AP World History: Modern Glossary
abacus An ancient Chinese counting device that used rods on which were mounted movable counters.
absolute monarchy Rule by a king or queen whose power is not limited by a constitution.
Afrikaners South Africans descended from the Dutch who settled in South Africa in the seventeenth century.
age grade An age group into which children were placed in Bantu societies of early sub-Saharan Africa; children within the age grade were given responsibilities and privileges suitable for their age and in this manner were prepared for adult responsibilities.
Agricultural Revolution The transition from foraging to the cultivation of food occurring about 8000–2000 BCE; also known as the Neolithic Revolution.
Allah The god of the Muslims; Arabic word for “god.”
Alliance for Progress A program of economic aid for Latin America in exchange for a pledge to establish democratic institutions; part of U.S. President Kennedy’s international program.
Allied Powers In World War I, the nations of Great Britain, France, Russia, the United States, and others that fought against the Central Powers; in World War II, the group of nations including Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States, that fought against the Axis Powers.
al-Qaeda An international radical Sunni Muslim organization that uses terrorist tactics to oppose Western culture, values, and policy.
animism The belief that spirits inhabit the features of nature.
Anschluss The German annexation of Austria prior to World War II.
apartheid The South African policy of separation of the races.
appeasement Policy of Great Britain and France of making concessions to Hitler in the 1930s.
aristocracy Rule by a privileged hereditary class or nobility.
artifact An object made by human hands.
artisan A craftsman.
astrolabe A navigational instrument used to determine latitude by measuring the position of the stars.
Austronesian A branch of languages originating in Oceania.
ayatollah A traditional Muslim religious ruler.
ayllus In Incan society, a clan or community that worked together on projects required by the ruler.
bakufu A military government established in Japan after the Gempei Wars; the emperor became a figurehead, while real power was concentrated in the military, including the samurai.
Bantu-speaking peoples Name given to a group of sub-Saharan African peoples whose migrations altered the society of sub-Saharan Africa.
Battle of Tours The 732 CE battle that halted the advance of Muslim armies into Europe at a point in northern France.
benefice In medieval Europe, a grant of land or other privilege to a vassal.
Berlin Conference (1884 to 1885) Meeting of European imperialist powers to divide Africa among them.
Black Death The European name for the fourteenth-century outbreak of the bubonic plague that spread from Asia, across Europe and North Africa, following land and sea commercial trade routes.
bodhisattvas Buddhist holy men who accumulated spiritual merits during their lifetimes; Buddhists prayed to them in order to receive some of their holiness.
Boer War (1899 to 1902) War between the British and the Dutch over Dutch independence in South Africa; resulted in British victory.
Boers South Africans of Dutch descent.
bourgeoisie In France, the class of merchants and artisans who were members of the Third Estate and initiators of the French Revolution; in Marxist theory, a term referring to factory owners.
Boxer Rebellion (1898) Revolt against foreign residents of China.
boyars Russian nobility.
Brahmin A member of the social class of priests in Aryan society.
brinkmanship The Cold War policy of the Soviet Union and the United States of threatening to go to war at a sign of aggression on the part of either power.
British Commonwealth A political community consisting of the United Kingdom, its dependencies, and former colonies of Great Britain that are now sovereign nations; currently called the Commonwealth of Nations.
bushi Regional military leaders in Japan who ruled small kingdoms from fortresses.
bushido The code of honor of the samurai of Japan.
caliph The chief Muslim political and religious leader.
calpulli Aztec clans that supplied labor and warriors to leaders.
capital The money and equipment needed to engage in industrialization.
capitalism An economic system based on private ownership and opportunity for profit-making.
caravel A small, easily steerable ship used by the Portuguese and Spanish in their explorations.
cartels Unions of independent businesses in order to regulate production, prices, and the marketing of goods.
Catholic Reformation (Counter-Reformation) The religious reform movement within the Roman Catholic Church that occurred in response to the Protestant Reformation. It reaffirmed Catholic beliefs and promoted education.
Central Powers In World War I, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire, and other nations who fought with them against the Allies.
chinampas Platforms of twisted vines and mud that served the Aztecs as floating gardens and extended their agricultural land.
chivalry A knight’s code of honor in medieval Europe.
civilization A cultural group with advanced cities, complex institutions, skilled workers, advanced technology, and a system of recordkeeping.
climate The pattern of temperature and precipitation over a period of time.
coalition A government based on temporary alliances of several political parties.
