APWH Master

The "old stone age." Period marked by foraging people who used chipped stone tools.
When people move from one region to another for permanent or semi-permanent residence.
People who support themselves by hunting wild animals and gathering wild edible plants and insects.
People who constantly travel from place to place in search of food. Such travel is usually seasonal.
Everything that people have, think, and do as a society.
Relation by blood and/or marriage. Also includes adoption among certain groups.
cultural diffusion
The spread of ideas, customs, and technologies from one people to another.
The belief that spirits are present in animals, plants, and other natural objects.
A person having access to and communication with the spiritual world.
Lifestyle based on the raising of livestock to provide food, clothing, and shelter. Usually nomadic.
The taming of animals or breeding of plants for human use, such as work or as food.
When individuals adopt a certain career or craft and focus on it.
Experts in a craft.
Fabrics that are woven or knitted. Anciently, created from plant or animal fibers.
The science and technology of metals. Includes manufacture of metal goods and creation of alloys.
The "new stone age." Marked by the beginnings of irrigation.
Simple drawings or pictures that stand for words or ideas.
Writing that assigns each idea its own symbol.
phonetic writing
Writing based on sounds rather than ideas or pictures.
The organization of people into different ranks in a society.
social stratification
Organizing people into social classes.
When men hold the greatest legal and moral authority in a society.
A form of culture characterized by cities, specialized workers, complex institutions, record keeping, and advanced technology.
A system of rule that mobilizes surplus labor and resources over a large area.
When a city controls the surrounding territory but has no larger government controlling it.
A group of countries under a single authority.
System of managing government through appointed officials.
The principles of right and wrong that guide an individual in making decisions.
An ancient wedge-shaped script used in Mesopotamia and Persia.
A rectangular tiered temple or terraced mound erected by the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians.
Epic of Gilgamesh
Some of the richest accounts of Mesopotamian myths and legends appear in this long poem. It is one of the earliest works of literature in the world.
To write down and organize.
Hammurabi's Code
The first written code of laws. Based on the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
The ethnic group claiming descent from Abraham and Isaac (especially from Isaac's son Jacob) that claimed the land of Palestine anciently.
The monotheistic religion of the Jews having its spiritual and ethical principles embodied chiefly in the Torah and in the Talmud.
Belief in one god.
Government run by a religious individual or body.
Monumental architecture typical of Old Kingdom Egypt; used as burial sites for pharaohs.
Pictographic writing of the ancient Egyptians.
Book of the Dead
Ancient Egyptian text designed to give instructions to a recently-deceased pharaoh.
A large family of languages spoken in south and central India and Sri Lanka. Also refers to the indigenous peoples of those nations or spoke them.
Vedic Age
Period in Indian history maked by the immigration of Aryan peoples, transition to agriculture, and cattle as the major form of wealth. It was recorded in Sanskrit texts such as the Vedas.
An ancient language of India (the language of the Vedas and of Hinduism).
A social class separated from others by distinctions of hereditary rank or profession or wealth.
Religion characterized by a belief in reincarnation and a supreme being who takes many forms.
In Hinduism, the single spiritual power that embodies the eternal essence of reality. It is the source of the universe.
Belief that people are reborn in another life.
Yellow River
Location of the most successful ancient Chinese states.
ancestor veneration
Religious principle that focuses on pleases the ancestors through prayer and gifts in order to convince them to intervene on your behalf.
A sequence of powerful leaders in the same family.
Mandate of Heaven
Chinese idea that the emperor rules by the authority of heavenly beings, who may transfer that authority if the emperor becomes unworthy.
Period of the Warring States
A time after the fall of the Zhou Dynasty when, for almost 200 years, the states in China battled each other.
The gradual transformation of habitable land into desert.
Removing trees faster than they are replaced.
Persia's first great dynasty. Founded by Cyrus and peaked under Darius.
Founder of the Achaemenid Empire.
Great king who expanded the Achaemenid empire and then administered it through a series of satrapies, standardized coinage, and extensive road/courier networks.
The process of making metal coins according to a standardized pattern.
Underground canal used in water systems of ancient Persia. This system led to enhanced agricultural production and population growth.
Persian emperor most famous for his attempted invasions of Greece.
Persian Wars
Unsuccessful Persian attempts to conquer Greece.
Persian dynasty famous for its heavy cavalry. Attempted to restore Persian rule to Achaemenid patterns.
Persian prophet who founded Zoroastrianism (circa 628-551 BC).
Persian religion that emphasizes the duality of good and evil and the role of free will.
Chinese dynasty that came to power in 221 B.C. under which the first true empire of China was created.
"The First Emperor" of China, famous for uniting China under its first true empire.
Imperial dynasty that ruled China (most of the time) from 206 BC to 221. Noted for expanding China's boundaries and developing its bureaucracy.
Nomads who periodically attacked the northern border of China. Finally defeated by Han Wudi.
Han Wudi
Han warrior and emperor who defeated the Xiongnu, nationalized iron production, and expanded the empire.
Area at the edge of settlement, civilization, or an empire, usually occupied by indigenous peoples.
A Chinese philosophy that stresses love for humanity, ancestor worship, filial piety, and harmony in thought and conduct.
A record of the words and acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius and his disciples.
filial piety
A love and respect for one's parents and ancestors. One of the virtues to be cultivated in Confucian philosophy.
Philosophical system developed by of Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu advocating a simple honest life and noninterference with the course of natural events.
Political philosophy espoused by Qin China that emphasized the unruliness of human nature and justified state coercion and control.
The belief that rulers should be chosen for their superior abilities and not because of their wealth or birth.
Powerful Indian Dynasty established in the 4th century B.C. following the invasion by Alexander the Great.
Third ruler of the Mauryan Empire in India (r. 270-232 B.C.E.). He converted to Buddhism and broadcast his precepts on inscribed stones and pillars, the earliest surviving Indian writing. (p. 184)
Region in northwestern India ruled by Greek-speaking descendants of Alexander's veterans.
These nomadic central Asian conquerors defeated Bactria, facilitated trade between India and parts northward, and promoted Buddhist art.
Indian dynasty beginning around the 4th century A.D. Their rule brought stability and mathematical innovation.
