

  1. Which French icon and saint led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years’ War?

Answer: Joan of Arc

  1. What activity are Vikings most renowned for during this period?

Answer: Being raiders and explorers

  1. Who was the Muslim leader known for recapturing Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187?

Answer: Saladin

Did you know? Poll Everywhere allows educators to create an unlimited number of Activities with every plan, including free plans. Therefore, you can create as many Multiple Choice question polls as you need for your quiz.


Modern history quiz questions

This period of history started around the late 15th century after the Medieval Period and continues to the present day. This period saw the Age of Discovery, where European explorers established trade routes and colonial empires.

Here’s a list of trivia questions on the topic:

  1. The Battle of Waterloo in 1815 marked the end of whose rule?

Answer: Napoleon Bonaparte

  1. Which invention by James Watt in the 18th century is considered a key development of the Industrial Revolution?

Answer: Steam engine

  1. The Treaty of Westphalia is considered a foundational event for which international relations concept?

Answer: Sovereign states

  1. Who was the Italian nationalist leader known for his role in unifying Italy?

Answer: Giuseppe Garibaldi

  1. Who was the famous British queen who began her reign in 1837?

Answer: Queen Victoria

  1. Which treaty, signed in 1648, ended the Thirty Years’ War in Europe?

Answer: Treaty of Westphalia

  1. Who was the Russian czar (1682–1725) known as “The Great”?

Answer: Peter I or Peter the Great

  1. The Act of Union 1707 united which two countries to form Great Britain?

Answer: England and Scotland

  1. Who wrote “On the Origin of Species,” published in 1859?

Answer: Charles Darwin

  1. What invention by James Hargreaves in 1764 revolutionized the textile industry?

Answer: Spinning jenny

  1. In which year did the British East India Company establish its first permanent trading post in India?

Answer: 1600

  1. Under which 17th-century ruler did the Persian Empire undergo expansion?

Answer: Abbas the Great

  1. Which event in 1644 led to the establishment of the Qing dynasty in China?

Answer: Fall of the Ming dynasty

  1. What significant event in 1788 marked the beginning of European settlement in Australia?

Answer: Arrival of the First Fleet in Botany Bay

Contemporary history quiz questions

Contemporary history is closer to the present day, covering events from the early 20th century to the present day. However, many historians consider the end of World War I in 1918 as the start of the present-day modern world.

Here are a few trivia questions from this period:

  1. What event in 1929 is considered the start of the Great Depression?

Answer: Wall Street Crash

  1. Who was the first person to orbit Earth?

Answer: Yuri Gagarin

  1. When was the fall of the Berlin Wall, which marked the end of the Cold War?

Answer: 1989

  1. The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 was an important moment in the Cold War between which two superpowers?

Answer: The United States and the Soviet Union

  1. When did the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occur?

Answer: 1986

  1. In what year did the social media platform Facebook launch?

Answer: 2004

  1. In which country did the Arab Spring, beginning in 2010, start?

Answer: Tunisia

  1. Which leader from South Africa was released from prison in 1990 and later became the president?

Answer: Nelson Mandela

  1. Who was the modern world’s first female prime minister?

Answer: Sirimavo Bandaranaike from Sri Lanka

  1. Which country was the first to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide in 2001?

Answer: The Netherlands

  1. The Oslo Accords aimed to bring peace between which two parties in the Middle East conflict?

Answer: Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

  1. The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997, aimed to address what global issue?

Answer: Climate change (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions)

  1. What was the name of the climate change agreement for greenhouse gas emissions signed in 2015?

Answer: Paris Agreement

The more you know: Poll Everywhere Multiple Choice polls have a grading option where you can select correct answers, and students can receive points for choosing the right answer.


American history quiz questions

The study of American history begins with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas and continues until today. Some key moments include the founding of the 13 colonies, the American Revolution, and the establishment of the United States.

Here’s a list of trivia questions on American history:

  1. Which Native American tribe aided the Pilgrims in their first Thanksgiving celebration?

Answer: The Wampanoag tribe

  1. What year did Christopher Columbus first arrive in the Americas?

Answer: 1492

  1. What was the name of the first successful English colony in New England, which was founded in 1620?

Answer: Plymouth Colony

  1. Who was the first president of the United States?

Answer: George Washington

  1. In what year was the American Declaration of Independence adopted?

Answer: 1776

  1. Who was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence?

Answer: Thomas Jefferson

  1. Which American inventor is credited with inventing the light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture camera?

