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AP Vocabulary Review

QuestionAnswer
38th Parallel Line of latitude which divided North and South Korea.
95 Theses Document written by Martin Luther detailing what he believed to be the problems in the medieval Church.
Abbassid Dynasty (750 - 1258) Ruling family of the Islamic Empire during its golden age. This dynasty is responsible for many achievements
Abraham The first patriarch in the Bible. Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and was rewarded for being prepared to do so. He is considered by Jewish people as the father of the Israelites through his son Isaac, and by Muslims as the father of
absolute monarchy A political system in which a country is ruled by a monarch, who has absolute control.
acid rain Rain that contains pollutants due to the burning of fossil fuels. It is damaging to the environment.
acupuncture Chinese method of treating disorders by inserting needles into the skin. This is to help with the flow of energy that is thought to be blocked.
adaptation A change made to survive an environment or to overcome a disadvantage.
African National Congress A group formed in protest of the policy of Apartheid in South Africa. It was eventually outlawed due to their violent tactics, and Nelson Mandela, one of its leaders, was imprisoned for over thirty years.
African Trading Kingdoms Three African kingdoms, Ghana, Mali, and Songhai that were important in the trans-Sahara trade of gold form the west coast of Africa to North Africa and the Middle East. Their trade provided enough wealth to create the conditions necessary for cultural a
Afrikaners Dutch descended colonist living in South Africa. Also called Boers.
Age of Exploration Time period during the 15th and 16th centuries when Europeans searched for new sources of wealth and for easier trade routes to China and India. Resulted in the discovery of North and South America by the Europeans.
Age of Reason Term given to describe the Enlightenment.
Age of Transition Term given to describe the Renaissance.
Agrarian Revolution A change in farming methods that allowed for a greater production of food. This revolution was fueled by the use of new farming technology such as the seed drill and improved fertilizers. The result of this revolution was a population explosion due to th
agriculture The cultivating of land, producing of crops, and raising of livestock for human consumption.
Ahimsa In Hinduism, it is the principal of non violence against all living things.
AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. A disease of the human immune system caused by the HIV retrovirus.
Akbar the Great (1542-1605) Emperor of the Mughal Empire in India. He is considered to be their greatest ruler. He is responsible for the expansion of his empire, the stability his administration gave to it, and the increasing of trade and cultural diffusion.
Alexander the Great (356 BCE-323 BCE) He conquered most of the ancient world from Asia Minor to Egypt and India, which began the Hellenistic culture which was a blending of Greek, Persian, Indian, and Egyptian influences.
algebra A branch of mathematics pioneered by Islamic mathematician al-Khwarizimi in which letters are used to represent unknown numbers to generalize arithmetic.
al-Khwarizimi Islamic mathematician who pioneered the study of algebra. His textbook on the subject became a standard in European universities for centuries.
Allied Powers Alliance of Great Britain, Soviet Union, United States, and France during World War II.
Al-Qaeda Islamic terrorist organization led by Osama bin Laden. They are responsible for numerous terrorist attacks, including the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings in New York City.
al-Sadat, Anwar (1918-1981) President of Egypt between 1970 and 1981. He was assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists for making peace with Israel.
American Revolution Political revolution in the British North American Colonies starting in 1776 that removed the colonies from Great Britain’s control, and established an independent nation know as the United States of America.
Amin, Idi (1925?- ) President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. His brutal regime resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of people, as well as the near total ruin of Uganda. He was overthrown and exiled to Saudi Arabia in 1979.
Amritsar Massacre April 3rd of 1919. British soldiers killed close to 400 unarmed Indian men, women, and children, and wounded 1,100 more. People had gathered in the center of town to protest British occupation of their country, and to demand equality. This was a turning
Analects, The Collection of moral and social teachings of Confucius, including the concept of the Five Relationships.
anatomy The branch of science that studies the physical structure of living organisms.
ancestor worship Worship given to deceased relatives who are believed to be closer to the Gods, and therefore able to grant favors.
Animism The oldest known type of belief system in the world. It is still practiced in a variety of forms in many traditional societies. Animists practice nature worship. They believe that everything in the universe has a spirit. This is exemplified by the practi
antibiotics A substance that kills bacteria in the human body. It is used to prevent or treat various illnesses.
anti-Semitism The hatred of people of Jewish descent.
antiseptic An agent that helps prevent or reduce infection in wounds.
apartheid A political policy in South Africa where black South Africans could only live in certain areas, were required to use separate trains, beaches, restaurants, and schools, and could not enter into an interracial marriage.
appeasement The policy of pacifying an aggressive nation in the hopes of avoiding further conflict.
aqueducts Above ground structures used to carry water long distances. Built by the ancient Romans.
Arabic A language that is the official language of several countries of North Africa and the Middle East, as well as the religion of Islam.
Arabic Numerals A written number system created during the Gupta golden age in India, then adopted by the Islamic Empire before spreading further. Used throughout western civilization today.
arable Land that is able to support the growing of crops.
Arafat , Yasir (1929- ) President of the Palestine National Authority and Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Considered by many to be a terrorist, he has in recent years been accepted as the legitimate authority to speak for the Palestinians. His goal
arch A curved structure that shapes the edge of an open space, such as, a doorway, a window.
Archimedes (287-212 BCE) Greek mathematician and inventor. He wrote works on plane and solid geometry, arithmetic, and mechanics. He is best known for the lever and pulley.
archipelago A group or chain of islands.
architect A person who designs buildings.
Aristarchus (310?-250? BCE) Greek scientist who first stated that the Earth revolved around the Sun, and rotated on its axis.
armistice A truce during wartime.
artisan A person who is skilled at a craft, such as weaving, or woodcarving.
Aryans Nomadic warriors from Central Asia who migrated into India around 1500 BCE. They are responsible for many aspects of current Indian culture including their language, sacred texts called the Vedas, and a system of government that later evolved into the ca
Asian Tigers Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea. These nations have experienced rapid economic growth and prosperity due to industrialization, and were aligned both politically, and economically with the West throughout the Cold War
Asoka (?-232 BCE) King of the Maurya dynasty. He ruled nearly the entire subcontinent of India. He also was instrumental in the spread of Buddhism after his conversion.
assassination The killing of a political leader or other public figure.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations Multinational organization that cooperates economically by lowering trade barriers, such as, tariffs, to encourage commerce between member nations.
astrolabe A device used to determine latitude by observing the altitude and position of the sun or other start or planet.
astronomer A person who specializes in the study of astronomical bodies.
Aswan High Dam Dam across the Nile River in Egypt. Created Lake Nassar and helps to create more farmland. Built between 1960 and 1970.
Ataturk, Mustafa Kemal (1881-1938) Nationalist leader of Turkey who is responsible for modernizing and westernizing his country after World War I. This enabled Turkey to resist imperialist attempts at takeover by various European powers.
Atman In Hinduism, the human soul.
Augustus (63 BCE – 14 CE) First emperor of Rome (27 BCE – 14 CE) He restored order and prosperity to the Empire after nearly a century of turmoil. Grandnephew to Julius Caesar.
Austro-Hungarian Empire Also known as Austria-Hungary, or the Hapsburg Empire, as it was ruled by the Habsburg monarchy from 1867 to 1918. Austria-Hungary extended over most of central Europe. It was composed the modern day countries of Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech
Axis Powers Alliance of Germany, Italy, and Japan during World War II.
Ayatollah Khomeini (1900?-1989) Islamic religious leader who led a fundamentalist revolution in Iran in 1979. Ruled until 1989.
Aztecs A Mesoamerican civilization of Mexico who created a strong empire that flourished between the 14th and 15th century. The arrival of Hernando Cortez and the Spanish Conquistadores ended their empire.
balance of power A political policy in which countries attempt to preserve peace by keeping an equal military and economic status.
Balfour Declaration A promise made by British Prime Minister Balfour to create a homeland for the Jewish people.
bank A business that exchanges currencies, makes loans, and keeps the money of individual depositors.
Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) Enlightenment thinker from France who wrote a book called, The Spirit of the Laws in 1748. In his book, Montesquieu describes what he considers to be the best government. He states that government should divide itself according to its powers,
barter The exchange of goods or services for other goods or services.
Batista, Fulgencio (1901-1973) Cuban president from 1940 to 1944 and 1952 to 1959. He was responsible for some reforms in the country before leaving office for the first time. Later, he overthrew the legitimate government and ruled as a dictator until he was forced from of
Battle of Britain The massive air war against Great Britain by the Nazi war machine in Germany. Nearly nightly bombings occurred between summer of 1940 and summer of 1941 before German withdrew. Great Britain fought alone during this year and never gave up.
Bay of Pigs An unsuccessful invasion of Cuba in 1961, which was sponsored by the United States. Its purpose was to overthrow Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
BCE Date designation meaning Before Common Era, or more than two thousand years ago.
Bell, Alexander Graham (1847-1922) American inventor of the telephone.
Ben-Gurion, David (1886-1973) First Prime Minister of Israel.
Berlin Airlift A re-supply operation to the city of Berlin that lasted 11 months during 1948-49 when the Soviet Union attempted to close off the city.
Berlin Conference (1884-1885) During European Imperialism, various European leaders met in Berlin, Germany to discuss plans for dividing Africa peacefully. These leaders had little regard for African independence, and had no representation for native Africans. This began
Berlin Wall A wall built in 1961 dividing Soviet controlled East Berlin from the democratic West Berlin. It was destroyed when communism ended in 1990.
Bessemer, Sir Henry (1813-98) Inventor who developed a more cost efficient process for making steel.
Bhagavad Gita A Hindu holy book where the god Krishna teaches the importance of selflessness, performing religious duties, and of devotion to God.
bill of exchange A document purchased from a bank that allowed a person to travel without having to carry large amounts of money. Worked like a modern check.
Black Hand Serbian nationalist/terrorist group responsible for the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand which resulted in the start of World War I.
blitzkrieg German word meaning lightning war. It was a German army tactic during World War II which called for quick moving, hard hitting drives into enemy territory.
block printing A system of printing where characters are carved onto a wooden block. The block is then inked and pressed onto a sheet of paper.
Blüt und Eisen Blood and Iron policy of Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck to unify all of Germany under Prussian control and build and expand it into a great empire. Very successful.
Boer War (1899-1902) War between Great Britain and the Boers in South Africa over control of rich mining country. Great Britain won and created the Union of South Africa comprised of all the South African colonies.
Boers Dutch descended colonist living in South Africa. Also called Afrikaners.
Bolívar, Simón (1783-1830) Latin American revolutionary responsible for the ousting of Spain from much of South America during the 19th century. He is considered to be the most important figure in the fight for Latin American independence.
Bolshevik Early name of communists during the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Bonaparte, Napoleon (1769-1821) Emperor of the French. Responsible for many French Revolution reforms as well as conquering most of Europe. He was defeated at Waterloo, and died several years later on the island of Saint Helena.
botany The study of plant life.
bourgeoisie Term given to the middle class people in society.
Boxer Rebellion (1900) A rebellion by the people of China to end foreign domination.
Brahma Hindu god called the Creator. Brahma is the first member of the triad that includes Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer.
Brahman In Hinduism, Brahman is the name given to the oneness of the universe.
Brezhnev, Leonid (1906-1982) Leader of the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1982. During his control of the Soviet Union, relations with the West, as well as the Soviet economy, experienced a long period of stagnation.
British East India Company A joint stock company that controlled most of India during the period of imperialism. This company controlled the political, social, and economic life in India for more than 200 years.
bubonic plague An infectious disease transmitted by fleas. It is characterized by fever, chills, and the formation of swellings. Also known as the Black Plague or Black Death.
Buddha Hindu for “enlightened one." See also Siddhartha Gautama.
