German term meaning "lightning war," used to describe Germany's novel military tactics in World War II, which involved the rapid movement of infantry, tanks, and airpower over large areas.
European Economic Community
The EEC (also known as the Common Market) was an alliance formed by Italy, France, West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg in 1957 and dedicated to developing common trade policies and reduced tariffs; it gradually developed into the European Union.
The final step in a series of arrangements to increase cooperation between European states in the wake of World War II; the EU was formally established in 1994, and twelve of its members adopted a common currency in 2002.
Political ideology marked by its intense nationalism and authoritarianism; its name is derived from the fasces that were the symbol of magistrates in ancient Rome.
Young middle-class women who emerged as a new form of social expression after World War I, flouting conventions and advocating a more open sexuality.
Plan of U.S. president Woodrow Wilson to establish lasting peace at the end of World War I; although Wilson's views were popular in Europe, his vision largely failed.
German war with France (1870-1871) that ended with the defeat of France and the unification of Germany into a single state under Prussian rule.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Heir to the Austrian throne whose assassination by a Serbian nationalist on June 28, 1914, was the spark that ignited World War I.
Worldwide economic depression that began in 1929 with the New York stock market crash and continued in many areas until the outbreak of World War II.
Wall constructed by East German authorities in 1961 to seal off East Berlin from the West; it was breached on November 9, 1989.
Russian revolutionary party led by Vladimir Lenin and later renamed the Communist Party; the name "Bolshevik" means "the majority."
Euphemistic expression for the often-forcible transformation of society when a communist regime came to power in a state.
Revolutionary leader of Cuba from 1959 to 2008 who gradually turned to Soviet communism and engendered some of the worst crises of the cold war.
Long revolutionary process in the period 1912-1949 that began with the overthrow of the Chinese imperial system and ended with the triumph of the Communist Party under the leadership of Mao Zedong.
Political and ideological state of near-war between the Western world and the communist world that lasted from 1946 to 1991.
Process of rural reform undertaken by the communist leadership of both the USSR and China in which private property rights were abolished and peasants were forced onto larger and more industrialized farms to work and share the proceeds as a community rather than as individuals.
In full, "Communist International"; Soviet organization intended to control the policies and actions of other communist states.
International organization of fundamentalist Islamic militants, headed by Osama bin Laden.
Major international movement that protests the development of the global economy on the grounds that it makes the rich richer and keeps poor regions in poverty while exploiting their labor and environments; the movement burst onto the world stage in 1999 with massive protests at a meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle.
Osama bin laden
The leader of al-Qaeda, a wealthy Saudi Arabian who turned to militant fundamentalism.
Bretton Woods System
Named for a conference held at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944, this system provided the foundation for postwar economic globalization, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; based on the promotion of free trade, stable currencies, and high levels of capital investment.
Twentieth-century movement to preserve the natural world in the face of spiraling human ability to alter the world environment.
Occurring within all the major world religions, fundamentalism is a self-proclaimed return to the "fundamentals" of a religion and is marked by a militant piety and exclusivism.
Term commonly used to refer to the massive growth in international economic transactions from around 1950 to the present.
A worldwide scientific consensus that the increased burning of fossil fuels and the loss of trees have begun to warm the earth's atmosphere artificially and significantly, causing climate change and leading to possibly catastrophic results if the problem is not addressed.
Ernesto "Che" Guevara was an Argentine-born revolutionary (1928-1967) who waged guerrilla war in an effort to remedy Latin America's and Africa's social and economic ills.
Fundamentalist Hindu movement that became politically important in India in the 1980s by advocating a distinct Hindu identity and decrying government efforts to accommodate other faith groups.
Large number of movements in Islamic lands that promote a return to strict adherence to the Quran and the sharia in opposition to key elements of Western culture.
Term used by modern militant Islamic groups to denote not just the "struggle" or "striving" that the word originally meant but also the defense of authentic Islam against Western aggression.
Kyoto Protocol on Global Warming
International agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to slow global warming; as of November 2007, 174 countries had subscribed to the agreement, but the United States' refusal to ratify the protocol has caused international tensions.
Christian movement that is particularly active in Latin America and that argues the need for Christians to engage in the pursuit of social justice and human rights.
An approach to the world economy, developed in the 1970s, that favored reduced tariffs, the free movement of capital, a mobile and temporary workforce, the privatization of industry, and the curtailing of government efforts to regulate the economy.
Growing disparity between the Global North and the Global South that appears to be exacerbated by current world trade practices.
Military dictator of Chile from 1973 to 1990 who was known for his widespread use of torture and for liquidating thousands of opponents of his regime.
Sweeping series of reforms instituted by communist leader Alexander Dubcek in Czechoslovakia in 1968; the movement was subsequently crushed by a Soviet invasion.
The quickening of global economic transactions after World War II, which resulted in total world output returning to the levels established before the Great Depression and moving beyond them.
The fundamentalist phenomenon as it appeared in U.S. politics in the 1970s.
Second Wave Feminism
Women's rights movement that revived in the 1960s with a different agenda than earlier women's suffrage movements; second-wave feminists demanded equal rights for women in employment and education, women's right to control their own bodies, and the end of patriarchal domination.
Socially Engaged Buddhism
A growing movement in Asia that addresses the needs of the poor through social reform, educational programs, and health services.
Huge global businesses that produce goods or deliver services simultaneously in many countries; often abbreviated as TNCs.
