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Balance of Trade

The difference in value over a period of time of a country's imports and exports of merchandise


An economic policy under which nations sought to increase their wealth and power by obtaining large amounts of gold and silver and by selling more goods than they bought


Nation's policy of accumulating as much precious metal as possible while preventing its outward flow to other countries


A state, or country, that has both defined borders and territory; composed principally of the same type of people, organized either by race or cultural background


A state or territory partly controlled by (but not a possession of) a stronger state but autonomous in internal affairs

Spheres of Influence

Areas in which countries have some political and economic control but do not govern directly

David Livingstone

Scottish missionary and explorer who discovered the Zambezi River and Victoria Falls (1813-1873)

Henry Morton Stanley

British-American explorer of Africa, famous for his African expeditions; he, additionally, helped King Leopold II establish the Congo Free State.

Berlin Conference

A meeting from 1884-1885 at which representatives of European nations agreed on rules colonization of Africa

King Leopold II

King of Belgium; he was active in encouraging the exploration of Central Africa and became the ruler of the Congo Free State (1865-1909)

Jan van Riebeeck

The Dutch man who helped settle the Cape of Good Hope in 1652 (came on the behalf of the Dutch East India Company)


White natives of Cape Province who is a descendant of Dutch settlers and who speaks Afrikaans

The Great Trek

Many Afrikaners migrate inland due to British occupation of coast and abolition of slavery, because the Afrikaners had a lot of slave.


Region of Southern Africa originally founded by Afrikaners; became a source of interest for the British following the discovery of gold and diamonds

Orange Free State

A province in central South Africa that was colonized by the Boers

Cecil Rhodes

British colonial financier and statesman in South Africa made a fortune in gold and diamond mining; helped colonize the territory now known as Zimbabwe


Laws (no longer in effect) in South Africa that physically separated different races into different geographic areas.

Zulu Nation

A group of Afrikaners in South Africa who were taken over by the Dutch

The Boer Wars

A three year war fought between the British and the Boers - after the English had won, they created the South African Union.

Ferdinand de Lesseps

French diplomat who supervised the construction of the Suez Canal (1805-1894)

Suez Canal

A ship canal in northeastern Egypt linking the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea


A Muslim prince allied to British India; technically, a semi-autonomous deputy of the Mughal emperor.


Troops that served the British East India Company; recruited from various warlike peoples of India.

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.

Sepoy Rebellion

The revolt of Indian soldiers in 1857 against certain practices that violated religious customs.

Robert Clive

British general and statesman whose victory at Plassey in 1757 strengthened British control of India (1725-1774)

Durbars Ceremonies

An elaborate display of political power and wealth in British India in the nineteenth century, ostensibly in imitation of the pageantry of the Mughal Empire.

Rammohun Roy

Indian intellectual who rose to top of East India Company and established Hindu College of Calcutta in 1816 which offered Western language and subjects but also reconciled them with Hindu tradition; founded society which reformed Hindu customs based on earliest Upanishads including child marriages, caste system, and widow restrictions

Indian National Congress

A movement and political party founded in 1885 to demand greater Indian participation in government. Its membership was middle class, and its demands were modest until WWI.

Taiping Rebellion

The most destructive civil war, which took place in China, before the twentieth century; a Christian-inspired rural rebellion threatened to topple the Qing Empire.

Treaty of Nanking

Treaty that concluded the Opium War. It awarded Britain a large indemnity from the Qing Empire, denied the Qing government tariff control over some of its own borders, opened additional ports of residence to Britons, and ceded Hong Kong to Britain.

British Opium Wars

The Chinese emperor appointed Commissioner Lin to end the opium trade in 1839. Britain continues to inject opium into China, so China cuts off all trade with Britain. Britain responds by using force to open China's seaports in 1840.

Canton System

Served as a means for China to control trade with the west within its own country; indirectly started the Opium Wars with Britain


British traders from Hong Kong

Treaty of Tianjin

Opened and legalized opium trade, making more ports open to Britain. After the treaty was registered by the Chinese, the British took Beijing in 1860.

Boxer Rebellion

1899 rebellion in Beijing, China started by a secret society of Chinese who opposed the "foreign devils".

John Hay

The Secretary of State in 1899; dispatched the Open Door Notes to keep the countries that had spheres of influence in China from taking over China and closing the doors on trade between China and the U.S.


Patriotic Chinese militant group who killed foreigners and Chinese Christians

Emperor Guang Xu

Emperor who in 1898 led reforms to westernize Chinese government; later imprisoned by aunt

Empress Ci Xi

Aunt of the emperor, strongly against reform, she imprisoned the emperor and ended his attempts at reform, ruled for 50 years over China


An office or position that requires little or no work and that usually provides an income

Emperor Pu Yi

The last Emperor of China. He was put on the throne at the age of 3 and was more of a head figure than actual ruler.

Chinese Republic

The government form that came after the dynasties fall in China and gave rights to the people.

Yuan Shikai

Chinese general and first president of the Chinese Republic (1912-1916)

Sun Yat-Sen

Chinese physician and political leader who aimed to transform China with patriotic, democratic, and economically progressive reforms.


Nationalist political party founded on democratic principles by Sun Yat-sen in 1912. After 1925, the party was headed by Chiang Kai-shek, who turned it into an increasingly authoritarian movement.

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