World History Study Guide from 1648

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Term Definition
Christian population steadily increased from 0% of the world when Jesus was born, to about 33%, or approximately 2.2 billion, of the world today
Reconquista (AD 722-1492) the Christian retaking of Spain and Portugal from Muslim control
Siege of Vienna 1529: Christian Europeans defeated the Muslim Ottoman Turks
9/11/1683, Gates of Vienna an alliance of Christian armies, led by the Polish King Jan III Sobieski, defeated a massive Muslim army
Forbidden City elaborate imperial palace in Beijing, China, which was used by twenty-four emperors during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties; the public was kept out for 500 years
slave trade (1455-1800s) In England, slave trade was ended in 1807 by Christian reformers William Wilberforce and John Wesley; in North America, slave trade ended by a provision in the U.S. Constitution, and slavery ended with the American Civil War (1861-1865); in Brazil, slavery continued until 1888
King Henry VIII (lived 1491-1547, reigned beginning in 1509) founded the Church of England (the Anglican Church) due to his dispute with the Catholic Church over its denial of his request to obtain a divorce
Rene Descartes (1596-1650) a French mathematician and philosopher who discovered analytical geometry and defined existence by “I think, therefore I am.”
Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) a religious conflict in Germany between Bohemian Protestants and Hapsburg Catholics; this war also engulfed Spain, Holland, Denmark, France, Switzerland and the Holy Roman Empire, before the Protestants (and Catholic France) won
Treaty of Westphalia (1648) ended the Thirty Years' War in Europe, leaving a weaker Germany and Holy Roman Empire; France emerged strengthened and more unified
nation-state (beginning in the 1400s) a single country comprised of people unified in language and culture, such as England, France, Spain and, much later, Germany
Decline of the Holy Roman Empire weakened by the Ottoman Muslims, France, the Reformation, the growth of nation-states, and how the Italian and German cultures grew apart
Age of Exploration (1450-1650) a time period when European nation-states (mainly England, France, Portugal and Spain) explored distant lands, including the American continents
caravel a small, highly maneuverable, lightweight ship developed by the Portuguese, often used to carry cargo
Ferdinand and Isabella The King and Queen of Spain in the late 1400s, who expelled the Muslims and Jews from Spain and then funded Columbus's voyages
Prince Henry the Navigator founded the School of Navigation in Portugal in 1419, to train sailors to explore the West African coast with a goal of eventually finding sea routes to India
Bartholomew Diaz a Portuguese navigator who sailed around the southern tip of Africa (the Cape of Good Hope) in 1487 to establish a sea route to India
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) Italian explorer funded by Spain to sail in four voyages across the Atlantic ocean in search for a trade route to India; he discovered the "New World" by reaching the Caribbean
Columbian Exchange the exchange of plants and animals between America and Europe for many years after Columbus's voyages
Treaty of Tordesillas 1494: established an 1100-mile long "Line of Demarcation," giving one side to Portugal and the other side to Spain for controlling the New World (Western Hemisphere)
Line of Demarcation a north-to-south line giving Portugal trading rights in India, China, the East Indies, East Brazil and the Spanish Americas, and giving Spain control of the remaining, vast majority of the Americas
Vasco da Gama the first explorer to reach India by sailing eastward around Africa (1497-1499), with the help of the powerful monsoon winds; this established trade with India.
John Cabot a British explorer (who had been born in Genoa, Italy, like Columbus) who discovered Newfoundland and the New England coast in 1497-1498, making that land the property of England
Jacques Cartier 1534 and 1541: French explorer who discovered Canada and the Mississippi Basin, including Louisiana; the lack of gold and silver in North America made it less interesting to Europeans than South America
Ferdinand Magellan 1519-1522: led the first successful voyage to go around the world, going through the Straits of Magellan near the southern tip of South America. Magellan himself was killed by Philippine natives prior to completing the last leg of the journey.
Results of Magellan's voyage Spain gained control of many South American territories, including Peru, plus the Philippines in the Far East
Hernando Cortes aided by superior weapons and horses, he led the Spanish conquest of Mexico in 1519 and conquered the Aztec empire, capturing the Aztec ruler known as Montezuma; Cortes burned the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan and built Mexico City in its place
Francisco Pizzaro with only 180 men and 37 horses, this Spanish soldier conquered 30,000 Incas in Peru in 1531; he also discovered the greatest silver mine in the Americas.
El Greco (1541-1614) a painter, architect and sculptor best known for his paintings of saints and martyrs, and his painting of a storm over a Spanish town (“A View of Toledo”)
Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) a Spanish painter of portraits of the royal family and scenes from daily life at court
Miguel de Cervantes (1605) wrote the novel Don Quixote, an influential work of Spanish literature
divine right of kings belief they were given power by God; this belief lasted until religious conflict in England in the 1600s and the French Revolution in the late 1700s
Philip II (reigned 1556-1598) King of Spain who was the great-grandson of Isabella and Ferdinand; his mighty Spanish Armada was crushed by a quicker English fleet in 1588
William of Orange (1579) led the Netherlands in a revolt against their Spanish masters; this (along with the defeat of the Spanish Armada by the English) weakened Spanish power
England A nation-state based in the British isles off the western coast of Europe; it established the largest non-contiguous empire in history in the late 1800s but is much weaker than the U.S. today
mercantilism an economic system whereby a mother country (e.g., England) accumulates gold by exporting more goods than it imported, and by using her colonies (e.g., the American colonies) to ship it raw materials that could be manufactured and exported to other peoples
Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603) was known as the "Virgin Queen" of England and her 45-year reign was the “Elizabethan Age”; Virginia was named in her honor
James Stuart cousin of Queen Elizabeth who took over the English throne as James I and authorized the King James Version of the Bible; unlike Queen Elizabeth, King James I argued often with Parliament
Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) an English soldier, statesman, and controversial leader of the Puritan revolution who overthrew the King
William Prynne (1600-1669) an English lawyer, author, political figure and prominent Puritan who was imprisoned for his religious beliefs
Jamestown settlement (1607) the first successful English settlement in the New World, in what is now Virginia
King James Bible (1611) the magnificent English translation of the Bible, authorized by King James, which even elevated the English language itself
Glorious Revolution revolution that took place in England in 1688, which replaced the Catholic King James II with the Anglican King and Queen, William and Mary.
