AP World History- Must Know Vocabulary

Agricultural Revolution
A term that refers to the changeover from food gathering to food production that occurred between ca. 8000 and 2000 B.C.E. (Neolithic Revolution)
Neolithic Revolution
A term that refers to the changeover from food gathering to food production that occurred between ca. 8000 and 2000 B.C.E. (Agricultural Revolution)
Aristocracy
The highest class in certain societies, especially those holding hereditary titles or offices
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Barbarian
A member of a community or tribe not belonging to one of the great civilizations (Greek, Roman, Christian) in ancient times
Brahmins
Brahmin refers to an individual belonging to the Hindu priest, artists, teachers, technicians class and also to an individual belonging to the Brahmin tribe/caste into which an individual is born; while the word Brahma refers to the creative aspect of the universal consciousness or God
Bureaucracy
A system of government in which most of the important decisions are made by state officials rather than by elected representatives
City
A large, urbanized town usually characterized by many commercial buildings and residential dwellings
Village
A group of houses and associated buildings, larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town, situated in a rural area, usually a self-contained district or community within a town or city, regarded as having features characteristic of rural lifestyles
Civilization
A term that refers to mostly complex societies, but it can also mean a society that shares a set of cultural traits(advanced society)
Complex Institutions
An institution is any structure that is used to govern the behavior of people around it. A complex institution is one that affects the people in more than one way and may have various functions (government)
Currency
A system of money in general use in a particular country
Deity
A god or goddess in a polytheistic religion, usually of divine status, quality, or nature. Sometimes regarded as the creator and supreme being in monotheistic religions, such as Christianity
Democracy
A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives
Dharma
The natural universal laws whose observance enables humans to be contented and happy, and to save himself from degradation and suffering (Hinduism)
Diffusion
The spreading of something more widely or more evenly
Cultural Diffusion
Cultural diffusion is the spread of cultural beliefs and social activities from one group to another. The mixing of world cultures through different ethnicities, religions and nationalities has increased with advanced communication, transportation and technology
Diversified Food Supply
Represents large selections of food available, a very diverse diet containing a large variety of food
Domesticated Animal
Any of various animals that have been tamed and made fit for a human environment (horses, pigs, cattle, dogs)
Dynastic Cycle
An important political theory in Chinese history. According to this theory, every dynasty goes through a culture cycle. It is also the rise and fall of dynasties
Egalitarian
Of, relating to, or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities
Ethical Codes
A system of principles governing morality and acceptable conduct
Legal Codes
A code of laws adopted by a state or nation called “a code of laws” or a “law code”
Frontier
A line or border separating two countries, also the extreme limit of settled land beyond which lies wilderness, especially in reference to the Western US before Pacific settlement
Hunters and Gatherers
A hunter-gatherer or forager society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies, which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunter-gatherers are a type of nomad
Foraging
People who support themselves by hunting wild animals and gathering wild edible plants and insects.
