world history vocabulary words

abbot
The superior of a monastery. ( Abbr. Abb. ) Used as a title for such a person. [Middle English abbod , from Old English, from Late Latin abbās, abbāt
absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is an idealized form of government, a monarchy where the ruler has the power to rule his or her country and citizens freely with no laws or legally-organized direct opposition telling him or her what to do, although some religious authority may be able to discourage the monarch from some acts and the sovereign is expected to act according to custom. As a theory of civics, absolute monarchy puts total trust in well-bred and well-trained monarchs raised for the role from birth
acropolis
(Gr. akros, top, polis, city), literally the upper part of a town. For purposes of defence early settlers naturally chose elevated ground, frequently a hill with precipitous sides, and these early citadels became in many parts of the world the nuclei of large cities which grew up on the surrounding lower ground.
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adobe
is a building material composed of sandy clay and (usually) straw, which can be cast into bricks or shaped directly into walls using wooden frames. Adobe structures are easily damaged by excessive moisture, but offer significant advantages in hot, dry climates, as they remain cooler than alternatives based on more “modern” materials
agnostic
For some the central claim of agnosticism is that the existence of God is inherently unknowable, while for others it is that the existence of God is either uncertain or subject to doubt.
agora
a central area in Greek cities used both as a marketplace and as a meeting place
anarchist
one who believes in the absence of government or law
armistice
(n.) a temporary peace, halt in fighting
atheist
one who does not believe in the existence of any god or divine being
atrocity
(n.) an extremely wicked, brutal, or cruel act; something very bad or unpleasant
bastille
The political prison and armory stormed on July 14, 1789, by Partisian city workers alarmed by the king’s concentration of troops at Versailles
belligerent
given to fighting, warlike; combative, aggressive; one at war, one engaged in war
bible
The book that contains the writings or scriptures that Christians recognize as the written word of God.
bishop
From the Greek for “overseer.” By divine institution, he succeeds the Apostles through the Holy Spirit who is given to him. He is constituted a Pastor in the Church, to be the teacher of doctrine, the priest of sacred worship, and the minister of governance.
bourgeoisie
the middle class, including merchants, industrialists, and professional people
brahman
in the belief system established in Aryan India, the single spiritual power that resides in all things
burgesses
elected representatives to a lawmaking body in the English colony.
buddha
An Indian prince named Siddhartha Gautama, who renounced his wealth and social position. After becoming ‘enlightened’ (the meaning of Buddha) he enunciated the principles of Buddhism. (180)
buddhism
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
bushido
traditional code of the Japanese samurai which stressed courage and loyalty and self-discipline and simple living
caliph
successor to Muhammad as political and religious leader of the Muslims
caliphate
Office established in succession to the Prophet Muhammad, to rule the Islamic empire; also the name of that empire.
capital
the city that is the seat of government of a state, nation, or province
capitalism
an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, esp. as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.
cartel
Arrangement among groups of industrial businesses to reduce international competition by controlling the price, production, and distribution of goods.
caste system
traditional division of Hindu society into various categories; there are four main varnas; or classes:Brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya, and shudra; each class contains certain subgroups, resulting in more than three thousand categories.
chauvinism
fanatical patriotism; biased belief in the superiority of one’s own group, sex, or nation
checks and balances
A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power
christianity
a monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior
citizen
a member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to it by birth or naturalization and is entitled to full civil rights
city-state
a city and its surrounding lands functioning as an independent political unit
civilization
a form of culture characterized by cities, specialized workers, complex institutions, record keeping, and advanced technology
civil war
conflict between opposing groups of citizens of the same country
class
a collection of things sharing a common attribute
cold war
A conflict that was between the US and the Soviet Union. The nations never directly confronted eachother on the battlefield but deadly threats went on for years.
colony
Group of people who settle in a distant land but are still ruled by the government of their native land
colonialism
Attempt by one country to establish settlements and to impose its political, economic, and cultural principles in another territory.
columbian exchange
The exchange of plants, animals, diseases, and technologies between the Americas and the rest of the world following Columbus’s voyages.
communism
a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.
conscription
Compulsory draft into military service
constantinople
Emperor Constantine,AD 330 moved the capital from Rome to the Greek city Byzantium in the east, and renamed the city. This city became the capital of the Roman empire. It was strategically located for trade and defense purposes.
constitution
formal document written in 1787 that explained the structure of the government of the United States and how power would be distributed
crusades
a series of military expeditions in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries by Westrn European Christians to reclain control of the Holy Lands from the Muslims
cultural diffusion
the spread of cultural elements from one society to another
cultural blending
The principle that when civilizations interact there is an exchange of ideas as each culture, way of life impacts the other.
