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Physical map

contains labels for countries and capital cities, as well as major physical features like plains, rivers,

Topographical map

the shape of the earth's surface is shown by contour lines; contour lines are imaginary lines that join points of equal elevation above sea level on the land's surface.

Political map

identifies continents and countries according to their political ideals.

Weather map

depicts the meteorological conditions over a specific geographic area at a specific time.

Aerial photograph

a photograph of an area on earth taken from an aircraft flying overhead.

Satellite image

image of a larger region on earth taken by a satellite orbiting in space.

Mercator map projection

accurately shows shape and direction, but distorts distance and size of land masses.

Equal-area map

shows correct size of land masses, but usually distorts their shapes.

Robinson map

a useful overall picture of the world; keeps correct size and shape of most continents and oceans,

Azimuthal map

true compass direction, usually circular, distorts scale, area and shape; usually used to show areas


a measurement, in degrees, of a location's distance east or west of the prime meridian.


a measurement, in degrees, of a location's distance north or south of the equator.

The International Dateline

an imaginary line that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole between Russia and Alaska which separates 2 consecutive calander days.


are great divisions of land on the globe; the large part of the surface of the earth that rises above sea level. There are 7 coninents


are the largest bodies of salt water between the continents; there are 5 oceans


are large bodies of salt water; smaller than oceans.


are large, natural streams of fresh water.


bodies of water, smaller than a gulf and nearly surrounded by land.

Mountain ranges

rows or chains of mountains. For example, the Himalayan mountain range, along India's northern border, is about 1,500 miles long and 5 miles high, and is the highest mountain range in the world.


a large, flat area that rises above the surrounding land; at least one side has a steep slope.


an elongated depression in the earth's surface, usually between ranges of hills or mountains.


an extensive area of level and rolling, treeless country, often covered by rich, fertile soil.

Ice cap

a region which is covered by perennial ice and snow; a large glacier forming on an extensive area of relitively level land, flowing outward from its center


a level and rolling treeless plain in artic and sub-artic regions with black mucky soil with permanently frozen subsoil, called permafrost


- a large, thick growth of trees and underbrush.


a large area of land covered with grasses.


a large, dry, barren region.


an area of land which is completely surrounded by water.

7 continents

Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America. The largest is Asia.

5 Oceans

Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Artic and Antarctic (Southern). The largest is the Pacific.

Major Seas

Mediterranean, Sea of Japan, Arabian, Black, Red, East China, South China, Caribbean, Bering, Gulf of Mexico, Arabian, Sea of Okhotsk, Andaman and Hudson Bay

Major Rivers

Africa: Nile (world's longest), Congo (5th longest), Niger (largest delta in Africa), Zambezi (famous for the Victoria Falls, one of the "Seven Natural Wonders of the World"); South America: Amazon (worlds 2nd longest river); United States: Missouri (longest in U.S.), Mississippi (2nd longest in US), Colorodo (famous for the grand canyon), Niagara (famous for its falls), Rio Grande (between US and Mexico), St. Lawrence (links Great Lakes and Atlantic ocean)

Major Mountain ranges

Asia: Himalaya - largest mountain range on earth, Mt. Everest is its highest peak (29,035 feet), Karakoram and Pamir; Europe: Alps, Caucasus, Carpathians, Pyrenees, Urals; Africa: Abyssinian, Atlas, Ruwenzori, Kilimanjaro (inactive volcano); North America: Rocky Mountains and Applachians; South America: Andes; Australia: Kosciusko

Arab world

name originally applied to the Semitic peoples of the Arabian Peninsula; now used also for populations of countries whose primary language is Arabic (algeria, egypt, iraq, jordan, lebananon, libya, morocco, syria and yemen). In the 20th century, arab leaders have attempted to unite the arab speaking world into an arab nation. Since 1945 , most arab countries have joined the arab league. in 1982, memeber nations hada total population estimated at 43 million. Not all arabs are muslims. The culture of the arab world consists or the arab language, the islamic religion and the traditions of the arabian peninsula


- with 56 countries, the second-largest continent (after Asia), located south of Europe and bordered to the west by the atlantic ocean and to the east by the indian ocean. It is widely believed that the human race began here.

North Africa

The Islamic states of North Africa became free during the 1950's and the 1960's. Algeria, egypt, libya, morocco, sudan, tunisia and western sahara

Sub-Saharan Africa

consists of the African countries located south of the Sahara desert.


extreme racial segregation was practiced by the white minority who controlled the government.

Latin America

Spanish or Portuguese-speaking nations south of the U.S. chili, peru, brazil, mexico, bolivia, argentina, central america, carribean

The Caribbean

he Caribbean Sea is in the Atlantic Ocean, bordered by the West Indies to the north and east, South america to the south, and central america to the west. popular vacation spots

North America

third largest continent, comprising Mexico, the United States, Canada and Central America:


Mexico's northern border is the United States, to the west, the Pacific Ocean and to the east, the Gulf of Mexico and the caribbean sea.

