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Cuba History Trivia

Cuba History Trivia Quizzes

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3 Cuba History quizzes and 40 Cuba History trivia questions.
  History of Havana   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Havana has always been a contentious city from its founding to the modern day. How much do you know about its history?
Average, 10 Qns, Joepetz, Feb 17 16
Joepetz gold member
317 plays
  A Brief Cubic History Challenge   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Cuba throughout the centuries
No, we're not looking at rectangular solids, nor at an art period - I appropriated that adjective for a country with a relatively short recorded history, but it makes up for that in diversity of events. I'm of course talking of none other than Cuba!
Average, 10 Qns, WesleyCrusher, Dec 07 22
WesleyCrusher editor
Dec 07 22
242 plays
  Cuban Wars of Independence   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 20 Qns
Cubans fought bravely for almost half a century to liberate their country from Spanish colonialism and to achieve social justice as well as independence. The situation was further complicated when the US entered the later stages of this long struggle.
Tough, 20 Qns, St Sava Jr., Sep 05 13
St Sava Jr.
938 plays
trivia question Quick Question
Who was the leader of the insurrection?

From Quiz "Cuban Wars of Independence"

Related Topics
  Cuban Missile Crisis [History] (3 quizzes)

  Mixed Cuba [General] (3 quizzes)

  Cuba [Geography] (5 quizzes)

Cuba History Trivia Questions

1. Havana was believed to have been founded in either 1514 or 1515 by Diego Velazquez de Cuellar, a Spanish conquistador. But which little known Spanish explorer first visited the location that would Havana in 1509?

From Quiz
History of Havana

Answer: Sebastian de Ocampo

Ocampa became the first person to circumnavigate the island of Cuba in 1510. He also "discovered" the Gulf of Mexico. Little else is known about his life. The exact location of Havana's founding is a mystery. Early maps show it on the southern coast of Cuba but it's located on the northern shore. The Spanish had notorious trouble keeping a city on the southern coast at the time. Panfilo de Narvaez named the city San Cristobal de la Habana, after Havana's patron saint.

2. How many wars did Cubans fight to gain independence from Spain?

From Quiz Cuban Wars of Independence

Answer: Three

The Cuban sugar cane industry, one of the most mechanized industries of the world in the mid 19th century, wanted free access to world markets and to foreign labor and capital. The antiquated Spanish colonial system was too rigid to provide for this. Increasing taxation added to the burden. Slave labor was not needed any more due to the introduction of machinery. Spanish administration was also rigid, ineffective and corrupt. All these led to the formation of an independence movement which would proclaim three goals: abolition of slavery, independence and a republican form of government.

3. Between Columbus' arrival in 1492 and 1529, the indigenous population of Cuba was reduced to a small fraction of its original 350,000. That was primarily due to which two diseases brought in by the Spanish?

From Quiz A Brief Cubic History Challenge

Answer: Smallpox and measles

The first epidemic to strike the local populace was smallpox, almost immediately after the arrival of the first Europeans who had explored and mapped all of Cuba by 1509. This was followed by a devastating measles epidemic in 1529, wiping out more than two thirds of those who survived the smallpox outbreak. The native population and culture were effectively eliminated less than a generation later, by the year 1550.

4. What was the main reason it took Havana nearly a century and half after its founding to have a permanent, growing population?

From Quiz History of Havana

Answer: Pirate attacks

Havana was used as a trading post and as a result was constantly bombarded by pirate attacks from Spain's European rivals. The French pirate Jacques de Sores burned Havana in 1555 and after that Spain demanded that all New World ships heading to Spain from South America were required to pass through Havana where the Spanish Armada ships would protect them across the Atlantic. Cuba itself was never permanently settled at this time and was used primarily as a stopping point to the New World by many conquistadors, who would plot their strategy to defeat Native American tribes. Much of the Spanish conquest of Central and South America was planned in Havana.

5. When did the first major uprising against Spanish rule occur?

From Quiz Cuban Wars of Independence

Answer: October 10, 1868

The conspiracy was discovered by the Spanish authorities and they were already in hot pursuit of the conspirators. The leaders of the conspiracy therefore pushed ahead with revolt in hope that many others would follow soon.