Religion promulgated by Vardhamana Mahavira that believes everything possesses a soul that can ony be cleaned by nonviolence and extreme asceticism.
Siddhartha Gautama
Indian prince whose meditations led him to become the Buddha.
In Buddhism, people who are near nirvana but postpone it in order to guide others.
Theravada Buddhism
The older of the two great schools of Buddhist doctrine. Emphasizes personal salvation through your own efforts and downplays gods.
Mahayana Buddhism
"Great Vehicle" branch of Buddhism most popular in China, Japan, and Central Asia. The focus is on reverence for Buddha and for bodhisattvas.
A self-governing city-state; the basic political unit of the Greek world. Comprised of a city, with its acropolis and agora and the surrounding territory.
An ancient Greek city famous for military prowess.
Greek city-state famous for its intellectual life and democratic government.
A political system where the government is run by the votes of its citizens. Often refers to a more specific system where all laws are made by majority vote.
First legislator of Athens, known for codifying the law for the first time. His laws were unusually harsh and severe.
Of or relating to or characteristic of Greece or the Greeks.
Ancient Greek epic poet who is believed to have written the Iliad and the Odyssey (circa 850 BC).
Greek philosopher and teacher known for his wisdom. Taught by asking his students pointed questions.
Greek philosopher and student of Socrates. Studied the perfect form of things and recorded many of Socrates teachings.
Greek philosopher and teacher of Alexander the Great. Known as the father of logic.
The process of using reasoning to construct effective arguments.
Delian League
Athenian-led alliance formed to keep Greece safe following the Persian Wars.
Presided over Athens's golden age, when they built the Parthenon. Manipulated the Delian League to Athens's benefit.
Peloponnesian War
War between Athens and Sparta. Began because Athens manipulated the Delian League. Sparta won due to a series of alliances.
Nation north of Greece, most famous for its successful invasion of Greece, Persia, and many other places under Alexander the Great.
Alexander the Great
Great Macedonian conquerer who spread Hellenistic culture into an enormous empire before succombing to a fever in his early 30s.
Greek-like culture initially spread by Alexander throughout his kingdoms. Also the term used to describe the three empires that inherited parts of Alexander's conquests.
Negotiation between nations.
Money made of metal or paper that is recognized by merchants and government authority as legal tender for all debts.
Members of Rome's lower class.
Among the Romans, the eldest male, who served as the head of the family estate, including close relatives, slaves, and servants.
Twelve Tables of Rome
Codified laws of the Roman republic. The concept of "innocent until proven guilty" originated with these.
Government where the people elect representatives to vote on their behalf.
Roman Senate
A council whose members were the heads of wealthy, landowning families. It began as an advisory body to kings; it grew to be the primary ruling body during the Roman republic period.
Ancient city-state on the north African coast. Known for its Mediterranean trade and its conflicts with Rome.
Punic Wars
Battles between Rome and Carthage.
First Triumvirate
Post-republic Roman government where three people (Crassus, Pompey, and Julius Caesar) shared equal power.
Second Triumvirate
Post-republic Roman government where three people (Octavius, Marc Antony, and Lepidus) shared equal power.
Octavius Caesar
Also known as "Augustus." Roman ruler who declared himself emperor, marking the final end of the Roman republic and beginning the Pax Romana.
Jewish Diaspora
Beginning with Rome's destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the scattering of Jewish people throughout Europe and western Asia.
Jesus of Nazareth
Jewish philosopher-prophet who founded the principles of Christianity.
Religion based on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Teaches that Jesus suffered for the sins of humanity.
Great missionary of early Christianity. Responsible for the spread of Christianity throughout the Mediterranean Basin until his death (probably by Emperor Nero).
Silk Roads
Famous trading route that connected Europeans, Indians, and Chinese; transmitted goods and ideas among civilizations.
An inn with a large courtyard that provides accommodation for caravans.
Disease causing agents.
An outbreak of a disease spread across extremely large geographic areas, especially over many continents.
A widespread outbreak of an infectious disease.
The branch of sociology that studies the characteristics of human populations.
Roman emperor who attempted to stop decline by dividing the empire into two halves, each ruled by two tetrarchs.
Roman emperor who briefly united eastern and western Rome under one ruler. Also made Christianity legal within the Roman empire.
Roman city on the Bosphorus. Capital of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire.
Edict of Milan
Decree that allowed Christian worship within the Roman Empire.
Nicene Creed
Creed adopted in 325 AD in order to settle differences in opinion regarding Christian doctrine. Declared that Jesus was both human and divine and was of one being with God.
Roman emperor who made Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire.
Nomads who, after having been displaced by the Huns, moved into the Roman empire and eventually sacked the City of Rome.
Attila the Hun
Fifth century nomadic ruler whose forces overran a region from central Asia to central Europe. His armies were known for their cruelty and wholesale destruction.
Byzantine Empire
The name for the eastern half of the Roman empire that remained after the fall of Rome, ultimately falling in 1453 to the Ottomans.
Bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church.
Founder of Islam.
The name for the religion that teaches that the Quran is a record of God's revelations and that God had one final prophet circa 600 AD.
The name for those who follow Islam.
The holy book of Islam. Contains the teachings of Muhammad as recorded by devout Muslims.
Five Pillars
The most important laws of Islam. Includes a monotheistic statement, giving alms to the poor, and visiting Mecca.
Literally "the struggle for the faith." Muslim concept that has been alternately taught as a spiritual and physical concept.
(Islam) a Muslim place of worship.
Dome of the Rock
Muslim shrine containing the rock from which Mohammad is believed to have risen to heaven; Jews believe Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac on the rock.
dar al-Islam
An Arabic term that means the "house of Islam" and that refers to all lands under Islamic rule. The name for the pan-Islamic nations.
Abu Bakr
The first Muslim caliph. Notably expanded dar al-Islam through conquest.
A earthly successor to Muhammad.
The state of having political authority that is authorized or recognized by the law, the people, etc.
A member of the branch of Islam that accepts the first four caliphs as rightful successors to Muhammad. The largest of the two major sects.
Shi`a (Shia)
The branch of Islam whose members acknowledge Ali and his descendants as the rightful successors of Muhammad. The smaller of the two major Islamic sects.