United States

a Constitution-based Federal Republic with a strong democratic tradition.

Central America

the southern most part of the North American continent, lying between Mexico and South America including belize, guatemala, el salvador, honduras, nicaragua and costa rica

Western Europe

Western European democratic governments: Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, luxembourg, Netherlands and Italy

Eastern Europe

the former Eastern Bloc, or Communist Europe.

East Asia

countries include: Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, North Korea, China, and Mongolia.


after WWII, Japan became a powerhouse unexpectedly.

Taiwan and South Korea - both have developed prosperous and free societies.

Both these societies were anticommunist and had a parliament, however the government was run by one dominant party so during the 1970's they were not considered truly democratic. By the end of the 1970's, Taiwan began to truly democratize. South Korea remained authoratarian until 1989, when free elections took place.

North Korea

After WWII, the Soviets and Americans divided Korea into North Korea and South Korea. North Korea came under soviet influence and became communist. Since the 1940's North Korea has become one of the most isolated and dictorial societies int he world. Kim Jong IL, North Korea's leader is an uncompromising Stalinist and is ruthlessly oppressive. N. Korea's economic collapse and its insistence on maintaining a huge military are threatening mass starvation for its people. In 2005, the government announced it had manufactured nuclear weapons and it is withdrawing froom negotiations with South Korea, China and US and other nations to disarm.


___is the largest communist population in the world.

South Central Asia

- countries include: Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Iran, Bangladesh, Kyrgystan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Tajikistan, India, Napal and Turkmenistan.


has become a modern Islamic republic and a major regional power, having nuclear bomb capabilities. It is plauged by corruption, political repression and military rule although the current President Pervez Musharraf is an ally of the US in the war against terrorism.


was an Islamic oligarchy, but had its first democratic elections in 2004, after the defeat of the Taliban rulers


has a republic, authoritarian presidential rule.


has a republic authoritarian presidential rule.

Sri Lanka

is a republic.


has an Islamic theocratic republic.


has a parliamentary democracy.


has become the world's largest democracy and also a nuclear power.

Southeast Asia

a geographical subdivision of Asia which includes the following nations: Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the phillipines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It is considered one of the poorest, most illiterate and malnourished nations in the world.


the islands of the southern, western and central Pacific Ocean, including Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.


a democratic, federal state system recognizing the British monarch as sovereign.


because the Earth is closer to the Sun during parts of its elliptical orbit than at other times, and due to the Earth's tilt and rotation about its axis, we have different seasons on Earth.

Summer Solstice

occurs in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21 or 22. One of the Earth's poles is tilted directly toward the sun; areas north of the artic circle have 24 hours of daylight.

Fall Equinox

in the Northern Hemisphere this occurs on September 22 or 23; in the Southern Hemisphere this occurs on March 20 or 21. The earth is tilted sideways toward the sun so the hours of daylight and darkness are equal in both hemispheres.

Winter Solstice

In the Northern Hemisphere it is on December 21 or 22; areas north of the Arctic Circle have 24

Spring Equinox

the Earth's tilt is sideways toward the Sun and the hours of daylight are the same in both


is a region's usual long-term weather patterns. Average temperatures, amounts and kinds of precipitation,


the short-term state of the atmosphere at any particular time and place. Weather involves temperature, air


water overflows its natural or artificial banks into normally dry land. Floods are commonly caused by


periods of time when less rain than normal falls in an area. During droughts, crops fail and dried out soil


have a significant effect on plant, animal and human life. Snow increases the reflection of solar


tremors of the Earth's surface, sometimes violent and devastating, which result from shock waves

Plate Tectonics

heory which explains the distribution of continents, earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountains. Plates

Earthquakes create mountain ranges:

Mountain ranges are thought to form from tectonic plates colliding together and pushing the surface of the Earth

Grand Canyon:

The Grand Canyon is a 5,000 foot deep gorge which was carved into the Earth's surface by the Colorado River, in

Yosemite Valley:

Located in California, Yosemite is famous for dramatic rock formations and water falls. Yosemite valley was created

Dispersed settlements

occur in rural areas; the amount of land between each of the dwellings depends on the

Linear settlements

tend to follow roads and river valleys which allows easy communication, and flat lands which

Nucleated settlements

generally found located around ports, harbors and roads; they have a center, or "nucleus."


North Atlantic Treaty Organization - an international organization, formed in 1949, which includes the

Organization of African Unity

The Organization of African Unity was established in 1963. Originally 32


Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries - an organization of about a dozen nations that sell oil to

Developing nations:

A nation in which the average income is much lower than in industrialized/developed nations,


largest trading partner with the United States. 20% of all U.S. international trade.

Construction of houses, roads, and cities

In the U.S., about a million acres of farmland (an area half the size of

Human-initiated fire

human-initiated fires for land clearing and land use can quickly develop into large-scale and

Water and air pollution:

Most water pollution is the result of human activities; wastes produced by households,

Waste disposal

There are three methods of handling solid waste: burying, recycling, and burning.