Buddhism Buddhism developed in India, and is based on many of the core concepts of Hinduism.. Buddhists believe in an endless cycle of reincarnation, or samsara, which is similar to beliefs of Hinduism. However, Buddhists do not believe that deities are responsib
bureaucracy The administration portion of the government.
Bushido Code of conduct for Samurai and nobles during Japanese feudalism.
Byzantine Empire (330-1453) The eastern half of the Roman Empire, which survived after the fall of the Western Empire at the end of the 5th century C.E. Its capital was Constantinople, named after the Emperor Constantine.
Cabinet System Collection of people who run various departments in government. Usually report to the chief executive, such as the prime Minister, or the President.
Caesar, Julius (100-44 BCE), Roman general and statesman. He is responsible for setting up the imperial system in Rome which placed his grandnephew, Augustus, on the throne.
calendar A system for keeping track of time.
Caliph In Islam, the successor to the Prophet Mohammed.
calligraphy A form of fine handwriting.
Calvin, John (1509-1564) Theologian and church reformer who developed a form of Protestantism during the Reformation. His church is known for the idea of predestination, which states certain people are predestined for heaven.
cannon A weapon which uses an iron ball as a projectile and gunpowder as the blasting agent.
Canon on Medicine A book written by Ibn Sina, a famous Islamic physician, which was an encyclopedia of Greek, Arabic, and his own knowledge of medicine. This book became the standard medical text in Europe for over five hundred years.
Cape of Good Hope Southern tip of the African continent.
capital Money that is used for investment.
capitalism An economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods. Also promotes a free market regulated by supply and demand.
caravel A Portuguese ship that had a large cargo area and used two orthree masts.
Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) French Cardinal and politician responsible for instituting absolutist practices in France.
cartography The skill of making maps.
Cash Crop Economy An economic system based on the exportation of certain crops such as sugar, cotton, and coffee.
Caste System A rigid social class system in Hinduism.
Castro, Fidel (1926?- ) Leader of the Cuban Revolution and communist dictator of Cuba. He is responsible for making Cuba a socialist country which has often been at odds with the United States. Notably, the bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Catherine the Great An enlightened despot who ruled over Russia. She is responsible for many positive changes in Russia, as well as securing the country a warm water port.
causeway A paved road or path.
Cavalry Mounted warriors.
Cavour, Camillo (1810-61) Prime Minister of Sardinia, a large Italian State. He formed alliances with other foreign powers to help end Austria's and Spain's control. Instrumental in the unification of Italy.
CE Date designation meaning Common Era, or the last two thousand years of history.
censorship The suppression information considered offensive or a threat to security.
centralized government A government which controls all aspects of society from a central location or through a central system.
Chamberlain, Neville (1869-1940) Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1937 to 1940. He is responsible for the policy of appeasement with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
chancellor Prime Minister, or chief executive of a country or nation state.
check and balance A system in government described by Baron de Montesquieu where legislative, judicial, and executive power is shared among the different branches to provide protection against abuses of power.
chemistry The science dealing with the structure, composition, properties, and reactive characteristics of substances.
Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Accident (1986) This accident release large amounts of radiation that not only affected the immediate area, (Ukraine,) but also was carried on strong winds across many countries in Europe. The effects of this accident have to date been an increase in cancer victi
chinampas floating islands of land anchored to a lake bottom used for agriculture. This technique was used by the Aztecs.
Chinese Communist Revolution A political revolution in China led by Mao Zedong. After several years of fighting the Kuomintang, the communists won control of the country in 1949.
Chivalry Code of conduct for knight and nobles during European feudalism.
chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) A gas containing carbon, hydrogen, chlorine, and fluorine. It is used in refrigerators and aerosol sprays. CFCs are reputed to be damaging to the Earth’s protective ozone layer.
Christ, Jesus (8-4 BCE- 29? CE) Founder of Christianity. Considered by Christians to be the son of God and the Messiah. He is the central figure in the Christian Religion.
Christianity Currently the most popular religion in the world based on the number of worshippers found throughout the world. While this monotheistic religion developed from Judaism, there are several key differences in its teachings. Christianity was founded by Jesus
Churchill, Sir Winston (1874-1965) British politician and Prime Minster of Great Britain from 1940 to 1945, and 1951 to 1955. He is regarded as the finest British leader of the 20th century and was instrumental in leading Britain to victory during World War II.
circumference The distance around the edge of a circle.
circumnavigate To travel around something, like an island or the world.
city-state An independent state consisting of a city and its surrounding lands.
civil disobedience The purposeful breaking of laws to protest actions by the government.
civil service exam In China, it was an exam based on Confucian teachings that was used to select people for various government service jobs in the bureaucracy.
civil war A war between groups of people in the same country, culture, or political system.
civilization A society that has a high level of culture and social organization including organized government, job specialization, and a organized belief system.
Clemenceau, Georges (1841-1929) French Premier during World War I. He was one of the formulators of the Treaty of Versailles.
climate The average weather in a region.
Cold War Non shooting conflict between the Soviet Union and their allies and the United States and their allies. Numerous secondary conflicts arise due to the Cold War.
collective farm A government owned farms where peasants work on a quota system.
colonialism The policy of maintaining colonies as a source of raw materials and new markets. Practiced during old and new imperialism.
colonization A group of people moving from their homeland to a new area in large numbers.
Columbian Exchange The exchange of goods and other things, such as disease from the Old World (Europe) to the new World (North and South America) and back.
Columbus, Christopher (1451-1506) Italian explorer working for Spain who, in 1492, crossed the Atlantic Ocean and discovered the Americas for Spain.
Command Economy An economic system controlled by strong, centralized government, which usually focuses on industrial goods. With little attention paid to agriculture and consumer goods.
commerce The large scale buying of goods and/or services.
Commercial Revolution A dramatic change in the economy of Europe at the end of the Middle Ages. It is characterized by an increase in towns and trade, the use of banks and credit, and the establishment of guilds to regulate quality and price.
Commonwealth of Independent States Nation created after the breakup of the Soviet Union. It includes Russia and several smaller former Soviet republics.
commune A government owned farms where peasants work on a quota system.
communism A system of government in which a single, totalitarian, party holds power. It is characterized by state control of the economy, and restriction on personal freedoms. It was first proposed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in The Communist Manifesto.
Communist Manifesto, The A book written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that describes the new political system of scientific socialism, which becomes the basis for communism. The book states that all of human history is based on the conflict between the bourgeoisie (those who
Communist Revolution A political revolution in Russia beginning in 1917. The Bolsheviks, now known as Communists, overthrew Czar Nicholas II and created a socialist government based upon the writings of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. Also know as the Bolshevik Revolution.
Computer Revolution During the 1980s personal computers began to appear in many homes across the world. By the late 1990s, computers had become a staple in most industrialized country’s homes.
concentration camp A prison camp used to hold Jews during World War II and the Holocaust.
Confucianism Confucius lived in China during the Chou Dynasty, when there was mass disorder and confusion and degrading moral standards. Confucius was appalled by what appeared to be the fracturing of Chinese society. He believed that the only cure was to stress a se
Confucius (551-479 BCE?) Chinese philosopher and writer of The Analects, a collection of moral and social teachings, including the concept of the Five Relationships. Also known as Kong Fu Zi.
Congress of Vienna Meeting of European political leaders to reestablish former territorial borders after the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the fall of Napoleon. The Congress was held in Vienna from September 1814 to June 1815, and was dominated by Prince Metternich of the
conquistadors Spanish conquerors who came to the New World in search of gold and other riches.
Constantine (274 CE – 337 CE) Roman Emperor between 306 CE and 337 CE. He issued the Edict of Milan which outlawed the persecution of Christians. He also founded the city of Constantinople, the future capital of the Byzantine Empire.
constitution A document detailing the fundamental laws of a country or organization.
constitutional monarchy A political system in which a country is ruled by a monarch who has limited power due to a constitution
containment A cold war policy that called for containing communism to areas already under its influence. This policy was proposed by U.S. President Harry Truman.
Copernicus, Nicolaus (1473-1543) Polish astronomer who wrote On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres. Theorized that the Earth orbited the Sun (heliocentric system) and laid the foundations of modern astronomy.
corporation A company with business dealings in many different areas.
Cortez, Hernan (1485-1547) Spanish conquistador who was responsible for the conquest of the Aztec Empire and the claiming of much of Central America for the Spanish.
Counter-Reformation The movement initiated by the Catholic Church to contain the Protestant Reformation and, if possible, end it.
coup d etat The acting of overthrowing a government in favor of another, usually through violent means.
craftsman A person who makes quality, practical or decorative goods.
cremation The burning of a dead body until it turns to ash.
Creoles In colonial Latin America, American born Spanish gentry, They owned most of the land but were treated like second class citizens, and were denied political rights.
Cromwell, Oliver (1599-1658) Leader of the English Revolution that deposed the Stuart monarchs in favor of a short lived Republic. Cromwell acted as Lord Protector until the restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.
Crusades European Christian military expeditions made between the 11th and 13th centuries to retake the Middle Eastern Holy Lands occupied by the Muslims.
Cuban Missile Crisis (1961) Crises that developed as a result of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s decision to allow the Soviet Union to base nuclear missiles in Cuba. Upon discovery, the United States confronted the Soviet Union and demanded the missiles be removed. For nearly
Cuban Revolution (1958) A political revolution that removed the United States supported Fugencio Batista from power. The revolution was led by Fidel Castro who became the new leader of Cuba as a communist dictator.
cultural diffusion The spreading of ideas through contact such as trade or war.
Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) Political policy in started in China by Mao Zedong to eliminate his rivals and train a new generation in the revolutionary spirit that created communist China. The Cultural Revolution resulted in beatings, terror, mass jailings, and the death
culture The shared beliefs, customs, practices, and social behavior of a particular nation or people
culture system A system of slave labor used by the Dutch in their South East Asia colonies.
cuneiform One of the earliest forms of writing. It consisted of wedge shaped symbols usually imprinted in clay. Used throughout ancient Mesopotamia.
Curie, Marie (1867-1934) French scientist. She is best known for his work with her husband Pierre in the field of radioactivity.
Curie, Pierre (1859-1906) French scientist. He is best known for his work with his wife Marie in the field of radioactivity.
Cyrillic An alphabet created by Eastern Orthodox monks for the Slavic language. It is based on Greek, and still used through the various Slavic countries today, such as Russia.
Czar Title of the ruler of Russia. Taken from the word Caesar, which means emperor.
Czar Nicholas II (1868-1918) Czar of Russia (1894-1917). He was overthrown during the Russian Revolution of 1917. Later, he and his family were killed by the revolution’s leadership.
Da Gama, Vasco (1469?-1524) Portuguese explorer who, in 1498, established an all water route to India
Da Vinci, Leonardo (1452-1519) An Italian painter, sculptor, engineer, and inventor. Famous works include paintings Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Also left a variety of sketches showing flying machines and underwater boats centuries before the invention of planes and subm
Daimler, Gottlieb (1834-1900) German inventor. He is best know for his work in the development of the gasoline internal combustion engine.
daimyo Land owning feudal lords in Japan.
Dalai Lama The spiritual leader of the Tibetan sect of Buddhism, and is considered to be the reincarnation of the bodhisattva, or "buddha-to-be."
dam A structure built to hold water in place.
Dante (1265-1321) Italian poet and Renaissance writer. His greatest work is The Divine Comedy.
Darius I (558?BCE – 486BCE) King of Persia who expanded his empire to extend from the Mediterranean to the Indus River.
de Cervantes, Miguel (1547-1616) Spanish Renaissance writer. His greatest work is the comedic tale Don Quixote.
de Klerk, F. W. (1936 - ) The white South African president who ended Apartheid in the early 1990s.
de San Martín, José (1778-1850) Latin American revolutionary. He is one of the main leaders of the Latin American independence movement.
de Santa Anna, Antonio López (1794-1876) Mexican general and dictator who controlled Mexico for more than 25 years. Lost war against the United States which cost Mexico present day California, Nevada, and New Mexico.
decimal system Numeric system based on ten. Created by mathematicians during the Gupta golden age in India.
