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Treaty of Versailles

the treaty imposed on Germany by the Allied powers in 1920 after the end of World War I which demanded exorbitant reparations from the Germans


Adolf Hitler used fascism to create this type of government based on totalitarian ideas and was used to unite Germany during the 1930s.


a political system headed by a dictator that calls for extreme nationalism and racism and no tolerance of opposition


a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

Totalitarianism in Japan

More of an oligarchy than the fascist government of Hitler and Mussolini--characterized by militarism and extremist ideals.

Black Tuesday

October 29, 1929; the day the stock market crashed. Lead to the Panic of 1929

Adolf Hitler

This dictator was the leader of the Nazi Party. He believed that strong leadership was required to save Germanic society, which was at risk due to Jewish, socialist, democratic, and liberal forces.

Munich Conference/Pact

September 1938 British and French leaders allowed Hitler to annex part of Czechoslovakia in return for his promise to make no future demands.

United Nations

an organization of independent states formed in 1945 to promote international peace and security

Creation of Israel

In 1947, a United Nations resolution proposed that the Palestine Mandate should be divided into a Jewish state and an Arab state
- The Jews then proclaimed the state of Israel on May 14, 1948

Cold War

A conflict that was between the US and the Soviet Union. The nations never directly confronted eachother on the battlefield but deadly threats went on for years.

policy of Containment

The U.S. would not fight communism where it already existed but would not allow it to spread to democratic countries.

Korean War

a war between North and South Korea

Marshall Plan

a United States program of economic aid for the reconstruction of Europe (1948-1952)

Domino Theory

the political theory that if one nation comes under Communist control then neighboring nations will also come under Communist control

Berlin Crises


Vietnam War

a prolonged war (1954-1975) between the communist armies of North Vietnam who were supported by the Chinese and the non-communist armies of South Vietnam who were supported by the United States

Iron Curtain

an impenetrable barrier to communication or information especially as imposed by rigid censorship and secrecy


an international organization created in 1949 by the North Atlantic Treaty for purposes of collective security

Warsaw Pact

treaty signed in 1945 that formed an alliance of the Eastern European countries behind the Iron Curtain; USSR, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania

Cold War Arms Race

At the start of the war, the US had the advantage, the atomic bomb. Then USSR then also created the atomic bomb in 1949. For years after both sides then spent tons of money trying to out-do the other by creating more deadly nuclear and conventional weapons.

Cuban Missile Crisis

an international crisis in October 1962, the closest approach to nuclear war at any time between the U.S. and the USSR. When the U.S. discovered Soviet nuclear missiles on Cuba, President John F. Kennedy demanded their removal and announced a naval blockade of the island; the Soviet leader Khrushchev acceded to the U.S. demands a week later.


the easing of tensions or strained relations (especially between nations)


the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks ratified by the Senate in October 1972, limited each nation to two antiballistic missile systems, froze each side's offensive nuclear missiles for five years, and committed both the United States and Russia to strategic equality rather than nuclear superiority

Perestroika and Glasnost

The two major reforms that Gorbachev initiated in the USSR in the 1980's.The concepts of 'openness' and 'restructuring' whose effects led to major changes in Soviet society as well as profoundly influencing the world balance of power and East-West relations. Introduced into Soviet domestic politics by Mikhail GORBACHEV, who became Soviet leader in 1985. The concepts are described in his book Perestroika (1987). The twin processes aimed to reduce inefficiency and corruption in the former Soviet Union, and to encourage political liberalization.

Fall of Berlin Wall

1989 - Beginning of the fall of communism and the Soviet Union - symbolized the failure of communism and massive socialism

Breakup of Yugoslavia

the 6 republics split up, had civil war, and joined together

Reunification of Germany

East Germans fled from their country due to the harsh policies of Erich Honecker and, after popular pressure, the East German government opened their borders; this led to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and eventually to elections that allowed for the unification of West and East Germany

Nuclear Proliferation

the spread of nuclear weapons to new nations


an area in southwestern Asia whose sovereignty is disputed between Pakistan and India

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