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Europe Study Guide

European Governments, Economics, Environments, Culture, Geography and History

TermDefinition
Autocracy A form of government in which power is held by a single leader and there is not limit on the power of the leader's government.
Democracy A form of government in which people have a voice in government actions and can participate freely and equally in the decision-making process .
Oligarchy A form of government in which a small, unelected group controls the country and denies power to citizens.
Unitary government A system of government in which the central government has more power than the local governments.
Federation A system of government in which the national and state governments share power.
Confederation A system of government in which states/ local governments have more power than the central government.
Constitutional Monarchy A form of government in which the power of the king or queen is limited by a constitution.
Parliamentary Democracy A form of government in which prime minister is head of the legislature, and selected by the legislature. The legislative branch is the most powerful. Used in the United Kingdom.
Presidential Democracy A form of government in which the executive branch of the national government is headed by the president, while the legislative branch is separate from the executive. The legislative branch is comprised of Congress. Used in the U.S.
European Union (EU) An organization that created one economic market out of the member nations' economies. All European members reap travel, educational, and financial benefits. 17 out of 25 countries use the euro as their form of currency.
Traditional Economy An economy without a currency. People trade and barter goods and services.
Mixed Economy An economic system that allows for public and private businesses. The government has some control over economic regulations.
Market Economy An economic system in which the government has absolutely no control over regulations. The public create and run all businesses.
Command Economy An economic system in which the government regulates all businesses.
Human Capital Investing in the people who work in the marketplace. For instance, training and health programs.
Capital Goods/ Physical Capital Equipment used by a company to produce other goods. For instance, a new machine to make a product faster.
Capitalism An economic system in which private owners control the production of goods and profit. (USA)
Communism An economic and political system in which the government owns all the businesses, and citizens have limited personal freedom. (Soviet Union)
Chernobyl, Ukraine In 1986, a nuclear explosion devastated environments around Ukraine. Almost 1 million people were killed due to the radiation poisoning in the air and in the food they ate.
Romance Languages Languages which derived from Vulgar Latin. Today, there are nearly 800 million speakers. The five most common Romance Languages include Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian.
Judaism A monotheistic religion practiced by people who read the Torah and Tanach. Believers believe in the God of Abraham and that the messiah has not come yet. Believers also pray in a synagogue which are led by rabbis.
Christianity A monotheistic religion practiced by people who read the Old and New Testament- The Holy Bible. Believers believe in the God of Abraham and that the messiah was Jesus Christ. Believers also pray in a church led by pastors, priests, ministers, etc.
Islam A monotheistic religion practiced by people who read the Quran. Believers believe in the God of Abraham, and that the messiah has come. Believers pray in a mosque, led by Imams. The 5 Pillars include Confession, Prayer, Ramadan, Hajj and Charity.
Soviet Union After the Russian Revolution of 1917, communists converted Russia to a command economy and dictatorship. After WW2, it emerged as a superpower and was a key player in the Cold War. Its "sphere of influence" impacted much of Eastern Europe. Ended 1991.
Berlin Wall A wall in Germany that separated East Berlin (Soviet controlled) and West Berlin (American/ British/ French controlled) from 1961 to 1989. Its fall represented the end of the Cold War.
Iron Curtain Churchill coined this phrase which refers to the symbolic barrier that separated communist and democratic countries in Europe during the Cold War.
Allied Powers In World War I- Great Britain, France, United States, Italy In World War II- Great Britain, Russia and the United States
Central Powers In World War I- Germany, Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary
Axis Powers In World War II- Germany, Italy and Japan
Adolf Hitler The dictator of Nazi Germany. He began WWII by breaking the Treaty of Versailles and invading Poland. He was also responsible for the Holocaust.
Czar A name for the ruler/emperor in Russia before the Russian Revolution.
Russian Revolution A two-part revolt that resulted in the overthrow of the czar and the Communist take-over of Russia.
Holocaust The systematic mass murder of European Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and other "non-aryans" by the Nazis during WWII
Cold War The long period of rivalry and conflict between the U.S. and the Soviet Union following World War II, but did not involve "hot" fighting in either countries. Mutual Assured Destruction and the threat of nuclear warfare terrified citizens of both.
Henry the Navigator A prince of Portugal who used his wealth to fund the first school of navigation, and many voyages. Because of him, Vasco da Gama was able to sail around Africa to reach Asia.
Colonization The act of an empire taking control of another place and people in order to obtain resources.
MANIA The causes of World War I- Militarism, Alliances, Nationalism, Imperialism, and Assassination
Treaty of Versailles An agreement that officially ended WWI and required that Germany accept full responsibility for the war.
Created by: melcohen