Declaration of the Rights of Man Revolutionary document of the French Revolution. Written in 1789, it spelled out certain rights believed to be universal to all mankind. Patterned on the American Declaration of Independence.
deforestation The widespread destruction of the world's forests. One of the largest areas of destruction are the tropical rainforests. These forest are cut down for the hardwood lumber, to clear space for farming, for building settlements, and for grazing animals. lan
democracy A system of government in which the citizens hold the legislative, judicial, and executive power, based on majority rule.
democratic republic A political system in which a country is ruled by law, has representative government, and is democratic in nature.
Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997) Chinese Communist leader. Ruled from 1978 until 1997.
Descartes, Rene (1596-1650) French intellectual who challenged traditional ideas. He said that human reason was capable of discovering and explaining the laws of nature and man. The idea of human reason being superior to tradition led to the beginning of the Enlightenme
desertification The process in which land slowly dries out until little or no vegetation exists becoming a desert.
détente A policy during the Cold War which was aimed at relaxing tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. The policy calls for increase diplomatic and commercial activity.
developing nations Nations that are economically and technologically less developed than industrialized nations.
dharma The act of fulfilling one's duty in life. Associated with Hinduism and Buddhism.
Dias, Bartholomeu (1450?-1500) Portuguese explorer who, in 1488, was the first person to round the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa.
diaspora The enforced spreading out of a group of people. In history, there has been both a Jewish Diaspora and an African Diaspora.
dictatorship A system of government in which a country is ruled by a single person with absolute power.
Diocletian (245-313) Emperor of Rome who was responsible for dividing Rome into different provinces and districts. Eventually, the eastern portions of the Empire became known as the Byzantine Empire.
discrimination To treat unfairly due to a persons ethnic background, gender, religion, or age
divine Godlike, or coming from, or having to do with a god.
Divine Comedy, The An epic poem written by Dante during the Renaissance.
divine right The justification of monarchy through the word of God.
divorce The legal act of ending a marriage.
dome A hemispherical roof.
Dome of the Rock First Islamic religious shrine. It was built in 687 C.E., and is located in present day Jerusalem, Israel.
domesticate To tame an animal to live with, or close to humans.
domino theory The idea that countries bordering communist countries were in more danger of falling to communism unless the United States and other western nations worked to prevent it.
Don Quixote A comedic book written by Miguel de Cervantes during the Renaissance. The title character is now used to refer to idealists that champion hopeless or fanciful causes.
Duma Name of the Russia Parliament.
Dutch East Indies A group of islands in South East Asia claimed by the Dutch during Imperialism.
dyke A drainage ditch used to help control flooding.
dynastic cycle In China, a dynasty would remain in power only as long as it was providing good government. When a dynasty went into decline, and began to abuse its power, it was said to lose the Mandate of Heaven, or the favor of the gods. A strong leader would usually
dynasty A succession of rulers of a country from the same family.
Ebola A contagious viral disease originating in Africa. It is transmitted by blood and body fluids and causes body organs and vessels to leak blood, usually resulting in death.
economic rights Rights such as owning property, or the choice to be employed.
Edict of Milan (313 CE) Proclamation by the Roman Emperor Constantine outlawing the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.
Edison, Thomas Alva (1847-1931) American inventor. He is best know for the electric light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera.
Eightfold Path Code of behavior for followers of Buddhism.
Einstein, Albert (1879-1955) American scientist best known for his theory of relativity.
Elizabeth I (1533-1603) Queen of England and Ireland between 1558 and 1603. She was an absolute monarch and is considered to be one of the most successful rulers of all time.
emperor Political ruler of a country of nation. Similar to a king.
empire 1. A collection of nations or peoples ruled by a single authority, usually a monarch, but can be other systems of government as well. 2. A very large and powerful industrial organization
Enclosure Movement During the Industrial Revolution, it was the consolidation of many small farms into one large farm, which created a labor force as many people lost their homes.
encomienda system A system of production in Spain’s New World possessions which granted permission to conquistadors to enslave as many people needed to work a plantation.
Engels, Friedrich (1820-1895) German socialist and co-author of The Communist Manifesto.
engineer A person who plans and creates mechanic structures for a variety of uses.
English Bill of Rights (1689) A Bill of Rights written after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 which placed William and Mary on the throne of England. The bill created a limited monarchy and established Parliament as the ruling body of the nation.
enlightened despots A monarch who retains absolute control of their country while also enacting reform based on Enlightenment ideas.
Enlightenment A movement in the 18th century that stressed the importance of reason and science in philosophy and the study of human society. Occurred in Western Europe.
environment Everything in nature including people, plants, and animals that affects development in life.
Eratosthenes (276?-196? BCE), Greek mathematician, astronomer, and geographer who measured the circumference of the Earth. His measurement was only off by 15%.
escalate To increase.
Estates Class system in France before the French Revolution. There were three Estates, First Estate was Clergy, Second was Nobility, and Third was peasants, merchants, and townspeople.
Estates General The legislative body of France. Composed of representatives from the three estates which are Clergy in the First Estate, Nobles in the Second Estate, and peasants in the Third Estate. Each Estate is entitled to one vote on legislative matters. The Estate
ethnic cleansing The removal of people of a specific ethnic group by means of genocide, terror, or forced expulsion.
ethnic group A group of people that shares distinctive cultural traits.
ethnocentric A belief in the superiority of a certain ethnic group or race.
Euclid (circa 300 BCE), Greek mathematician. Considered to be the father of modern geomertry.
European Community/European Union Economic union between countries in Europe for mutual gain. Originally formed in 1951 as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), it later became the European Community in 1967, then the European Union in 1991.
evolution The gradual change or development of something.
excommunicate To exclude a Christian from receiving the Sacraments.
executive Rrelating to a system that enforces laws.
export The sending of goods to another country for sale or trade.
extermination The complete destruction of a group of people.
extinction The death of all members of a species.
extraterritoriality A policy that guaranteed European citizens in China were only subject to the laws of their own nation and could only be tried by their own courts.
factory A central location where goods are manufactured on a large scale.
Fake Word This is a fake Word
famine Widespread hunger caused by the near complete lack of food.
fascism A system of government that promotes extreme nationalism, repression, anticommunism, and is ruled by a dictator.
Ferdinand and Isabella During the late 15th century, they became King and Queen of a united Spain after centuries of Islamic domination. Together, they made Spain a strong Christian nation and also provided funding to overseas exploration, notably Christopher Columbus.
Ferdinand, Franz (1863-1914) Archduke of Austria, nephew to the Emperor. He was assainated by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia in 1914. This resulted in the start of World War I.
fertilizers A substance spread onto soil to increase its ability to support crops. Fertilizers include organic materials, such as manure, but can also be man made chemicals such as nitrates.
Feudalism A social, political, and economic system that dominated all aspects of medieval European life.
fief An area of land given to a person to farm in exchange for certain obligations.
filial piety A part Confucianism where respect is paid to the parents.
Five Pillars of Islam Code of behavior for followers of Islam. Includes Charity, Daily Prayer, Profession of Faith, Fasting during Ramadan, and a pilgrimage to Mecca called the hajj.
Five Relationships Confucian philosophy about social order where everyone has a place and respect is paid to elders, parents, and the government. The relationships are, ruler to ruled, father to son, older brother to younger brother, husband to wife, friend to friend.
Five Year Plans Stalin's economic policy to rebuild the Soviet economy after World War II. Included massive industrialization and farm collectivization, where peasants lived collectively on government owned farms, often resulted in widespread famine as many peasants res
Fleming, Alexander (1881-1955) English scientist who, in 1928, observed that a mold called Penicillium killed germs. This discovery resulted in the development of antibiotics, which attack or weaken bacteria that cause many diseases. Antibiotics were not widely used until
foot-binding A popular practice that tightly bound the feet of young girls, deforming them as they grew older. This was done to achieve the desired cultural practice of having dainty, lady-like feet.
Ford, Henry (1863-1947) American Industrialist. Ford is best know for his innovations in the auto manufacturing industry. His company was the first to use an assembly line for production.
foreign policy A nation’s actions regarding how they treat other nations.
Four Modernizations An economic and social program that called for limited privatization of agriculture and industry, encouraged foreign investment and foreign trade, and resulted in a boost for the Chinese economy. Unlike the Great Leap Forward, the Four Modernizations was
Four Noble Truths Siddhartha's Gautama philosophy of the nature of human suffering and its relation to desire is articulated by four statements
Fourteen Points Speech An address given to the United States’ Congress by President Woodrow Wilson concerning the end of World War I and the treatment of all concerned with the war. The speech outlines the League of Nations and the ideas of self determination for different eth
fraternity A group or society formed by people who share common interests.
Frederick the Great (1712-1786), King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786. Enlightened despot who enlarged Prussia by gaining land from Austria when Maria Theresa became Empress.
French Indochina Area of southeast Asia controlled by France during Imperialism. Includes Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
French Revolution Political revolution in France starting in 1789 that brought about many changes in France. The revolution ultimately ended with a dictatorship under Napoleon Bonaparte before his defeat by the combined powers of Europe.
fundamental Affecting the underlying principles or structure of something.
Galilei, Galileo (1564-1642) Italian astronomer. One of the founders of Europe's scientific revolution, one of his main contributions is the application of the telescope to astronomy. He was able to prove Copernicus’ heliocentric model correct.
Gandhi, Mohandas (1869-1948) Nationalist leader in India, who called for a non violent revolution to gain his country’s freedom from the British Empire.
Ganges River Located in India, this river is considered sacred to Hindus and is used for spiritual cleansing, funeral rites, and other Hindu rituals.
Garibaldi, Guiseppe (1807-1882?) Military leader whose Red Shirt army liberated most of southern Italy, before conquering the northern section. He was instrumental in the unification of Italy.
Gautama, Siddhartha (563?-483?BCE), Indian philosopher and the founder of Buddhism. Siddhartha was born into the Brahmin caste, and by all account led a luxurious lifestyle. However, he was troubled by the human misery that he saw around him everyday. Upon reflection, he de
general will Name Enlightenment thinker Jean Jacques Rousseau uses to describe majority rule.
genetic engineering The process of altering life forms by manipulating their genetic structure.
Genghis Khan (1167?-1227) One of the Mongol’s greatest leaders and founder of the Mongol Empire.
genocide The killing of all the people from a ethnic group, religious group, or people from a specific nation.
gentry Members of the upper class in some social class systems.
geocentric model Theory of the universe that states the earth is the center, and that the sun revolves around it.
Ghana One of the west African Trading Kingdoms. They were rich in gold and established a vast trading network across the Sahara desert.
ghetto Term given to poor areas of town where Jews were sent during World War II.
Glasnost A policy of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev which called for more openness with the nations of West, and a relaxing of restraints on Soviet citizenry.
Global North Economic and political designation given to industrialized countries such those in North America and Western Europe, and also including Japan, and Australia. These nations have high standards of living and a high literacy rate.
Global South Economic and Political designation given to developing nations in Asia, Africa, and South America, many of which were former colonies during European Imperialism. These post colonial nations face low literacy rates, massive unemployment, little to no ind
Glorious Revolution Political revolution in Great Britain in 1688 that put William and Mary on the throne, while limiting the power of the monarchy and making Parliament supreme. This event marks the beginning of a constitutional monarchy in England.
Gold Coast Name given to the parts of the west coast of Africa by European imperialist due to the amount of gold found in the region.
golden age A time in a culture of high achievement in arts, literature, and science. Generally occurs in times of peace.
Gorbachev, Mikhail (1931- ), leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. His policies of Perestroika and Glasnost, which aimed at revitalizing the Soviet Union contributed to the downfall of communism.
government a person or body of people who have the power to make and enforce laws for a country or area.