Code Napoleon Collection of laws that standardized French law under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Cold War The tense diplomatic relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union after World War II.
collectivization The combination of several small farms into a large government-controlled farm.
Columbian Exchange The exchange of food crops, livestock, and disease between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres after the voyages of Columbus.
commercial revolution The expansion of trade and commerce in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
communism An economic system in which property is publicly owned; each member of a classless society works and is paid according to his or her needs and abilities.
conscription Military draft.
conservatism In nineteenth-century Europe, a movement that supported monarchies, aristocracies, and state-established churches.
containment Cold War policy of the United States whose purpose was to prevent the spread of communism.
Cossacks Russians who conquered and settled Siberia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
covenant Agreement; in the Judeo-Christian heritage, an agreement between God and humankind.
criollos (creoles) A term used in colonial Spanish America to describe a person born in the Americas of European parents.
cubism A school of art in which persons and objects are represented by geometric forms.
cultural diffusion The transmission of ideas and products from one culture to another.
Cultural Revolution A Chinese movement from 1966 to 1976 intended to establish an egalitarian society of peasants and workers.
cuneiform A system of writing originating in Mesopotamia in which a wedge-shaped stylus was used to press symbols into clay.
daimyo A Japanese feudal lord in charge of an army of samurai.
Dar al-Islam The House of Islam; a term representing the political and religious unity of the various Islamic groups.
Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen A statement of political rights adopted by the French National Assembly during the French Revolution.
Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen A statement of the rights of women written by Olympe de Gouges in response to the Declaration of the Rights of Man.
Deism The concept of God common to the Scientific Revolution; the deity was believed to have set the world in motion and then allowed it to operate by natural laws.
democracy A political system in which the people rule.
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) The blueprint of heredity.
devshirme A practice of the Ottoman Empire to take Christian boys from their home communities to serve as Janissaries.
dharma In the Hindu tradition, duty or obligation.
diaspora The exile of an ethnic or racial group from their homeland.
divine right The belief of absolute rulers that their right to govern is granted by God.
domestic system A manufacturing method in which the stages of the manufacturing process are carried out in private homes rather than a factory setting.
Duma The Russian parliament.
Dutch learning Western learning embraced by some Japanese in the eighteenth century.
dynasty A series of rulers from the same family.
economic imperialism Control of a country’s economy by the businesses of another nation.
economic liberalism The economic philosophy that government intervention in and regulation of the economy should be minimal.
Edict of Milan A document that made Christianity one of the religions allowed in the Roman Empire.
empirical research Research based on the collection of data.
enclosure movement The fencing of pasture land in England beginning prior to the Industrial Revolution.
encomienda A practice in the Spanish colonies that granted land and the labor of Native Americans on that land to European colonists.
Enlightenment A philosophical movement in eighteenth-century Europe that was based on reason and the concept that education and training could improve humankind and society.
entrepreneurship The ability to combine the factors of land, labor, and capital to create factory production.
estates The divisions of society in prerevolutionary France.
Estates-General The traditional legislative body of France.
euro The standard currency introduced and adopted by the majority of members of the European Union in January 2002.
European Union An organization designed to reduce trade barriers and promote economic unity in Europe; it was formed in 1993 to replace the European Community.
evangelical Pertaining to preaching the Gospel (the good news) or pertaining to theologically conservative Christians.
excommunication The practice of the Roman Catholic and other Christian churches of prohibiting participation in the sacraments to those who do not comply with Church teachings or practices.
extraterritoriality The right of foreigners to live under the laws of their home country rather than those of the host country.
factor An agent with trade privileges in early Russia.
fascism A political movement that is characterized by extreme nationalism, one-party rule, and the denial of individual rights.
feminism The movement to achieve equal rights for women.
feudalism A political, economic, and social system based on the relationship between lord and vassal in order to provide protection.
fief In medieval Europe, a grant of land given in exchange for military or other services.
filial piety In China, respect for one’s parents and other elders.