The first dynasty of Arab caliphs. They had been a powerful ruling family in Mecca. They established their capital at Damascus and expanded Islam through conquest.
Second dynasty of the Arab caliphate. They were noted for their administrative skills, their trade, and the acquisition of knowledge from every area they ruled.
Capital of Abbasid dynasty located in modern-day Iraq. This was the center for administration, trade, and culture for dar al-Islam.
An instrument used by sailors to determine their location by observing the position of the stars and planets.
lateen sail
Triangular sail that made it possible to tack against the wind; used in the Indian Ocean trade.
Muslim sect that focuses on the mystical dimension of Islam. They look toward spiritual feeling rather than doctrinal purity.
The basic support systems needed to keep an economy going. Includes transportation, water, sanitation, and communications systems.
Tang Dynasty
Chinese dynasty whose capital was Chang`an. Known for their elaborate tribute system, equal-field distribution, and introduction of civil service exams.
Wu Zhao
Empress of China during the Tang dynasty. The only woman to assume the title of emperor for herself in China.
civil service exam
Exam based on Confucian beliefs that served as the basis for promotion in China. Built China as a meritocracy.
Tang tribute system
China was recognized as the overlord of the surrounding lands, and envoys from these lands would deliver gifts to the court and kowtow before the emperor.
Song Dynasty
The Chinese dynasty that emphasized civil administration, industry, education, and arts instead of the military.
In postclassical China, a mixture of traditional Confucian and Buddhist beliefs.
The practice of tying a young girl's feet in order to keep them inordinately small.
The ancient indigenous religion of Japan.
Taika Reforms
Attempt to remake Japanese monarch into an absolute Chinese-style emperor; included attempts to create professional bureaucracy and peasant conscript army.
Aristocratic family that dominated the Japanese imperial court between the ninth and twelfth centuries.
Medieval hereditary military dictator of Japan.
A Japanese feudal lord who oversaw a regional territory in medieval Japan.
A Japanese soldier known for their expertise in the martial arts. Worked under the daimyo.
Indian Ocean Trade
Connected to Europe, Africa, and China. Earth's richest maritime trading network and an area of rapid Muslim expansion.
Any of various Chinese boats with a high rear deck. In the post-Classical era, plied waters as far away as Africa via the Indian Ocean.
Delhi Sultanate
The name for the region and people in post-classical Muslim-controlled northern India. Spread Islam, established a capital in the center of northern India, and fought for supremacy for centuries.
Trading empire from south of Egypt during the post-Classical era. Controlled trade between Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa. Known for standing against Muslim expansion with its ancient form of Christianity.
Coptic Christianity
Branch of Christianity headquartered in east Africa.
Justinian I
Byzantine emperor from 527 to 565; he reunited the parts of the Roman Empire, simplified Roman laws, and ordered the Hagia Sophia built.
Code of Justinian
Reworked law code of the eastern Roman empire. Made less contradictory and simplified. Became the basis for most European and American law systems.
Hagia Sophia
Most famous example of Byzantine architecture; built under Justinian I. The model for most Christian religious structures.
Cyrillic Alphabet
An alphabet drived from the Greek alphabet and used for writing Slavic languages.
Germanic people who first came to power under Clovis and brought Christianity into prominence in northwestern Europe.
Carolingian Dynasty
Frankish dynasty founded by Charles 'the Hammer' Martel. Included both Pepin and Charlemagne. Lasted from 751 to 987.
Frankish king who greatly increased the power of the Carolingian dynasty. Though he was illiterate, he started an intellectual and cultural revival that earned him the title "Emperor of the Romans."
Living an ascetic religious life and devoting oneself to contemplation and prayer.
A political and social system that developed during the Middle Ages where nobles offered protection and land in return for service. Used in both medieval Japan and Europe.
divine right
Belief that a ruler's authority comes directly from God.
The practice of bequeathing lands and titles to the eldest male.
Persons of noble or 'honorable' rank or birth.
One of the lower class of generally agricultural laborers.
Workers who were tied to the land on which they lived.
Unpaid labor (as for the maintenance of roads) required by a lord of his vassals in lieu of taxes.
Any of the indigenous religions of the Greco-Roman world. An umbrella term for ancient Mediterranean religions other than Judaism and Christianity.
syncretic belief system
When codified or organized religions mix with indigenous religions.
Great Schism
The final division between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Occurred in 1054.
One of a seafaring Scandinavian people who raided the coasts of northern and western Europe from the eighth through the tenth century.
People from Central Asia who united together and conquered a large amount of Eurasia, resulting in the largest single land empire in history.
Genghis Khan
"Universal leader" of the Mongols. He led the Mongol Empire throughout Asia and into Europe, creating the largest single land empire in history.
Kublai Khan
Mongol ruler who completed the conquest of China and founded the Yuan dynasty. Known for his brutality, but also helping the poor. He knew Marco Polo.
Yuan Dynasty
Mongol-led dynasty in China. Mongols were not allowed to mingle with Chinese. Known for religious freedom and toleration, and for expanding China's road system.
Golden Horde
Mongol khanate founded by Genghis Khan's grandson Batu. Demanded tribute from Russia and quickly adopted both the Turkic language and Islam.
Mongolian ruler of Samarkand who led his nomadic hordes to conquer an area from Turkey to Mongolia (1336-1405). Used this conquering to spread Islam.
The people who spread throughout Africa spreading agriculture, language, and iron.
ethnic groups
Large groups of people who share ancestral, language, cultural, or religious ties and a common identity.
A mixed African-Arabic culture and language that developed along the east coast of Africa.
Mansa Musa
The king of Mali in its golden age. Known for his incredible wealth and his devotion to Islam.
Hanseatic League
An economic and defensive alliance of the free towns in northern Germany, founded about 1241 and most powerful in the fourteenth century.
The establishment of a widely accepted currency for exchange.
A medieval European association of men & women such as merchants, artisans, or professors, who worked in a particular trade and banded together to promote their economic and political interests.
The informal code of conduct for the nobility of Europe in beginning in the late middle ages.
A person who supports the arts or artists by providing financing for them.
