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Quiz about British Prime Ministers 17212001
Quiz about British Prime Ministers 17212001

British Prime Ministers 1721-2001 Quiz


The term 'Prime Minister' has been used in Britain since 1721 to denote the head of the British government. Test your knowledge of the long line of PMs.

A multiple-choice quiz by bloomsby. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
bloomsby
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
33,388
Updated
Aug 19 23
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
10 / 15
Plays
2108
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: bigdaviedoc (13/15), Guest 175 (7/15), Guest 176 (12/15).
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Question 1 of 15
1. The first Prime Minister (1721-42) was Sir Robert ...?

Answer: (surname)
Question 2 of 15
2. Which Prime Minister's actions and policies provoked the American colonies to rebel? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. How old was William Pitt the Younger when he became Prime Minister in 1783? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. Originally, the term "Prime Minister" was purely a convenient nickname - usually for the "First Lord of the Treasury". When did the term gain official recognition? Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. Who is regarded as an outstanding reformer of the period 1820-50, first as Home Secretary and from 1841-46 as Prime Minister? Sir Robert ...?

Answer: (surname)
Question 6 of 15
6. He entered Parliament as a Tory (Conservative) but later became leader of the Liberals and headed four adminstrations in the 19th century. His name is William Ewart ...?

Answer: (surname only)
Question 7 of 15
7. Who was Prime Minister when Britain declared war on Germany in 1914? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. Who was the first Labour Prime Minister? Ramsay ____.

Answer: (surname)
Question 9 of 15
9. When did Winston Churchill first become Prime Minister? Hint


Question 10 of 15
10. Who headed the Labour Government of 1945-51? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. Who, together with the French Government, occupied the Suez Canal area in 1956 and resigned shortly afterwards? Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. Which Prime Minister took Britain into the (then) European Economic Community, which has since evolved into the European Union? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. Very few women have been British Prime Minister. Who was the first?

Answer: (First name and surname)
Question 14 of 15
14. Who became Prime Minister in 1997 after a landslide electoral victory?

Answer: (First name and surname)
Question 15 of 15
15. Which of these Prime Ministers did NOT study at the University of Oxford? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jun 08 2024 : bigdaviedoc: 13/15
May 26 2024 : Guest 175: 7/15
May 11 2024 : Guest 176: 12/15

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The first Prime Minister (1721-42) was Sir Robert ...?

Answer: Walpole

Sir Robert Walpole held the new office longer than any other Prime Minister and established it as the key office in British politics.
2. Which Prime Minister's actions and policies provoked the American colonies to rebel?

Answer: Lord North

Lord North's downfall in 1782 marked the end of the long period of Whig supremacy.
3. How old was William Pitt the Younger when he became Prime Minister in 1783?

Answer: 24

He was the youngest Prime Minister of them all, but he also died young - at the age of 46. There were jokes at the time about Britain having "a schoolboy" as Prime Minister.
4. Originally, the term "Prime Minister" was purely a convenient nickname - usually for the "First Lord of the Treasury". When did the term gain official recognition?

Answer: 1906

In 1906 the term "Prime Minister" was included in the Order of Precedence, and in this very arcane sense acquired an "official" status.
5. Who is regarded as an outstanding reformer of the period 1820-50, first as Home Secretary and from 1841-46 as Prime Minister? Sir Robert ...?

Answer: Peel

As Home Secretary in the 1820s he helped to remove the death penalty from over 100 crimes, founded the Metropolitan Police and played a key role in Catholic Emanciaption, but he is most celebrated for steering Britain firmly towards free trade (repeal of the Corn Laws, 1846).
6. He entered Parliament as a Tory (Conservative) but later became leader of the Liberals and headed four adminstrations in the 19th century. His name is William Ewart ...?

Answer: Gladstone

Lived 1809-98. His political career was also exceptionally long, extending from 1833 till 1894.
7. Who was Prime Minister when Britain declared war on Germany in 1914?

Answer: Herbert Asquith

Edward Grey was Foreign Secretary in 1914 and his name is therefore closely associated with Britain's entry into WWI. Lloyd George only became Prime Minister in 1916. Though a capable reformer in the domestic sphere, he was much less competent as a war time leader and was ousted and replaced by the much more energetic by David Lloyd George in December 1916.
8. Who was the first Labour Prime Minister? Ramsay ____.

Answer: MacDonald

He is also well known for forming a 'national' coalition government with the Conservatives (and 'National' Liberals) in 1931 when Britain felt the full force of the Great Depression and he became highly unpopular with the Labour Party as a result.
9. When did Winston Churchill first become Prime Minister?

Answer: May 1940

He immediately set about forming a coalition government consisting of the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberals. Despite his role in winning World War II he lost the 1945 general election by a large margin but became Prime Minister again in 1951.
10. Who headed the Labour Government of 1945-51?

Answer: Clement Attlee

He avoided any 'personality cult' and was regarded as the head of a powerful team. This may help to explain why many do not know his name.
11. Who, together with the French Government, occupied the Suez Canal area in 1956 and resigned shortly afterwards?

Answer: Anthony Eden

Eden seriously misjudged the consquences of such an action undertaken in opposition to both the USA and the Soviet Union. He resigned in January, 1957 and was succeeded by Harold Macmillan.
12. Which Prime Minister took Britain into the (then) European Economic Community, which has since evolved into the European Union?

Answer: Edward Heath

Heath was Prime Minister from 1970-74. He lost the 1974 election, which was held during a national emergency resulting from a prolonged strike by the miners. He had been Britain's chief negotiator in the country's first attempt to join the EEC in the early 1960s during Macmillan's premiership.

The application to join was vetoed by President de Gaulle in singularly rude and offensive terms at a press conference in January 1963. (There had no prior warning to the British government or to the governments of any of the member states).

A second attempt to join, under Wilson in 1967, was also vetoed by Charles de Gaulle.
13. Very few women have been British Prime Minister. Who was the first?

Answer: Margaret Thatcher

Some other countries also have or have had female heads of government. In July 2016 Theresa May became Prime Minister shortly after the referendum vote to leave the European Union, and in 2022 Liz Truss took office for a couple of weeks.
14. Who became Prime Minister in 1997 after a landslide electoral victory?

Answer: Tony Blair

He was also re-elected, again with a huge parliamentary majority, in 2001 and again in 2005.
15. Which of these Prime Ministers did NOT study at the University of Oxford?

Answer: Sir Winston Churchill

Since 1945 Britain has had 15 Prime Ministers. Of these, eleven were Oxford graduates. Three prime ministers since 1945 had not studied at university when they came to office - Churchill, Callaghan and Major, and Gordon Brown was an Edinburgh graduate.

The last Cambridge graduate to be Prime Minister was Stanley Baldwin(!) who retired in 1937. The postwar Oxford Prime Ministers have been as follows: Attlee was at University College, Eden and Douglas-Home at Christ Church, Macmillan and Heath at Balliol College, Wilson at Jesus College, Thatcher at Somerville College, Blair at St. John's College, David Cameron at Brasenose College, May at St. Hugh's College and Boris Johnson at Balliol College.
Source: Author bloomsby

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Exit10 before going online.
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