Nomadic
A very migratory, restless, mobile society that that migrated according to seasons to get a sufficient food supply (foragers)
Ice Age
A glacial episode during a past geological period where the earth’s temperature greatly dropped and killed
Intensive Cultivation
Intensive farming or intensive agriculture is an agricultural production system characterized by a low fallow ratio and the high use of inputs such as capital, labor, or heavy use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers relative to land area
Irrigation Systems
Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall
Karma
The sum of a person’s actions in this and the previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences, destiny or fate following as effect from cause (Hinduism and Buddhism)
Mandate of Heaven
The idea that heaven granted East Asian emperors the right to rule based on their ability to govern
Monogamy
The practice or state of being married to only one person at a time. The practice or state of having a sexual relationship with only ONE partner
Pagan
A person holding religious beliefs other than those of the main world religions, such as polytheistic people who have almost animistic beliefs
Pastoralism
Pastoralism is the branch of agriculture concerned with the raising of livestock. It is animal husbandry: the care, tending and use of animals such as camels, goats, cattle, yaks, llamas, and sheep
Patriarchy
A system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line
Polygamy
The practice or custom of having more than one wife or husband at the same time
Record Keeping
Record keeping is the process and system of maintaining business documents so that such records can be found quickly and easily
Secular
Activities, places, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis, like a clergy member not subject to or bound by religious rule; not belonging to or living in a monastic or other order
Sericulture
The production of silk and the rearing of silkworms for this purpose
Settled Populations
Sedentary people who do not migrate, populations who live in sedentary villages and do not move, usually having permanent dwellings
Slavery
A person with very limited freedom that must abide by all orders given by their masters or they may face harsh punishments, including death
Specialization of Labor
The division of labor is the specialization of cooperating individuals who perform specific tasks and roles
Surplus
An amount of something leftover when requirements have been met; an excess of production or supply over demand
Syncretism
The amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought, the merging of different inflectional varieties of a word during the development of a language
Textiles
Type of cloth or woven fabric worn to provide warmth, protection, or privacy
Theocracy
A system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god
Ancestor Veneration
Veneration of the dead or ancestor reverence is based on the beliefs that the dead have a continued existence, and may possess the ability to influence the fortune of the living, the worship of deceased ancestors
Animism
The attribution of a soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena. The belief in a supernatural power that organizes and animates the material universe
Bodhisattva
An enlightened individual who has achieved nirvana but delays doing so out of compassion to save other suffering beings
Caste System
The caste system in India is a system of social stratification, which is now also used as a basis for affirmative action. Historically, it separated communities into thousands of endogamous hereditary groups called Jātis, which is synonymous with caste in contemporary usage
City-State
A city that with its surrounding territory forms an independent state
Classical
Anything of or relating to ancient Greek, Hellenistic, or Latin literature, art, or culture. Also regarded as representing an exemplary standard; traditional and long-established in form or style
Codification
In law, codification is the process of collecting and restating the law of a jurisdiction in certain areas, usually by subject, forming a legal code, i.e. a codex (book) of law
Dao (Tao)
The absolute principle underlying the universe, combining within itself the principles of yin and yang and signifying the way, or code of behavior, that is in harmony with the natural order. The interpretation of Tao in the Tao-te-Ching developed into the philosophical religion of Taoism
Diaspora
The dispersion or expulsion of Jews living outside of Israel
Diasporic Communities
Widely dispersed community as a result of natural disaster, politics or other reasons. Many communities have become diasporic throughout time starting with the Jews of Babylon in ancient history
Enlightenment
The Enlightenment is the period in the history of western thought and culture, stretching roughly from the mid-decades of the seventeenth century through the eighteenth century, characterized by dramatic revolutions in science, philosophy, society and politics; these revolutions swept away the medieval world-view
Filial Piety
Confucian philosophy that is a virtue of respect for one’s parents and ancestors
Hellenistic
(The spread of Greek culture) of or relating to Greek history, language, and culture from the death of Alexander the Great to the defeat of Cleopatra and Mark Antony by Octavian in 31 BC. During this period Greek culture flourished, spreading through the Mediterranean and into the Near East and Asia and centering on Alexandria in Egypt and Pergamum in Turkey
Manifestation
An event, action, or object that clearly shows or embodies something, especially a theory or an abstract idea
Merchants