6. The Spanish quickly brought in slaves from Africa to toil on farms, a situation that would last for over 300 years. What crop was the main export at the time and the reason for needing so many slaves?

From Quiz A Brief Cubic History Challenge

Answer: Sugar

Cuba's agriculture mostly consisted of two crops - sugar and tobacco - through all the time. Out of these, sugar was the dominant source of income at all times, whether exported as such or fermented and distilled into rum. At the time slavery was abolished in the 1880s, slaves and their descendants outnumbered those of European descent 2 to 1.

7. In the late 1500s, there was an organized effort to fortify Havana to improve its defense. Which UNESCO World Heritage Site, completed in 1577, was built to protect the harbor and the city center?

From Quiz History of Havana

Answer: Castillo de la Real Fuerza

The Castillo de la Real Fuerza is one of the most famous fortresses in Cuba. Today, it is a museum and the oldest stone fortress in the Americas. Although it is one of the most notorious, the Castillo de la Real Fuerza was mostly ineffective. Its location slightly away from the harbor still left Havana open to attacks by pirates.

8. What was the insurrection called?

From Quiz Cuban Wars of Independence

Answer: Grito de Yara

The leader of the revolt, lawer and planter Cespedes, freed slaves from his estate, proclaimed the abolition of slavery and the motto 'independencia o muerte' ('independence or death'). He negotiated with the Spanish authorities to obtain the surrender of Yara, but was surprised by incoming Spanish troops. Only eleven rebels survived, but Cespedes shouted, 'Enough for the liberty of Cuba!' The 'Protesta de los Mangos de Baragua' was led by Antonio Maceo after the peace of Yanjon in 1878. Grito de Bayamo and Grito de Habana is just made up.

9. Between 1662 and 1762, one European country conducted several campaigns against Spanish Cuba, in an almost successful attempt to wrest control of the island from Spain. Which one was it?

From Quiz A Brief Cubic History Challenge

Answer: England

While the French and Dutch ran some attacks on Cuba in the late 16th and early 17th century, it was the English who conducted several coordinated attacks. While their initial attempts were met with little success, their invasion of Havana during the Seven Years' War was successful and captured a large part of the island. However, British dominance was short-lived as they traded their share of Cuba for Florida in the 1763 Treaty of Paris.

10. What is the name of the British military man who led the successful Battle of Havana in 1762, giving control of the city to the British?

From Quiz History of Havana

Answer: Sir George Keppel

The Battle of Havana was part of the Seven Years' War, which was essentially a war among European powers over their foreign territories. It is called the French and Indian War in the United States and the War of Conquest in Canada, among other names. The battle went poorly for the Spanish from the beginning as the British had nearly four times as many troops and ships as they did. This meant the Spanish were on the defensive and within two months lost control of Havana via surrender. Very few British soldiers died and those that did died from disease mostly. The Spanish knew their only hope was for a yellow fever outbreak that never occurred on a large scale. Keppel then became governor of the British controlled western Cuba and Havana. He used the city's strategic location to facilitate trade with British colonies in the Caribbean and in North America.

11. Who was the leader of the insurrection?

From Quiz Cuban Wars of Independence

Answer: Carlos Manuel de Cespedes

Carlos Cespedes was a lawyer and a planter. Ignacio Agramonte would become the most famous rebel general during the war. Francisco Aguilera was also a general of rebel forces.

12. The 19th century saw several rebellions, often led by slaves, aiming at achieving Cuban independence from Spain. This was finally achieved in 1898, but not reaching full Cuban independence. What did the island become instead?

From Quiz A Brief Cubic History Challenge

Answer: A United States protectorate

The Cuban War of Independence lasted from 1895 to 1898, starting as an uprising led by José Martí. Martí himself was killed just days after the uprising began, but the tide was not to be stopped and by 1897, the rebels were in a promising position. Events were pushed forward by the loss of the USS Maine, a United States ship that was destroyed with all hands in January 1898. US retaliation was swift and all Spanish troops were removed from Cuba by the end of the year.

13. In 1763, the Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years' War and Havana was returned to Spain in exchange for giving what territory to the British?