William and Mary ruled England, Scotland, and Ireland in the late 1600s, and founded the college of William and Mary in the Virginia colony in 1693
Ivan IV “the Terrible” (reigned 1547-1584) first czar of Russia, who executed many innocent people; Ivan was succeeded by his son Feodor, whose repeated failures led Russia into a “Time of Troubles.”
Mikhail Romanov (1613) the first of a long line of Romanov Russian czars; under Romanov rule serfs lost almost all of their freedoms
Peter the Great a Romanov who ruled Russia from 1682-1696 and instituted sweeping reforms in Russian government and society; he built St. Petersburg and tried to make European traditions a part of Russia.
Maria Theresa (1717-1780) a Holy Roman empress who was the last ruler of the House of Habsburg dynasty, ruling over Austria
Frederick the Great (1712-1786) an absolutist King of Prussia, who built it into a powerful nation (before it became a key part of the future Germany)
War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) a broad conflict among many European nations, with the result that Prussia defeated Austria to win the territory of Silesia
Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) France, Russia, Sweden, Poland and Austria were allied against Britain and Prussia, for a region of Eastern Europe. Britain and France also fought in North America (called the French & Indian War here). Britain won the war due to the genius of William Pitt ("Pittsburgh" is named after him), gaining Canada and India as a result; France was humiliated, leading to the French Revolution decades later.
American Revolution a revolution against the British in the American Colonies beginning in 1776 with the American Declaration of Independence, caused by over-taxation by England; the Patriots won with the help of the French, and the Treaty of Paris (1783) ended this war
George Washington (1732-1799) first President of the United States (1789-1797); Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army; unanimous choice to serve as President; and voluntarily stepped down in 1797
Isaac Newton (1643-1727) the English physicist who, inspired by daily readings of the Bible, developed calculus and discovered the invisible force of gravity
Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) a German Lutheran mathematician and philosopher who developed calculus independent of Isaac Newton, and whose Christian-based philosophy was opposed by Voltaire. Leibniz invented the curly "S" notation for the integral (ignore the grids around it):
The Enlightenment a philosophical movement in Europe in the 1700s that challenged traditional views and preferred reason over faith; thinkers included Rousseau, Voltaire, Hume, Kant, Jefferson, Locke, and Diderot.
William Blackstone (1723-1780) the leading legal authority on English law, upon which American law is based; wrote the book The Rights of Englishmen, in which he described the source of the rights of the people
Charles-Louis Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) a Frenchman who proposed the concept of separation of powers, and checks and balances, in government, which inspired key parts of the U.S. Constitution; wrote a book, The Spirit of the Laws, that explained essential aspects of good government
Denis Diderot (1713-1784) a French writer during the Enlightenment who edited an encyclopedia of scientific and social knowledge known simply as Encyclopedia (in French: Encyclopédie)
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) his ideas led to the French Revolution and hostility to churches; he was a Swiss-born political philosopher who criticized private property and declared that government's goal should be to provide freedom, equality and justice
John Locke (1632-1704) English philosopher during the Enlightenment who created the idea of a "social contract" between the people and their government, which became the philosophical basis of rebellion in England and the American Revolution when people felt that government had broken this contract
Voltaire (1694-1778) a French philosopher, prominent during the Enlightenment, who favored absolute freedom and his ideas led to the French Revolution; famous for defending a right of free speech even by people with whom he disagreed
monarch a person who rules over a kingdom or empire; he may be above the law (absolute monarch) or subject to it (constitutional monarchy)
Louis XIV (ruled 1643-1715) the absolute (all-powerful) monarch of France who said, “L’etat c’est moi!” (“I am the state”)
capitalism an economic system whereby private companies own all capital goods and sell them at a competitive price
Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) a Polish Catholic scientist who started the "Scientific Revolution" with his discovery that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and published his discovery in a book at the end of his life ("On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres")
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) a German Protestant scientist who built on Copernicus's work and discovered that planets orbit the sun in ellipses rather than circular orbits.
Galileo (1564-1642) a Catholic Italian astronomer who improved the telescope but was punished by the Church for publishing Copernicus's theory and saying the Church approved it; the Church then banned Galileo's book ("Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World - Ptolemaic and Copernican," published in 1632)
Rasputin Russian peasant-turned-monk who helped Czar Nicholas II's son survive hemophilia, until he was murdered by rivals in 1916
Czar (Tsar) Absolute emperor of Russia since the 1500's, the first being Ivan IV "The Terrible."
Neo-Confucianism More of a philosophy than a religion, Neo-Confucianism is a combination of Confucianism and Buddhism, and was the primary practice of the Chinese nation in the 1600s.
Robert Fulton American engineer and inventor who created the first commercial steamboat service in 1807.
