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UPSC > World History

Explore popular questions from World History for UPSC. This collection covers World History previous year UPSC questions hand picked by experienced teachers.

Q 1.

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Which statement is correct regarding ‘Townshend Acts’ during American Revolution?
i. This act came out in 1767.
ii. It placed taxes on lead, paints, glass, paper and tea.
iii. According to this law all publications should have stamps

i & ii

B

ii & iii

C

Only iii

D

All the above

Explanation

These scries of 1767 laws placed taxes on lead, paints, glass, paper and tea. Colonist became outraged at this final straw in taxes and with many violent protests they had caused the Crown to repeal taxes on all but Tea and send more British troops to control colonist.

Q 2.

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In which year France became Republic?

1792

B

1800

C

1820

D

1772

Explanation

1792: The National Assembly voted for declaration of waragainst Prussia and Austria. Revolutionary wars brought losses and economic difficulties to the people. Large sections of people continued with the revolution and formed numerous political clubs such as the Jacobins. 10th August, 1792: The Jacobins entered the Palace of the Tuileries, held the king as hostage for several hours. The Assembly voted for imprisonment of the royal family. Elections were held and all men of 21 years and above got the right to vote. The newly elected assembly was called the Convention. 21st September, 1792: The Convention abolished the monarchy and declared France a Republic.

Q 3.

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Match phases of Japan in List I with the year in List II:

i-B, ii-C, iii-A

B

i - A, ii - C, iii - B

C

i - B, ii - A, iii - C

D

i - C, ii - A, iii - B

Explanation

Three phases of Japan arc:1. 1853-1867: Period of slavery2. 1868-1894: Rise of Modern Japan3. 1894-1910: World Power

Q 4.

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What was Treaty of Shimonoseki?
i. According to this Treaty China accepted supremacy of Japan on Korea.
ii. This treaty leads to British Japan alliance in 1902.
iii. According to this Treaty Japan accepted supremacy of China on Korea.

A

i & iii

B

ii & iii

i & ii

D

all the above

Explanation

Korea was the link for Japan with mainland of Asia. Korea was theoretically under the control of China was practically it was an autonomous state as China itself was facing political and economic instability. Japan took advantage of this situation and introduced economic and political reforms in Korea. This led to the first Sino Japanese war in which China was defeated and was compelled to accept the Treaty of Shimonoseki. By this treaty China accepted supremacy of Japan on Korea. Russia got alarmed as it feared Japanese move towards Manchuria which had a vast coal and iron reserves.

Q 5.

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Which statement is correct regarding Second World War?
i. The invasion of Poland marked the beginning of the Second World War.
ii. It was stated in America
iii. It was the war between the fascist countries and the major West European Powers—Britain and Erance

A

i & ii

i & iii

C

ii & iii

D

all the above

Explanation

The Second World War, like the First, started in Europe and assumed the character of a world war. In spite of the fact that Western countries had acquiesced in all the aggressions of Japan, Italy and Germany from the invasion of Manchuria to the annexation of Czechoslovakia, the fascist countries’ ambitions had not been satisfied. These countries were planning another redivision of the world and thus had to come into conflict with the established imperialist powers. The Western policy of diverting the aggression of the fascist countries towards the Soviet Union had failed with the signing of the Soviet German Non-Aggression Pact. Thus the war began in Europe between the fascist countries and the major West European Powers—Britain and France. Within a few months it became a world war as it spread to more and more areas, ultimately involving almost ever}' country in the world.

Q 6.

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Which of the following countries were the members of the AntiComintern Pact?

A

Japan

B

Germany

C

Italy

All the above

Explanation

In 1937, the Japanese had started another invasion of China. Japan was one of the three members of the Anti Comintern Pact along with Germany and Italy. In September 1940, these three countries had signed another pact which bound them together even more.

Q 7.

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Which of the following statement (s) is correct regarding NATO?
i. It was formed for defense against the Soviet Union.
ii. It was setup with the United States, Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Philippines and Pakistan as members.
iii. A NATO army was created to establish its bases in many countries of Europe.

A

i & ii

B

Only ii

i & iii

D

all the above

Explanation

In 1949, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed for defense against the Soviet Union. The members of this alliance were the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Portugal, Britain, France, Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg. Turkey, Greece, the Federal Republic of Germany and Spain became its members later. A NATO army was created which established its bases in many countries of Europe. Similar military alliances were set up by the United States and Britain in other parts of the world.

Q 8.

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Match the following leaders who played a great role in the Non-Aligned movement in List 1 with their respective leaders in List II

i - D, ii - B, iii - A, iv-C

B

i - B, ii - A, iii - D, iv-C

C

i - D, ii - A, iii - B, iv - C

D

i - B, ii - C, iii - D, iv - A

Q 9.

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Which was the 1 st Asian country to industrialize?