Great Depression (1929-1939) The dramatic decline in the world’s economy due to the United State’s stock market crash of 1929, the overproduction of goods from World War I, and decline in the need for raw materials from non industrialized nations. Results in millions of
Great Leap Forward The economic program designed to increase farm and industrial output though the creation of communes. Communes are similar to Soviet collectives in that groups of people live and work together on government owned farms and in government owned industry.
Great Purge The widespread arrests and executions of over a million people by Josef Stalin between 1936 and 1938. Stalin was attempting to eliminate all opposition to his rule of the Soviet Union.
Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere A imperialistic system founded by Japan consisting of other Asian countries during the early 20th century. Japan reduced its members to puppet nations, taking their raw materials and using them as new markets.
Greco-Roman The cultural mixing of both ancient Greek and Roman traditions.
Greek column Fluted column used in many of their buildings, and copied throughout the world today.
Green Revolution Throughout the 20th century, scientists worked on improving agriculture, especially in areas with high populations. Some of the technologies developed included better irrigation systems so farmers could get water to their crops. New machinery was built t
greenhouse gas A gas such as carbon dioxide, ozone, or water vapor that are a factoring the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Guevara, Che (1928-1967) Latin American guerilla leader. In the mid 20th century Guevara was instrumental in helping Fidel Castro lead the Cuban Revolution. He was later killed in Bolivia while trying to lead a revolution there.
guild An association of merchants or craftspeople in medieval Europe, formed to make regulations and set standards for a particular trade or craft.
gunpowder Chemical compound that burns very quickly. Used in weaponry.
Gupta Dynasty (320-550 C.E.)Ruling family in India during its golden age. Responsible for many achievements.
Gutenberg, Johannes (1400?-1468) German printer and European pioneer in the use of movable type.
habitation A place where something lives.
Haiku A 3 line poem that has 17 syllables in the Japanese language, and expresses a single thought, feeling or idea.
hajj The pilgrimage or holy journey to the city of Mecca
Hammurabis Code Oldest written system of laws. They were created by King Hammurabi of Babylonia in th mid 18th century BCE and placed on stones tablets for all to see.
Hebrew Semitic language originating in ancient Palestine and spoken by the Israelites. Modern Hebrew was developed in the 19th and 20th centuries from the ancient written language.
Hegira The flight of Mohammed from Mecca to Median which was instrumental to the founding of the religion of Islam. Occurs in 622 ACE, which dates the founding of Islam.
heliocentric model Theory of the universe that states the sun is the center, and that the earth revolves around it.
Hellenistic Time period from the late 4th century BCE to the 1st century CE that was characterized by Greek achievement and a blending of Persian, Egyptian, Greek, and Indian cultures due to the empire of Alexander the Great.
Henry VIII (1491-1547) King of England who transformed his country into a Protestant nation during the Reformation.
Herzl, Theodor (1860-1904) Leader of Zionist movement to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
hieroglyphics A system of writing which uses pictures for concepts and ideas.
hijacking The taking control of a public transport vehicle, such as an airliner or train to use the people aboard as hostages.
Hinduism A polytheistic religion that was formed from a variety of different religious practices. In Hinduism, salvation is achieved through a spiritual oneness of the soul, atman, with the ultimate reality of the universe, Brahma. To achieve this goal, the soul
Hippocrates (460?-377? BCE) Greek physician. He is considered to be the father of medicine and the ethical standard of treating all patients known as the Hippocratic Oath.
Hippocratic Oath An promise made new physicians to treat all people fairly, and to seek to preserve life. Named after a ancient Greek physician who is credited with writing it.
Hirohito (1901-1989) Emperor of Japan from 1926 until 1989. He is the last Japanese emperor to be considered divine. Led Japan through World War II.
Hiroshima Japanese city devastated during World War II when the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Aug 6th, 1945.
Hitler, Adolf (1889-1945) Austrian-born leader of Germany. He co-founded the Nazi Party in Germany, and gained control of the country as chancellor in 1933. Hitler started World War II with the invasion of Poland. He was responsible for the Holocaust.
Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) Vietnamese leader who is responsible for ousting first the French, then the United States from his country. Supported by both communist China and the Soviet Union, he guided Vietnam through decades long warfare to emerge as a communist nation
Hobbes, Thomas (1588-1679) English philosopher and political theorist. Wrote Leviathan, where he favored an absolute government as the only means of balancing human interests and desires with their rights of life and property.
Holocaust The attempted genocide of European Jews, Gypsies, mentally retarded, homosexuals, and others by Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
Holy Land Term given to lands in present day Israel that is significant to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Holy Trinity Formed by the Creator (Father), Redeemer (Son), and Sustainer (Holy Spirit). Christians believe that these three entities are all part of a single higher power.
Hubble Space Telescope Large space telescope able to see farther than any other telescope at the end of the 20th century.
human and physical geography The study of the environment, people, and the resources they use to live.
human rights The rights that are considered by most societies to belong automatically to all people, including the rights to justice, freedom, and equality.
humanism A philosophical movement during the Renaissance that stressed life on Earth, and the quality of being human. Rejected living only for the afterlife of Christianity.
hunting and gathering System of food production for prehistoric peoples. Involves hunting animals and gathering foods grown in the wild.
Hussein, Saddam (1937- ) President of Iraq since 1979. He has led his control into two devastating wars, one against Iran in 1980 to 1988, and the Persian Gulf War in 1990 – 1991 which started as a result of his invading Kuwait.
Hutus and Tutsis Tribes in Rwanda responsible for decades of warfare.
hydroelectric power Power that is derived from a moving body of water, such as a river or waterfall.
Ibn Sina Islamic physician, wrote a book called Canon on Medicine, which was an encyclopedia of Greek, Arabic, and his own knowledge of medicine. This book became the standard medical text in Europe for over five hundred years.
idealized realism Art form practiced by the Greeks during the 5th century BCE. Portrays the human form very realistically, but in its perfect form.
ideographs Writing system that uses pictures of ideas.
ideology An organized system of beliefs, values, and ideas. They form the basis of a political, social, and economic philosophy.
Imam In Islam, the leader of prayers and religious scholar.
immigration The movement of people from one nation to another.
Imperialism The complete control of a weaker nation’s social, economic, and political life by a stronger nation.
import The bringing in of goods from another country for sale or trade.
Inca A Mesoamerican civilization of South America, centered in Peru. The Inca ruled a large empire and had many cultural and scientific achievements including an elaborate road system, architecture, and terrace farming. The arrival of the Spanish Conquistador
Indian National Congress Nationalistic organization in India with the purpose of ending British control. Prominent members include Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.
Indian Nationalist Movement Nationalist movement to end British control of India.
individualism A social philosophy which stresses the importance of the individual above society.
indulgence Letters of forgiveness for one's sins provided by the medieval Church, and one of the causes of the Reformation.
Industrial Revolution In the second half of the 19th century, it was the fundamental change in the way goods were produced through the use of machines, capital, and the centralization of work forces in factories. It completely altered the social, economic, and political struc
industrialization The change to industrial methods of production such as the use of factories.
inflation The raising of prices on consumer goods due to an increase in the money supply.
information superhighway Term given to the Internet due to the amount of information transferred.
inherit To gain something when someone dies, such as property or money.
insurance Financial protection on property or people against loss, theft, or death.
interdependence Mutual assistance or reliance between two or more parties.
International Court of Justice Headquartered at the Hague, the Court started work in April of 1946. The Court usually hears only cases brought before it by any of the 189 U.N. Member States, but has made several concessions over the years.
International Monetary Fund An international organization established to promote monetary cooperation, exchange stability, and economic growth. The IMF also works to lower unemployment and help countries in debt manage their finances.
Internet A global network of computers that communicate through phone and satellites. The Internet has services such as the World Wide Web and e-mail.
interracial marriage The marriage of two people from different ethnic backgrounds.
invasion The entry of forces into a territory through hostile means.
Irish Potato Famine A famine in 1845 when the main crop of Ireland, potatoes, was destroyed by disease. Irish farmers grew other food items, such as wheat and oats, but Great Britain required them to export those items to them, leaving nothing for the Irish to live on. As a
Irish Republican Army (IRA) A terrorist organization based in Ireland which seeks to remove the British government from the Six Northern Counties which they control.
Iron Curtain A term popularized by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to describe the Soviet Union’s policy of isolation during the Cold War. The Iron Curtain isolated Eastern Europe from the rest of the world. Its most poignant symbol was the Berlin Wall.
irrigation A system to bring water to support crops.
Islam The word Islam, which when translated from Arabic, means "to submit to the will of Allah," is the youngest of the world's major religions. Worshippers of this monotheistic religion are known as Muslims, which means "one who submits to the will of Allah."
Islamic fundamentalists Muslims who believe the Quran to be a literal guide to political, social, and religious life.
Israeli - Palestinian Conflict Conflict over landownership in Israel/Palestine. This conflict has at times involved most of the nations of the Middle East as well as the United States and the Soviet Union. Widespread terrorism against Israel and its allies occurs because of this confl
Israeli War for Independence (1948-49) War between Israel and the Arab world over the formation of the nation of Israel.
Jiang Jieshi (1887-1975) Leader of the Guomindang, or Nationalist Party in China. Fought to keep China from becoming communist, and to resist the Japanese during World War II. He lost control of China in 1949, and fled to Taiwan where he setup a rival government. Als
jihad Effort in God’s service waged by Muslims in defense of the Islamic faith.
joint stock company A company that sells shares to investors who share in the profits and losses.
Joseph II The son of Maria Teresa and a enlightened despot who ruled over the Austrian Empire.
Juárez, Benito (1806-72) President of Mexico from 1861 to 1863 and 1867 to 1872. He was responsible for many reforms including reducing the power of the Catholic Church.
Judaism Judaism is the oldest known monotheistic religion still practiced in the world today. Its fundamental teachings have been influential and are the basis for more recently developed religions such as Christianity and Islam. Judaism teaches that there is on
judicial Relating to a system that administers justice.
Justinians Code A law code created by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian about 530 CE. It was a revision of the old Roman law system.
Kabuki theatre Feudal Japanese theatre that performed comedic or melodramatic presentations of everyday life or historic events.
Kaiser Wilhelm (1859-1941) King of Prussia and Emperor of Germany whose political policies led his country into World War I. He was forced from power when Germany lost the war.
Kami Sacred spirits that are worshipped in the Shinto religion of Japan.
Kana Japanese writing system adapted from Chinese, with the addition of phonetic symbols representing syllables.
karma Actions in this life resulting from the consequences of a previous life’s actions. Associated with Hinduism and Buddhism.
Kellogg-Briand Pact A treaty signed in 1928 renouncing war as a means of solving international disputes.
Kenyatta, Jomo (1894?-1978) Independence leader who help lead Kenya out of European imperialism after World War II.
Khmer Rouge A group of communist guerillas in Cambodia during the late 20th century, led by Pol Pot, that gained control of Cambodia after the withdrawal of American troops from the Vietnam War. The initiated a reign of terror, killing over a million people to remov
Khrushchev, Nikita (1894-1971) Leader of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964. Khrushchev was critical of Stalin’s policies and attempted to reverse some of them. He is responsible for placing nuclear missiles in Cuba which resulted in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
King Leopold (1835-1909) King of Belgium who began imperialistic trade inside of Africa which resulted in the Scramble for Africa.
Kipling, Rudyard (1865-1936) British writer and poet. His poem The White Man’s Burden became a popular justification for European imperialism.
Koch, Robert (1843-1910) German physician who, in the 1880’s, discovered that bacteria caused tuberculosis.
Kong Fu Zi See Confucius
Korean Bridge The term given to process in which cultural diffusion occurred between China and Japan though Korean contact with both civilizations.