Bernhard Riemann (1826-1866) an influential German mathematician who made lasting contributions to differential geometry and analysis, providing the mathematical basis for some 20th century physics
balance of power first established by European nations after the final defeat of Napoleon: alliances called the Concert of Europe required nations to assist each other in order to defeat any one nation that became too powerful and started invading others
Constitution of the United States (1787) the oldest working constitution in the world, which established a masterful design for government
David Hume (1711-1776) a Scottish philosopher who promoted materialism and naturalism rather than Christianity, which later influenced Charles Darwin; Hume wrote "A Treatise on Human Nature" and believed in relativism rather than absolute truth
Declaration of Independence (1776) an American statement of "inalienable" (God-given) rights, asserting a right of the people break their "social contract" with a ruler (a king) when he violates those rights, such as the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
Edmund Burke (1729-1797) a conservative Irish statesman in the British parliament who sided with the American colonies before the American Revolution; coined the phrase "salutary neglect" to support economic growth in the colonies, and criticized the French Revolution while others were praising it
The Federalist Papers (1788) brilliant essays encouraging ratification of the U.S. Constitution, written mostly by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) a leading German philosopher, Kant felt that behavior is moral only if it would work as a rule if everyone did it (e.g., littering is immoral for one person to do it, because it wouldn't work if everyone did it); Kant's book "A Critique of Pure Reason" criticized the use of pure reason to determine morality
Industrial Revolution technology-driven changes in society that began about 1760 in England and later in other countries, characterized chiefly by the use of power-driven machines, as the power loom and the steam engine, and a shift from farming to factories
James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) British physicist, perhaps the greatest of the 19th century; he developed a single consistent electromagnetic theory and the "maxwell", a unit of magnetic flux, was named in his honor
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) German classical music composer famous for Fugues and the "Passion according to St. Matthew"
Louis Pasteur (1822–95) French chemist, probably the greatest ever; he founded microbiology, invented pasteurization, and developed vaccinations for anthrax, rabies, and chicken cholera.
Matthew Perry helped end the isolation of Japan by sailing into Edo harbor and enabling the Treaty of Kanagawa to be signed in 1854
steamboat a waterborne ship useful to the Industrial Revolution which was powered by a steam engine, with the steam produced by burning coal (or less often, wood); today boats are powered by diesel gasoline
Economies of scale when increasing the size of a company enables it to lower its prices due to improved efficiencies, as the big Wal-Mart stores do
Enclosure movement in the 1700s when wealthy farmers bought land from small farmers, to benefit from economies of scale in farming huge tracts of land
Adam Smith (1723-1790) a Scottish political economist who discovered how the "invisible hand" of capitalism will create wealth and prosperity; his book describing this idea was the "Wealth of Nations" (1776)
David Ricardo (1772-1823) a classical British economist who advocated the advantages of more trade between nations
Victor Hugo (1802-1885) one of the greatest Romanticist poets, he was a Frenchman who wrote the classics Cromwell (1827), The Hunchback of Notre Dame of Paris (1831) and Les Miserables (1862)
Maximilian Robespierre (1758-1794) a French Jacobin who was most responsible for the Reign of Terror; under the influence of the work of Rousseau, Robespierre unbendingly murdered moderates and all opponents, and was eventually killed by the guillotine himself in 1794.
French Revolution began in 1789 by freeing Bastille prison, and ended in 1794 with Robespierre's death.
Bastille Day (July 14, 1789) when French peasants invaded the huge Bastille prison in Paris, freeing political prisoners. This started the Great Fear, with riots breaking out every day and peasants burning wealthy homes
Georges Jacques Danton (1759–1794) a Jacobin during the French Revolution who joined and fully supported it until he saw the Reign of Terror and started to change his mind; then he was executed
Louis XVI the extravagant King of France (1774-1792) until executed during the French Revolution by guillotine in early 1793
Marie Antoinette privileged wife of Louis XVI during the French Revolution who reportedly said to the peasants, "Let them eat cake!" upon hearing of the shortage of bread
Reign of Terror terrifying chaos after the execution of Louis XVI when Maximilian Robespierre guillotined many people, including Marie Antoinette, until Robespierre died the same way (1794)
Napoleon (lived 1769-1821) Dictator of France after the French Revolution; signed peace treaties with major European enemies, created a successful system of laws known as the Napoleonic Code, and conquered much of continental Europe; defeated at Battle of Waterloo
Louisiana Purchase land stretching from Louisiana to the American Northwest that Napoleon sold to the U.S. for a low price in 1803
Battle of Waterloo 1815: marked the end of Napoleon's reign in France when he was defeated by Prussia and Great Britain; the expression "someone's Waterloo" refers to a change from possible victory to a decisive defeat
Congress of Vienna 1815: convention of European nations proposing a balance of powers among the rival nations to ensure than no single nation could threaten the others as Napoleon had just done
Concert of Europe established during the Congress of Vienna to create alliances between nations requiring assistance of each other if war or revolutions occurred; also adopted changes that legitimized monarchies and growing nationalism in Europe
Napoleon III Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (1808-1873) President of the French Second Republic and nephew of Napoleon
Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) leader of Prussia (1862-71) and the first chancellor of the German Empire (1871-90). Known as the "Iron Chancellor," he was a skilled politician who unified Germany as a nation in the 1860s by arranging for wars against other nations (first against Denmark, then against Austria and finally against France)
First French Empire (1804-1814/1815) was the empire of Napoleon I of France, and the dominant power of continental Europe
Second French Empire Bonapartist regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic in France.
United Kingdom the combination of "Great Britain" and "Northern Ireland," which is part of the island of Ireland.
Luddites a social movement in England that rioted and protested against the changes of the Industrial Revolution
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) revolutionized instrumental music and took it to new heights never thought possible, despite being totally deaf when he did his best compositions
France a nation-state in Europe that was ruled by a monarch until the French Revolution
Prussia a very militaristic nation-state in Europe in part of the area where Germany is today
The Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848, teaching that class struggles are the origin of all progress in society and urging people to start revolutions to establish communism; Russia did so in 1917, and others since then
Sun Yixian (1866-1925) also known as Sun Yat-sen, he led the Kuomintang or nationalist Party that overthrew the Qing Dynasty of China. He also became the first leader of the former Republic of China.