A person or company involved in wholesale trade, especially one dealing with foreign countries or supplying merchandise to a particular trade
Missionaries
A person sent on a religious mission, especially one sent to promote Christianity in a foreign country
Monarchy
A form of government ruled by a monarch (king or queen)
Monastery
A building or buildings occupied by a community of monks living under religious vows
Monastic life
Life of a missionary or person living in a monastery. Christian monasticism is the devotional practice of individuals who live ascetic and typically cloistered lives that are dedicated to Christian worship
Monasticism
Monasticism is not only a name or a monastery legacy. It does not reside in the monks’ clothes nor is it attached to their kolonsowa (head garment) or their belts. Monasticism is living a life of inner liberation from materialism
Monsoon Winds
The seasonal wind of the Indian Ocean and southern Asia, blowing from the southwest in summer and from the northeast in winter. (in India and nearby lands) the season during which the southwest monsoon blows, commonly marked by heavy rains; rainy season. any wind that changes directions with the seasons
Rajas
The element or mode of prakriti associated with passion, energy, and movement
Reincarnation
The rebirth of a soul in a new body
Republic
A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch
Rituals
A religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order
Sanskrit Scriptures
An ancient Indic language of India, in which the Hindu scriptures and classical Indian epic poems are written and from which many northern Indian languages are derived
Scriptures
Sacred writings of a certain religion
Shamanism
Shamanism is a practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to encounter and interact with the spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world
Sinicization
Sinicization, also called chinalization, is a process whereby non-Han Chinese societies come under the influence of dominant Han Chinese state and society (spread of Chinese culture)
Social Harmony
Everybody in society gets along without issues and with peace
Universal Truths
Something everybody accepts as the truth
Black Death
The Black Death (Bubonic Plague) was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in Europe in 1348
Bushido
The code of honor (Way of the Warrior) were morals developed by the Japanese samurai. It was the code of conduct that was the basis of ethical training as an objective for loyalty in the feudal system. Samurais who failed to follow through were forced to commit suicide
Caliphate
A caliphate is an Islamic state led by a supreme religious and political leader known as a caliph
Chinampa
Chinampa is a method of Mesoamerican agriculture which used small, rectangular areas of fertile arable land to grow crops on the shallow lake beds in the Valley of Mexico (floating gardens)
Chivalry
The medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code
Christendom
The worldwide body or society of Christians; the Christian world
Civil Service Exam
Civil service examinations were tests implemented in China for admission to the government. They are intended as a method to achieve an effective, rational public administration based off of the Confucian belief system
Crusades
The Crusades were military campaigns sanctioned by the Latin Roman Catholic Church during the High Middle Ages through to the end of the Late Middle Ages. In 1095 Pope Urban II proclaimed the first crusade, with the stated goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem
Dar al-Islam
Dar al-Islam is a term used by Muslim scholars to refer to those countries where Muslims can practice their religion freely
Printing Press
A machine invented by Johannes Gutenberg made for the mass printing of texts
Gunpowder
The invention of gunpowder is usually attributed to Chinese alchemists, and is popularly listed as one of the “Four Great Inventions” of China. The invention was made perhaps as early as during the Tang Dynasty (9th century), but certainly by the Song Dynasty (11th century). It’s used in explosives and weapons such as guns and cannons
Cotton
A soft white fibrous substance that surrounds the seeds of a tropical and subtropical plant and is used as textile fiber and thread for sewing
Sugar
A sweet crystalline substance obtained from various plants, especially sugar cane and sugar beet, consisting essentially of sucrose, and used as a sweetener in food and drink
Citrus
A tree of a genus that includes citron, lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit. Native to Asia, citrus trees are widely cultivated in warm countries for their fruit, which has juicy flesh and a pulpy rind
Greek Philosophy
Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BCE and continued through the Hellenistic period, at which point Ancient Greece was incorporated in the Roman Empire. It dealt with a wide variety of subjects, including political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, ontology, logic, biology, rhetoric, and aesthetics
Entrepót
A port, city, or other center to which goods are brought for import and export, and for collection and distribution
Feudalism
The dominant social system in medieval Europe, in which the nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service, and vassals were in turn tenants of the nobles, while the peasants (villeins or serfs) were obliged to live on their lord’s land and give him homage, labor, and a share of the produce, notionally in exchange for military protection
Decentralized Government
A decentralized government is one where its top level decision-making processes are dispersed throughout the system rather than being concentrated on one person, place or legislative body