Medieval intellectual movement to harmonize the Bible and Aristotle's teachings. Started by Thomas Aquinas.
Architecture of the twelfth-century Europe featuring stained-glass windows, flying buttresses, tall spires, and pointed arches.
William the Conqueror
Norman ruler who invaded England in 1066, extended a tight feudal system to England, established a highly centralized monarchy, and introduced French as the language of the nobility.
Otto the Great
German who increased his power by aiding the pope, ultimately being named Holy Roman Emperor.
A series of wars between Muslims and medieval European Christians over land in the Middle East.
A religion-themed journey to a sacred location.
The expelling of Muslims from Spain. Completed in 1492.
Speaking against the church or a church doctrine.
Magna Carta
English document signed by John I that declared that the king was subject to the same laws as the people. The origin of due process and fair/speedy trial.
Built Aztec empire beginning at Tenochtitlan, their capital. Famous for their trading, agriculture, high tribute demands, and human sacrifice.
A system of agriculture made by the Mexica that involved taking the rich, fertile soil from the lake and building it into small plots of land.
Largest and most powerful Andean empire. Controlled the Pacific coast of South America from Ecuador to Chile from its capital of Cuzco.
Knotted cords of various lengths and colors used as a mnemonic device by the Inca.
People who populated most of the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Known for their masterful navigation skills.
Easter Island
Polynesian island best known for its moai (giant statue heads) and for problems stemming from clear-cutting its forests.
bubonic plague
Pandemic disease that spread in the late Middle Ages. Wiped out 10 million Chinese people and 25 million Europeans.
100 Years' War
War that began over English land in France and changed the nature of warfare.
Ibn Battuta
Muslim traveler who helped teach sharia law to newly-converted areas. Known for harsh criticisms and punishments. His writings reveal much about how Muslims viewed outsiders at the end of the Middle Ages.
Marco Polo
Traveled from his native Genoa to Yuan China. A book about his travels inspired hundreds of other Italian merchants.
Zheng He
Chinese admiral who took enormous "treasure ships" to establish Chinese dominance of the Indian Ocean.
Leader of the Russians/the Russian word for Caesar.
Ivan III
Ended Mongolian dominance in Russia and established Muscovy as a major principality.
Means "rebirth" because it is considered the rebirth of the Classical Era. The time period after the European Middle Ages marked by innovations in art, architecture, diplomacy, and technology.
A Renaissance cultural movement that favored Classical philosophy over medieval scholasticism. Focused on living among the world instead of separated from it.
Powerful trading family in Renaissance Italy. Known as patrons of the arts.
Renaissance Italian political philosopher. Focused on the good of the state instead of the good of Christendom.
European ships that used both square and triangular sails. Also had rudders to improve steering. These were instrumental in European exploration.
Prince Henry the Navigator
Prince of Portugal who established an observatory and school of navigation at Sagres and directed voyages that spurred the growth of Portugal's colonial empire.
Christopher Columbus
European explorer most responsible for increasing European interest in transoceanic travel and trade.
trading-post empire
Began in the 16th century by the Portuguese. Instead of conquering an entire nation, European states would establish these in an attempt to force merchant vessels to call at fortified trading sites and pay duties there.
Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC)
Also known as the United East India Company. This Dutch trading company established trading posts throughout Asia.
joint-stock companies
Organizations that pooled resources to minimize risks associated with colonization. Started European colonies throughout the world.
Idea that nations can increase their control of the world's limited wealth supply by increasing the number of colonies they had.
The home or mother country, especially with respect to its colonies.
Columbian exchange
The global diffusion of plants, food crops, animals, human populations, and disease pathogens that took place after voyages of exploration by Christopher Columbus and other European mariners.
cash crops
Crops raised in large quantities in order to be sold for profit. Best examples are tobacco and sugar.
A privately owned warship commissioned to prey on the commercial shipping or warships of an enemy nation.
Seven Years' War
Global-scale conflict over control of key trading areas. War when Britain acquired control of Canada and India.
Johannes Gutenberg
Inventor of the movable-type printing press circa 1450.
The ability to read and write.
Protestant Reformation
A religious movement of the 16th century that began as an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the creation of Protestant churches.
Martin Luther
One of the first Reformation leaders. Most famous for criticisms of Catholicism called the Ninety-Five Theses (1517).
John Calvin
Swiss theologian (born in France) whose tenets (predestination and the irresistibility of grace and justification by faith) defined Presbyterianism
Henry VIII
English monarch who began the Church of England (Anglicanism) to divorce his wife.
Mostly Calvinist group who wanted to eliminate all vestiges of Catholicism from the Church of England.
Catholic Reformation
Reforms within the Catholic church, including forbidding the sale of indulgences, reinforcing salvation by faith AND works, and establishment of missionary orders such as the Jesuits.
Charles V
Powerful monarch of Reformation-era Europe, most noted for his battles against the Ottoman empire and his attempts to prevent the Reformation from taking hold in the Holy Roman Empire.
The search for those with beliefs against the Catholic church. Was most extreme in Spain.
Thirty Years' War
European conflict that began over religion in Bohemia and expanded to include most European nations. Ended with the Peace of Westphalia.
William Shakespeare
A prime example of the proliferation of popular authors after the printing press increased literacy. The quintessential playwright of Elizabethan English.
constitutional governments
Having a government that is constrained by a document, generally drafted to protect people's rights.
The idea that a monarch has complete power - they answer only to God and are therefore beyond question. The monarch is not constrained by the rule of law or by his/her people (including nobles).
Louis XIV
The quintessential absolute monarch. Ruled France, established Versailles, and expanded his borders.
Balance of Power
The idea that no nation ought to have any more power than any other. To that end, other nations will band together to prevent any one nation from growing too powerful.
Economic system in which private parties make their goods and services available on a free market and seek to take advantage of market conditions to profit from their activities.
putting-out system
Also known as "cottage industry." When capitalists sent materials into rural areas for processing and assembly.
Adam Smith
Wrote Wealth of Nations. Posited that a nation's wealth was in its labor. Suggested that supply and demand can be explained via the "invisible hand."
scientific revolution
The era of scientific thought in Europe during which careful observation of the natural world was made, and accepted beliefs were questioned.
mechanical universe
Newton's idea that the universe functioned according to set laws, working together like a giant clock.