Virginia Declaration of Rights a declaration of rights adopted in colonial Virginia on June 7, 1776, as written by George Mason; the American Declaration of Independence was based on it
utilitarianism proposed by Englishman Jeremy Bentham and fine-tuned by John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), this non-Christian concept values overall "utility" (overall benefits minus costs) rather than individual justice as a method of determining morality and public policy. Example: tossing two people overboard in a lifeboat in order to save the other ten.
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) British philosopher who supported utilitarianism and advocated an absolute right of free speech; he also supported the development of labor unions
nationalism when loyalty by a people to their nation becomes part of their identity; began in the late 1700s, around the same time as Romanticism, and later led to aggression by Germany and Japan in the 20th century
Handel (1685-1759) a German-born composer noted particularly for his oratorios, including the Messiah; Beethoven thought Handel was the greatest
Haydn (1732-1809) Austrian composer who played a major part in establishing the classical forms of the symphony and the string quartet
Mozart (1756-91) an Austrian composer known for his operas and his unfinished Requiem (1791)
Romanticism (1770-1870) a movement in poetry and the arts (including music) that emphasized individualism, feelings, thoughts, and the right to be different, which coincided with revolutions in France and elsewhere
Neoclassicism (1760-1850) paintings that emphasized clear linear design, using classical themes as subject matter
Karl Marx (1818-1883) German philosopher who, in 1848 with F. Engels, wrote The Communist Manifesto, urging the working class to revolt and end private property
Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) German philosopher born to a wealthy family who co-authored The Communist Manifesto, and who supported Marx financially while Marx wrote Das Kapital.
classical economics 19th-century economics plus the 18th-century Adam Smith, meaning less government restrictions on business, based upon the principles of the invisible hand and economic efficiency (Pareto optimality)
realpolitik Concept invented by Otto von Bismarck that emphasized practical politics rather than philosophy
laissez-faire approach in economics in which businesses are free from state and government intervention (translated literally, "let to do")
Franco-Prussian War (1870) Otto von Bismarck started the Franco-Prussian War by enticing the French to attack Prussia so that other Germans would join him in defense, and thereby unify Germany; Germans won in six weeks
Giuseppe Mazzini An Italian who sought unification of Italy as one nation; he formed the “Brotherhood of Young Italy” in 1831
King Leopold II (1835–1909) second king of Belgium, who founded the Congo Free State
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) English naturalist who proposed the theory of evolution: that all species had evolved into complex forms of life over millions of years through the process of "natural selection," or "survival of the fittest"
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) Greatest English novelist of the Victorian period, who sympathized with the poor and invented colorful characters like "Scrooge"
David Livingstone Scotsman who explored central Africa in the late 1860s to find the source of the Nile
Dual Alliance (1879) Germany (led by Bismarck) formed an alliance with Austria-Hungary as a way of protecting those countries against possible aggression by France
impressionism (late 1800s in France) paintings began emphasizing the transient effects of color and light, attempting to capture a fleeting image or “impression”. Artists included Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir and Paul Cezanne, and they often painted landscapes.
musical impressionism emphasized mood and understatement and reflected its composers’ view that pure sound (like color) is an end to itself
Zulus a tribe of the Mthethwa African kingdoms of the late 1800s, which was wiped out by the British in 1879
Kaiser Wilhelm II leader of Germany who ended Germany’s alliance with Russia, which caused Russia to form an alliance with France in 1891.
imperialism the practice of one strong nation controlling another weaker nation, territory, or a group of people; types of imperialism (from strongest to weakest) are: colonization, protectorates, spheres of influence, and economic
Triple Alliance Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy formed this alliance in 1882 to protect against French attacks; later became the Central Powers after Italy left and the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria joined
Triple Entente (1907) from the French for "good-will", Great Britain, Russia, France formed this alliance in 1907 to oppose the Triple Alliance; this later became the Allied Powers after Italy and Japan joined. Not as strong an alliance as the Triple Alliance, the Triple Entente did require mutual assistance to defend against attack
Communism an oppressive system of government, beginning in Russia, which states everyone must have the same amount of wealth, which discourages people from working hard
Central Powers The enemies of the Allies in WWI, and they were Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman empire.
Allies The Allies in WWI were Britain (her colonies), France, Russia, Italy, Japan, and beginning in 1917, the United States; in WWII the Allies were Britain, America, France, and Russia.
The Axis The Axis were the enemies of the Allies in WWII; the Axis consisted of Nazi Germany, Italy (at the start of the war), and Japan, they also included Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia
Great War 1914-1918: later known as World War I, this was one of the deadliest wars in world history based on trench warfare; the Allies defeated the Central Powers and imposed terms of peace that were so unreasonable they led to World War II
Schlieffen Plan German plan to avoid a two-front war in World War I by invading and defeating France first before fighting Russia on its other front
Entrenchment the first year and a half of World War I (1914-15) during which there were terrible casualties without either side gaining the upper hand.
First Battle of Marne (Sept. 6-12, 1914), massive conflict in WWI which halted the German efforts to capture France, and forced the Germans to fight a two-front war; French losses were horrific: 250,000 deaths
U-boat German submarines used to patrol the Atlantic in a terrifying manner and intercept British ships; the U-boats eventually sunk American ships too
Gallipoli Campaign (April 1915) Allied forces landed on the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli, but were not prepared for the terrain or their tough opponents; unsuccessful, the Allies retreated after massive losses
Lusitania a British luxury liner sunk by a German submarine in the North Atlantic on May 7, 1915, killing 1,198 people, including 128 U.S. citizens; this outraged the American public and led later to the U.S. entry into WW I.