Answer: Thomas Edison

  1. What was the primary cause of the Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865?

Answer: Slavery

  1. Who was the civil rights leader known for his nonviolent activism and famous “I Have a Dream” speech?

Answer: Martin Luther King Jr.

  1. What was the name of the law passed in 1920 that granted women the right to vote in the United States?

Answer: 19th Amendment

  1. Which year did the Vietnam War end with the fall of Saigon?

Answer: 1975

  1. What was the name of the global financial crisis that began in 2008 that led to the stock market crash?

Answer: Great Recession

  1. Who was the first African American president of the United States?

Answer: Barack Obama

  1. What was the name of the first human to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969?

Answer: Neil Armstrong

  1. Who became the first female vice president of the United States and was inaugurated in 2021?

Answer: Kamala Harris

World War quiz questions

World War I and II were the two major global conflicts of modern-day history. They both occurred in the 20th century, between 1914 and 1945, and shaped world history.

Here are a few questions to use during your next lecture:

  1. In what year did World War I begin?

Answer: 1914

  1. Which event is commonly believed to have sparked World War I?

Answer: Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

  1. During which war was a Christmas truce called?

Answer: World War I

  1. What was the name of the longest battle in modern history, lasting from February to December 1916?

Answer: Battle of Verdun

  1. Which country suffered the most casualties during World War I?

Answer: Russia

  1. What was the name of the treaty that formally ended World War I in 1919?

Answer: Treaty of Versailles

  1. When did World War II begin?

Answer: 1939

  1. World War II started when Germany invaded which country?

Answer: Poland

  1. Who was the leader of Nazi Germany during World War II?

Answer: Adolf Hitler

  1. Which technology helped the U.K. defeat Germany’s months-long air offensive against it in the Battle of Britain?

Answer: Radar

  1. What was the code name for the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941?

Answer: Operation Barbarossa

  1. Which countries formed the Great Alliance during World War II?

Answer: The United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain

  1. What was the name of the project that developed the atomic bombs?

Answer: Manhattan Project

  1. Which city in Japan was the target of the first atomic bomb dropped by the United States on August 6, 1945?

Answer: Hiroshima

  1. What was the name of the Japanese surrender document signed on September 2, 1945, effectively ending World War II?

Answer: Instrument of Surrender

Did you know? Poll Everywhere integrates with your favorite slideware or video conferencing app, allowing you to spin up a history quiz without disrupting your workflow.


Art and culture quiz questions

When it comes to art and culture as a subject, you’re looking at the development and evolution of human creativity and cultural practices. It includes the study of works of art, literature, music, and rituals/traditions.

Here are a few questions to use in your next art and culture pop quiz:

  1. Who painted the Mona Lisa?

Answer: Leonardo da Vinci

  1. Who wrote the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”?

Answer: Harper Lee

  1. What was the name of William Shakespeare’s theater in London?

Answer: The Globe Theatre

  1. Who sculpted the statue of David, one of the most famous artworks of the Italian Renaissance?

Answer: Michelangelo

  1. What ancient civilization is known for its intricate hieroglyphic writing system?

Answer: Egyptian

  1. Who wrote the play “Romeo and Juliet”?

Answer: William Shakespeare

  1. What traditional Indian dance form originated in the temples of Tamil Nadu?

Answer: Bharatanatyam

  1. Who composed “The Four Seasons,” a set of violin concertos?

Answer: Antonio Vivaldi

  1. What traditional African musical instrument is often associated with the griot storytelling tradition?

Answer: Kora

  1. What ancient Greek philosopher is known for his writings on ethics, politics, and metaphysics?

Answer: Aristotle

  1. Who was the first emperor of China who was also known for constructing the Great Wall?

Answer: Qin Shi Huang

  1. What is the traditional Japanese art of flower arranging called?

Answer: Ikebana

  1. What is the name of the iconic rock formation in Australia’s Northern Territory sacred to the local Aboriginal people?

Answer: Uluru

  1. What is the name of the Aboriginal instrument used in ceremonies and rituals?

Answer: Didgeridoo

  1. Which ancient civilization in Southeast Asia built the famous temple complex of Angkor Wat?

Answer: Khmer Empire

Spin up your next quiz using Poll Everywhere

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