VOCABULARY 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 Arab peoples through his son Ishmael. absolute monarchy : A political system in which a country is ruled by a monarch, who has absolute control. 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 and intellectual achievement. 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. 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 the higher availability of food. It was one of the causes of the Industrial Revolution. 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. 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. 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. 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 point in British domination of India. Independence movements became very popular and eventually forced India's independence. 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 practices of the Plains Indians in North America who would praise the spirit of the buffalo that they killed for giving its life to them so that they might survive. Animists also believed that ancestors watch over the living from the spirit world. This belief resulted in ancestor worship as a means of communicating with and showing respect to ancestors. 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 goals is to create a homeland for the displaced Palestinians. 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. 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 caste system. 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.
astrolabe : A device used to determine latitude by observing the altitude and position of the sun or other start or planet. 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 Republic, as well as parts of present-day Poland, Romania, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. 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. 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, creating a Judicial, Legislative, and Executive branch. Montesquieu explained that under this system each branch would Check and Balance the others, which would help protect the people's liberty. 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 office by Fidel Castro. 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. 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 the process of imperializing Africa. 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. 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. 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. 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 responsible for the phenomenon. In addition, the Caste System is rejected by Buddhists who believe instead that one is reincarnated until they can achieve nirvana, best described as spiritual enlightenment. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 victims, numerous birth defects, and the destruction of many acres of good land. 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. 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 Christ in the 1st century CE. The Christian holy book is called the Holy Bible. 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. 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. 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 own the means of production) and the proletariat (working class), and predicted that the proletariat would rise up in a violent revolution to overthrow the bourgeoisie and create a society with an equal distribution of goods and services. 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.