World History: Important Terms

Neolithic Revolution
The shift from hunting of animals and gathering of food to the keeping of animals and the growing of food on a regular basis around 8,000 BCE. Led to the formation of societies.
Theocracy
A government controlled by religious leaders
Democracy
a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
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Republic
A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
Oligarchy
A system of government in which a small group holds power
Tyranny
A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)
Aristocracy
The most powerful, wealthy, and prosperous members of a society
Monotheistic
Believing in only one God
Polytheistic
Believing in many gods
Buddhism
A religion based on the teaching of Buddha that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment obtained through right conduct and wisdom and meditation releases one from desire and suffering and rebirth
Christianity
A monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament.
Bible
The Christian holy book that contains the writings or scriptures that Christians recognize as the written word of God.
Hinduism
A body of polytheistic religious and philosophical beliefs and cultural practices native to India and characterized by a belief in reincarnation and a supreme beingof many forms and natures, by the view that opposing theories are aspects of one eternal truth, and by a
Islam
The monotheistic religion of Muslims founded in Arabia in the 7th century and based on the teachings of Muhammad as laid down in the Qur’an
Qur’an
The Muslim holy book, said to be revealed by God to the prophet Muhammad during his life at Mecca and Medina
Judaism
the monotheistic religion of the Jews having its spiritual and ethical principles embodied chiefly in the Torah and in the Talmud
Torah
A Jewish holy book which consists of the first five books of the Hebrew Scripture is written
Shintoism
Religion located in Japan and related to Buddhism. This religion focuses particularly on nature and ancestor worship.
Silk Road
An ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean Sea extending some 6,440 km (4,000 mi) and linking China with the Roman Empire. Marco Polo followed the route on his journey to Cathay.
Feudalism
A medieval political system in which nobles (lords/daimyo) are granted the use of lands that legally belong to their king, in exchange for their loyalty, military service (knights/samurai), and protection of the people who live on the land (peasants/serfs)
Magna Carta
This document, signed by King John of Endland in 1215, is the cornerstone of English justice and law. It declared that the king and government were bound by the same laws as other citizens of England. It contained the antecedents of the ideas of due process and the right to a fair and speedy trial that are included in the protection offered by the U.S. Bill of Rights
Chivalry
A code that knights adopted in the late Middle Ages; requiring them to be brave, loyal and true to their word; they had to fight fairly in battle
Crusades
A series of military expeditions launched by Christian Europeans (originally Pope Urban II) to win the Holy land back from Muslim control.
Bushido
Traditional code of the Japanese samurai which stressed courage and loyalty and self-discipline and simple living
Columbian Exchange
The exchange of plants, animals, diseases, and technologies between the Americas and the rest of the world following Columbus’s voyages.
Triangular Trade
A three way system of trade during 1600-1800s Africa sent slaves to America, America sent Raw Materials to Europe, and Europe sent Guns and Rum to Africa
Mercantilism
An economic policy under which nations sought to increase their wealth and power by obtaining large amounts of gold and silver and by selling more goods (exporting) than they bought (importing)
Joint-Stock Company
A company in which investors buy stock in the company in return for a share of its future profits
Humanism
A renaissance intellectual movement in which thinkers studied classical texts and focused on human potential and achievements
Renaissance
The great period of rebirth in art, literature, and learning in the 14th-16th centuries, which marked the transition into the modern periods of European history
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. Launched by Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis, and continued with figures such as John Calvin and Henry VIII.
Heliocentric
A model of the solar system in which Earth and the other planets revolve around the sun. Proposed by scientists such as Copernicus & Galileo.
Enlightenment
Movement during the 1700’s that spread the idea that knowledge, reason, and science could improve society
Social Contract
The notion that society is based on an agreement between government and the governed in which people agree to give up some rights in exchange for the protection of others. Advocated by philosophers such as Rousseau & Locke.
Agricultural Revolution
A time in the 18th century when new inventions such as the seed drill and the steel plow made farming easier and faster. The production of food rose dramatically.
Imperialism
A policy in which a strong nation seeks to dominate other countries poitically, socially, and economically.
Nationalism
The aspiration for national independence felt by people under foreign domination. When taken to extremes, can result in tension and warfare between competing nations.
Totalitarianism
A government that takes total, centralized, state control over every aspect of public and private life. Enforced with aggressive police, fear, and propaganda.
Fascism
A totalitarian political system headed by a dictator that calls for extreme nationalism and racism and no tolerance of opposition
Marshall Plan
Introduced by Secretary of State George G. Marshall in 1947, he proposed massive and systematic American economic aid to Europe to revitalize the European economies after WWII and help prevent the spread of Communism.
Berlin Blockade
April 1, 1948 – Russia under Stalin blockaded Berlin completely in the hopes that the West would give the entire city to the Soviets to administer. To bring in food and supplies, the U.S. and Great Britain mounted air lifts which became so intense that, at their height, an airplane was landing in West Berlin every few minutes. West Germany was a republic under Franc, the U.S. and Great Britain. Berlin was located entirely within Soviet-controlled East Germany.
Cuban Missile Crisis
An international crisis in October 1962, the closest approach to nuclear war at any time between the U.S. and the USSR. When the U.S. discovered Soviet nuclear missiles on Cuba, President John F. Kennedy demanded their removal and announced a naval blockade of the island; the Soviet leader Khrushchev acceded to the U.S. demands a week later.
Kyoto Protocol
Establishes legally binding commitments for the reduction of four greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride), and two groups of gases (hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) Took place in Rio De Janeiro in 1992
U.N. Declaration of Human Rights
A declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled

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