APWH exam terms

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egalitarian
promoting social equality
bureaucracy
a hierarchy of specialized officials administrating the policies of an institution, especially a government
civil service system
is a government bureaucracy whose posts are awarded based on competitive exams
centralized
power concentrated in the center, especially political power concentrated in the hands of one leader/emperor or executive body
decentralized
power dispersed among many different points, especially political power distributed among many different nobles/landowners/leaders/regions
scholar-gentry
an aristocratic Chinese social class of landowning Confucian officials (Song China)
aristocrat
a member of a social class thought to be superior (or noble) often by virtue of the family they were born into; aristocrats often possess special political, religious and economic privileges, especially the owning of large amounts of land
ideology
an overall system of beliefs, values and goals that makes up the worldview of an individual or a group; especially refers to religious, political, economic and social idea systems
institution
an important, formal organization of individuals in a civilization working for a common purpose; especially governments, churches, universities and corporations
empire
a state which rules over a great amount of territory; especially a state ruling over many different territories and many different peoples; especially a state ruled by an emperor
feudalism
a decentralized socio-political organization created by nobles exchanging land for formal oaths of service and protection; especially with strong militaristic values and an elite class of specialized warriors (Western Europe - 800 - 1000 C.E.; late Zhou China, Postclassical Japan)
orthodox
conforming to the central, authoritative beliefs, especially with regard to religion
social class
a ranking in society denoting privileges and restrictions, often arising from wealth, birth and/or occupation; caste refers to a sharply rigid class system based on heredity with little to no chance of mobility (India)
hierarchy
a ranking system of individuals of a few with elite standing and more with lesser standing (i.e. a triangular structure) (ex. political hierarchies, military hierarchies, church hierarchies, social hierarchies)
consolidate (as in territory)
to join together securely into one whole (ex. establishing full power over conquered lands and making them fully a part of the original state)
assimilate (as in peoples)
to absorb a group into a culture; a group that is assimilated adopts many of the traits of another culture.
manufacturing
the making of goods by manual labor or by machinery, especially on a large scale; often involves the use of techniques or technologies that are advanced for the time. (ex. the production of silk in China or cotton in India)
diffusion
the spreading of features from one culture to another, as in the spread of religions or technologies (ex. the diffusion of Buddhism from India to eastern and southeastern Asia)
coercive labor system
an institution in which workers are compelled to work by force, intimidation, or authority, often against their will (ex. - serfdom, slavery)
regional
an area divided into fully or partially autonomous (independent) areas or states; often the result of geographic barriers (ex. desert, mountains, jungles), diversity or distance (ex. India)
legitimize
to make lawful, to make acceptable, or to justify; can refer to the justification for a particular government or ruler or to establishing a belief system as acceptable (ex. The doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven legitimized Chinese dynasties.)
commercial
engaged in trade or pertaining to trade and the exchange of goods and services. A commercial class is involved directly (a merchant) or indirectly (a banker) in trade. A commercial policy is intended to impact trade.
caliphate
refers to the area governed by a caliph or to the office of the caliph, a political and religious leader in Islam. Historically, the caliphate refers to the Muslim empire, governed by a caliph that lasted from the death of Muhammad to the murder of the last caliph by the Mongols.
demographic
an important characteristic or statistic of a human population, as in death rate, migration, religious or racial composition, etc.
mystical
a belief system in which there is direct connection between a person's soul and God or the ultimate reality; especially a system which disregards orthodox beliefs in favor or a more intuitive, possibly ecstatic, religious experience. (ex. Sufism)
animistic
the belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects, such as rivers, trees, or mountains, and phenomena, such as storms or floods (ex. central Africa in the postclassical age)
rationalism
reliance on the human ability to reason as the best guide for belief and action. Rationalist philosophies focus on the use of reason (as opposed to faith, tradition or authority) to understand the world and morality; rationalism in religion is the reliance on reason as the best way to understand doctrine.