Five Pillars Five practices required of Muslims: faith, prayer, almsgiving, fasting, and pilgrimage.
Five-Year Plans Plans for industrial production first introduced to the Soviet Union in 1928 by Stalin; they succeeded in making the Soviet Union a major industrial power by the end of the 1930s.
footbinding In China, a method of breaking and binding women’s feet; seen as a sign of beauty and social position, footbinding also confined women to the household.
foraging A term for hunting and gathering.
fundamentalism A return to traditional religious beliefs and practices.
Geneva Conference A 1954 conference that divided Vietnam at the seventeenth parallel.
genocide The systematic killing of an entire ethnic group.
geocentric theory The belief held by many before the Scientific Revolution that the earth is the center of the universe.
glasnost The 1985 policy of Mikhail Gorbachev that allowed openness of expression of ideas in the Soviet Union.
Glorious Revolution The bloodless overthrow of English King James I and the placement of William and Mary on the English throne.
gold standard A monetary system in which currency is backed up by a specific amount of gold.
Gothic architecture Architecture of twelfth-century Europe, featuring stained-glass windows, flying buttresses, tall spires, and pointed arches.
Gran Colombia The temporary union of the northern portion of South America after the independence movements led by Simón Bolívar; ended in 1830.
Great Depression The severe economic downturn that began in the late 1920s and continued into the 1930s throughout many regions of the world.
Great Leap Forward The disastrous economic policy introduced by Mao Zedong that proposed the implementation of small-scale industrial projects on individual peasant communes.
Green Revolution A program of improved irrigation methods and the introduction of high-yield seeds and fertilizers and pesticides to improve agricultural production; the Green Revolution was especially successful in Asia but also was used in Latin America.
griots Storytellers of sub-Saharan Africa who carried on oral traditions and histories.
guano Bird droppings used as fertilizer; a major trade item of Peru in the late nineteenth century.
guest workers Workers from North Africa and Asia who migrated to Europe during the late twentieth century in search of employment; some guest workers settled in Europe permanently.
Guomindang China’s Nationalist political party founded by Sun Yat-sen in 1912 and based on democratic principles; in 1925, the party was taken over by Jiang Jieshi, who made it into a more authoritarian party.
Hadith A collection of the sayings and deeds of Muhammad.
hajj The pilgrimage to the Ka’aba in Mecca required once of every Muslim who is not limited by health or financial restrictions.
harem A household of wives and concubines in the Middle East, Africa, or Asia.
heliocentric theory The concept that the sun is the center of the universe.
Hellenistic Age The era (c. 323 to 30 BCE) in which Greek culture blended with Persian and other Eastern influences spread throughout the former empire of Alexander the Great.
Helsinki Accords A 1975 political and human rights agreement signed in Helsinki, Finland, by Western European countries and the Soviet Union.
hieroglyphics A system of picture writing used in Egypt.
hijrah The flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina; the first year in the Muslim calendar.
Holocaust The Nazi program during World War II that killed 6 million Jews and other groups considered undesirable.
imperialism The establishment of colonial empires.
import substitution industrialization An economic system that attempts to strengthen a country’s industrial power by restricting foreign imports.
Inca The ruler of the Quechua people of the west coast of South America; the term is also applied to the Quechua people as a whole.
indentured servitude The practice of contracting with a master to provide labor for a specified period of years in exchange for passage and living expenses.
Indian National Congress Political party that became the leader of the Indian Nationalist movement.
Indo-Europeans A group of seminomadic peoples who, around 2000 BCE, began to migrate from central Asia to India, Europe, and the Middle East.
indulgence A document whose purchase was said to grant the bearer the forgiveness of sins.
Industrial Revolution The transition between the domestic system of manufacturing and the mechanization of production in a factory setting.
International Monetary Fund An international organization founded in 1944 to promote market economies and free trade.
International Space Station A vehicle sponsored by sixteen nations that circles the earth while carrying out experiments.
investiture The authority claimed by monarchs to appoint church officials.
Jacobins Extreme radicals during the French Revolution.
Janissaries Members of the Ottoman army, often slaves, who were taken from Christian lands.
jati One of many subcastes in the Hindu caste system.