Battle of Verdun (1916) longest battle of WWI with massive casualties with nothing gained by either side with nearly 1 million wounded or killed; began when Germans attacked the French city of Verdun
Manfred von Richtofen Better known as the "Red Baron," this German was the greatest flying ace of all time with 80 kills until he was shot down by an unknown person near the end of WW I, in 1918
Treaty of Versailles (1919) ended WWI by imposing limits on the size and weapons of the German army, requiring Germany to pay massive damages, and taking away some of its colonies and territories.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1923) created the modern state of Turkey, with a combination of military rule and an elected Parliament; also converted the Arabic language to a modern, Latin-style alphabet
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924) leader of the Communist Party who overthrew the Russian government; Lenin was leader of the Bolsheviks and ruled the Soviet Union, imposing a system of Marxism-Leninism that remained until the 1990s; Lenin also ended Russia's support of the Allies in the war in 1918
Bolsheviks (after 1903) the more extreme Marxist group, as opposed to the Mensheviks, who sought violent revolution soon
Expressionism style of art that arose in the 20th century, using distorted forms and bold colors
Great Depression a worldwide economic crisis in the 1930s when poverty struck most of the world and the unhappiness allowed dictators to seize power
King Victor Emmanuel The King in Italy who surrendered his power to Mussolini
Il Duce "The Leader." Name used by the fascists to identify Mussolini.
Nazi a member of the National Socialist German Workers' party of Germany, which in 1933, under Adolf Hitler, seized political control of the nation, started World War II, believed in a supremacy by the German people, and imposed the Holocaust
Fascism Fascists believe that all actions should be done for the good of the state. Fascism is a totalitarian economic and political ideology that came to dominate the social and political systems of Italy under Benito Mussolini and Germany under Adolf Hitler.
aggression by Japan in the 1930s Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931, attracted in part by the coal and iron deposits there, which began the Asian phase of World War II. In 1937, Japan invaded northern and central China.
aggression by Italy in the 1930s Italy invaded and conquered Ethiopia in 1935-1936.
Mussolini founder of Italy’s Fascist Party, Mussolini emphasized the need to improve Italy’s economy and its military. In October 1922, the Fascists protested in Rome, causing the King to make Mussolini leader of Italy. He then made it illegal to strike, thinking this would make the economy bounce back.
aggression by Germany in the 1930s In 1936, Germany invaded the buffer zone separating Germany from France: the industrialized Rhineland; Germany annexed Austria in 1938 without much resistance, and on Sept. 1, 1939, Germany invaded and annexed western Poland despite armed resistance.
Enigma a cipher (encryption) used by the Axis in WWII, thought to be unbreakable until a 27-year-old Polish mathematician cracked it in 1937 (without telling the Germans!)
World War I (WWI) (1914-1918) also known as The Great War, the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary fought against the Entente of Britain, France and Russia; the war ended with the economic collapse of the Central Powers in November 1918 after 4 years of brutal fighting and a successful blockade on Germany
World War II (WWII) began in the 1930s when Germany invaded Poland, and lasted until 1945 when the Allied powers defeated the Axis powers and forced them to surrender
Franklin Delano Roosevelt "FDR" was President during most of the Great Depression and WW II, where he wanted the U.S. to intervene to save Britain
blitzkrieg German for "lightning war," high-speed attack which combines bombing with a tank invasion, followed by infantry to mop up pockets of enemy troops that developed; first launched with spectacular success by Hitler against Poland in 1939
The Holocaust Germany blamed Jews for all of its problems. In 1935 a law was passed to prevent Jews from holding government offices, and during WWII Germany established concentration camps that exterminated millions of Jews.
Joseph Stalin (1879-1953) Russian atheistic dictator who succeeded Lenin as head of the Communist Party and created a totalitarian state by purging all opposition
Manhattan Project (Dec. 6, 1941) one day before the attack at Pearl Harbor, American scientists began the construction of an atomic bomb
D-Day (June 6, 1944) the massive invasion of Europe at Normandy (France) by the U.S.-led Allied forces, to turn the tide in WWII
George Patton homeschooled, this American was the finest field general in WWII and the only one the Germans truly feared; he was better at blitzkrieg-style tank warfare than the Germans were
Big Bang a scientific theory, initially ridiculed before being accepted by many physicists, that the universe had a unique creation rather than having existed forever
quantum mechanics (early 1900s) this breakthrough in physics is the foundation of electronic technology: there is an underlying uncertainty in the position of subatomic particles until they are observed, and these particles are easy to use for storing or controlling information
Niels Bohr a Danish physicist in the early 1900s who discovered the atomic structure and helped develop quantum mechanics
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) physicist best known for his work on the theory of relativity
Easter Rising (April 24-30, 1916) Irishmen seeking independence from Britain captured key locations in Dublin and proclaimed an Irish Republic; British suppressed this and executed its leaders
Irish Republic (1919) established through the efforts of its leader, Michael Collins (1890-1922), who was then killed three years later during an Irish civil war
Northern Ireland divided between British Protestants and Irish Catholics, still under the control of the British
jazz music originating in New Orleans in the early 1900s, developing varied and complex styles; it consists of intricate, propulsive rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, improvisatory, virtuosic solos, melodic freedom, and a harmonic idiom.
globalism the opposite of “nationalism”; “globalism” views the world as one political unit, as one massive village
Gandhi spiritual Hindu leader who set out to win independence for India through peaceful civil disobedience
free trade trade (importing goods) without limitation between nations; it can cause losses in American jobs and an increase in illegal drugs shipped in from other nations
GATT (1947) stands for “General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade,” in which western nations promoted free trade by first freezing tariffs (taxes on goods sent between nations), and later began reducing the tariffs
World Trade Organization (1995) WTO: most nations agreed to “free trade” and established international courts for handling disputes
NAFTA (1994) stands for “North American Free Trade Agreement,” which established free trade between Mexico, the United States, and Canada, and created international courts to resolve trade disputes
consumerism people becoming obsessed with buying more than what is healthy or necessary, with brand names (like McDonalds) becoming more familiar than important things like the Bible
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) a United Nations declaration of basic human rights, including “life, liberty, and security of person”
Cold War (1945-1991) between the U.S., its allies and the communist Soviet Union, consisting of spying rather than actual fighting
Korean War (1950-1953) war between South Korea, supported by the U.S., and North Korea, supported by communists; ended in a stalemate after President Truman prevented General Douglas MacArthur from winning it by fighting the communist Chinese
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (1960) “OPEC” is a cartel (monopoly by a group) formed by Middle Eastern and a few other nations to keep the price of oil by avoiding competition. In 2007, OPEC controlled about 2/3rds of the total oil market.