Korean War A war between North Korean, which was supported by both the Soviet Union and communist China, and South Korea, which was supported by the United States and the United Nations. The war occurred between 1950 and 1953 and ended in an armistice and original
Kristallnacht On November 9th, 1938, Nazis in German looted, and burned Jewish stores and Synagogues, often beating Jews in the street. Over 90 Jews were killed during Kristallnacht. Also called Night of Broken Glass.
Kublai Khan (1215-1294) Grandson of Genghis Khan and founder of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty in China.
Kuomintang Nationalist Party in China led by Jiang Jieshi, which began a war against the Communist Party led by Mao Zedong. Both fought for control of China, with Mao and the Communists ultimately winning in 1949.
Kurds Ethnic group that lives in parts of Iraq and Turkey. They often suffer persecution in both countries, and are currently under the protection of the United Nations in Iraq.
Laissez-Faire Economics This was an economic philosophy begun by Adam Smith in his book, Wealth of Nations, that stated that business and the economy would run best with no interference from the government. This economic system dominated most of the Industrial Revolution.
Lao Tze (570-490 BCE?) Chinese philosopher credited with originating Taoism/Daoism. His teachings were collected and published as the Tao-te Ching.
Last Supper, The A famous Renaissance painting by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Latin America The Geopolitical designation for Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands which were settled by the Spanish.
Latin American Revolutions Political revolutions in various Latin American countries beginning in the late 18th century. These revolutions were aimed at overthrowing the European powers that controlled these nations. Many were successful, but few achieved the success of the Americ
latitude Lines of equal distance measured north and south of the equator.
Laws of the Twelve Tables A system of laws. Some of the features of this system include, men being equal under the law, having the right to face their accusers, and being considered innocent until proven guilty.
lay investiture The creation of a Bishop by a non church official, usually a feudal lord.
League of Nations A multinational peace keeping organization which began as an idea of United States President Woodrow Wilson following the first World War. The Treaty of Versailles created a League with over 40 different countries joining. The United States was not one o
legislative Relating to a system that makes laws.
Lenin, Vladimir (1870-1924) Russian revolutionary leader and political theorist. He was the first leader of the new communist government of Soviet Russia. Later, he was also the first leader of the Soviet Union, which was composed of most of the republics of the former
Leviathan A book written by Thomas Hobbes describing his theory that an absolute government was the only means of balancing human interests and desires with their rights of life and property.
liberty In the political sense, this usually means freedom.
line of demarcation A boundary established by Pope Alexander VI on in 1493 to define the spheres of Spanish and Portuguese possessions in the New World. Part of the Treaty of Tordesillas.
Lister, Joseph (1827-1912) English surgeon who discovered that germs cause post operative infections. He then insisted doctors use antiseptics, substances that kill germs, on their hands and instruments before surgery. This process greatly reduced the number of deaths
Little Red Book A book circulated throughout China during the reign of Mao Zedong, which contained his political philosophy for China. It was required reading in all schools.
Lloyd George, David (1863-1945) British Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922, he led Great Britain through World War I. He was one of the formulators of the Treaty of Versailles.
Locke, John (1632-1704) English philosopher and political theorist. He wrote Two Treaties on Government which explained that all men have Natural Rights, which are Life, Liberty, and Property, and that the purpose of government was to protect these rights.
Long March March the Mao Zedong and his Communist Party underwent to avoid being captured and killed by China’s Nationalist Party.
Long Parliament (1640 – 1660) English Parliament which met off and on for twenty years due to religious and civil problems. Occurs during the English Civil War.
longitude The curving distance east or west of the prime meridian that stretches from the North Pole to the South Pole.
Louis XIV (1638-1715) Known as the Sun King, he was an absolute monarch that completely controlled France. One of his greatest accomplishments was the building of the palace at Versailles.
Louis XVI (1754-1793) King of France between 1774 and 1792. He was overthrown during the French Revolution and later beheaded.
L'Ouverture, Toussaint (1743?-1803) Revolutionary leader who is responsible for ousting France from Haiti during the Latin American Revolutions in the early 19th century.
Loyola, Ignatius (1491-1556) Founded the Society of Jesus, the Order of the Jesuits. He worked to combat the Protestant Reformation by providing strong Catholic leadership to monarchs across Europe.
Luther, Martin (1483-1546) Theologian and religious reformer who started the Reformation with his 95 Theses which protested church corruption, namely the sale of indulgences.
Machiavelli, Niccolo (1469-1527) Italian historian, statesman, and political philosopher of the Renaissance. His greatest work is The Prince, a book of political advice to rulers in which he describes the methods that a prince should use to acquire and maintain political pow
Magellan, Ferdinand (1480?-1521) Spanish explorer who was the first to circumnavigate the globe.
Magna Carta A document granting rights to both the Church in England and the Nobility signed by King John in 1215. This is considered to be the beginnings of British democracy.
Mahabharata Hindu epic poem that was written in Sanskrit in the 5th century BCE. Its most important part is the Bhagavad-Gita.
Mali One of the west African Trading Kingdoms. They were rich in gold and established a vast trading network across the Sahara desert. Greatest ruler was Mansa Musa, who converted to Islam and made a famous pilgrimage.
mandate A territory that was given to a European nation to administer by the League of Nations following the end of World War I.
Mandate of Heaven Divine right of rule in China.
Mandela, Nelson (1918 - )A black South African leader who protested the policy of Apartheid and spent over thirty years in prison before becoming the first black president of South Africa.
manorialism Economic portion of feudalism where all aspects of life were centered on the lord’s manor including peasant villages, a church, farm land, a mill, and the lord's castle or manor house.
Mansa Musa Emperor of the kingdom of Mali in Africa. He made a famous pilgrimage to Mecca and established trade routes to the Middle East.
Mao Zedong (1893-1976) Leader of the Communist Party in China that overthrew Jiang Jieshi and the Nationalists. Established China as the People’s Republic of China and ruled from 1949 until 1976.
Marco Polo (1254-1324) Italian explorer and author. He made numerous trips to China and returned to Europe to write of his journeys. He is responsible for much of the knowledge exchanged between Europe and China during this time period.
Maria Teresa An enlightened Despot who ruled the Austrian Empire.
market economy An economy based on free trade and supply and demand.
Marshall Plan Economic aid from the United States used to rebuild Europe after World War II. Named after United States Secretary of State George Marshall.
Marx, Karl (1818-1883), German political philosopher and writer. Coauthor with Friedrich Engels of The Communist Manifesto which described the new philosophy of scientific socialism, which is the basis for modern communism.
mass production The manufacturing of products on a large scale, usually through the use of machines.
massacre The killing of large numbers of people
matriarchal A society or political/social system in which women hold the power.
Mau Mau Revolutionary group in Kenya who used violent means to force out European settlers.
Maurya Dynasty (321? BCE - 185? BCE) Dynasty that united most of India under the rule of Chandragupta Maurya. Its greatest ruler, Asoka, converted to Buddhism and was instrumental in its spread.
Maurya, Chandragupta (?-286 BCE) First king of the Maurya dynasty in India.
Mayans A Mesoamerican civilization of Central America and southern Mexico. Achievements include mathematics, architecture, and a 365 day a year calendar. They flourished between the 4th and 12th centuries C.E..
Mazzini, Guiseppe (1805-1872), Nationalistic leader in Italy, who started a group called Young Italy in 1831. Young Italy was a nationalistic movement that wanted to end foreign control of Italy.
Mecca A city in Saudi Arabia where Muslims must make a pilgrimage at least once in their life.
Meiji (1852-1912) Emperor of Japan from 1867 to 1912. He was responsible for the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the rapid modernization and industrialization of Japan.
Meiji Restoration The restoration of the Emperor Meiji to power in Japan, overthrowing the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1868.
Mencius (371?-289 BCE), Chinese philosopher, who studied Confucianism. He later refined many of the ideas and spread them across China. Also known as Mengzi, or Meng-tzu.
Menes (3100? BCE) King of Upper Egypt, united the two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt
mercantilism The policy of building a nation's wealth by exporting more goods than it imports. Colonies are instrumental in this policy as they supply their parent nations with raw materials that are used to produce finished goods, and then exported back to the colon
merchant A person who sells goods or services. A member of the middle class in most societies.
Mesoamerican A region of Central America, Mexico, and South America where several pre-Columbian civilizations lived including the Maya, Inca, and Aztecs.
messiah According to the Hebrew Bible, an anointed king who will lead the Jews back to the land of Israel and establish justice in the world. According to the Christians, the Messiah was Jesus Christ.
Mestizos In colonial Latin America, Spanish/Native America who were denied basic political, economic, and social rights due to their mixed heritage.
Mexican Revolution (1910 – 1920) A political revolution that removed dictator Porfirio Diaz, and hoped to institute democratic reforms. While a constitution was written in 1917, it was many more years until true change occurred.
Michelangelo (1475-1564) An Italian sculptor, painter, poet, engineer, and architect. Famous works include the mural on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and the sculpture of the biblical character David.
Middle Ages Time period in European history between the fall of Rome in 476 C.E. and the beginning of the Italian Renaissance in the early 15th century.
middle class Social and economic class usually composed of merchants, artisans, and business people. In some societies, the richest class, but without a title of nobility. The middle class is usually the backbone of society as they are generally more moderate in thei
Middle East Geo-Political designation of the area stretching from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the western side of the Indian subcontinent. Consists of countries such as Israel, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
Middle Kingdom (China) Term that ancient China used to refer to themselves. The believed they were the center of the Earth, or the Middle Kingdom.
Middle Kingdom (Egypt) (2040 BCE – 1640 BCE) Period in ancient Egyptian history characterized by internal strife and hardships, and the invasion, and subsequent take over by the neighboring Hyksos.
migration The mass movement of people from one area to another.
militarism Political policy that is dominated by the military and the competitive buildup of arms.
military The armed forces of a nation.
Milosevic, Slobodan (1941- ) Former Yugoslavian President. He fought to keep non-Serbs from breaking away from Yugoslavia. During the 1990s, he used his army to terrorize ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, who were asking for self rule. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO
minority A small group of people from a larger group.
missionary A person who spreads the teachings of a religion.
mixed economy An economic system which is a combination of Market and Command economic systems where market forces control most consumer goods, but government directs industry in need areas.
Model Parliament (1295) English Parliament where bishops and abbots, peers, two knights from each shire, and two representatives from each town all met in modern format for the first time.
modernization To change something to make it conform to modern standards
Mohammed Prophet of Allah; founder of Islam.
Moksha In Hinduism, it is the release from the cycle of reincarnation through unification with Brahma.
Mona Lisa A famous Renaissance painting by Leonardo Da Vinci.
monarchy A political system in which a country is ruled by a monarch.
monotheism The belief in one god or goddess.
Monroe Doctrine (1823) A political policy of the United States by President James Monroe that states the Western Hemisphere is closed to European interference.
Moses He is considered a founder of Judaism due to his role in the liberation of the Hebrews from Egypt, and his delivery of the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai sometime around 2000 BCE.
mosque A domed Islamic religious building.
movable type printing machines A printing machine that used individual letters that could be moved after each printing. This allowed for faster and easier printing.
Muezzin In Islam, one who issues a call to prayer, causing the faithful to gather at the local Mosque.
mulattoes In colonial Latin America, Spanish/African who were denied basic political, economic, and social rights due to their mixed heritage.
multinational company A company that does business in more than one country, usually by setting up branch offices.
mummification The process of preserving a corpse by removing the moisture from it before burial. This process was practiced by many different cultures.
musket Handheld weapon that uses small balls of lead as projectiles and gunpowder as the blasting agent.
Muslim League Nationalist movement in India by the Islamic population who did not feel represented by the Indian National Congress. They initially formed to protexct Muslim rights, but later called for an independent state.
Mussolini, Benito (1883-1945) Italian leader. He founded the Italian Fascist Party, and sided with Hitler and Germany in World War II. In 1945 he was overthrown and assassinated by the Italian Resistance.
