Geography 308 midterm I study guide

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    15 multiple choice, 15 matching or ranking, 30 map section = 60 total x 2.5 = 150 points

    Drawing from readings, lectures, videos and the Countries chart.


Ethnic breakup of USSR, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia into new countries

Majority religious groups (on Chart)

Majority language group or family (on Chart)

Geographic implications of end of Cold War

Economic geographic transition

Decolonization of Russian Empire

Country names/capitals from Chart:


Temperature patterns/Why Russia is cold

Precipitation patterns

Banding of vegetation, forest, soils, agriculture, land use

Relationship to population settlement and ethnic patterns

Major zones on map: mixed forest, steppe, forest-steppe,

semi-arid/desert, Mediterranean, taiga/boreal forest, tundra

Patterns of coal/metals/oil distribution

Major ranges in West, North, South

Major rivers in West, North, South

Major lakes/seas in West, North, South


Major Slavic and/or Orthodox ethnic groups

Causes for Russian expansion

Comparisons to U.S. westward expansion

Physical and social reasons for Russian underdevelopment

Eastern Orthodoxy


Kievan Rus; relationship to Byzantine Empire

Mongol invasion/Golden Horde occupation

Muscovy growth/Homeland

Imperial era under Romanov Czars/Czarinas

Conquest of Tatars, Siberia into Boreal Riverine zone

Expansion of Russian ethnic group

Western conquests and leaning to West under Peter and Catherine

St. Petersburg

Main powers/barriers in West / Napoleonic wars

Main powers/barriers in South / Crimean war / Great Game in Afghanistan

Main powers/barriers in East / Russo-Japanese war

Russian feudal serfdom

Russification/Cyrillic use

Conflicts between Modernizers and Slavophiles

Main locations of industrialization

Three empires partitioning Poland

Shatterbelts in Balkans, Caucasus

Role of Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian empires in SE Europe


Classic Marxism vs. Russian Marxism

Role of peasantry under Leninism, Stalinism

Internationalist faction vs. pro-war faction before WWI

Major powers in WWI

Major powers in Russian Civil War


Meaning of Soviet

Two stages of 1917 revolution

Socialism in One Country

Lenin on Nationalism of the Oppressor/Russian nationalism

Self-determination of new countries after WWI


Command economy/State socialism

Lenin and Stalin on nationalism

Formation of SSRs

Formation of Autonomous SSRs

Divide-and-rule ethnic strategy

Soviet pact with Germany, 1939 annexations

German invasion; factors in Soviet victory

Russian nationalism in WWII

Annexations after WWII

Kaliningrad enclave


Soviet occupation in Eastern Europe/ Warsaw Pact

Independent Communist states

Shifting border changes in Poland, Ukraine, etc.

Iron Curtain

Berlin Airlift

Berlin Wall

Marshall Plan

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Hungarian Revolution

Khrushchev policies

Virgin Lands in N. Kazakhstan, S. Siberia

Brezhnev policies/Brezhnev Doctrine

Prague Spring/invasion of Czechoslovakia

Afghanistan invasion

Polish Solidarity



Political or economic reform first?

Gorbachev policies

Glasnost benefits and drawbacks

Perestroika benefits and drawbacks

Place names changes: De-Sovietization, Indigenization, Transliteration

Cyrillic changing to Roman in some SSRs

Reasons for defeat in Afghanistan

Goulash Communism

Better-off first to revolt / Pull of EU

Role of television in transition

Sequence of transition in Eastern Europe; Poland, Hungary, GDR, Czech.

Velvet Revolution/Divorce

Romanian Revolution

Possible paths for new regimes

Baltic independence declarations

SSR name changes, sovereignty declarations

Yeltsin vision of Russian identity

Communist coup and aftermath

Commonweath of Independent States

Shock therapy economics

Winners’ and losers’ regions

Post-Communists in Eastern Europe

Unreformed Communists and nationalists in Russia

Putin policies

War in Chechnya


Western propaganda about USSR/ Red Bloc

Eastern propaganda about West

Cold War flashpoints

Cold War competition in Third World

Domino Theory

Heartland Theory/Mackinder

Pivot Area/Rimland

Containment Theory/Kennan

Totalitarian or authoritarian dictatorships

Sino-Soviet (China) conflict

China Card

Détente with U.S.