18th-century European movement to apply the principles of the mechanical universe to the understanding of humanity. All answers are possible through reason.
John Locke
Taught the tabula rasa (blank slate) and that people have certain rights derived from nature (life, liberty, & property).
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Philosophe who published the "Social Contract." He advocated a government based on the "general will."
Philosophe who pushed for the separation of powers.
French Enlightenment thinker who pushed for complete religious freedom.
The doctrine or belief that there is no God.
Enlightenment-era religion that suggested that, while God exists, God takes no interest in His creations.
The right to vote.
Spanish for conquerors. Men who traveled extensively through the Americas, leading small armies of men, and who established themselves as imperial rulers.
Hernan Cortes
Conquistador best known for conquering the Aztecs through guile, leadership, technology, and disease.
Leader of the Aztecs until the Spanish defeat.
The highest social class in Latin America, consisting of caucasians born in Spain.
Mixed-race - those who were descendants of both indigenous Americans and Spanish settlers.
Maya religious texts made of long strips of paper, folded into a smaller unit. These were summarily destroyed by Spanish priests - only four remain.
Treaty of Tordesillas
Papal treaty between Spain and Portugal dividing the New World via a north-south line.
A person with both white and black ancestors.
A grant of authority over a population of Amerindians in the Spanish colonies. It provided the grant holder with a supply of cheap labor, in exchange the grant holder was supposed to look after the welfare and salvation of the natives.
Incan labor system later adopted by the Spanish (particularly at Potosi) to staff dangerous or unpleasant jobs. Villages were obliged to send a certain number of their laborers for a certain period each year.
The largest silver mine in Peru. The Spanish used mostly native labor to extract large amounts of silver that was then transformed into Pieces of Eight - one of the most world-wide currencies in history.
hacienda system
System where Spanish aristocrats controlled plantations on the best land, usually surrounded by others with lesser holdings. These were fairly self-sufficient.
indentured servitude
When someone traded passage to the New World for their freedom, usually for a set period of time.
Captain James Cook
British explorer who charted many Polynesian islands and the eastern Australian coast before dying in a trade dispute with native Hawaiians.
Songhay/Songhai Empire
Empire in sub-Saharan West Africa that replaced Mali as the dominant trading nation after the Europeans began expanding the African slave trade.
Sonni Ali
First great king of Songhay empire (1464-1492). He expanded the empire and gained control of crucial trading cities. He ruled over both Muslims and non-Muslims, and adhered to a syncretic form of African animism and Islam.
Queen Nzinga
Ndongo leader who led the resistance against Portuguese forces for nearly 40 years. Insisted on male terms and dress. Allied with Dutch mariners who traded on African coast.
Of or relating to a culture that arises from contact between two other cultures and has features of both. Applies to languages also.
Syncretic religion most prominent in Haiti. Blended traditional West African rituals and beliefs in witchcraft with Christianity.
Huge farms. Required a large labor force to grow crops. Usually grew cash crops by slave labor.
Chinese dynasty that followed the overthrow of the Yuan Dynasty in China. Focused on rebuilding Chinese culture and traditions. Built the Forbidden City, sent Zheng He.
In the Ming or Qing dynasty, a high public official.
Northeast Asian pastoral nomads who settled down, united together, went conquering, and founded the Qing Empire in China.
Chinese dynasty founded by the Manchu. Held to traditional Chinese ways and resisted foreign influence. China's last imperial dynasty.
The act of murdering a baby. Historically a fairly common method of controlling population size or limiting gender.
Japanese shogunate of the Edo Period. Known for attempts to control the daimyo culturally and trying to eliminate foreign influence.
Edo Period
Japan attempted to get the daimyo to settle in a major city by making cultural elements appealing.
Literally "tent government." The military government that was a "temporary" replacement for the emperor's rule.
A person who favors those born in his country and is opposed to immigrants and ideas from foreign lands. Often believe their society is more powerful than it actually is.
Japanese theater style where they had skits and performances with lyric singing, dancing, and spectacular staging. Dialogues were somewhat improvised.
Floating Worlds
In Edo Japan, the centers of popular culture within a city. Known for their entertainment venues.
Ottoman Empire
Muslim empire on Anatolian Peninsula (Turkey). Expansionists who conquered Constantinople and spread into SE Europe. They also spread along the northern coast of Africa.
The new name for the conquered city of Constantinople. Capital city of the Ottoman Empire.
'Selection' in Turkish. The system by which boys from Christian communities were taken by the Ottoman state to serve as slaves to the sultan or warriors.
The Ottoman army consisting of the children of Christians from Southeast Europe.
Suleiman the Magnificent
Leader of the Ottomans in a golden age. Brilliant war general who conquered areas of eastern Europe and a much larger portion of the Middle East.
Safavid Empire
Empire established by Ismail Safavi in modern-day Iran. Most importantly, they were followers of Shi`ite beliefs and clashed with Sunnis. Would not use firearms, considering them "unmanly."
Mughal Empire
Muslim Empire of the early modern period. Used gunpowder technology to conquered the northern half of India and establish a syncretic Muslim state.
Known as "the Tiger," this man founded the Mughal Empire. He was most interested in improving his own power and wealth.
Akbar the Great
Absolutely ruthless Mughal dictator who was known for his philosophical and religious thought. He attempted to establish a syncretic form of Islam called the "divine faith."
Taj Mahal
A beautiful tomb built by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan to honor his wife.
Declaration of Independence
Document that explains the reasons for the American Revolution.
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
Document that explains the reasons for the French Revolution.
Maximilien Robespierre
Key player in the French Revolution. Led France into the Reign of Terror due to his uncompromising approach to those who disagreed with him.
Reign of Terror
The most violent period of the French Revolution.
Mary Wollstonecraft
Enlightenment leader who believed in women's rights and argued that women should have educational and property rights.
Olympe de Gouges
French Revolutionary who advocated women's rights. Ultimately killed because this stance did not agree with the revolutionary government.
Toussaint L'Ouverture
Leader of the revolutionaries in Haiti, who effectively won independence before dying in a French prison.