A

China

Japan

C

Korea

D

India

Explanation

Japan was the first country in Asia to industrialize. Traditionally, Japan produced mainly such articles as silk, porcelain and toys. By the end of the 19th century, Japanese production included steel, machinery, metal goods and chemicals— and in quantities large enough for export.

Q 10.

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Which of the following constitute the Second Estate?
i. Duke and Duchess,
ii. Bourgeoisie
iii. Roman Catholic Clergy

A

i & ii

B

ii & iii

C

i & iii

only i

Explanation

The Second Estate was composed of about 30.000 families who belonged to the nobility like Duke and Duchess, count and countess, and marquis and marquees. Like the clergy, the nobility represented another privileged Estate. They held the highest position in the Church, the army, and the government. As well, they were exempt from paying taxes of any kind.

Q 11.

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Which statement is correct from the French revolution about Declaration of the rights of men (August 26, 1789)?

A

Freedom of religion

B

Freedom of speech

C

Freedom of press

All the above

Explanation

Some of the declarations are: Freedom of religion, Freedom of speech, Freedom of the press, Right of the people to create laws, Right to a fair trial.

Q 12.

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Which of the following statements are correct regarding Jacobin’s Club?
i. Maximilian Robespierre was the leader of the Jacobins.
ii. They imposed a maximum ceiling on wages and prices.
iii. Peasants were forced to sell their grain at the prices fixed by the government.
iv. Churches were shut down and their buildings converted into barracks or offices.

A

i & ii

B

ii & iii

C

iii & iv

all the above

Explanation

Maximilian Robespierre was the leader of the Jacobins. They practiced a policy of severe control and repression. Those suspected as the enemies of the republic were arrested, imprisoned and then tried by a revolutionary tribunal. They imposed a maximum ceiling on wages and prices. Meat and bread were rationed. Peasants were forced to sell their grain at the prices fixed by the government. Churches were shut down and their buildings converted into barracks or offices. All citizens were required to cat the pain d cgalite (equality bread) and discard the use of expensive white flour.

Q 13.

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Match the following places in List I with the year of the beginning of industrialization in List II.

i-C, ii-D, iii-A, iv-B

B

i - A, ii - B, iii - D, iv - C

C

i - A, ii-C, iii - B, iv - D

D

i-B, ii-A, iii-C, iv-D

Explanation

Industrial revolution spread from Mid-1800s Great Britain, the world leader in the Industrial Revolution, attempted to ban the export of its methods and technologies, but this soon failed. 1812 United States industrialized after the War of 1812. After 1825 France joined the Industrial Revolution following the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars. Circa 1870 Germany industrialized at a rapid pace, while Belgium, I lolland. Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland were slower to industrialize. By 1890 Russia and Japan began to industrialize.

Q 14.

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What is meant by ‘Imperialism’?
i. Economic and political control over weaker nations.
ii. A devotion to the interest and culture of one’s nation
iii. Economic development of a nation.

A

i & iii

i & ii

C

Only iii

D

Only ii

Explanation

IMPERIALISM is Economic and political control over weaker nations. For many centuries, European nations built empires. Colonics supplied European nations with raw materials and provided markets for manufactured goods. As Germany industrialized it competed directly with France and Britain. Major European countries also competed for land in Africa.

Q 15.

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Match the following events with the year of there occurrence:

A

i - C, ii - D, iii - A, iv - B

B

i — A, ii — C, iii — D, iv — B

C

i - D, ii - A, iii-C, iv-B

i-D, ii-C, iii-B, iv-A

Q 16.

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Which statement is correct regarding Battle of Britain (1940)?
i. This battle was fought between the German Luftwaffe and the Royal Airforce of Britain.
ii. Britain lost this battle to Germany.

A

Only i

B

Only ii

Both i & ii

D

None of the above

Explanation

This Battle was fought in the air between the German Luftwaffe and the Royal Airforce of Britain. It is crucial because it was a turning point and served as the first defeat for Germany. Although Britain served huge loss of infrastructure in its cities due to bombing by the Luftwaffe, yet Germany could not defeat the British Airforce. Germany lost 1400 airplanes while Britain lost only 700. The answer to why Britain won the war lies in the early warning of the airplanes given by the British Radar stations. Also German Airplanes focused on bombing London and during this the British airfields got time to mobilize the air-force.

Q 17.

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Which statement is correct regarding Operation Barbarossa (1941)?
i. Germany invaded Russia breaking the Non Aggression Pact (1939)
ii. Germany attacked from the north, south and centre, and marched towards Leningrad, Ukraine and Moscow respectively using Blitzkrieg tactics
iii. Germany was successful in its mission

A

i & iii

i & ii

C

Only iii

D

All the above

Explanation

Here Germany invaded Russia breaking the Non Aggression Pact (1939) which was signed for 10 years. Germany attacked from the north, south and centre, and marched towards Leningrad, Ukraine and Moscow respectively using Blitzkrieg tactics which involved simultaneous and rapid attacks by airplanes, tanks and men. Germans were highly successful initially as they faced an inexperienced Russian army. The Stalin purges of 1937 had led to inexperienced young officers replacing the experienced Generals. Slow mobilization procedures were also a reason. But Germany failed to capture Moscow and Leningrad (now called St Petersburg) in 1941. This was due to high rains in October that turned the Russian roads to mud and then the frost during November- December (temperature as low as minus 38 degree Celsius) also limited the forward march by the Germans. German army was short of winter clothes as they had expected to defeat Russia by November. In 1942, the Germans lost the Battle of Stalingrad.