From Quiz History of Havana

Answer: Florida

This was crucial for the British as the same treaty gave them control of French lands east of the Mississippi River, so they (or their allies) virtually controlled all of North America's eastern half. In addition, the British were forced to recognize the rights of Catholics in their newly acquired territories. Immediately after regaining Havana, the Spanish improved its defenses immensely and started slowly gaining some autonomy. The Treaty of Paris was signed by France, Great Britain and Spain, after Spain and France lost the Seven Years' War.

14. With the 1898 struggle not achieving full independence, the question remains of when Cuba actually became independent. When was that?

From Quiz A Brief Cubic History Challenge

Answer: May 20, 1902

The US protectorate lasted for not even three and a half years, never having been planned as a lasting institution. A constitution was drafted for Cuba by early 1901 and the transition to an elected government and president took another year. However, in spite of formal independence, the United States reserved several crucial rights of intervention and executed them multiple times over the next fifty years, resulting in the first Cuban Republic rarely being fully functional.

15. Which German scientist is sometimes called the "second discoverer of Cuba" because he discovered new ways to improve Havana's sugar industry at the turn of the 19th century?

From Quiz History of Havana

Answer: Alexander von Humboldt

Alexander von Humboldt was a German scientist who was an expert in many fields, one of which was botany. During his first visit to Cuba in 1800, he surveyed the areas in and around Havana and determined the most efficient way to increase sugarcane production. He was assisted by John Fraser. Although Humbolt left Cuba before the production substantially increased, his prediction that Cuba would be a hub for the industry turned true.

16. How many years did the first Cuban insurrection last?

From Quiz Cuban Wars of Independence

Answer: ten

It was a long and bloody war. The rebel Cuban Liberation Army (Ejercito Libertador) successfully employed guerilla tactics, roaming through vast rural areas, while Spaniards maintained control over major cities. The dynamic balance of power was a consequence, and the war lasted for a decade.

17. Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar became president of Cuba twice, in 1940 and 1952. How did he come to power in each case?

From Quiz A Brief Cubic History Challenge

Answer: Democratic election in 1940, military coup in 1952

In 1940, Batista ran for president of Cuba supported by a left-wing coalition that ranged from moderate social democrats to communists and enjoyed a very successful four-year term. Keeping a promise and the constitutional provisions adopted in 1940, he did not stand for reelection in 1944 and emigrated to the United States. That was to change radically in 1952 when Batista returned to stand for reelection, aiming to end the successful and popular, but also corrupt rule of his two successors in office. He then took power in a military coup before elections could happen and enjoyed another six years of effectively absolute power during which Cuba was generally well off but more and more of the wealth was consumed by a tiny elite.

18. In 1865 and the years afterward, why did Havana see an increase in immigrants from the United States?

From Quiz History of Havana

Answer: Slavery was still legal in Cuba

The Civil War saw the defeat of the Confederate States and the end of slavery in the USA. Many southern plantation owners, not wanting give up their slaves, relocated their plantation to Havana during the war. In addition, those plantation owners who already lost their slaves by the war's end found new slaves in Havana.

19. The fighting in the first Cuban insurrection ended with a compromise in the form of autonomy. Where was the peace agreement signed?

From Quiz Cuban Wars of Independence

Answer: Zanjon

The peace of Zanjon was a compromise that essentially did not satisfy anybody. Spain obstructed autonomy given to Cuba in Zanjon, while the militant wing of the rebels did not accept partial solution, especially Antonio Maceo and Maximo Gomez, later leaders of the War of Liberation of 1895.

20. What was the name of the U.S. battleship that suddenly blew up in Havana Harbor, an event that started the Spanish-American War?

From Quiz History of Havana

Answer: U.S.S. Maine

The USA was increasingly worried about the effects the Cuban War of Independence against the Spanish was having on its economic interests. The Maine was sent to protect those interests when it blew up on February 15, 1898. Almost immediately, speculation in the press suggested the Spanish had either blown it up on purpose or the Maine ran into a mine laid by the Spanish. An official investigation confirmed the mine theory. This explosion sparked the Spanish-American War which saw Spain lost much of its territory in the Caribbean, including Cuba, and Pacific territory like the Philippines and Guam. Cuba became a full independent nation in 1902.

