Vocabulary 38th Parallel : Line of latitude which divided North and South Korea



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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...
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 golden age that occurred in the 5th century BCE.
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 Alexander the Great.
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 victorious.
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 empire benefited most cultures in this region. As their trade expanded, they setup colonies throughout the Mediterranean. The Phoenicians also developed an alphabet to keep track of their business dealings. This alphabet was later adopted and adapted by the Greeks and Romans, and is the basis for the western alphabets of today. Phoenician trade is responsible for the great exchange of ideas and culture that occurred during this time period.
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.
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.
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.
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. Machiavelli wrote that a ruler should take any action to remain in power, or that “the ends justifies the means.”
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.

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.
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 (now South Africa) in 1890, he used his influence to strengthen British control over the region. His master plan was to establish a Cape to Cairo railroad line that would link British colonial interests in Africa between Egypt and the Cape Colony in southern Africa. The Boers, however, provided heavy and eventually armed resistance to this proposal. After authorizing an aggressive invasion of the Boer Republic of Transvall which ended poorly, Rhodes was removed from office. However, the seeds of the Boer War had been sown.
rigid social class system : A social class system where there is no mobility. A person remains in the same class their entire life.
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 believed that government should be run according to the will of the majority, which he called the General Will. He claimed that the General Will would always act in the best interest of the people.
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 Britain.
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 observation and experimentation to explain theories on how the universe works.
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, religion, or gender, and a host of others.
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 the people's liberty.
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 circulated among the Sepoys that this cover had been greased with beef and pork fat. This angered Muslim Sepoys who were not supposed to consume pork, and the Hindu Sepoys who were not supposed to eat beef. Thus, the Sepoys revolted against the British army, which eventually ended the conflict through use of force. This resulted in the British government officially taking control of India, making it a colony.
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 service usually involved working the lord's fields, maintaining roads and the manor, and providing military service in times of war. Serfs paid taxes to their lord in the form of crops. This is also how the paid the fee to use the manor's mill or other services.
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. Despite early victories, the Zulu were eventually defeated by the technology and vast resources at the command of the British troops. Soon, all of southern Africa would come under British control.
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 universe and that humans can be in tune with this sacredness. Every mountain, river, plant, animal, and all the diverse phenomena of heaven and earth have spirits, or kami, which inhabit them. Reverence is paid to the ancestors through the practice of ancestor worship.
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 island of Sakhalin, and Korea became its protectorate.
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 will of the majority, which he called the General Will. He claimed that the General Will would always act in the best interest of the people.
Social Darwinism : A social theory which states that the level a person rises to in society and wealth is determined by their genetic background.
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, and was one of the two major antagonist during the Cold War.
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 each branch would Check and Balance the others, which would help protect the people's liberty.
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