democracy
a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
depression
a long-term economic state characterized by unemployment and low prices and low levels of trade and investment
developed nation
nation with established agriculture and industry, advanced technology, and a strong educational system
dictator
Political leader who rules a country with absolute power, usually by force
dharma
In Hindu belief, a person’s religious and moral duties
dynasty
(n.) a powerful family or group of rulers that maintains its position or power for some time
federal
pertaining to or of the nature of a union of states under a central government distinct from the individual governments of the separate states
feudalism
A political system in which nobles are granted the use of lands that legally belong to their king, in exchange for their loyalty, military service, and protection of the people who live on the land
eight-fold path
in buddhism a set of guidelines on how to escape suffering (right understanding, right speech, right livelihood, right concentration, right mindfulness, right effort, right action, right intention)
elizabethan age
An age, under Elizabeth’s rule, where renaissance ideas and styles flourished.Age of William Shakespeare and Ben Johnson.
emigration
The movement of individuals out of a population.
galley
a long, low ancient ship propelled by oars; the kitchen of a ship or airplane
gentry
people of standing(rank or position); people of good family or high social position; class of people just below nobility
glacier
large, thick body of slowly moving ice
great depression
the economic crisis and period of low business activity in the U.S. and other countries, roughly beginning with the stock-market crash in October, 1929, and continuing through most of the 1930s.
habeas corpus
principle that a person cannot be held in prison without first being charged with a specific crime. Latin for the body is owned
holocaust
A methodical plan orchestrated by Hitler to ensure German supremacy. It called for the elimination of Jews, non-conformists, homosexuals, non-Aryans, and mentally and physically disabled.
hacienda
plantation owned by the Spanish settlers or the catholic Church in Spanish America
helot
a member of a certain class of servants in ancient Sparta
hinduism
a body of 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
History
the discipline that records and interprets past events involving human beings
home rule
power delegated by the state to a local unit of government to manage its own affairs
Ice age
Period of time when huge sheets of ice covered much of the earth’s land, formed from ocean water, leaving ocean levels lower than they are now which exposed dry land that connected the continents.
icon
a representation or image of a sacred personage, often considered sacred itself; an image or picture; a symbol; a graphic symbol on a computer monitor display; an object of blind devotion
iconoclast
one who attacks or undermines traditional conventions or institutions
iconography
Images or image patterns with specific connotations or meanings
import
to bring a product from one country into another so that it can be sold there
imperialism
A policy in which a strong nation seeks to dominate other countries poitically, socially, and economically.
immigration
migration into a place (especially migration to a country of which you are not a native in order to settle there)
indulgences
Selling of forgiveness by the Catholic Church. It was common practice when the church needed to raise money. The practice led to the Reformation.
inflation
increased prices for goods and services combined with the reduced value of money
industrial revolution
the change from an agricultural to an industrial society and from home manufacturing to factory production, especially the one that took place in England from about 1750 to about 1850.
intifada
Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, beginning in 1987
irrigation
supplying dry land with water by means of ditches etc
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 Koran
jainism
a religion founded in India in the 6th century BC, whose members believe that everything in the universe has a soul and therefore should not be harmed
janissaries
Infantry, originally of slave origin, armed with firearms and constituting the elite of the Ottoman army from the fifteenth century until the corps was abolished in 1826. See also devshirme. (p. 526, 675)
jesus of nazareth
a teacher and prophet born in Bethlehem and active in Nazareth; his life and sermons form the basis for Christianity (circa 4 BC – AD 29)
judiasm
is one of the oldest of monotheistic faiths. They trace themselves to israelites who created the kingdom of israel. They recorded their history and examined it for meaning in the hebrew bible
journeyman
a person who has learned the basics of a career as an apprentice but is still learning from masters and has not yet opened his own shop
judicial branch
the branch of the United States government responsible for the administration of justice
jungle
An area of dense, tropical vegetation, including trees, grasses, reeds, and vines.
junk
A very large flatbottom sailing ship produced in the Tang and Song Empires, specially designed for long-distance commercial travel. (p. 288)
kaiser
the title of the Holy Roman Emperors or the emperors of Austria or of Germany until 1918
kingdom
a monarchy with a king or queen as head of state
quran
the sacred writings of Islam revealed by God to the prophet Muhammad during his life at Mecca and Medina
latifundia
huge estates owned by wealthy families
latitude
an imaginary line around the Earth parallel to the equator
legion
A military unit of the ancient Roman army, made up of about 5,000 foot soldiers and a group of soldiers on horseback.
legislative branch
the branch of government that makes the laws.
longitude
an imaginary great circle on the surface of the earth passing through the north and south poles at right angles to the equator
luddites
Any of a group of British workers who between 1811 and 1816 rioted and destroyed laborsaving textile machinery in the belief that such machinery would diminish employment.