Jesuits Members of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic missionary and educational order founded by Ignatius of Loyola in 1534.
jihad Islamic holy war.
junks Large Chinese sailing ships especially designed for long-distance travel during the Tang and Song dynasties.
Ka’aba A black stone or meteorite that became the most revered shrine in Arabia before the introduction of Islam; situated in Mecca, it later was incorporated in the Islamic faith.
Kabuki theater A form of Japanese theater developed in the seventeenth century that features colorful scenery and costumes and an exaggerated style of acting.
kamikaze The “divine wind” credited by the Japanese with preventing the Mongol invasion of Japan during the thirteenth century.
karma In Hindu tradition, the good or evil deeds done by a person that determine reincarnation or reaching nirvana.
Khan A Mongol ruler.
kowtow A ritualistic bow practiced in the Chinese court.
kulaks Russian peasants who became wealthy under Lenin’s New Economic Policy.
laissez-faire economics An economic concept that holds that the government should not interfere with or regulate businesses and industries.
lateen sail A triangular sail attached to a short mast.
latifundia Large landholdings in the Roman Empire and in Latin America.
League of Nations International organization founded after World War I to promote peace and cooperation among nations.
liberalism An Enlightenment philosophy that favored civil rights, the protection of private property, and representative government.
Liberation Theology A religious belief that emphasizes social justice for victims of poverty and oppression.
limited liability corporation (LLC) A business organization in which the owners have limited personal legal responsibility for debts and actions of the business.
Magna Carta A document written in England in 1215 that granted certain rights to nobles; later these rights came to be extended to all classes.
Malay sailors Southeast Asian sailors who traveled the Indian Ocean; by 500 CE, they had colonized Madagascar, introducing the cultivation of the banana.
Mamluks Turkic military slaves who formed part of the army of the Abbasid Caliphate in the ninth and tenth centuries; they founded their own state in Egypt and Syria from the thirteenth to the early sixteenth centuries.
Manchus Peoples from northeastern Asia who founded China’s Qing dynasty.
mandate A type of colony in which the government is overseen by another nation, as in the Middle Eastern mandates placed under European control after World War I.
Mandate of Heaven The concept developed by the Zhou dynasty that the deity granted a dynasty the right to rule and took away that right if the dynasty did not rule wisely.
manorialism The system of self-sufficient estates that arose in medieval Europe.
Maori A member of a Polynesian group that settled in New Zealand about 800 CE.
maroon societies Runaway slaves in the Caribbean who established their own communities to resist slavery and colonial authorities.
Marshall Plan A U.S. plan to support the recovery and reconstruction of Western Europe after World War II.
mass consumerism Trade in products designed to appeal to a global market.
matrilineal Referring to a social system in which descent and inheritance are traced through the mother.
May Fourth Movement A 1919 protest in China against the Treaty of Versailles and foreign influence.
medieval Pertaining to the middle ages of European history.
Meiji Restoration The restoration of the Meiji emperor in Japan in 1868 that began a program of industrialization and centralization of Japan following the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
mercantilism A European economic policy of the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries that held that there was a limited amount of wealth available, and that each country must adopt policies to obtain as much wealth as possible for itself; key to the attainment of wealth was the acquisition of colonies.
mestizos In the Spanish colonies, persons of mixed European and Indian descent.
metropolitan The head of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Mexica The name given to themselves by the Aztec people.
Middle Ages The period of European history traditionally given as 500 to 1500.
Middle Kingdom Term applied to the rich agricultural lands of the Yangtze River valley under the Zhou dynasty.
Middle Passage The portion of trans-Atlantic trade that involved the passage of Africans from Africa to the Americas.
minaret A tower attached to a mosque from which Muslims are called to worship.
mita A labor system used by Andean societies in which community members shared work owed to rulers and the religious community.
moksha In Hindu belief, the spirit’s liberation from the cycle of reincarnation.
Mongol Peace The period from about 1250 to 1350 in which the Mongols ensured the safety of Eurasian trade and travel.
monotheism The belief in one god.
Monroe Doctrine (1823) Policy issued by the United States in which it declared that the Western Hemisphere was off limits to colonization by other powers.
monsoon A seasonal wind that can bring dry or wet weather.
mosque The house of worship of followers of Islam.