Miguel Hidalgo
Mexican priest and revolutionary who used the symbolism of the Virgin of Guadalupe to fight for the mestizos and natives in particular.
Simon Bolivar
Revolutionary leader of Latin America (esp. Gran Columbia). Achieved independence from Spain only to ultimately conclude that the area was ungovernable by any democratic means.
Jamaica Letter
Letter written by Simon Bolivar to an English gentleman explaining his thoughts on how Latin America can form a free republic.
coup d'état
A military overthrow of the government.
Napoleon Bonaparte
Crowned himself emperor of France and proceeded to conquer the rest of Europe in the early 1800s.
Napoleonic Codes
Granted many basic Enlightenment-era rights to most Europeans for the first time.
Congress of Vienna/Concert of Europe
European organizations designed to preserve conservative principles and prevent another Napoleon.
universal suffrage
The idea that everyone (or at least every male, in historical context) should have the right to vote.
The idea that things should either be preserved as they are, move back to hwo they were, or that change should happen slowly or in a very managed way.
The idea that change should happen at its own pace or even be hastened by those in government and social leadership positions.
When a nation received one's primary political loyalty.
Jewish idea of returning to the ancient Jewish homeland at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.
The process of developing machine production of goods, usually at a national level.
James Watt
Inventor of the first practical steam engine.
fossil fuels
Coal, oil, natural gas, and other fuels that are ancient remains of plants and animals. Contain a great deal of energy.
factory system
Bringing many workers and machines together into one building to maximize production.
The movement of people into cities of ever-increasing size.
Money needed to start or fund business ventures.
Second Industrial Revolution
When mass production moved to steel and machines began to be powered via electricity and petroleum.
Middle Class
A social class made up of skilled workers, professionals, business people, and small-estate landowners.
Industrial Working Class
The socioeconomic class that consists of factory workers & laborers.
Group of British workers who attempted to prevent industrialized growth by sabotaging machines.
An association of workers formed to bargain for better working conditions and higher wages.
Utopian Socialism
Idea that people should own things as a group, and that such a system should be achieved by voluntary sacrifice.
Karl Marx
The inventor of communism along with Friedrich Engels.
Political theory favoring collectivism in a classless society. Such a state should be achieved via revolutionary overthrow of the government. Anti-religious.
evolutionary socialism
Eduard Bernstein's idea that socialism should be attained by slow processes and cooperation rather than conflict and revolution.
The idea that governments should not interfere with the workings of business or international trade in any way.
Cherokee Nation
Nation created by indigenous Americans at the southern end of the United States. An example of a nation existing on the edge of an expansionist power.
Ghost Dance
An American Indian ritual performed to bring back the buffalo and return the Native American tribes to their land. A great example of anti-colonial use of a syncretic religion.
U.S. policy that attempted to bring indigenous Americans into white society.
Latin American dictators. Known for their ruthless and brutal actions, but also for their populist sentiments and machismo attitudes.
La Reforma
19th century Mexican reform movement to limit the power of the Catholic church and limiting the power of the military. Codified in the Constitution of 1857.
ethnic enclaves
Neighborhoods where people from similar cultures live together and assert cultural distinction from the dominant group. Great U.S. examples include Italian neighborhoods and Chinatowns.
Fear of immigrants or foreign ideas.
Chinese Exclusion Acts
Laws designed to prohibit Chinese immigration to the U.S. Made it extremely difficult for Chinese immigrants to migrate to the U.S.
Dowager Empress Cixi
Ruler who held power of Qing China from 1862-1908. She was for traditional values with some limited reforms such as the self-strengthening movement. He primary interest was in maintaining her power.
Opium Wars
Conflicts over the British practice of importing opium into China. Britain won, allowing them to force China to accept the "Unequal Treaties."
Unequal Treaties
Treaties between Britain and China (later China and other powers) that gave Britain significant control within Chinese trade.
Taiping Rebellion
Peasant-led anti-foreign rebellion in mid-19th century China demanding equality and shared property. Destroyed by Empress Cixi.
Boxer Rebellion
Anti-foreign Chinese rebellion in the year 1900. Involved the murder of thousands of foreigners before being brutally suppressed by foreign troops.
Commodore Matthew Perry
American admiral who forced Japan to sign a trading agreement with the U.S. through threat of arms.
Meiji Restoration/Meiji Reformation
When the Tokugawa Shogunate ended, restoring Japan to rule by the emperor, who subsequently worked to industrialize and westernize Japan.
Diet of Japan
Japan's legislative body following the Meiji Reformation. Was incredibly weak compared to the emperor himself.
Witte Industrialization Program
1892 - Russian attempt to modernize and industrialize Russia to make the country more competitive with other nations.
The belief that true freedom can only be achieved by the elimination of all governments.
Russo-Japanese War
1905 war between Russia and Japan where Russia suffered a humiliating defeat and Japan established itself as a world power.
A Russian council composed of representatives from the workers and soldiers.
The Russian parliament, established after the 1905 rebellion.
Muhammad Ali (Egypt)
Leader of Egypt who established Egyptian independence from the Ottoman Empire.
Mahmud II
Ottoman Sultan who was best known for being a reformer. Attempted to solidify the Ottoman state by imposing European-style policies.
Young Turks
Exiled Ottomans who established a group that worked for the secularization and modernization of the Ottoman Empire.
Berlin Conference of 1884
A meeting of European leaders to set rules for the division of Africa among the major European powers. Did not invite or consider native Africans.
Spheres of Influence
Areas in which countries have some political and economic control but do not govern directly (ex. Europe and U.S. in China).
Monroe Doctrine
U.S. declaration that Europe should not interfere with Latin America. The Roosevelt Corollary says the U.S. can interfere in Latin America.
Spanish-American War
Began over sugar plantations in Cuba. This war led to increasing U.S. imperial control over many islands.
Open-door Policy
A policy proposed by the US in 1899, under which ALL nations would have equal opportunities to trade in China.
White Man's Burden
The idea that is the duty of the Europeans and their descendants to bring civilization to the native inhabitants of the earth.
A policy in which a strong nation seeks to dominate other countries politically, socially, or economically.