Berlin Wall a symbol of communism, this massive wall (with armed communist guards on top) was built in 1961 to stop the flow of people from communist East Germany to free West Germany
Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese launched a surprise attack on US navy fleet in Hawaii; Congress declared war on Japan and entered WWII
Korematsu v. United States (1944) Supreme Court decision upholding the forced removal of Japanese Americans to internment camps during WWII; the Court sided with the government, ruling that the exclusion order was constitutional
domino effect the expectation that when one nation fell to communism, then its neighboring nations became more likely to fall to communism too. This principle was the driving force behind US intervention against communism in Korea, Vietnam and perhaps Chile.
Ho Chi Minh a communist, nationalist leader of North Vietnam who defeated the weakened Japanese there in 1945, obtained freedom from the French, and then sought to make South Vietnam communist too
Vietcong communist insurgents in South Vietnam in the 1960s, during the Vietnam War
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution August 1964: in response to mysterious gunshots fired at an American ship in the Gulf of Tonkin near North Vietnam, Congress authorized sending troops; Congress never formally declared war on North Vietnam, and this Resolution became the substitute
Vietnam War 1964-1975: an unsuccessful attempt by the United States to prevent the fall of Vietnam to communism
Henry Kissinger an adviser who ran the foreign policies of U.S. Presidents Nixon and Ford, and who mishandled the Vietnam War to a humiliating conclusion for the U.S.
Pol Pot ruled Cambodia in 1975-1979 as the leader of the Khmer Rouge government; he abolished private property, money and religion, and caused many deaths
Zionism a movement beginning in the late 1800s to reestablish a Jewish state in Palestine in and around Jerusalem
Balfour Declaration 1917: a statement calling for the creation of new Jewish and Palestinian states in the Middle East
Israel established by the United Nations in 1948, having a size slightly smaller than New Jersey
David Ben-Gurion 1948: first prime minister of Israel
Arab-Israeli wars four major ones between 1948 and 1973 (1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973)
Six-Day War 1967: Egypt’s ruler Nasser closed off the Gulf of Aqaba, which was the only access Israel had to the Red Sea, and Israel responded with massive air strikes against several Arab nations, including Egypt; Israel conquered Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights.
Anwar Sadat succeeded Nasser as ruler of Egypt (1970-1981)
Yom Kippur War (October 1973) Egypt’s ruler Sadat launched a surprise attack on Israel on its holiest day, Yom Kippur. After suffering massive initial losses, the Israeli prime minister, Golda Meir, regained much of the lost territory.
Camp David Accords 1979: President Jimmy Carter brokered a peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, whereby Egypt agreed to recognize Israel in exchange for receiving return of the Sinai Peninsula.
Yasser Arafat founder of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964, which demanded a Palestinian state in the area of Jerusalem and rejected the right of Israel to exist.
intifada 1987: PLO instituted a campaign of persistent violence called whereby common citizens and even children threw stones at Israelis and committed additional violence.
Declaration of Principles 1993: secret talks between Israeli leaders and the PLO in Oslo, resulting in a promise of self-rule to the Palestinians over the Gaza Strip and West Bank
Benjamin Netanyahu current leader of conservatives in Israel who is its current Prime Minister in 2011
Mikhail Gorbachev rose to power in the Soviet Union in mid-1980s and allowed “glasnost” or openness, and “perestroika”, which permitted some economic freedoms, until he resigned on Christmas Day of 1991 after losing to Boris Yeltsin
Lithuania annexed to the Soviet Union in 1940 but became independent in March 1990 as the Soviet Union fell apart with the overthrow of communism
Boris Yeltsin the popular mayor of Moscow who courageously challenged the communists in Russia and defeated them in June 1991 to become president of a new Russian Republic; he ended price controls and cut taxes; churches opened and the people of Leningrad changed its name back to St. Petersburg.
Commonwealth of Independent States the successor to the Soviet Union; most of its nations (including Russia) joined, except for the Baltic republics and Georgia
Chechnya Muslim-dominated region in southwest Russia, which declared its independence from Russia in 1991, leading to a bloody war
John Paul II (reigned 1978-2005) the first Polish pope of the Catholic Church, who then opposed communism especially in his homeland of Poland
Lech Walesa a leader against communism in Poland, who led his political party Solidarity to power once free elections were held in April 1989
Hungary attempted unsuccessfully to overthrow communism in 1956 (the Soviet Union invaded to suppress the revolt), but Hungarians overthrew communism in October 1989
East Germany an atheistic, communist nation until demonstrations broke out in October 1989, which not even its ruthless dictator Erich Honecker could control; he resigned and his successor opened the Berlin Wall in November 1989, whereupon the people tore the wall down
Czechoslovakia combination of diverse ethnic groups formed in 1919 out of the old Austria-Hungarian empire to promote Woodrow Wilson's "self-determination" principle, until Hitler invaded it in 1938; after WWII it was a communist-controlled nation until demonstrations forced its Communist Party leader to resign in November 1989; in 1993, the Czechoslovakia split along ethnic lines to form Slovakia and the Czech Republic
Romania Eastern European nation ruled by communist dictators from the end of WWII until overthrown by massive demonstrations in December 1989
Nicolae Ceausescu communist dictator of Romania from 1965 to Christmas Day 1989; unlike most communists, Ceausescu was pro-life and he prohibited abortion
Yugoslavia ruled by the communist Marshall Tito (1945-1980), who enjoyed some independence from the Soviet Union; Tito was succeeded in power by the Serbian Slobodan Milosevic, which caused Slovenia and Croatia to seek independence due to their different ethnicity
Kosovo War fighting in Croatia between the Serbs and the Croats; the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervened in 1999 and drove the Serbian Milosevic from power
Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) conservative U.S. president who cut taxes, helped defeat communism in the Soviet Union, and proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)
Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) (1980s) also known as “Star Wars,” Reagan proposed developing advantaged technology to intercept and destroy fast-moving missiles that might be launched against the U.S.
