The "Are you qualified to vote?" test - World History questions

A person can not understand the current world without understanding history. So I am including the following questions in my test. Knowing the answer to these questions is important and also would signal a knowledge of history.

1.What event caused the breakup of the Ottoman empire?  

  • a. WWII
  • b. WWI
  • c. The Crimean War
  • d. The Iranian Revolution
  • e. The Franco-Prussian war

2. What was the outcome of the 'The Great Leap Forward'?

  • a. The Russian Revolution
  • b. The Chinese developing the atomic bomb
  • c. A huge famine
  • d. The invention of the assembly line
  • e. The opening of Japan to western ideas

3. What caused the original split in Islam between the Sunnis and the Shiites?  

  • a. Dispute over who authored the Koran.
  • b. Dispute between residents of Mecca and Medinah
  • c. Dispute over meaning of jihad
  • d. Dispute over who took over after Muhammed's death.
  • e. Dispute over role of women in society

4. The outcome of which of these Civil War Battles is considered most strategically important?  

  • a. Cold Harbor
  • b. Vicksburg
  • c. Shiloh
  • d. Fredricksburg
  • e. Wilderness

5. The seige of what city is considered the turning point on the eastern front of WWII?  

  • a. Stalingrad
  • b. Leningrad
  • c. Volgograd
  • d. Moscow
  • e. Minsk

6. What foreign country was the source of the most support to the US during the American revolution?  

  • a. Russia
  • b. Spain
  • c. England
  • d. Germany
  • e. France

I think they are clearly worded and fair, but what do you think?

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Nice one...

Yes, they are very clear.

Didn't get 4 right :(

Didn't get 4 right :(

I don't see the usefulness of this test at all

1) Ottoman?
2) Probably the famine, with a name like that
3) I don't know/care
4) I don't know/care
5) I don't care at all
6) I still don't care

How can you understand the present...

If you don't understand the past.  The reason the middle east is such a hotbed of violence has alot to do with the Sunni, Shiite split and even more to do with the end of the Ottoman empire. The policies of Russia are hard to understand without understanding their experience in WW2. The same is true for China and the great leap forward.

I'll be the guinea pig

Here are my answers, without googling. What's the worse that could happen? I lose my right to vote. Oh no!







After some googling...

,,,I still don't know if I got #4 correct. #1 and #5 were semi-guesses.

You've got #5 wrong... think

You've got #5 wrong... think about it, they made movies about that battle, one of which is even named after the city.

1)B 2)C 3)D 4)B 5)A 6)E







And what if

What if history buffs tend to be more statist/left wing/whatever than the average? If, for example, you make the test hard enough so that few people other than academics in the humanities are able to answer the questions, you may get a set of voters who will tend to have the politics that that the academy is known for. We may end up with Noam Chomsky as President.

Maybe the test should be

Maybe the test should be Caplan's libertarian purity test then.

Exactly... I think people

Exactly... I think people who know history and/or follow politics may actualy like politics and may have a "power-hungry" statist policy.

My take also

I wrote a comment that suggested additional choices to throw off the statists the other day but lost them because I wasn't logged in.

1) f) Western Imperialism

2) f) The defamation of theoretical communism due to selfish individuals

3) f) George Bush

4) f) Gettysburg


Anyone who knows the answer to 4) would tend to be a civil war buff and more likely to see things from the position of the South. We northerners really don't give a damn about the battles.


The rationale for the test

More informed people make more better choices. Statism is a poor choice. More informed voters will be more likely to choose freedom friendly policies and less likely to choose statism. Hopefully once I get the entire test up and running I can prove that.