Radioactive materials' effects on the environment:

In 1986, an explosion in a nuclear power station in Chernobyl, Ukraine, was the worst nuclear accident ever. Large


the transformation of arable, or habitable, land into desert, as by a change in climate, or by


there are two methods of logging: clear-cutting and selective cutting.


the process by which weathered particles are moved to another location.


the process of destroying a forest and replacing it with something else.

Global warming

the term attached to the belief that the Earth's temperature is gradually increasing due to the

Ozone-layer depletion

the ozone "hole" is a periodic depletion of the ozone layer that occurs over Antarctica in the

Natural resources:

A natural resource is anything in the environment that is used by people.

Renewable resource

any resource, such as wood, wind, water or solar energy, that can or will be replenished

Nonrenewable resource

natural resources that are not replaced in a useful time frame. As nonrenewable resources


An ecosystem is a collection of living things and the environment in which they live.

Industrial Revolution:

the Industrial revolution was a rapid industrial growth that began in

Conflicts in the Middle East:

The Middle East is the region in western Asia and northeast Africa that

Korea in the 1940's and 1950's and Vietnam in the 1960's and 1970's:

Looking at a map of North Korea and North Vietnam, you will notice that they are both right next to communist

Native Americans removed from their land to fulfill the Manifest Destiny:

In the 1800's, the newly built railroad trains brought merchants, miners, ranchers, and farmers from the settled East


is the period of time before people began writing.

History beginning

The beginning of history can be traced back before the first human beings appeared about 3 billion years ago.


the name given to the Old Stone Age and the time period where most of human pre-history took place.


similar bone structure to us today. Probably our direct ancestors.


In Europe, another human species lived and adapted to life in the cold climates of the last Ice Age.

Homo sapiens"

(wise man), became dominant. They made tools from stone and


the period of time about 10,000 B.C., also called the New Stone Age.


means between two rivers: Tigris and Euphrates. These rivers meet in southern Iraq.

Invention of writing:

Western writing first developed here in 3500 B.C. Writing was done with sticks on clay

Code of Hammurabi

a king in ancient Mesopotamia who was known for putting 282 laws of his country into a


3000 B.C. First city-states - each city acted as a state with its own special gods or goddesses, its own

Military expertise:

soldiers fought mainly on foot, some rode in chariots drawn by wild donkeys.

Architectural monuments

Sumerians built temples to worship the gods. Slaves taken captive in war were

Technological capabilities

- brick makers fired bricks in kilns to produce building materials for structures that were

Alexander the Great:

King of Macedonia,Alexander the Great joined to help defeat the Persians that Athens and Sparta had been fighting together 490 - 479.


rich and cultured, astronomers, mathematics, thinkers, writers, artists, society with slaves.


Best Army, economy based on slave workers, no democracy, sports encouraged for both boys and girls, boys


Rome rose to power thanks to its fertile farmland, its army (best in Europe) and its key position in the

Roman Mythology

The Romans believed in many of the Gods the Greeks did but gave them Latin names.

The Roman Empire:

At its peak, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain in the west to Mesopotamia in the east. At its largest,

The decline and fall of the Roman empire

In the end, not even the Roman army could control such a huge empire. The


religion: means peace and submission. There is one God, Allah, and Mohammad is his prophet.


The first monotheistic (one-God) religion. Jews believe that Moses' prophecies are true and the Messiah


- Christians believe that there is one God and Jesus Christ was his son, a prophet. Jesus is called Christ


ancient India's first great religion. No unified systems of beliefs or ideas. There's only one supreme God


republic in southeast Asia, capital is New Delhi.

Caste system

a division in society into groups of higher power and lower power socially.


religion of India that emphasizes freedom from the material world thru


A religion, founded by Buddha, that believes that the answer to human suffering lay not in worshipping


500 BC, a scholar named Confucius taught a system of "right behavior" which has influenced


a religion native to China, its adherents attempt to live according to the Tao - the "way" which


In theory, the emperor owned all the land and gave portions of the land to his leading nobles in


Shinto means the way of the gods and was the traditional religion of Japan.


the answer to human suffering lay not in worshipping gods, but in right thinking and selfdenial.


For 700 years, Japan was under the rule of the Japanese military leaders known as shoguns.


he male ruler of the Japanese empire.


Japanese soldiers who served the land owned by the lords (daimyos).

Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa south of the Sarah desert, the countries not part of North Africa. Also known as Black


Central America, biggest cities were in modern day Guatemala (south of Mexico), most powerful from


North America / Mexico. 1300 - 1520 They had two main cities, Tenochtitlan (Mexico city today) and Tlatelco. These two cities had a population of half


1300's - 1536 They built a huge empire in the Andes which grew to include 3,000 miles from north to


was the way of life that governed Medieval Europe for hundreds of years during the 9th century.

The Black Death:

1331 - 1430 A popular name for the bubonic plague and one of the greatest medical disasters in

Gunpowder weapons

allowed European sailors to carry muskets, pistols, and small artillery pieces that they could use against the less advance indigenous populations

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