Dictators and Despots Quiz
by Staff
You there! Yes, you. If you know what's good for you, you'll take this quiz to learn about various practitioners of tyrannical, despotic and authoritarian behavior. Just try refusing.

First, let's define some terms. Which of these terms can mean a person granted total power in an emergency?

  • dictator
  • despot
  • both

Someone who holds unlimited and absolute power is called …

  • a despot
  • a dictator
  • both

Who founded the National Fascist Party?

  • Adolf Hitler
  • Benito Mussolini
  • Joseph Stalin

Mussolini was aided by armed squads called …

  • the SS
  • Il Duce
  • Black Shirts

What despot's name was originally Saloth Sar?

  • Kim Il Sung
  • Pol Pot
  • Idi Amin

What was Pol Pot's original occupation?

  • wealthy landowner
  • circus roadie
  • teacher

Who led the Chinese communist revolution?

  • Chiang Kai-shek
  • Mao Zedong
  • Gaohou

As part of Mao's "Great Leap Forward," people had to …

  • forfeit all land for public, common ownership
  • wear the same clothes
  • agree to procreate

Mere hours after Bashar al-Assad's father(and Syrian president) Hafez al-Assad died, the legislature passed an amendment lowering the minimum age of the president to what?

  • 35 years old
  • 22 years old
  • 34 years old, conveniently also Bashar's age

While Syria is majority Sunni, Assad's background is a sect of Shite Muslims called …

  • Islamic-Christian
  • Yazidis
  • Alawites

What dictator's birth supposedly was accompanied by a double rainbow?

  • Kim Il Sung
  • Kim Jong Il
  • Mao Zedong

Under Kim Jong Il's leadership in the late 1990s, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans died of …

  • mass execution
  • cholera
  • starvation

Kim Il Sung was given what title after death?

  • supreme leader
  • eternal president
  • living saint

Idi Amin expelled whom from Uganda in 1972?

  • Asian people
  • Christians
  • a tribal minority

Amin used what to maintain his grasp of power?

  • random violence
  • controlling the food supply
  • leaving the country for long stretches of time

How many people were estimated to have been killed under Amin's presidency?

  • 300,000
  • 15,000
  • 900,000

Moammar Gadhafi overthrew the monarchy of what country?

  • Syria
  • Libya
  • Beirut

Gadhafi's manifesto, which was required reading for Libyans, was called what?

  • "The Little Red Book"
  • "The Green Book"
  • "My Thoughts and Feelings, By Moammar Gadhafi"

How long did Nicolae Ceausescu rule Romania?

  • 24 years
  • 2 years
  • 12 years

What did Ceausescu outlaw?

  • birth control
  • abortion
  • both of the above

Francois Duvalier held tyrannical power over Haiti for 14 years. What was his cute nickname?

  • Frankie Cuddles
  • Papa Doc
  • Duvey Duvey Doo

After Duvalier's death, the "president for life" title went to …

  • his brother
  • his daughter
  • Baby Doc

Ruhollah Khomeini became Iran's religious and political leader by what means?

  • a coup
  • a referendum
  • the shah abdicating to him

The Komiteh was a government agency that roamed the streets enforcing what during Khomeini's rule?

  • children's playtime
  • a rule outlawing littering
  • strict codes of Islamic dress and behavior

What other well-known dictator understood the importance of establishing a dictatorship within legal means?

  • Julius Caesar
  • Hitler
  • Catherine the Great

Speaking of one of the world's most famous dictators, Hitler did try to foment insurrection during what event?

  • Beer Hall Putsch
  • Blitzkreig
  • Kristallnacht

How many Russians died in a series of famines after Joseph Stalin instigated collectivization where farms were grouped together and owned by the state?

  • 450,000
  • 900,000
  • 5 million

Ivan the Terrible was the first what?

  • commoner to overthrow a state government
  • recorded despot king
  • czar of Russia

While Fidel Castro eventually became the leader of a one-party system in Cuba, he was initially given what title in the revolutionary government?

  • secretary of defense
  • chief advisor
  • commander in chief of the armed forces

Augusto Pinochet was responsible for more than 35,000 cases of torture during his time ruling what nation?

  • Chile
  • Venezuela
  • Argentina