Chairman Mao Zedong (ruled 1949-1976) the ruthless dictator who founded communist China and then starved tens of millions to death; in 1965 he imposed the "Cultural Revolution" to senselessly eliminate people who were achievers
Tiananmen Square (June 4, 1989) communist China used tanks to massacre hundreds of peaceful Chinese protesters who sought greater democracy
Hong Kong was a colony of Great Britain until July 1, 1997, when Britain's lease expired and it returned this colony to China, which promised to allow Hong Kong to remain capitalistic for another 50 years
9-11 (September 11, 2001) 19 Muslims, most from Saudi Arabia, hijacked American airplanes and flew one into each tower of the World Trade Center, a third into the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed in Pennsylvania as the passengers attempted to retake control of the plane from the terrorists.
Arab Spring Peoples are overthrowing the governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. After that, Islamists controll those countries.
Modern Era can mean since 1789 (The French Revolution) or since 1900

Honors terms

Term Definition
British Royal Air Force Also nicknamed the "RAF", this aerial warfare service is one of the oldest, independent warfare services in the world. The "RAF"'s technique of shooting down incoming German airplanes saved the British tremendously.
Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher The newspaper that Karl Marx wrote for after moving to Paris in 1843.
Dunkirk The harbor town, located on the northernmost tip of France, in which the Germans relentlessly bombed. Thousands of soldiers were departed to England during the constant bombing; Winston Churchill titled this wonder, the "miracle of Dunkirk."
Emilio Aguinaldo A rebel leader who collaborated with Muslims against U.S. and U.S. citizens in Philippine during 1899-1902, and later collaborated with Japanese against U.S. in world war two. They commited massive atrocities and their methods are extremely savage and brutal.
Emiliano Zapata Cowboy who helped lead the Mexican Revolution.
Endlosung The arranged execution of the Jewish people, throughout Germany, in brutal sites called "concentration camps." The Endlosung is also commonly known as Hitler's "Final Solution."
Guillotine The guillotine was invented by Dr. Joseph Guillotine. It has a heavy blade that is lifted up and then dropped onto the execution victim to severe their head. During the Reign of Terror, the guillotine was the main form of execution.
Franz Kafka a troubled author who wrote several classic stories about being persecuted or harmed unfairly, including The Trial (1916) and The Metamorphosis (1915).
National Security Agency A branch of the U.S. government staffed by mathematicians; the agency seeks for better ways to secure American communications against the interception of enemies. They also develop ways to decode the secret messages of enemies.
Manchuria A region in northeast China which was conquered by Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War. After being invaded by Japan in 1931, Manchuria was renamed Manchukuo. The charge into Manchuria began the Asian period of World War II.
Muhammad Ali Pasha (1769-1849) Albanian commander in the Ottoman army; regarded as the founder of modern Egypt.
Standing army Army in peacetime, which became popular among nationalistic countries beginning in the 1900s
Automobile a passenger vehicle designed for operation on ordinary roads and typically having four wheels and a gasoline or diesel internal-combustion engine.
Henry Ford United States automobile manufacturer, and founder of Ford.
Pearl Harbor a harbor near Honolulu, in Hawaii: surprise attack by Japan on the U.S. naval base and other military installations December 7, 1941.
Adolf Hitler German Nazi dictator during World War II (1889-1945)
opium an addictive, deadly drug that the British empire sent in large amounts to China, which caused the great Taiping Rebellion against the British
Little Boy When given the green light by U.S. president Harry S. Truman, the 9,700 pound atom bomb called "Little Boy" was dropped from 31,000 feet and detonated at an altitude of 1,968 feet over the Japanese city Hiroshima. It was the first atom bomb to be used in war.
M1 Garand One of the most influential American firearms in history, firing a .30 Cal bullet. These were the primary weapons in both World War 2 and the Korean War.
Cotton Cotton is a natural fiber used in clothing. It comes from the seed of the cotton plant. People have grown cotton since 3000 B.C. and traded it for other goods.
slavery the state or condition of being a slave; a civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune
factors of production Inputs used by companies to produce goods. Basic models of production have two input factors, labor and capital.
Corsica Became one of the 27 regions of France in 1769. The birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Guy Fawkes A conspirator against the English throne who belonged to a group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
Gregor Mendel Father of Modern Genetics. As an Augustinian monk, Mendel studied Pea inheritance and interpreted his results to shape genetics till this day with his laws of Segregation and Independent assortment.
Sigmund Freud Father of Modern Psychiatry. Arguably a pseudoscientist, with heavy focus on Ego and Eros. Famous for invention of the "Oedipus Complex" which is arguably a reflection of his troubled personal life.
Charles Spurgeon Charles Spurgeon was a Minister in England who taught that faith without works is dead and that people should try to help the poor.
Columbian Exchange plants and animals were brought from colonial America to Europe and vice-versa; Columbus brought from Europe to America wheat, melons, onions, grapes, sugar cane and horses. America had new fruits and vegetables, the white potato, peanuts, pumpkins, squash and chili peppers, which were then exported from America back to Europe.
Thomas Malthus Thomas Malthus was a British economist. He believed that exponential population growth, coupled with geometric advances in food production would mean that the world economy was inevitable going to collapse and fail. His vision did not take into account advances in technology and a slowing of the world population growth. Malthusian fears are also prevalent amongst liberal peak oil alarmism.
