History Quiz 2.1

Put Your Brain to the Test and see if you are a Trivia Master! No peeking at the answers until you have answered all the questions! 😀


1.  What did most people in Europe believe about the world in 1400?
2.  What were the main goods traded between Europe and the East in the 1400’s?
3.  Why were spices so important?
4.  Why were sailors afraid to travel far out to sea?
5.  What was an astrolabe used for?
6.  How was the speed of a ship measured?
7.  Explain why the caravel ship was so different from previous ships.
8.  Explain why Prince Henry the Navigator was so important.
9.  List the main reasons why some Europeans wanted to explore new lands.
10.  Why was Diaz so important?
11.  Why was Da Gama so important?
12.  Where was Columbus born?
13.  Who sponsored his first great voyage?
14.  How did Marco Polo influence Columbus?
15.  What did Columbus hope to achieve?
16.  When and where did Columbus set sail from on his first voyage?
17.  Name his three ships.
18.  What did Columbus call the first island he came to in October?
19.  What did Columbus call the native people of the islands?
20.  How many voyages did Columbus make overall?
21.  Where was Magellan born?
22.  Which King gave him 5 ships?
23.  What were some of the main problems faced by Magellan on his voyage ?
24.  Why did Magellan give the Pacific ocean this name?
25.  On what island was Magellan killed and explain how this happened?
26.  Who commanded the final voyage home and name the ship?
27.  What does the word circumnavigaton mean?
28.  What was agreed at the treaty of Tordesillas?
29.  What was a conquistadore?
30.  Where did the Aztecs once live?
31.  Where did the Incas once live?
32.  Write a paragraph about Cortez.
33.  Write a paragraph about Pizarro?
34.  Why were the Spanish able to defeat the native Americans so easily?
35.  Why did millions of native Americans die?
36.  Why were African people brought to the Americas?


1. Most people believed that the world was flat and that the Mediterranean sea was the centre of that world.

2. Spices, silk.

3. Spices were very important for adding flavour to food and rich people were prepared to pay for these spices.

4. Sailors were convinced they would fall over the edge of the world. They were afraid of giant sea-monsters. Their ships were not very strong and could easily sink in a storm.

5. Astrolabe was used to find your exact location using the lines of latitude.

6. Speed was measured in knots by tying a large piece of wood to a rope.

7. The caravel had square and triangular sails. It had a rudder. It had a strong wooden deck. It was made of strong wood and the planks of wood were overlapped. Overall it was safer, faster and stronger.

8. Prince Henry lived in Portugal and was the first person to set up a special school in which sailors got proper training. The school was in a place called Sagres.

9. To become rich by finding gold and silver. To find new lands for their country to control. To find new people to convert to the Christian religion. To prove that the world was round. For the majority of ordinary sailors it was just a job.

10. Diaz was a sailor from Portugal who was the first one to sail to the very southern tip of the continent of Africa. He named the tip the Cape of Good Hope.

11. Vasco da Gama was a Portuguese sailor who was the first person to sail all around the tip of southern Africa and across the Indian Ocean to India.

12. Genoa in Italy.

13. Queen Isabella of Spain.

14. Marco Polo had travelled to China as a teenager and had spent 17 years there. On his return a book was written that described all the wonders of China. Columbus read this book called “The travels of Marco Polo”. He too wanted to travel to the East.

15. He hoped to reach China and the east by a faster and safer route. He was going to sail directly west to get to the east in a few weeks.

16. Left Palos in Spain in August 1492.

17. Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria.

18. San Salvador which means “our saviour” in thanks to God for having reached land safely.

19. Indians.

20. He made 4 voyages in total. His second one was the largest with 17 ships.

21. Magellan was born in Spain.

22. King Philip of Spain and the aim of the voyage was to sail around south America and across the ocean to reach India. He called this the Pacific Ocean.

23. The crew of one ship turned back. Another ship was wrecked. Many of the men on the last 3 ships died from starvation in the Pacific ocean.

24. After the storms and enormous waves of the bottom of South America, the ocean they sailed into was so peaceful that Magellan called it the Pacific.

25. He and 40 members of the crew were killed in the Philippine islands when they got involved in a local war.

26. The only surviving ship was the Victoria and it was under the control of Captain Del Cano.

27. It means to completely sail around the world.

28. The Spanish and the Portuguese drew a line through South America and agreed that west of the line would be Spanish and east of the line would be Portuguese.

29. Spanish soldiers who captured lands in south America and set up Spanish colonies.

30. Present day Mexico.

31. Present day Peru and high up in the Andes mountains.

32. Cortes was a Spanish soldier. Brought horses and guns to Mexico. Aztecs thought a soldier on a horse was a new kind of being. Cortes made an alliance with the enemies of the Aztecs. Burned the main Aztec City and massacred the people. King of Spain then made him governor of new Spain (now called Mexico)

33. Pizarro a Spanish soldier. Heard about the Inca gold. Took 180 men and 37 horses to capture it. Inca king captured. Made Incans fill room with gold. King killed by Spanish. Pizarro captured city of Cuzco and established an empire.

34. They had horses, guns and armour.

35. Main reason was from disease. Also because of over-work due to forced labour. Many also died in wars fought against the Spanish.

36. To work as slaves on the huge plantations and mines because so many of the native people had died or ran away

So how did you do? Don’t worry if you didn’t get them all right…come back later and try again. If you like, why not try out other quizzes on this site!


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