Fiefs
An estate of land, especially one held on condition of feudal service
Gentry
People of good social position, specifically the class of people next below the nobility in position and birth
Grand Canal
The Grand Canal is the longest man-made waterway as well as being the greatest in ancient China
Great Warming Period
The period from about 800 to 1300 in which global temperatures are thought to have been a few degrees warmer than those of the preceding and following periods. The climatic effects of this period were confined primarily to Europe and North America
Griots
A member of a class of traveling poets, musicians, and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa
Guilds
A medieval association of craftsmen or merchants, often having considerable power; an association of people for mutual aid or the pursuit of a common goal
Hajj
The Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca that takes place in the last month of the year, and that all Muslims are expected to make at least once during their lifetime
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe
Khan
A title given to any of the successors of Genghis Khan, supreme rulers of the Turkish, Tartar, and Mongol peoples and emperors of China in the Middle Ages
Khanate
Khanate is a Turkish-Mongolian-originated word used to describe a political entity ruled by a Khan
Kowtow
A Chinese act; kneel and touch the ground with the forehead in worship or submission as part of Chinese custom
Little Ice Age
A comparatively colder period occurring between major glacial periods, in particular one such period that reached its peak during the 17th century
Manorialism
Political, economic, and social system by which the peasants of medieval Europe were tied to their land and their lord through serfdom. The basic unit was the manor, a self-sufficient landed estate, or fief, under the control of a lord
Mit’a
Mandatory public service in the society of the Inca Empire, both militarily and in public projects
Neoconfucianism
Neo-Confucianism developed both as a renaissance of traditional Confucian ideas, and as a reaction to the ideas of Buddhism and Daoism
Nobility
The group of people belonging to the noble class in a country, especially those with a hereditary or honorary title
Daimyo
One of the great lords who were vassals of the shogun (in feudal Japan)
Zamindars
A zamindar on the Indian subcontinent was an aristocrat, typically hereditary, who held enormous tracts of land and held control over his peasants, from whom the zamindars reserved the right to collect tax (often for military purposes)
Papacy
The office, authority, or rule of the pope
Quipu
An ancient Inca device for recording information, consisting of variously colored threads knotted in different ways
Samurai
A member of a powerful military caste in feudal japan, especially a member of the class of military retainers of the daimyos; similar to a knight in feudal Europe
Serfs
An agricultural laborer bound under the feudal system to work on his lord’s estate
Serfdom
Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism. It was a condition of bondage which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe and lasted in some countries until the mid-19th century
Sharia
Sharia law is the body of Islamic law. The term means “way” or “path”; it is the legal framework within which the public and some private aspects of life are regulated for those living in a legal system based on Islam
Shia
One of the two main branches of Islam, followed especially in Iran, that rejects the first three Sunni caliphs and regards Ali, the fourth caliph, as Muhammad’s first true successor
Shi’ism
Believing in the Shia branch of the two main branches of Islam
Southernization
The term southernization refers to certain developments that first occurred in Southern Asia. Those developments changed Southern Asia and eventually spread to other places and changed them as well. Southernization later spread to other areas, which then underwent a process of change
Sufi
A Muslim ascetic and mystic; a branch of Islam, defined by adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam; others contend that it is a perennial philosophy of existence that pre-dates religion, the expression of which flowered within Islam
Sultan
A Muslim sovereign; the emperor or king-like ruler; the monarch of the Islamic sultanate (empire)
Sunni
One of the two main branches of Islam, commonly described as orthodox, and differing from Shia in its understanding of the Sunna and in its acceptance of the first three caliphs
Swahili
A Bantu language widely used as a lingua franca in East Africa and having official status in several countries
Tax Farming
Tax farming is a technique of financial management, namely the process of commuting, by its assignment by legal contract to a third party, a future uncertain revenue stream into fixed and certain periodic rents, in consideration for which commutation a discount in value received is suffered
Terraces
A terrace is a piece of sloped plane that has been cut into a series of successively receding flat surfaces or platforms, which resemble steps, for the purposes of more effective farming
Synthesized
To combine or produce more than one thing to create one, such as the synthesis of many cultural practices and beliefs
Tribute Collection
The collection of tribute; tribute is wealth, often in kind, that one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance
Tributary Systems
A system of government where the people must pay tribute to the government
Ulama
A body of Muslim scholars recognized as having specialist knowledge of Islamic

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