Mughal dynasty Rulers who controlled most of India in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
mulato (mulatto) In the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, a person of mixed African and European descent.
Muslim “One who submits”; a follower of Islam.
mystery religion During the Hellenistic Age, religions that promised their faithful followers eternity in a state of bliss.
National Organization for Women (NOW) U.S. organization founded in 1969 to campaign for women’s rights.
nation-state A sovereign state whose people share a common culture and national identity.
natural laws Principles that govern nature.
natural rights Rights that belong to every person and that no government may take away.
Neo-Confucianism A philosophy that blended Confucianism with Buddhism thought.
New Deal U.S. President Roosevelt’s program to relieve the economic problems of the Great Depression; it increased government involvement in the society of the United States.
New Economic Policy (NEP) Lenin’s policy that allowed some private ownership and limited foreign investment to revitalize the Soviet economy.
New Testament The portion of the Christian Bible that contains the Gospels that relate the account of the life of Jesus; letters from the followers of Jesus to the early Christian churches and the Book of Revelation, a prophetic text.
nirvana In Buddhism, a state of perfect peace that is the goal of reincarnation.
No theater The classical Japanese drama with music and dances performed on a simple stage by elaborately dressed actors.
nonalignment The policy of some developing nations to refrain from aligning themselves with either the United States or the Soviet Union during the cold war.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) An organization that prohibits tariffs and other trade barriers among Mexico, the United States, and Canada.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) A defense alliance between nations of Western Europe and North America formed in 1949.
Northern Renaissance An extension of the Italian Renaissance to the nations of northern Europe; the Northern Renaissance took on a more religious nature than the Italian Renaissance.
Northwest Passage A passage through the North American continent that was sought by early explorers to North America as a route to trade with the East.
Opium War (1839 to 1842) War between Great Britain and China began with the Qing dynasty’s refusal to allow continued opium importation into China; British victory resulted in the Treaty of Nanking.
oracle bones Animal bones or shells used by Chinese priests to receive messages from the gods.
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Organization formed in 1960 by oil-producing countries to regulate oil supplies and prices.
ozone depletion The thinning of the layer of the gas ozone high in the earth’s atmosphere; ozone serves as a protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Pan-Slavic movement A Russian attempt to unite all Slavic nations into a commonwealth relationship under the influence of Russia.
parallel descent In Incan society, descent through both the father and mother.
parliament A representative assembly.
parliamentary monarchy A government with a king or queen whose power is limited by the power of a parliament.
pastoralism The practice of herding.
patriarchal Pertaining to a social system in which the father is the head of the family.
Pax Romana The Roman Peace; the period of prosperity and stability throughout the Roman Empire in the first two centuries CE.
peninsulares In the Spanish colonies, those who were born in Europe.
People of the Book A term applied by Islamic governments to Muslims, Christians, and Jews in reference to the fact that all three religions had a holy book.
perestroika A restructuring of the Soviet economy to allow some local decision making.
Persian Gulf War The 1991 war between Iraq and a U.S.-led coalition to liberate Kuwait from an Iraqi invasion.
perspective An artistic technique commonly used in Renaissance painting that gave a three-dimensional appearance to works of art.
pharaoh An Egyptian monarch.
philosophes French Enlightenment social philosophers.
pogrom Violence against Jews in tsarist Russia.
polis A Greek city-state.
polytheism The belief in many gods.
Pope The head of the Roman Catholic Church.
Potsdam Conference A 1945 meeting of the leaders of Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union in which it was agreed that the Soviet Union would be given control of eastern Europe and that Germany would be divided into zones of occupation.
Prague Spring A 1968 program of reform to soften socialism in Czechoslovakia; it resulted in the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.
predestination The belief of Protestant reformer John Calvin that God had chosen some people for heaven and others for hell.
proletariat In Marxist theory, the class of workers in an industrial society.
Protestant Reformation A religious movement begun by Martin Luther in 1517 that attempted to reform the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church; it resulted in the formation of new Christian denominations.
purdah The Hindu custom of secluding women.
purges Joseph Stalin’s policy of exiling or killing millions of his opponents in the Soviet Union.
Quechua Andean society also known as the Inca.
quipus A system of knotted cords of different sizes and colors used by the Incas for keeping records.