Overextension beyond Slavic Orthodox boundaries

Clash of Civilizations theory/Huntington

Atlanticists vs Eurasianists

NATO expansion – countries, implications

EU expansion – countries, implications

Blue Curtain

Orthodox minorities in West

Catholic minorities in East

Effects of Yugoslav wars on Russia

Effects of Sept. 11

Caspian Basin oil/gas pipelines

New U.S. bases encircling Russia

Effects of Iraq Crisis

Effects of Asian economic growth

Star Wars/National Missile Defense

Ukraine election—effects of historic boundaries, relations with Russia


Reasons for weak Soviet environmental movement

Positive developments since fall of USSR

Negative developments since fall of USSR

Chernobyl nuclear disaster/fallout

Political effects of Chernobyl


Donbass and Kuzbass coal basins

Kola Peninsula



Aral Sea

Reindeer contamination

Aural gold mine cyanide spill

Clear-cutting in Siberia

Caspian Sea sturgeon and seals

Kyshtym nuclear disaster

Sverdlovsk anthrax disaster

Non-point pollution

Black Triangle

Gabcikovo dams in Slovakia

Pancevo chemical plant in Serbia

Semey (Semipalatinsk) nuclear tests

Soviet nuclear submarines

Lake Baikal

Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

ETHNICITY/LANGUAGE will be covered on 2nd Midterm


You will match letters A-E to each country on the blank map, using the description below but not the country name. Use the map on pp 2-3 of Goldman to locate countries. Chechnya (just north of Georgia) and Russian Kaliningrad enclave (between Poland and Lithuania) are not on the map.

Former Soviet republics or regions:

Latvia Capital in Riga, annexed three times by Russians

Lithuania First republic to declare independence from USSR

Estonia Speaks Finno-Ugric language; watched Finnish TV

Russia Still the largest country on Earth

Kaliningrad Russian enclave; part of German East Prussia before WWII

Ukraine Site of Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

Belarus Historically close to Russians; capital in Minsk

Moldova Speaks Romantic language like Romanian.

Georgia Orthodox and Caucasian; capital in Tbilisi

Azerbaijan Turkic Muslim oil-rich state that lost Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia Orthodox but not Slavic; capital in Yerevan

Chechnya Caucasus Muslim people who historically have resisted Russian rule.

Turkmenistan Karakum Canal and Desert; capital in Ashgabat

Kazakhstan Large ethnic Russian minority in northern “Virgin Lands” steppe

Tajikistan Speaks Iranian-type language; capital in Dushanbe.

Uzbekistan Cotton fields dried up Aral Sea; capital in Tashkent

Kyrgyzstan Tien Shan Mountains; capital in Bishkek.

Other former Warsaw Pact member states:

Poland Solidarity Union on strike 1980, won election 1989

Czech Republic Soviets crush Prague Spring in 1968

Slovakia Separated from Prague’s rule in Velvet Divorce in 1993

Hungary Revolution briefly ousted Soviets in 1956

Romania Execution of dictator in 1989

Bulgaria Only Slavic Orthodox member of Warsaw Pact outside USSR

Albania Originally part of Warsaw Pact, but broke with Soviets to back China.

Mongolia Empire conquered early Russians; now Buddhist country

Former Yugoslav republics:

Macedonia Orthodox and Slavic, formerly part of Ottoman Empire, capital in Skopje

Croatia Large Catholic republic that was borderland of Austro-Hungarian Empire Slovenia Tiny Catholic republic first to leave Yugoslavia

Bosnia-Hercegovina Slavic Muslims are the largest group

Serbia-Montenegro Changed its name from Yugoslavia in 2003

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