NAFTA North American Free Trade Agreement, an economic treaty between Canada, the United States, and Mexico to lower tariffs and create a free trade environment. NAFTA was ratified by its member nations in 1994.
Nagasaki Japanese city devastated during World War II when the United States dropped the second atomic bomb on Aug 8th, 1945.
NASA / National Aeronautical and Space Administration American space agency responsible for administrating the United State’s space program.
Nasser, Gamal Abdel (1918-1970) President of Egypt from 1956 to 1970. He was responsible for nationalizing the Suez Canal, and was an important leader to the Arab world. He was often at odds with the West and Israel.
Nasser, Gamal Abdel (1918-1970) President of Egypt from 1956 to 1970. He was the most influential leader of the Arab world during his lifetime. He supported the idea of Pan Arabism, where all Arab nations should unite. Also supported the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
National Assembly First new government during the first stage of the French Revolution.
nationalism Pride in one’s country or culture, often excessive in nature.
nation-state An independent state or country.
Native Americans & Slaves In colonial Latin America, lowest social class. They had no rights and were often treated poorly and used as a labor source by the plantation owning Creoles.
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an international defense alliance between the United States, Great Britain, and others formed in 1949 as a response to the spread of communism.
natural resources Various materials found in nature used in manufacturing such as wood, coal, and oil.
natural rights Concept of John Locke’s that states all people have the right to life, liberty, and property.
navigable rivers A river that is able to be navigated by boat.
Nazi Name of German National Socialist Party, which gained control of Germany in 1933 under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.
Nehru, Jawaharlal (1889-1964) Indian nationalist leader and the first prime minister of independent India from 1947 to 1964. Along with Mohandas Gandhi, he was instrumental in freeing India from Britain’s control.
Neolithic Age (10,000 BCE - 5000 BCE) New Stone Age. A period of time in human history characterized by the development of agriculture and permanent settlements.
Neolithic Revolution (10,000 - 8,000 BCE) The development of agriculture and the domestication of animals as a food source. This led to the development of permanent settlements and the start of civilization.
New Economic Policy An economic policy of Vladimir Lenin’s in the Soviet Union where government controlled most banks and industry, but did allow some private ownership.
New Imperialism A policy of economic, political, and social of one country by another. Industrialized countries sought control of other countries for raw materials and new markets.
New Kingdom (1550 BCE - 1100 BCE) Period in ancient Egyptian history characterized by strong pharaohs who conquered an empire that stretched from Nubia in the south, to the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia.
New Testament The second half of the Christian Bible. It describes the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, as well as other Christian teachings.
Newcomen, Thomas (1663-1729) Developed a steam engine powered by coal.
Newton, Isaac (1642-1727) English scientist who discovered gravitation, invented calculus, and formulated the laws of motion.
Nirvana In Buddhism, spiritual enlightenment.
Nkrumah, Kwame (1909-1972) Independence leader who help lead Ghana out of European imperialism after World War II.
Nô theatre Feudal Japanese theater where men wore decorative mask and performed on stage, while a chorus sang the lines. Nô theatre reflected Buddhist ideas such as resisting selfish behavior.
nomad A person who belongs to a group of people who move from place to place seasonally in search of food and water.
Northwest Passage Mythical water route from the northeast region of North America to the Pacific Ocean. Many people during the Age of Exploration searched for this route that does not exist. However, the search resulted in the discovery of much of the northeast region of
nuclear weapons Weapons in which the explosive potential is controlled by nuclear fission or fusion.
Nuremburg Trials War crime trials held in Nuremburg after World War II to try the surviving Nazis concerning the Holocaust, aggressive war making, mistreatment of prisoners among other things.
occupation (military) The control of one country by another through the stationing of military troops and military government.
Old Imperialism A European policy of conquest that occurs in the 15th through 18th centuries in Africa, India, the Americas, and parts of Asia The motives were the same for most areas, the establishment of lucrative trade routes. Various European countries dominated the
Old Kingdom (2575 BCE – 2134 BCE) Period in ancient Egyptian history characterized by the building of the Great Pyramids at Giza.
Old Testament The first half of the Christian Bible, that describes the creation of the world, the history of ancient Israel, the Ten Commandments, and contains the Psalms and the prophetic books. Also is the Hebrew Torah.
Oligarchy A political system in which the government is under the control of the merchant class.
Olmecs A Mesoamerican civilization that flourished around 1200 C.E.. Achievements include irrigation, a simple calendar and writing system, and small cities.
OPEC Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, an international organization concerned with the crude-oil policies of its member states. This organization was founded in 1960, and has 11 members, including Kuwait, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Libya, N
Open Door Policy A policy of the United States that stated China should be open to all nations that which to trade with them. This policy did not include the consent of the Chinese, and was another form of imperialism.
Opium War In the early 19th century, Great Britain began importing opium, processed from poppy plants grown in the Crown Colony of India, into China. Chinese officials attempted to ban the importation of the highly addictive opium, but ultimately failed. The Briti
oracle bones In ancient China, they were pieces of bone or turtle shell used by Shang priests to tell the future. They would write a question addressed to either one of the gods, or an ancestor on the bone, then heat it until it cracked. They believed that by studyin
Orlando, Vittorio (1860-1952) Prime Minister of Italy during World War I. He was one of the formulators of the Treaty of Versailles.
Orthodox Christianity A branch of Christianity developed in the Byzantine Empire, after its split from the Roman Empire. It spread throughout the eastern Mediterranean and Russia.
Osama bin Laden (1957- ) Saudi Arabian multimillionaire and leader of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda. He is responsible for numerous terrorist attacks on the United States including the destruction of the World Trade Center.
Ottoman Empire Hereditary nation state centered in Turkey. It was founded in the late 13th century after the collapse of the Byzantine Empire and extended across most of Asia Minor and the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire collapsed shortly after World War II.
ozone layer The layer of the upper atmosphere where ozone collects. This layer absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation from the Sun.
Pacific Rim The countries that border the Pacific Ocean, specifically, the countries of East Asia, considered as an economic unit.
pagoda A multistoried building with the corners of the roof curved up that were used as a temple.
Pahlavi, Muhammad Reza (1919-1980), Dictator ruler of Iran from 1941 to 1979. He was supported by the United States throughout most of the Cold War due to his anti communist stance. Overthrown during the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
Paleolithic Age (750,000 BCE - 10,000 B.C.E.) Old Stone Age. A period of time in human history characterized by the use of stone tools and the use of hunting and gathering as a food source.
Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) One time terrorist organization, now considered to be a legitimate political body whose goals have been to create a nation-state for the displaced Palestinians. The PLO is lead by Yasir Arafat.
Pan Africanism Nationalistic movement which emphasized the unity of all Africans, and sought to end foreign control.
Pan Arabism Nationalistic movement which emphasized the unity of all Arabs, and sought to end foreign control in the Middle East.
Pan Slavism Nationalistic movement which emphasized the unity of all Slavic peoples, and sought to end foreign control of various Slavic nations.
Panama Canal A canal that crosses the isthmus of Panama connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Built by the United States between 1904 and 1914.
Pantheon A domed temple in Rome that was completed in 27 BCE, and still stands today.
papyrus scrolls Paper like material made from the reeds of the papyrus plant. It was used by the Egyptians for the writing and storing of documents.
parliament A government's legislative body.
parliamentary democracy A form of government where the citizens elect members to represent them in a parliament, or legislative assembly.
Parthenon A large temple dedicated to the goddess Athena on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. It was built in the 5th century BCE, during the Athenian golden age.
partnership The cooperative relationship between two or more people who are involved in the same activity.
Pasteur, Louis (1822-1895) French scientist who discovered the link between germs and disease. He also showed that killing germs, often prevented the spread of certain diseases.
patrician A member of the upper class of ancient Roman society.
patron Someone who provides support to a specific cause and/or person/people.
Pax Mongolia Also known as the Mongol Peace. A time when global trade expanded due to the political stability provided by Mongol rulers.
Pax Romana A 200 hundred year period of relative peace throughout the Roman Empire. Occurs during the first two centuries C.E..
peasantry Members of the lowest class in some social class systems.
peninsula An area of land surrounded on three sides by water. Italy, Greece, and the southern part of India are all peninsulas.
Peninsulares In colonial Latin America, Spanish official sent to govern Latin American colonies. They controlled government completely.
Perestroika A policy of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to revitalize the Soviet economy by opening it up to more free enterprise.
Pericles (495? BCE-429? BCE) Athenian statesman. He was the central ruler of Athens during its golden age. He was the central patron behind many of their achievements. He was also a very skilled speaker. Athens City-State of Ancient Greece and center of Greek gol
Perry, Matthew (1794-1858) Commodore. United States Navy officer who is responsible for opening Japan to trade and imperialism.
persecution Treating a person, or a group of people unfairly or cruelly due to ethnic background, gender, or other difference.
Persian Empire Ancient Middle Eastern empire comprising modern day Iran. The Perisan Empire dominated the Middle East from the middle of the 6th century BCE to about the end of the 5th century BCE, Its greatest ruler was Dairus I. Persia was later conquered by Alexande
Persian Gulf War (1990 – 1991) Conflict between Iraq and a coalition of countries led by the United States to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait which they had invaded in hopes of controlling their oil supply. A very one sided war with the United States’ coalition emerging
pesticides Chemicals used to destroy insects and other pests.
Peter the Great (1672-1725) Czar of Russia. He was responsible for the westernization of Russia in the 18th century.
pharaoh In ancient Egypt, title given to the ruler who was considered both king and god.
Philip II (1527-1598) King of Spain from 1556 to 1598. Absolute monarch who helped lead the Counter Reformation by persecuting Protestants in his holdings. Also sent the Spanish Armada against England.
philosopher A person who seeks to understand and explain the nature of things around them. A scholar of philosophy.
philosophy A system of thought devoted to the examination of ideas such as truth, existence, reality, causality, religion, and freedom
Phoenicians An early trading civilization located in present day Lebanon and Syria along the Mediterranean. They produced various products, such as glass, papyrus scrolls, and dyes, and established trade across the entire Mediterranean Sea. The Phoenician trade empi
pictographs Writing system that uses drawings of objects.
pilgrimage A religious journey to visit a shrine or other holy site.
Pizarro, Francisco (1476?-1541) Spanish conquistador who was responsible for the conquest of the Incan Empire.
plebeian A member of the lower class of ancient Roman society.
Pol Pot (1925-1998) Leader of Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. Pol Pot is responsible for the deaths of almost 2 million of his own people due to starvation, execution, and beatings.
political autonomy A nation governing itself independently from a centralized point.
political ideologies An organized system of political beliefs, values, and ideas.
political rights Rights such as voting, and the ability to hold public office.
polytheism The belief in many gods or goddesses.
Pope Leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Chosen by the College of Cardinals.
Pope Urban II (1040?-1099) The head of the Roman Catholic Church who issued the proclamation the began the First Crusade.
porcelain A hard, fine ceramic material used to make a variety of products.
power loom A device that combined thread to make cloth using steam power.
Pre-Columbian Period of North and South American history before the arrival of the Europeans in the late 15th century.
predestination The idea of Calvinist Protestants that certain people were pre-selected to go to heaven.
priest A spiritual leader in a variety of religions.
Prince Metternich (1773-1859) Chancellor of the Astro-Hungarian Empire between 1821 and 1848. He was the most powerful political figure in Europe between 1814 and 1848. He was driven from power in the Revolutions of 1848.
Prince, The A book of political advice written by Niccolo Machiavelli during the Renaissance in which he describes the methods that a prince should use to acquire and maintain political power. This book was used to defend policies of despotism and tyranny. Machiavel
Princip, Gavrilo (1894 -1918) Serbian nationalist/terrorist who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in 1914. This event resulted in the start of World War I.
proletariat Term given to the working class people in society.
property Something of value that is owned by a person.
protectorate A country or region that is controlled by a more powerful country.