Q 18.

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Which of the following statements is correct regarding the war on Pearl Harbour?
i. Japan attacked Pearl Harbour.
ii. After the attack on Pearl Harbour made Hitler declare war on USA.
iii. In return US attacked Japan with the nuclear bombs,

A

i & ii

B

ii & iii

C

none of the above

all the above

Explanation

Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and got control of the Pacific. It captured the British colonies of Malaya, Singapore, Burma and Hong Kong. It captured the Dutch East Indies, Philippines, Guam and Wake Island, the latter three being US colonies. The attack on Pearl Harbour made Hitler declare war on USA. This was a second serious mistake after the first mistake of attacking USSR.

Q 19.

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Which of the following statements are correct regarding Karl Marks?
i. He founded the doctrine of Marxism in the Communist Manifesto (1848).
ii. His work is more relevant to an industrialized society.
iii. His important works include the Communist manifesto (1848) and the Das Kapital (1867).

A

i & ii

B

ii & iii

C

Only iii

All the above

Explanation

Karl Marx (1818-83), founded the doctrine of Marxism in the Communist Manifesto (1848). Karl Marx formulated his ideas by studying the society around him during his stay in England. It was an industrial setting which he analyzed and thus his work is more relevant to an industrialized society. 1 lc focused on the negatives of the Capitalist system, as he analyzed it in post-industrial revolution England, and tried to provide an alternative form of system which would ensure the welfare of the masses (which were workers). His important works include the Communist manifesto (1848) and the Das Kapital (1867). The ideas of Karl Marx were published in the mid 19th century which also a time of protests against Feudalism and Capitalism in Europe.

Q 20.

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Which statement is correct regarding Latcran Treaty (1929)?
i. Through this treaty Mussolini reached an understanding with the Pope.
ii. It was the treaty between US and USSR.

Only i

B

Only ii

C

Both i & ii

D

None of the above

Explanation

Lateran Treaty was the treaty through which Mussolini reached an understanding with the Pope and thus further consolidated his supremacy in the domain of political sphere. The treaty made religious instructions compulsory in all schools. In return, the papacy recognized the Kingdom of Italy.

Q 21.

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What was Iron Curtain?
i. It symbolized non-interaction between Eastern and Western Europe in all domains viz economic and trade ties, political relationship and people to people contact.
ii. Iron Curtain speech was given by Churchill.
iii. West Berlin Blockade (1948-9) and Berlin Wail (1961-89) were validation of existence of an Iron Curtain in Europe.

A

i & ii

B

only ii

C

iii & ii

all the above

Q 22.

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Which statement is correct regarding Marshall Plan (June 1947)?
i. This was also called the European Recovery Programme.
ii. It helped Europe economically to increase its prosperity, increase US influence in Europe and thus to contain communism.
iii. This plan failed terribly.

A

i & iii

i & ii

C

Only ii

D

All the above

Q 23.

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After Yalta Conference which are the zones in which Germany was divided?

Britain, France, US, USSR

B

Britain, France, Italy, Rome

C

Britain, France, Japan, US

D

None of the above

Explanation

Germany and Berlin were divided into 4 occupation zones (Britain, France, US, USSR) after Yalta Conference (1945).

Q 24.

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Which statement is correct regarding West Berlin Blockade (1948-9)?
i. The relationship between US and USSR became better.
ii. US, Britain and France united their zones into German Federal Republic
iii. US formed NATO (1949) after the West Berlin Blockade because the capitalist bloc found itself unprepared for a military conflict.

A

i & ii

ii & iii

C

i & iii

D

all the above

Explanation

After the West Berlin Blockade (1948-9) The relationship between US and USSR became bitter. It was certain now that Germany was to remain divided in foreseeable future. US, Britain and France united their zones into German Federal Republic (1949). USSR also followed suit by declaring its zone as German Democratic Republic (1949). This completed the division of Germany into two nation sates. US formed NATO (1949) after the West Berlin Blockade because the capitalist bloc found itself unprepared for a military conilict. The Brussels Defence Treaty (1948) was the precursor to NATO and it included Britain, France Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium.

Q 25.

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Match the following List I with List II

i - B, ii-C, iii - D, iv-A

B

i - C, ii - D, iii - A, iv-B

C

i - A, ii - B, iii - D, iv - C

D

i - B, ii-C, iii-A, iv-D