Century wwi imperialism

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Unit 7 Vocabulary

Early 20th Century


  • Imperialism: a policy in which a strong nation seeks to dominate other countries politically, economically, or socially

  • Nationalism: Pride is ones’ nation - Belief that each nationality is entitled to its own government and national homeland.

  • Militarism: Occurs when civilians adopt military values & goals & becomes over-reliant on military advisors.

  • Alliance System: The Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy) & Triple Entente (Britain, France, Russia) sought to preserve the balance of power, but dragged their members into WWI

  • Trench Warfare: Form of combat during WWI in which both sides, facing machine gun fire, dug ditches to create fortified positions

  • Fourteen Points: (1918) War aims announced by President Wilson, which included creating new nation-states in Eastern Europe & a League of Nations

  • League of Nations: International organization proposed by Wilson and created by the Versailles Treaty to promote disarmament & prevent future wars. It failed to stop war

  • Mandate System: territories ruled like colonies but subject to the supervision of the League of Nations

Russian Revolution

  • Tsar Nicholas II: Leader of Russia

  • Russian Revolution: Worker-led food riots broke out, soldiers refused to fire on workers, Nicholas powerless to govern nation & gave up his throne. The Duma declared Russia a republic

  • Vladimir Lenin: a follower of Karl Marx and leader of the Bolsheviks

  • Bolsheviks: a group of revolutionary Russian Marxists who took control of Russia’s government In November 1917

  • October Revolution: (1917) The Bolsheviks seized power by force in a second revolution in 1917. Once in power, they changed Russia to a Communist nation

  • Russian Civil War: a civil war followed between the Reds (Communist) and the Whites (wished to return to the rule of Tsars). The Reds defeated the Whites securing the position of the new communist government


  • Treaty of Versailles: the peace treaty signed by Germany and the Allied powers after WW

  • Great Depression: The severe economic slump that followed the collapse of the U.S. stock market in 1929

  • Totalitarianism: A government that controls all aspects of life

  • Fascism: Political system that developed in Germany, Italy, & Spain after WWI, marked by intense nationalism, belied in an all powerful leader, & militarism

  • Gestapo: German secret police

  • Blitzkrieg: “lightening war” a form of warfare in which surprise attacks with fast-moving airplanes are followed by massive attacks with infantry forces

  • Appeasement: the making if concessions to an aggressor in order to avoid war

  • Holocaust: (1938-1945) The genocide of Jews & other minorities during WWII by the Nazis in concentration camps like Auschwitz

  • Nuremberg Trials: a series of court proceedings held in Nuremberg, Germany after WWII in which Nazi leaders were tried for aggression, violations of the rule of war, and crimes against humanity

  • Allied Powers: WWI- Great Britain, France, Russia WWII- Great Britain, Soviet Union, United States

  • Axis Powers: In WWII, the nations of Germany, Italy, & Japan formed an alliance in 1936

  • D-Day: June 6, 1944 the day on which Allies began their invasion of the European Mainland during WWII

  • Pearl Harbor: (Dec. 7, 1941) A surprise attack by Japanese navy on the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor which brought the U.S. into WWII

  • Battle of Midway: a 1942 sea and air battle of WWII, in which American forces defeated Japanese forces in the central Pacific

  • Atomic Bomb: American scientists developed a bomb based on atomic energy, called the Manhattan Project, which was used against the Japanese cities Hiroshima & Nagasaki

  • United Nations: International organization launched in 1945. Its purpose is to maintain world peace while encouraging cooperation among nations

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