Social Darwinism
Application of "survival of the fittest" to human societies. This theory suggests that the "white" nations were better adapted and therefore science dictates that white should rule over other races. Invented by Herbert Spencer.
Congo Reform Association
Group began by E.D. Morel that fought against Leopold II's exploitation of the Congo. Ultimately succeeded through the efforts of John & Alice Harris.
Boer War
(1899-1902) War between Great Britain and the Boers in South Africa over control of rich mining country. Great Britain won and created the Union of South Africa comprised of all the South African colonies.
Sepoy Mutiny
Rebellion against British East Indian Company rule in India. Began with Hindu and Muslim soldiers and spread. Resulted in Queen Victoria taking control of India herself.
Suez Canal
Ship canal designed to improve trade between Europe and Asia. It opened to shipping in 1869. Its strategic importance led to the British conquest of Egypt in 1882.
Indian National Congress
Created to allow more Indian participation in the government of India. Eventually reorganized by Gandhi to work towards independence.
Sino-Japanese War
War between China and Japan. Began over control of the Korean Peninsula. Ended with a Japanese victory. Resulted in a series of unequal treaties between Japan and China.
The trend toward increased cultural and economic connectedness between people, businesses, and organizations throughout the world.
free market
An economic system in which prices and wages are determined by unrestricted competition between businesses, with little government regulation.
Conservative Revolution
Movement in western Europe & the U.S. away from the socialism and towards free market and traditional principles.
Ronald Reagan
Conservative president of the U.S. in the 1980s. On the international stage, most significant for reigniting the Cold War and the attendant damage to the Russian economy.
Margaret Thatcher
Conservative prime minister of Britain in the 1980s. Best known for privatizing major British industries.
European Union
An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members.
A trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico that encourages free trade between these North American countries.
multinational corporations
Companies that operate as if nations are irrelevant, usually using a small corporate headquarters and diversifying their production across many nations to reduce costs.
Mikhail Gorbachev
Russian statesman whose domestic policy introduced major reforms, ultimately leading to the dissolution of the Soviet state.
The state of having little or no money and few or no material possessions.
Earth Day
Holiday and international movement intended to celebrate and care for the earth and its resources.
Engaging in violent actions with the intention to further earth-friendly causes.
New Age religions
Spiritual practices often loosely based on religions and rites from indigenous/ancient peoples. They generally lack organized structure or set leadership. Increasing due to globalizing influences.
People who are forced to migrate from their home country and cannot return for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political opinion.
internally displaced persons
Groups and individuals who flee an area due to conflict or famine but still remain in their country of origin. These populations often live in refugee-like conditions but are harder to assist because they are still under the control of their own nation.
A network of Islamic terrorist organizations, formerly led by Osama bin Laden, that carried out the attacks on the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998, the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, and the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.
religious fundamentalism
A religious or political movement based upon literal interpretation of and strict adherence to doctrine. Usually a reaction to perceived doctrinal compromises with modern social and political life.
Arab spring
A series of popular uprisings in the Middle East beginning in late 2011. These were mostly organized via social media and enjoyed varying degrees of success.
Green Revolution
The introduction of pesticides, fertilizers, and high-yield grains and better management during the mid-1900s which greatly increased agricultural productivity.
World Cup
A soccer tournament held every four years in which nations compete to determine the world champion. An example of a sporting event that reflects national and social aspirations.
Olympics (modern)
The modern revival of ancient Greek games held once every four years in a selected country. An example of a sporting event that reflects national and social aspirations.
The name for the Indian movie industry. Famous for its efficiency and family-friendly fare with lots of music and dance numbers. Demonstrates the local version of the international movie industry.
A style of music that developed in Jamaica in the 1960s and is rooted in African, Caribbean, and American music, often dealing with social problems and religion.
Juan Perón
Populist leader of Argentina (1946-1955, 1973-1974). Championed the rights of labor with the aid of his wife Eva Duarte Peron.
A nationalist movement built on the shared heritage of Arabs who lived in the lands from the Arabian peninsula from North Africa.
Gamel Abdel Nasser
Nationalist leader of Egypt who played the US and the USSR against each other. Also nationalized the Suez Canal.
Literary movement in Africa that celebrated African culture and heritage. It is associated with origins of African nationalist movements.
African National Congress
An organization dedicated to obtaining equal voting and civil rights for black inhabitants of South Africa. It eventually brought equality, largely through the efforts of Nelson Mandela.
In South Africa, a social policy or racial segregation involving political and economic and legal discrimination against non-whites.
Ho Chi Minh
Vietnamese communist leader who fought the French until 1954 and South Vietnam (and the U.S.).
To deliberately sacrifice oneself by fire. Became a regular occurrence for Buddhist monks in the years leading up to the Vietnam War.
Cultural Revolution
Campaign in China ordered by Mao Zedong to purge the Communist Party of his opponents, eliminate the last vestiges of traditional Chinese culture, and instill revolutionary values in the younger generation.
Great Leap Forward
Economic and social plan used in China from 1958 to 1961 which aimed to use China's vast population to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a modern industrial society. Led to massive famine and the deaths of approximately 20 million people.
Deng Xiaoping
Leader of communist China after Mao Zedong. Increased economic freedom while maintaining political totalitarianism.
Tienanmen Square
Location where Den Xiaoping's government massacred pro-democracy protesters in China.
Irish Republican Army
An unofficial nationalist military force that used terrorism and guerrilla warfare in an attempt to gain independence for Ireland from Great Britain.
An act of especial cruelty or malice.
The mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime.
Prisoners of War
Soldiers captured by the enemy.
A bombing technique that destroys a target through the use of fire. Began to be widely used during WWII.
atomic bomb
A nuclear weapon in which enormous energy is released by nuclear fission (splitting the nuclei of a heavy element like uranium 235 or plutonium 239).
Cold War
The period of time following World War II when the U.S. and U.S.S.R. faced each other in a series of ideological challenges, technological/arms races, and proxy wars.
An international organization created in 1949 by the United States to defend against possible Soviet attack. Relied on the concept of collective security (an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us).
Warsaw Pact
The Soviet answer to NATO. A collective-security agreement between the Soviet Union and its satellite nations. Relied on the concept of collective security (an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us).