Protestant Member of Christian relgious sect which formed during the Protestant Reformation. Protestants reject the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.
provisional government A temporary government assembled during times of change.
Prussia Former independent kingdom and state of Germany. In the late 19th century, it formed the central state of the German Empire, which was one of the largest in Europe.
Ptolemy (100?-170 CE) Greek astronomer, mathematician, and geographer. His geocentric model of the universe lasted until the 16th century.
Puritan Revolution Political and Religious revolution in England between 1640 and 1660. The monarchy was abolished in favor of a Republic led by Oliver Cromwell. It ended with the seating of Charles II on the throne. Also known as the English Revolution.
Puritanism Movement in the English church in the late 16th to remove all catholic influences and purify.
Put Out System Manufacturing system where work was distributed and retrieved from individuals in their homes.
pyramid A triangular shaped building.
Pythagoras (582?-500?BCE) Greek mathematician responsible for the Pythagorean Theorem which states the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.
quipas A record keeping system that used colored, knotted string developed by the Incan Civilization.
Quran Islamic holy book.
Rabbi Jewish scholar charged with conducting religious services, ensuring that Jewish laws are observed, and serving as a spiritual guide for the community.
Ramadan The ninth month of the Muslim calendar. All Muslims must fast during daylight hours, except the very young or sick.
Ramayana Hindu epic story about the hero Rama who was the incarnation of the god Vishnu.
Rasputin, Grigory (1872-1916) Russian peasant and self-proclaimed holy man. He was friends with the ruling Romanov family, and sometime advisor to Czarina Alexandra. His advice was on of the factors leading to the Russian Revolution.
raw materials Various materials found in nature used in manufacturing such as wood, coal, and oil.
recant To reject a belief or withdraw something previously said.
Reconquista The re-conquest of Spain by the Christians after centuries of Islamic domination.
Red Guard Militaristic group of students in China who brutalized anyone who criticized Mao’s government.
Red Shirts Nationalistic group/army created and led by Guiseppe Garibaldi to end foreign control of Italy during the 19th century.
Reformation The protest against perceived wrong doings by the Catholic Church during the early 16th century. Main leaders were Martin Luther and John Calvin.
reincarnation The rebirth of a soul into another body.
relay runners The passing of information through a series of runners.
religion A person's beliefs concerning the existence and worship of a god or gods, and divine involvement in the universe and human life.
Renaissance A rebirth of cultural and intellectual pursuits after the stagnation of the Middle Ages. This period in European history, from about the 14th through 16th centuries, features major cultural and artistic change.
reparations Monetary compensation to correct something that was done wrong.
representative democracy A system of government where the legislative, judicial, and executive powers are held by directly or indirectly elected officials.
republic A political system in which a country is ruled by law, has representative government, and is democratic in nature.
resources An asset that is beneficial to a country or people.
reverence The respect or devotion that others show someone or something
revolution a dramatic change in ideas, practice, or government.
Rhodes, Cecil (1853-1902) British statesman who was instrumental in assuring British dominance of southern Africa. He founded the De Beers Mining Company, eventually controlling 90% of the world’s diamond production. After becoming prime minister of the Cape Colony (n
rigid social class system A social class system where there is no mobility. A person remains in the same class their entire life.
river A moving body of water that usually has its source in an area of high ground.
river delta The end of a river where rich deposits of silt build up. This is important to human habitation due to the excellent source of good farmland.
river valley A valley that is carved out by the river. Often have fertile land, and are the sites for the earliest civilizations.
Roman Catholic A branch of Christianity based in Rome. The original Christian church.
Roman Empire The territories ruled by ancient Rome which at one time encompassed most of the Mediterranean world and parts of France, England, and Germany. The empire lasted from 27 BCE to 395 CE.
Roosevelt Corollary A political policy of the United States by President Theodore Roosevelt that states only the United States could intervene in the affairs of South America.
Rousseau, Jean Jacques (1712-1778) French writer and Enlightenment philosopher who wrote a book called, The Social Contract, where he stated that people were basically good, and that society, and its unequal distribution of wealth, were the cause of most problems. Rousseau bel
rudder A device used to steer a ship. It is usually shaped like a paddle and is on the back of the boat.
russification A policy in Russia to make all of the peoples under their control conform to Russian culture and language. It was used in both the Russian Empire and later, in the Soviet Union.
Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) War between Russia and Japan over imperial possessions. Japan emerges victorious.
sacraments Religious practices such as baptism, and receiving the Eucharist.
sacred Worthy of or regarded with religious worship, and/or respect.
Sahara Desert The world’s largest desert, located in North Africa.
Salt March (1930) Passive resistance campaign of Mohandas Gandhi where many Indians protested the British tax on salt by marching to the sea to make their own salt.
Samsara In Hinduism, the term given to the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
samurai Warrior class during Japan’s feudal age.
sanitation Services including the collection and disposal of sewage and garbage.
Sanskrit The extinct language of ancient India. Spoken between fourteenth and fifth centuries BCE. Still used today in classic literature.
satellite Man made objects that orbit the Earth or perform deep space probes. The perform a number of functions such as communications and weather.
sati The ritual suicide of a wife after her husband’s death in Hindu/Indian culture.
Scandinavian Vikings Members of any of the ancient Scandinavian peoples. Vikings raided various parts of northwestern Europe from the 8th to 11th centuries CE. They were good sailors who invaded by sea in long ships, and often settled in the areas they invaded, as in Great B
scholar A person who posesses a great deal of knowledge, usually an academic who specializes in a particular subject area.
Scientific Method Uses observation and experimentation to explain theories on the workings of the universe.
Scientific Revolution An offshoot of the Renaissance in which scientists questioned traditional beliefs about the workings of the universe. One of the main ideas to come out of the Scientific Revolution was the use of the Scientific Method. The Scientific Method uses observat
Scramble For Africa Term given for the rapid invasion of Africa by the various European powers. This began imperialism in Africa.
sculptor An artist who creates three-dimensional works of art, usually in stone or clay.
seed drill Machine designed by Jethro Tull which mechanically planted seeds.
self-determination Refers to a number of distinct human rights. These include the right to equality under the law, the right to a nationality, the right to freely leave and return to a person's country of origin, the right to freedom from persecution because of race, relig
Seljuk Turks Dynasty that controlled Turkey during the 11th and 12th centuries. The Seljuk disruption of European travel to the Holy Lands resulted in the Crusades.
senator A person that is a member of a legislative body called a Senate.
separation of powers A tool in government described by Baron de Montesquieu which states that government should divide itself according to its powers, creating a Judicial, Legislative, and Executive branch. This system would Check and Balance itself, which would help protect
Sepoy A soldier working for the British East India Company, recruited from the native population of India.
Sepoy Mutiny (1857-1859) A revolt by the hired Hindu and Muslim soldiers of the British East India Company. It began as a result of the rifle cartridges that were distributed to the Sepoys had to be bitten to remove a cover before being inserted into a gun. Rumors ci
Seppuku The act of suicide practiced by Japanese Samurai and Nobles during the feudal period. It was practiced to save one’s honor, or to regain it in the face of shame.
serfs Farmers who were tied to the land during European feudalism. They were not slaves because they could not be bought or sold, but they could not readily leave the manor either. Serfs were given land to farm in exchange for service to their lord. This servi
Shaka Zulu (1787?-1828) During Shaka’s rule, the Zulu broadened their land claims throughout southern Africa. Eventually, the Zulu came into the conflict with the British army as they expanded their control over southern Africa and invaded the homeland of the Zulu.
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616) English poet and playwright. He wrote 37 plays between 1590 and 1613. His plays reflect the ideas of individualism and the unconquerable human spirit, and most of them are still performed today.
Shaman Somebody who communicates with the spiritual realms on behalf of the living. Seen in many Animistic types of belief systems.
Sharia The Islamic book of laws which regulates all aspects of life including, moral behavior, family life, business dealings, and government.
Shinto Shinto, which means "Way of the Gods," is the traditional religion of Japan that focuses on nature. Many consider Shinto to be a form of Animism due to the many similarities found between them. Shinto teaches that there is a sacredness of the whole unive
Shiva Hindu god called the Destroyer. Shiva is the third member of the triad that includes Brahma the Creator and Vishnu the Preserver.
Shogun Military ruler of feudal Japan.
Sikhism A belief system which blends Hindu traditions with Islamic monotheistic traditions. Based in India and Pakistan.
Silk Road Trade route from China to the Middle East. Called the Silk Road due to China’s most important export.
silt Very fine grains of dirt deposited by a moving body of water.
Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) Japan’s imperialistic war against China to gain control of natural resources and markets for their goods. It ended with the Treaty of Portsmouth which granted Japan Chinese port city trading rights, control of Manchuria, the annexation of the
Sistine Chapel A Catholic church in Vatican City, Italy. Its ceiling was painted by the Renaissance artist Michelangelo.
Six-Day War (1967)War between Israel and Egypt, Syria, and Jordon where Israel defeated the three in six days, capturing territory from each.
slave A person forced to work for another with no payment or freedom to seek work elsewhere. A slave can be bought and sold.
slave trade The buying and selling of people for the purposes of slavery.
slavery A system of forced labor.
Slavic Ethnic group of indo-European descent which includes Russians, Bulgarians, and Poles.
smallpox A highly contagious disease. Symptoms include high fever and scar-producing blisters. It can be fatal.
Smith, Adam (1723-1790) British philosopher, writer, and economist. His book, The Wealth of Nations, describes his theory on free trade, otherwise known as laissez-faire economics.
social class A group of people within a society who share the same social, political, and economic status.
social contract Theory of Thomas Hobbes that states the people form a social contract with government where they give up all rights for protection from other citizens.
Social Contract, The French philosopher Jean Jaques Rousseau's book in which he wrote that people were basically good, and that society, and its unequal distribution of wealth, were the cause of most problems. Rousseau believed that government should be run according to the
Social Darwinism A social theory which states that the level a person rises to in society and wealth is determined by their genetic background.
social rights Rights such as freedom of expression, education
socialism A political system where the means of production are controlled by the workers and all things are shared evenly. Socialist policies provide for government funding of many basic needs such as food, shelter, and medical care.
Society of Jesus Roman Catholic religious order founded by Ignatius Loyola in 1540 to setup schools and serve as missionaries, spreading church teachings.
Solidarity An independent Polish labor Union which fought against communism in Poland in the 1980s. Most notable for helping to end communism in Poland and throughout Eastern Europe.
Songhai One of the west African Trading Kingdoms. They were rich in gold and established a vast trading network across the Sahara desert.
sovereignty The right of a country to govern itself without interference.
Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Formed in 1922 from most of the former Russian Empire. The Soviet Union was controlled by the Communist Party headquarter in Moscow, Russia. The Soviet Union was a world superpower along with the United States,
Space Race Term given to the competition between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War to advance their space programs.
Space Shuttle A reusable space vehicle built by the United States.
Spanish Armada A large flotilla of ships sent by Philip II of Spain to attack England in 1588 because of the Reformation. The Armada was destroyed by poor weather and the English Navy.
Spanish-American War (1898) A war between the United States and Spain over the control of Cuba. The United States won this war and gained independence for Cuba, and control of the Philippines.
spheres of influence An area of one country under the control of another. In China, these areas guaranteed specific trading privileges to each imperialist nation within its respective sphere.
spinning jenny A device used to make thread.
spinning wheel A device used to make thread by spinning fibers together through the use of a big wheel.
Spirit of the Laws, The A book written by Baron de Montesquieu describing his theories on government. He states that government should divide itself according to its powers, creating a Judicial, Legislative, and Executive branch. Montesquieu explained that under this system eac
Sputnik Soviet satellite put into orbit around Earth in 1957. It was the first man made satellite put into orbit.
stalemate A situation where there are no clear winners.