World Trade Organization
International body representing 149 nations that negotiates the rules for global commerce and is dedicated to the promotion of free trade.
Cuban Missile Crisis
Major standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1962 over Soviet deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba; the confrontation ended in compromise, with the USSR removing its missiles in exchange for the United States agreeing not to invade Cuba.
China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was a massive campaign launched by Mao Zedong in the mid-1960s to combat the capitalist tendencies that he believed reached into even the highest ranks of the Communist Party; the campaign threw China into chaos.
Leader of China from 1976 to 1997 whose reforms essentially dismantled the communist elements of the Chinese economy.
African National Congress
South African political party established in 1912 by elite Africans who sought to win full acceptance in colonial society; it only gradually became a popular movement that came to control the government in 1994.
Kemal Mustafa Ataturk
Founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey (1881-1938); as military commander and leader of the Turkish national movement, he made Turkey into a secular state.
South African movement that sought to foster pride, unity, and political awareness among the country's African majority and often resorted to violent protest against white minority rule.
Also known as Afrikaners, the sector of the white population of South Africa that was descended from early Dutch settlers.
Process in which many African and Asian states won their independence from Western colonial rule, in most cases by negotiated settlement with gradual political reforms and a program of investment rather than through military confrontation.
Democracy in Africa
A subject of debate among scholars, the democracies established in the wake of decolonization in Africa proved to be fragile and often fell to military coups or were taken over by single-party authoritarian systems; Africa's initial rejection of democracy has sometimes been taken as a sign that Africans were not ready for democratic politics or that traditional African culture did not support it.
A process of growth or increasing production and the distribution of the proceeds of that growth to raise living standards; nearly universal desire for economic development in the second half of the twentieth century reflected a central belief that poverty was no longer inevitable.
Usually referred to by his soubriquet "Mahatma" (Great Soul), Gandhi (1869-1948) was a political leader and the undoubted spiritual leader of the Indian drive for independence from Great Britain.
Indian National Congress
Organization established in 1885 by Western-educated elite Indians in an effort to win a voice in the governance of India; over time, the INC became a major popular movement that won India's independence from Britain.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Leader of India's All-India Muslim League and first president of the breakaway state of Pakistan (1876-1948).
Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini
Important Shia ayattolah (advanced scholar of Islamic law and religion) who became the leader of Iran's Islamic revolution and ruled Iran from 1979 until his death in 1989.
South African nationalist (b. 1918) and leader of the African National Congress who was imprisoned for twenty-seven years on charges of treason, sabotage, and conspiracy to overthrow the apartheid government of South Africa; he was elected president of South Africa in 1994, four years after he was finally released from prison.
The All-India Muslim League, created in 1906, was a response to the Indian National Congress in India's struggle for independence from Britain; the League's leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, argued that regions of India with a Muslim majority should form a separate state called Pakistan.
The first prime minister of independent India (1889-1964).
Muhammad Reza Pahlavi
Born in 1919, Pahlavi was shah of Iran from 1941 until he was deposed and fled the country in 1979; he died in 1980.
Literally, "truth force"; Mahatma Gandhi's political philosophy, which advocated confrontational but nonviolent political action.
Impoverished black neighborhood outside Johannesburg, South Africa, and the site of a violent uprising in 1976 in which hundreds were killed; that rebellion began a series of violent protests and strikes that helped end apartheid.
Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of "openness," which allowed greater cultural and intellectual freedom and ended most censorship of the media; the result was a burst of awareness of the problems and corruption of the Soviet system.
Leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991 whose efforts to reform the USSR led to its collapse.
Great Leap Forward
Major Chinese initiative (1958-1960) led by Mao Zedong that was intended to promote small-scale industrialization and increase knowledge of technology; in reality, it caused a major crisis and exacerbated the impact of a devastating famine.
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
Mao Zedong's great effort in the mid-1960s to weed out capitalist tendencies that he believed had developed in China.
Also called the Terror, the Great Purges of the late 1930s were a massive attempt to cleanse the Soviet Union of supposed "enemies of the people"; nearly a million people were executed between 1936 and 1941, and 4 million or 5 million more were sentenced to forced labor in the gulag.
Acronym for the Soviet government agency that administered forced labor camps.
The Chinese Nationalist Party led by Chiang Kai-shek from 1928 until its overthrow by the communists in 1949.
Leader of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964.
Adopted name of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (1870-1924), the main leader of Russia's communist revolution and head of the Soviet state from 1917 until his death.
Chairman of China's Communist Party and de facto ruler of China from 1949 until his death in 1976.
Wave of anticommunist fear and persecution that took place in the United States in the 1950s.
National Security State
Form of government that arose in the United States in response to the cold war and in which defense and intelligence agencies gained great power and power in general came to be focused in the executive branch.
Bold economic program launched in 1987 by Mikhail Gorbachev with the intention of freeing up Soviet industry and businesses.
Massive revolutionary upheaval in 1917 that overthrew the Romanov dynasty in Russia and ended with the seizure of power by communists under the leadership of Lenin.
Name assumed by Joseph Vissarionovich Jugashvili (1878-1953), leader of the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death; "Stalin" means "made of steel."
Military alliance of the USSR and the communist states of Eastern Europe during the cold war.
Women's Department of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union from 1919 to 1930; Zhenotdel worked strongly to promote equality for women