Proxy Wars
During the Cold War, local or regional wars in which the superpowers armed, trained, and financed the combatants - but did not directly attack the other superpower.
Social process of neutralizing the influence of Joseph Stalin by revising his policies, removing monuments dedicated to him, and renaming places named in his honor.
James Bond
Fictional British spy invented during the Cold War by novelist Ian Fleming. A perfect example of Cold War fiction, this spy represents the ideal Westerner intellectually, physically, and technologically.
Easing of tensions during the Cold War, after the U.S. and U.S.S.R. realized that the Cuban Missile Crisis almost caused WWIII.
United Nations
An organization of independent states formed in 1945 to promote international peace and security.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
A 1948 statement in which the United Nations declared that all human beings have rights to life, liberty, and security.
International Criminal Court
A court established by the United Nations that is designed to prevent perpetrators of crimes against humanity from escaping unprosecuted.
International Monetary Fund
UN agency designed to promote international economic cooperation and keep free trade flowing. Invented because many countries reacted to the Great Depression by increasing the number of protective tariffs, which hurt all nations involved.
World Bank
Created to help rebuild after WWII, this organization now works both to reconstruct after wars and to assist in the progress of developing nations.
World Health Organization
UN agency designed to promote and improve the health of all citizens of earth.
Chemicals designed to kill bacterial infections.
The collapse of colonial empires. Between 1947 and 1962, practically all former colonies in Asia and Africa gained independence.
Mao Zedong
Leader of the Chinese Communist Party during the Long March and the Chinese communist revolution. Also responsible for the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.
Muslim League
An organization formed in 1906 to protect the interests of India's Muslims, which later proposed that India be divided into separate Muslim and Hindu nations.
Mohandas Gandhi
A philosopher from India, this man was a spiritual and moral leader in India's independence movement. He practiced passive resistance, civil disobedience and boycotts to generate social and political change.
Peaceful resistance, often via fasting or refusing to cooperate.
dollar diplomacy
Term used to describe the efforts of the US to further its foreign policy through use of economic power by guaranteeing loans to foreign countries.
United Fruit Company
Powerful international corporation based in the U.S. Basically controlled many nations, often with the support of the U.S. military. For example, when the government of Guatemala wanted to take their land, the U.S. intervened and overthrew the government.
banana republic
A weak Latin American nation with single-crop agriculture. Because of this, they were sometimes controlled by foreign corporations.
Diego Rivera
Mexican painter of murals who used his art to further socialist ideals (1886-1957).
To bring industries or land under the ownership or control of a nation.
Good Neighbor Policy
FDR's foreign policy of promoting better relations with Latin America by using economic influence rater than military force in the region.
The generally accepted perspective of a particular discipline at a given time.
Friedrich Nietzsche
German philosopher who argued that morality is a weakness to be overcome by exercising the "will to power" and becoming the Übermensch (superman).
Early-20th-century art school that attempted to be a kind of "anti-art." They attempted to represent the uncertainty of their era.
School of architecture designed to be simple and functional. Noted for its extensive use of glass and the embodiment of the idea that form must follow function.
Substance prepared from killed or weakened pathogens and introduced into a body to produce immunity.
Great Depression
Economic crisis beginning in 1929 when people struggled for the basic necessities.
John Maynard Keynes
Economist who pushed the idea that economic crises exist because there is too little demand for labor. Suggests increasing demand by increasing the money supply and building public works projects.
New Deal
American system of attempting to solve the problems of the Great Depression by increasing government programs designed to rescue people from financial disaster.
Five-Year Plans
Stalin's idea for controlling the economy by planning production out for a set period of time. The first led to effectively rapid industrialization and massive famine.
System of government marked by veneration of the state, devotion to a strong leader, militarism, and ethnocentrism.
When the government intervenes in issues of economics to benefit the state. The government acts as the intermediary between opposing forces (workers/managers) but uses its position to strengthen the state.
The idea that each ethnicity or nationality should be allowed to decide their own fate. Favors large and powerful nationalities over smaller ones (e.g. Serbs over Croatians).
arms race
When two nations attempt to intimidate each other by the rapid acquisition of weapons.
Twenty-One Demands
An ultimatum presented by Japan to China primarily requiring China to cease its leasing of territory to other foreign powers and to allow Japan to control Manchuria and Shandong. Accepted by China but blocked by Britain.
Armenian genocide
When the government of the Ottoman Empire killed 1 million people in suspicion that they were working for Russia during WWI.
trench warfare
A form of warfare in which opposing armies fight each other from trenches dug in the battlefield. Virtually no progress is made on the front while soldiers deal with issues of sanitation and the stresses of war.
total war
The channeling of a nation's entire resources into a war effort. Involves the civilians of a nation in the war effort, which often leads to military targeting of civilians.
Information of a biased or misleading nature that is used to promote a cause or point of view.
Vladimir Lenin
Leader of the Bolsheviks. Took control of Russia in the October Revolution, establishing himself as the first leader of the USSR.
A kind of communism that believes that the workers will never revolt on their own - they need a political party to guide them. More nationalistic than Marxism.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
The official name for Russia under communist control. From 1917 to 1991.
war weariness
After the initial nationalism wanes, people of warring nations often begin to question the wisdom of warfare.
Also known as a draft. When soldiers are recruited involuntarily.
Fourteen Points
U.S. President Wilson's ideas for preventing another major war after WWI. Ran into opposition from other major Allied powers who desired land, money, and revenge.
1918 Influenza
Pandemic that spread throughout the world at the end of WWI. Killed the young and healthy, often very quickly. Also known as the Spanish flu.
Turkish statesman who abolished the caliphate and founded Turkey. Pushed secularism and modern industrialization.
War Guilt Clause
Part of the Treaty of Versailles that lays blame for WWI on Germany and orders the payment of reparations.
Mandate System
Allocation of former German colonies and Ottoman possessions to the victorious powers after World War I, to be administered under League of Nations supervision. The European powers did not believe Africans or Arabs could govern themselves.
League of Nations
International body created at the end of WWI to prevent future wars. Never had the power necessary to enforce its rulings.