Stalin, Josef (1879-1953) The General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party from 1922 until 1953. Known for his brutality in dealing with opponents and his failed policies of collectivism that caused widespread famine across the Soviet Union.
starvation The process of dying due to lack of food.
Stock Market Crash (1929)The steep fall in the prices of stocks due to widespread financial panic. It was caused by stock brokers who called in the loans they had made to stock investors. This caused stock prices to fall, and many people lost their entire life savings as m
stockholder A person holding ownership of part of a company or business venture.
Stupa A Buddhist shrine or temple in India. This form of architecture made its way to China where it was altered slightly and renamed the pagoda.
subcontinent Large area that is a separate part of a continent. The area encompassing India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are considered to be a subcontinent of Asia.
subservient To serve under another person. Unequal.
Suez Canal A canal linking the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. It was a vital trade route in the British Empire during imperialism, and continues to link North Africa and Europe to Asia today.
Suez War of 1956 War between Israel and Egypt which resulted in Egypt losing control of the Sinai Peninsula.
suffrage The right to vote in elections.
Suleiman (1494-1566) Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and considered to be their greatest ruler. Under his leadership, the Ottoman Empire reached its greatest height.
Sun Yixian (1866-1925) Chinese nationalist leader who fought to end foreign domination. He formed the Kuomintang, or Nationalist Party, which overthrew the Manchu Dynasty and established a republican form of government in its place. Also known as Sun Yat-sen.
superpowers Term given to the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
surgery The medical treatment of a body which involves cutting open to perform various manipulations.
Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864) A revolt by the people of China against the ruling Manchu Dynasty because of their failure to deal effectively with the opium problem and the interference of foreigners.
Talmud The collection of Jewish writings that is the basis of Jewish religious law.
Taoism / Daoism The Chinese philosophy of Taoism (or Daoism) developed in the latter part of the Chou Dynasty, during a period of turmoil in which it was not clear that Chinese civilization would survive. It represents a naturalistic ideal of how one should live their l
Tao-te-Ching Collected teachings of Chinese philosopher Lao Tze, the founder of Taoism/Daoism.
tariff A tax on imports.
tea ceremony A Japanese ritual in which tea is prepared, served, and drunk in a certain way.
technology A society's practical knowledge, especially with reference to its material culture and modes of production.
telescope A device used to see distant objects, such as those in space.
Ten Commandments The ten laws given to Moses by God, according to the Bible.
terrace farming The cutting out of flat areas (terraces) into near vertical slopes to allow farming. Terrace farms appears as steps cut into a mountainside. This adaptation allowed both the early Chinese, and the Inca of Mesoamerica to grow enough food for their large p
terrorism The use of violence for political purpose.
Theodosius (346? CE – 395 CE) Emperor of the Roman Empire who is responsible for making the Christian religion the official religion of the empire.
Theory of Relativity Theory of motion and energy developed by Albert Einstein in the 20th century.
Three Gorges Dam A dam across the Yangtze River in China scheduled to be completed in 2009.
Tiananmen Square Massacre A political and social protest by university students in Beijing, China in 1989. The protest called for political and social reforms and resulted in the government using the military to end it, which caused hundreds of deaths, thousands of injured, and m
Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1867) Feudal Warlord rulers of Japan. Responisble for closing Japan off from the rest of the world. Overthrown during the Meiji Restoration.
Torah The holy book of Judaism. It describes the creation of the world, the history of ancient Israel, the Ten Commandments, and contains the Psalms and the prophetic books.
Torri The red gateway entrance to a Shinto shrine.
totalitarian state A state or country completely controlled by a single power, such as a monarch or dictator.
totalitarianism An ideology where all social, economic, and political powers are centered in the government completely.
trade The exchange of goods or service between people.
trade fair A gathering of merchants, craftsmen, and artisans to buy and sell goods and service during late Middle Ages.
tradition A long-established custom or belief.
traditional economy An economy based on agriculture, with others in society working in simple crafts, such as the manufacturing of cloth or pottery.
Treaty of Nanjing (1842) An unequal treaty between Great Britain and China resulting from the Opium War. The treaty stated that China was to reimburse Britain for costs incurred fighting the war. The Chinese were forced to open several ports to British trade, provide Brit
Treaty of Portsmouth (1905) The treaty that ended the Sino-Japanese War. It granted Japan Chinese port city trading rights, control of Manchuria, the annexation of the island of Sakhalin, and Korea became its protectorate.
Treaty of Tordesillas A treaty dividing the New World possessions between Portugal and Spain. This treaty, signed in 1494 was a product of the Catholic Church.
Treaty of Versailles Treaty ending World War I. It was extremely unfair to Germany, forcing them to accept all of the blame for the war. It is a major cause of World War II.
trench warfare A form of combat where armies fight each other from opposing fortified positions, usually consisting of long, dugout holes or trenches.
Triangle Trade A catch all phrase for the trade occurring between Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Trade goods include raw materials from the Americas, manufactured goods from Europe, and slaves from Africa.
tribalism Feelings of loyalty to individual tribes, and the cause of much war and strife in modern Africa.
Tripitka The collection of religious writings by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha.
Triple Alliance An alliance that was made up of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy during World War I.
Triple Entente An alliance that was made up of France, Russia, and Great Britain during World War I.
Truman Doctrine A policy if the Truman presidency that called for supporting any nation resisting communism.
Tull, Jethro (1674-1741) British farmer and inventor, created the mechanical seed drill to aid in planting.
Two Treatises of Government Also known as The Three Baskets of Wisdom, a book written by John Locke describing his views on government which explained that all men have Natural Rights, which are Life, Liberty, and Property, and that the purpose of government was to protect these ri
unequal treaty A treaty forced upon a country being dominated by another during Imperialism. These treaties often gave the imperialistic nation the ability to do whatever they needed to do in pursuit of profit.
United Nations An international body composed of many countries that seeks to promote peace, prosperity, and cooperation around the world. It was formed in 1945 at the end of World War II.
United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) An organization within the United Nations that works to provide food, clothing, and other assistance to children in need around the world. UNICEF was founded in 1946.
United States Constitution Document creating the United States government. Based on Enlightenment ideas. Ratified in 1788.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights A document published by the United Nations in 1948 stating that all people had certain basic rights including life, liberty, equality, justice and self determination. Source Document
Untouchables Members of Hindu society thought to have been removed from the Caste System, with no hope of returning to it, due to their misdeeds in previous lives. Work that is deemed unclean for all other Hindus is reserved for these Outcasts. After winning its inde
Upanishads Hindu holy book from the 8th century BCE.
urbanization The movement of people to urban areas in search of work.
vaccine A prevention treatment containing weakened microbes of the kind of disease one is guarding against. It is administered to stimulate the immune system against that disease.
vassal A person owing service to a feudal lord.
Vedas A Hindu holy book which is a collection of Aryan hymns that were transmitted orally before being written down in the 6th century BCE.
Venice and Florence Italians City-States which were the center of the rebirth of European trade and culture at the end of the Middle Ages.
Victor Emmanuel (1820-78) He was king of Sardinia from 1849 to 1861, when he became king of a united Italy until his death in 1878. His support of the unification movement was vital to its success.
Viet Cong The name of the Vietnamese communist who fought against South Vietnam and the United States during the Vietnam War.
Vietnam Conflict/War A war in the country of Vietnam, first between the French and Vietnamese, as France was attempting to hold onto its colony. The second war was between the United States and the communist forces of North Vietnam, as the U.S. was attempting to keep South V
Vishnu Hindu god called the Preserver. Vishnu is the second member of the triad that includes Brahma the Creator and Shiva the Destroyer.
volence The use of force to injure someone or to damage something.
Voltaire (1694-1778) French philosopher. He believed that freedom of speech was the best weapon against bad government. He also spoke out against the corruption of the French government, and the intolerance of the Catholic Church.
von Bismarck, Otto (1815-1898) Appointed Prussian chancellor in 1862. he began a program of war to unify all the German states under the control of Prussia. His policy was known as Blüt und Eisen or Blood and Iron. He was the most powerful statesman in Europe as chancellor
voting The act of choosing something or someone.
Walesa, Lech (1943- ) Polish labor union leader, Nobel laureate, and President of Poland from 1990 to 1995. He was instrumental in the collapse of communism in Poland and throughout Eastern Europe through the work of the labor union Solidarity.
Walpole, Robert (1676-1745) British statesman, and first Prime Minister from 1721 to 1742.
Warsaw Pact An international defense alliance between the Soviet Union and many of its Eastern European satellite states as a response to NATO. Formed in 1955.
Watt, James (1736-1819) Improved upon Newcomen’s steam engine. Watt’s steam engine would be the power source of the Industrial Revolution.
Wealth of Nations British philosopher and writer Adam Smith‘s 1776 book that described his theory on free trade, otherwise known as laissez-faire economics.
westernization To adopt western ideas and culture.
Wheel of Life important symbol of Buddhism. It represents the endless cycle of life through reincarnation.
White Man's Burden, The A poem by Rudyard Kipling written in 1899. It is also the name given to the idea that the culture of the native populations where European imperialism was occurring were inferior to western nations. Some interpreted Kipling’s poem to mean that it was the
William and Mary King and Queen of England from 1689 to 1702. They were placed on the throne as a result of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and ruled as limited monarchs.
Wilson, Woodrow (1856-1924) President of the United States during World War I. He was one of the formulators of the Treaty of Versailles. He also proposed a regulating body of nations to avoid future conflicts through diplomacy in his 14 Points Speech.
working class Lowest class in most social class systems, including factory workers, miners, and others.
World Bank Group A vast financial resource owned and controlled by its membership of over 180 countries. The purpose of the bank, established in 1944, is to provide loans and economic advice to its member countries. In 2001, the bank provided over 17.3 billion dollars in
World Health Organization (WHO) An organization attached to the united Nations that is concerned with the health and well being of all people. The organization works in developing nations to curb disease and other health related problems.
World War I (1914 – 1918) European war in which an alliance including Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and the United States defeated the alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria.
World War II (1939 – 1945) A war fought in Europe, Africa and Asia between the Allied Powers of Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States against the Axis Powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan.
Wright, Orville (1871–1948) American inventor. He is best know for his work with his brother Wilbur in the development of the airplane.
Wright, Wilbur (1867-1912) American inventor. He is best know for his work with his brother Orville in the development of the airplane.
Yeltsin, Boris (1931- ) President of Russia. He was elected before the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. He served until 1999. Yeltsin was instrumental in keeping a cout d’etat from occurring which would have returned hard line communists to power in Russia.
Yin and Yang Symbol used to illlustrate the natural harmony that exists in the world. Everything must have an opposing force that allows the harmonious universe to exist.
Yom Kippur War (1973) War between Israel and Egypt and Syria in which Israel defeated the two capturing land from each.
Young Italy Nationalistic movement that wanted to end foreign control of Italy. Started in 1831 by Guiseppe Mazzini.
Zen Buddhism A blending of Buddhism from India with Taoism from China. It is predominately practiced in China and Japan.
Zheng He (1371-1433?) Chinese naval explorer who sailed along most of the coast of Asia, Japan, and half way down the east coast of Africa before his death.
Zionism Jewish nationalist movement to establish a homeland in Palestine. This movement began in the late 1800s, as anti-Semitic feelings intensified in Europe. The main leader of this movement was a journalist by the name of Theodor Herzl. Herzl's dream of a ho
Zollverein A trade union among other German states formed by Prussia in the 1930s.
zoology The biological study of animals.
Zulu The name of a tribe of South Africa people who live in the northern part of Natal. They were the dominate tribe in the late 19th century when European Imperialism began. They resisted both the Boers and the British, but ultimately lost their homeland and
Created by: Ananya Murali Ananya Murali on 2010-03-27



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