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
matrilineal
relating to a social system in which family descent and inheritance rights are traced through the mother
means of production
the resources (lands, tools, equipment, factories, transportation, and labor) essential to the production and distribution of goods and services
medici (family)
aristocratic Italian family of powerful merchants and bankers who ruled Florence in the 15th century
medieval
Literally ‘middle age,’ a term that historians of Europe use for the period ca. 500 to ca. 1500, signifying its intermediate point between Greco-Roman antiquity and the Renaissance.
mercenary
a professional soldier hired by a foreign army
metic
a foreigner who is not a citizen but is protected by the laws of athens. Metics were usually shopkeepers, traders, craftsmen, or moneylenders.
metropolitian
of or pertaining to a large city, its surrounding suburbs, and other neighboring communities.
migrate
move from one country or region to another and settle there
millitarism
the policy of building up strong armed forces to prepare for war
missionary
someone sent on a mission–especially a religious or charitable mission to a foreign country
mohammed
570-632. Born in Mecca, died in Medina. Founder of Islam. Regarded by Muslims as a prophet of God. Teachings make up the Qu’ran, the Muslim holy book.
monarch
a king or queen who rules a country or territory
monarchy
autocracy in which a king, queen, or emperor exercises supreme powers of government
nation
a politically organized body of people under a single government
nationalism
Political ideology that stresses people’s membership in a nation-a community defined by a common culture and history as well as by territory. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, nationalism was a force for unity in western Europe
natural rights
the idea that all humans are born with rights, which include the right to life, liberty, and property
new testaments
part of the bible containing stories of Jesus ,his followers and later Christian idea
nomad
a member of a people who have no permanent home but move about according to the seasons
oasis
a fertile tract in a desert (where the water table approaches the surface)
old testament
the collection of books comprising the sacred scripture of the Hebrews and recording their history as the chosen people
patriarch
1. father and ruler of a family or tribe; founder 2. highly respected old man
patrician
of the hereditary aristocracy or ruling class of ancient Rome or medieval Europe
patriotism
The love of one’s country; the passion that inspires a person to serve his or her country.
peninsulares
Spanish-born, came to Latin America; ruled, highest social class
orator
a person who delivers a speech or oration
pharoah
Egyptian ruler who was believed to be the son of Re, the sun god, in human form. He had total authority over people and land.
plebeian
common; vulgar; pertaining to the common people; N: common people in ancient Rome; CF. patrician
proletariat
a social class comprising those who do manual labor or work for wages
plebiscite
a vote by the electorate determining public opinion on a question of national importance
pope
the bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church
quantum theory
the study of the structure and behavior of the atom and of subatomic particles from the view that all energy comes in tiny, indivisible bundles
rabbi
Jewish religious teacher; leader of a Jewish congregation
radical
a sign placed in front of an expression to denote that a root is to be extracted
reform
self-improvement in behavior or morals by abandoning some vice
reformation
A movement to improve the Roman Catholic Church. Martin Luther began it when he nailed ninety-five Theses tot he Wittenburg Church in Germany. He began the Lutheran religion, and other religions followed. ex: John Wesley and the Methodist Church, John Calvin and the Presbyterian Church, and Henry VIII and the Church of England (because he wanted a divorce, and the Pop wouldn’t grant him one).
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
republic
a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
revolution
a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving
rhetoric
the art of using words effectively in speaking or writing; inflated language
sermon on the mount
One of Jesus’ first and most famous proclamation of the Gospel. The Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer are among some of the teachings given in the Sermon on the Mount.
silt
Loose sedimentary material containing very small rock particles, formed by river deposits and very fertile.
socialism
a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
superpower
Nations with enough military, political, and economic strength to influence events in many areas around the globe
suttee
a ritual that required a woman to throw herself on her late husband’s funeral pyre or burn herself. This was done gladly and if a woman didn’t comply with this she would be disgraced.
taiga
The northernmost edge of the boreal forest, including species-poor woodland and peat deposits; intergrading with the arctic tundra
ten commandments
A set of laws for responsible behavior, which, according to the Bible, were given to Moses by God.
tepee
dwelling built by Plains Indians, made of poles arranged in a circle covered by buffalo hides
terrorist
characteristic of someone who employs terrorism (especially as a political weapon)
totalitarian
characterized by a government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control
triangular trade
the transatlantic trading network along which slaves and other goods were carried between Africa, England, Europe, the West Indies, and the colonies in the Americas
upanishad
sanskrit texts written by several different authors that date from 1000 to 6000 BC. Use stories to convey difficult ideas. Emphasize that there is a single principle underlying all existence– Brahman.
utopia
– A perfect world, or paradise. Sir Thomas More wrote a book called Utopia (1516) , which was a social criticism on England spurred by the encountering of new cultures in the New World. The idea was explored that communal living and equality, without greed for gold and silver or personal gain, would bring universal happiness.
vassal
a person under the protection of a feudal lord to whom he or she owes allegiance; a subordinate or dependent; a servant
war of attrition
Trench warfare between Germany and France. Called War of Attrition(wearing down) because the goal was to break down the enemy. There was no winner after 3 years of fighting.
yoga
Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility that is achieved through the three paths of actions and knowledge and devotion
ziggurat
a tiered, pyramid-shaped structure that formed part of a Sumerian temple
zionism
A worldwide movement, originating in the 19th century that sought to establish and develop a Jewish nation in Palestine. Since 1948, its function has been to support the state of Israel.
scribe
someone employed to make written copies of documents and manuscripts
canon
a collection of books accepted as holy scripture especially the books of the Bible recognized by any Christian church as genuine and inspired

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