Quran The holy book of Islam. Also called Koran.
radicalism Western European political philosophy during the nineteenth century; advocated democracy and reforms favoring lower classes.
Ramadan The holy month of Islam which commemorates the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Muhammad; fasting is required during this month.
Reconquista (Reconquest) The recapture of Muslim-held lands in Spain by Christian forces; it was completed in 1492.
Red Guard A militia of young Chinese people organized to carry out Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.
Reign of Terror (1793–1794) The period of most extreme violence during the French Revolution.
reincarnation Rebirth; a belief of both Buddhism and Hinduism.
Renaissance The revival of learning in Europe beginning about 1300 and continuing to about 1600.
reparations The payment of war debts by the losing side.
repartamiento In the Spanish colonies, a replacement for the encomienda system that limited the number of working hours for laborers and provided for fair wages.
Revolution of 1905 Strikes by urban workers and peasants in Russia; prompted by shortages of food and by Russia’s loss to Japan in 1905.
Revolutions of 1848 Democratic and nationalistic revolutions, most of them unsuccessful, that swept through Europe.
romanticism A literary and artistic movement in nineteenth-century Europe; emphasized emotion over reason.
Russification A tsarist program that required non-Russians to speak only Russian and provided education only for those groups loyal to Russia.
Russo-Japanese War (1904 to 1905) War between Japan and Russia over Manchurian territory; resulted in the defeat of Russia by the Japanese navy.
samurai The military class of feudal Japan.
Sandinistas A left-wing group that overthrew the dictatorship of Nicaraguan Anastacio Somoza in 1979.
sati (also suttee) The custom among the higher castes of Hinduism of a widow throwing herself on the funeral pyre of her husband.
scholar-gentry The Chinese class of well-educated men from whom many of the bureaucrats were chosen.
Scientific Revolution A European intellectual movement in the seventeenth century that established the basis for modern science.
Second Industrial Revolution The phase of the Industrial Revolution beginning about 1850 that applied the use of electricity and steel to the manufacturing process.
self-strengthening movement A late nineteenth-century movement in which the Chinese modernized their army and encouraged Western investment in factories and railways.
separation of powers The division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.
Sepoy Rebellion (1857) Revolt of Indian soldiers against the British; caused by a military practice in violation of the Muslim and Hindu faiths.
sepoys South Asian soldiers who served in the British army in India.
serf A peasant who is bound to the land he or she works.
service industries Occupations that provided a service rather than a manufactured or agricultural product.
Seven Years’ War (1756 to 1763) Conflict fought in Europe and its overseas colonies; in North America, known as the French and Indian War.
shamanism A belief in powerful natural spirits that are influenced by shamans, or priests.
shariah The body of law that governs Muslim society.
Shi’ite The branch of Islam that holds that the leader of Islam must be a descendant of Muhammad’s family.
Shinto The traditional Japanese religion based on veneration of ancestors and spirits of nature.
shogun Military leaders under the bakufu.
shogunate The rule of the shoguns.
Silk Roads Caravan routes and sea lanes between China and the Middle East.
Six-Day War A brief war between Israel and a number of Arab states in 1967; during this conflict, Israel took over Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the Sinai Peninsula, and the West Bank.
slash-and-burn cultivation An agricultural method in which farmers clear fields by cutting and burning trees, then use the ashes as fertilizer.
social contract Enlightenment concept of the agreement made by the people living in a state of nature to give up some of their rights in order for governments to be established.
Social Darwinism The application of Darwin’s philosophy of natural selection to human society.
socialism Political movement originating in nineteenth-century Europe; emphasized community control of the major means of production, distribution, and exchange.
Solidarity A Polish trade union that began the nation’s protest against Communist rule.
Spanish-American War (1898) Conflict between the United States and Spain that began the rise of the United States as a world power.
Spanish Civil War A conflict lasting from 1936 to 1939 that resulted in the installation of Fascist dictator Francisco Franco as ruler of Spain; Franco’s forces were backed by Germany and Italy, whereas the Soviet Union supported the opposing republican forces.
specialization of labor The division of labor that aids the development of skills in a particular type of work.
spheres of influence Divisions of a country in which a particular foreign nation enjoys economic privileges.
stateless society A society that is based on the authority of kinship groups rather than on a central government.
steppe A dry grassland.
steppe diplomacy The skill of political survival and dominance in the world of steppe nomads; it involved the knowledge of tribal and clan structure and often used assassinations to accomplish its goals.
stock market A market where shares are bought and sold.