21. About how many lives were lost during the first Cuban insurrection?

From Quiz Cuban Wars of Independence

Answer: 200,000

The war was very bloody, having in mind the overall size of Cuban population. Many also died from diseases, hunger and other war-related causes.

22. A small war, La Guerra Chiquitta, was unsuccessfully fought 1879-80. It was initiated by whom?

From Quiz Cuban Wars of Independence

Answer: Antonio Maceo

Antonio Maceo was stubborn and devoted freedom fighter. However, the wider population did not accept another war because it was impoverished and exhausted after the Ten Years' War.

23. Beginning with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Cuban communist regime did encounter significant economic troubles, having lost its main trading partner. What official name did the Cuban government give this time?

From Quiz A Brief Cubic History Challenge

Answer: The Special Period

With 80% of both its exports and imports depending on the Soviet Union, the end of socialism in Europe hit Cuba extremely hard. With Cuban agriculture not having been diversified or self-sufficient, famines broke out across the country, with pets and even most zoo animals indiscriminately slaughtered for meat. Stringent rationing and massive agricultural reforms followed, but the standard of life in Cuba dropped considerably even in the long term, only gradually improving since Fidel Castro handed over power to his brother Raúl, who pursues a policy of limited, gradual and slow opening towards some market economy principles, in 2006. As of 2015, Cuba has reattained a high human development index and living standards are adequate, similar to those in other Caribbean countries.

24. Who was the mastermind of insurrection that would finally lead to Cuban independence from Spain?

From Quiz Cuban Wars of Independence

Answer: Jose Marti

Jose Marti, a lawyer, poet, writer, political worker, the father of Latin American nationalism, and the father of Cuban nation. His writings are published in 74 volumes in all. He founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party as an instrument to lead Cubans during struggle for independence. Died in battle near Dos Rios on May 19, 1895. Antonio Maceo and Maximo Gomez were famous military commanders. Estrada Palma was second president of Cuban Revolutionary Party, in New York.

25. What were Cuban guerrilla fighters called?

From Quiz Cuban Wars of Independence

Answer: Mambi

The origin of the word 'mambi' is thought to be African, but this is unclear. It denoted black majority of Cuban Liberation Army. Mau-Mau was anti-colonialist movement in Kenya, and the Vietcong was the name of that in Vietnam. Marimba is an Afro-Cuban musical instrument similar to the African m'bira.

26. What famous Cuban general was called 'The Titan of Bronze'?

From Quiz Cuban Wars of Independence

Answer: Antonio Maceo

Antonio Maceo joined Sespedes' movement as a mulatto of humble origin, but due to his courage and outstanding military capability for conducting guerilla warfare, soon became one of the most prominent of the mambi generals. Because of his bravery and great physical strength, he became known as the 'Titan of bronze'. Maceo was very determined fighter for Cuban liberty and also a fierce and principled anti-imperialist. The other three figures were famous Cuban liberation army generals.

27. Where was the famous battle where the Cubans heavily defeated the Spaniards under Martinez Campos?

From Quiz Cuban Wars of Independence

Answer: Peralejo

On 13th July, 1895, in the high grass of Peralejo, Cuban forces under Maceo's command heavily defeated Spanish army under General Martinez Campos. Only the lack of ammunition has spared Spaniards a total defeat and Campos being captured. This battle gave high esteem to Cuban fight for independence and demoralized the Spaniards.

28. The Spanish general, Waleriano Weyler, was notorious for his brutal policy toward Cuban population aimed at cracking-down hard on the insurrection. What was this policy called?

From Quiz Cuban Wars of Independence

Answer: Reconcentration policy

For failure to contain the insurrection, Martinez Campos was soon replaced by the most capable but also cruel Spanish general, Waleriano Weiler. Being unable to defeat mambi army on the battlefield, he decided to strangle it by cutting its supplies. With this in mind he forcefully concentrated vast number of people into the protected areas in order to prevent people supporting and joining the Cuban Liberation Army. However, Spaniards did not have adequate supplies of food, water and medicine for the 'concentrated' people, so soon starvation, hunger, disease killed many. Also, all who didn't obey his strict rules was executed. The jingoistic American 'yellow press' readily used this policy to denunciate the Spaniards, and to bring US close to joining the war with Spain.

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