Stoicism The most popular Hellenistic philosophy; it involved strict discipline and an emphasis on helping others.
Suez Canal Canal constructed by Egypt across the Isthmus of Suez in 1869.
Sufis Muslims who attempt to reach Allah through mysticism.
sultan An Islamic ruler.
Sunni The branch of Islam that believes that the Muslim community should select its leaders; the Sunnis are the largest branch of Islam.
syncretism A blend of two or more cultures or cultural traditions.
system of checks and balances Constitutional system in which each branch of government places limits on the power of the other branches.
Taiping Rebellion (1853 to 1864) Revolt in southern China against the Qing Empire.
Tanzimat reforms Nineteenth-century reforms by Ottoman rulers designed to make the government and military more efficient.
tea ceremony An ancient Shinto ritual still performed in the traditional Japanese capital of Kyoto.
Tehran Conference A 1943 meeting of leaders of the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union; it agreed on the opening of a second front in France.
Ten Commandments The moral law of the Hebrews.
theocracy A government ruled by God or by church leaders.
Tiananmen Square Beijing site of a 1989 student protest in favor of democracy; the Chinese military killed large numbers of protestors.
Torah The first five books of the Jewish scripture.
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk The 1918 treaty ending World War I between Germany and the Soviet Union.
Treaty of Nanking (1842) Treaty ending the Opium War that ceded Hong Kong to the British.
Treaty of Tordesillas The 1494 treaty in which the pope divided unexplored territories between Spain and Portugal.
Treaty of Versailles The 1919 peace treaty between Germany and the Allied nations; it blamed the war on Germany and assessed heavy reparations and large territorial losses on the part of Germany.
triangular trade The eighteenth-century trade network between Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
tribute The payment of a tax in the form of goods and labor by subject peoples.
Truman Doctrine A 1947 statement by U.S. President Truman that pledged aid to any nation resisting communism.
Twelve Tables The codification of Roman law during the republic.
umma The community of all Muslim believers.
United Nations The international organization founded in 1945 to establish peace and cooperation among nations.
universal male suffrage The right of all males within a given society to vote.
untouchables The social division in Hindu society that fell in rank below the caste system; it was occupied by those who carried out undesirable occupations such as undertaking, butchering, and waste collection.
varna A caste in the Hindu caste system.
vassal In medieval Europe, a person who pledged military or other service to a lord in exchange for a gift of land or other privilege.
Vedas The oral hymns to the Aryan deities, later written down, that formed the basis of the Hindu beliefs during the Vedic Age (1500–500 BCE).
viceroyalty A political unit ruled by a viceroy that was the basis of organization of the Spanish colonies.
Wahhabi rebellion An early nineteenth-century attempt to restore Ottoman power through a return to traditional Islam and strict shariah law.
Warsaw Pact The 1955 agreement between the Soviet Union and the countries of eastern Europe in response to NATO.
welfare state A nation in which the government plays an active role in providing services such as social security to its citizens.
World Bank An agency of the United Nations that offers loans to countries to promote trade and economic development.
World Trade Organization (WTO) An international organization begun in 1995 to promote and organize world trade.
xenophobia An intense fear of foreigners.
Yahweh Jehovah, the god of the Jews.
Yalta Conference A meeting of the leaders of the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and the United States in 1945; the Soviet Union agreed to enter the war against Japan in exchange for influence in the Eastern European states. The Yalta Conference also made plans for the establishment of a new international organization.
yin and yang In ancient Chinese belief, the opposing forces that bring balance to nature and life.
Young Turks Society founded in 1889 in the Ottoman Empire; its goal was to restore the constitution of 1876 and to reform the empire.
zaibatsu A large industrial organization created in Japan during the industrialization of the late nineteenth century.
ziggurat A multitiered pyramid constructed by Mesopotamians.
Zoroastrianism An ancient Persian religion that emphasized a struggle between good and evil and rewards in the afterlife for those who chose to follow a good life.
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