Battle of the Somme This battle started with the British and French meeting at the Somme River to begin an attack on the Germans to distract them from Verdun. The Allies bombed the Germans lines then sent 200,000 troops to storm them. The Germans were prepared for the attack and the losses were great. The British lost 20,000 men and had 40,000 wounded. The British and the French lost nearly 750,000 men.
Third Battle of Ypres The British hid 19 huge land mines under the German lines in southeast Ypres, Belgium over a 18 month period. The British detonated the mines and charged the lines in July 1917. The British plan worked for the beginning stages but soon failed because they did not pursue the Germans quick enough. Soon it rained the wettest fall season in years and the allies were literally stuck in the mud.
Communist League the first Marxist international organization. It was founded originally as the League of the Just by German workers in Paris in 1834.
Robert Owen (1771-1858) Welsh industrialist and philosopher, he was a leading supporter of the "Utopian Socialism” and he introduced better working conditions to his own cotton mills in Scotland.
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) Was a philosopher and lawyer who believed in individual and economic freedom.
Charles Fourier (1772-1837) In France, was the leader of the utopian socialists. He also believed that industrialism was a passing phase, and wanted to elevate the status of manual laborers.
St. Helena A British island used as a place of exile, the most notable prisoner was Napoleon.
encomiendas beginning in 1503: a Spanish system whereby a Spanish soldier (or colonist) received a section of land from the king along with the Indians who lived there as slave labor
repartimientos 1575: after complaints about the encomiendas by a Spanish monk named Bartholomew de Las Casas, repartimientos was a new Spanish system that supposedly improved conditions for workers, and required paying them
locomotive developed in the early 1800s; it allowed man for the first time in history to travel faster than on horseback
Andreas Vesalius (1514-64) a Renaissance physician who advanced the understanding of anatomy for physicians
William Harvey (1578–1657) an English physician who first understood the circulation of blood in the body
Francis Bacon (1561–1626) an English philosopher/scientist who promoted research based on experimentation. Famously wrote the Novum Organum (the New Method) which argued that the only road to knowledge was through empiricism. It has been conjectured that he wrote some or all of Shakespeare's plays, although this is no longer regarded as credible by many scholars.
Nationalsozialismus The political fascists in Germany. Nazi for short.
Marian Rejewski Polish mathematician who first broke the German Enigma code in 1932
other free trade agreements in the Americas Latin American Free Trade Agreement (LAFTA, formed in 1961), and replaced in 1981 by the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI); the South American Common Market (Mercosur) which has Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela as members; and a recently enacted Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) which the United States joined.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (1967) free trade group founded by Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines to combat communism; ASEAN later signed trade agreements with Japan (1977) and the European Community (1980)
McDonaldization when American advertising (as in the case of McDonalds) has an influence on the world culture, causing distant children (like Chinese) to repeat a McDonald’s slogan they heard on television
Rheinische Zeitung the newspaper that Karl Marx wrote for when he lived in Cologne
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty (1987) an agreement between the U.S. and Soviet Union to ban missiles having ranges of 300 to 3,400 miles
New Orleans a port in SE Louisiana, on the Mississippi River, about 172 km (107 miles) from the sea: the largest city in the state and the second most important port in the US; founded by the French in 1718; belonged to Spain (1763--1803). It is largely below sea level, built around the Vieux Carré (French quarter); famous for its annual Mardi Gras festival and for its part in the history of jazz; a major commercial, industrial, and transportation center.
Fat Man When the Japanese refused to surrender after experiencing the first atom bomb, this 10,213 pound atom bomb was dropped and detonated on the Japanese city Nagasaki. Its blast yielded 21 kilotons of TNT or 75 million sticks of dynamite. It was the second atom bomb to be used in war.
Enola Gay A Boeing B-29 Superfortress piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets that on August 6, 1945 dropped "Little Boy", the first atom bomb, on the Japanese city Hiroshima.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) American President who led us into World War I, secured the formation of the League of Nations, and at one point persuaded Congress to declare war on Germany in 1917
Heil Hitler The special salute that is used to show complete devotion to the national leader (Hitler)
Swastika Symbol used for the purpose of mind control in Germany. Used by the Nazi in World War II. Originally from Hinduism it's true name is Sanskrit.
Ultra Allied effort to break Germany's secret code (the Enigma); said by General Eisenhower to have been decisive to their victory over Germany
Ngo Dinh Diem An unpopular leader of the free South Vietnam until 1963, when he was overthrown by generals who had been supported by the U.S.
Vietnamization U.S. President Nixon’s policy for slowly withdrawing American troops from South Vietnam, hoping that the South Vietnamese would do more themselves in fighting communism.
The Four Tigers the prosperous Pacific Rim nations of South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong (Hong Kong is now part of communist China but is allowed to remain free until at least the middle of the 21st century)
Deng Xiaoping (ruled 1978-1997) dictator of communist China who was more friendly to capitalism and the West, and began a program called the Four Modernizations
Jiang Zemin Communist China dictator who succeeded Deng when he died in 1997. Jiang refused to improve China’s record on human rights, and Christianity and democracy remain suppressed there; China has armed itself in preparation for a war with the U.S., pointing nuclear missiles at California
Bloody Sunday (1972) Irish held a peaceful march for freedom in Derry, Northern Ireland, but British soldiers responded by shooting and killing some of them, including children; the British never punished those responsible and a popular song by the group U2 commemorates the tragedy
President Truman Vice-President who became president when Roosevelt died in 1945. Was not able to handle the issue of war and bombing as well as Roosevelt. Issued the bombing of Japan.
Hiroshima Japanese city hit by an U.S. bomb in WW II.
Dr. Josef Mengele Doctor who because of his belief of "survival of the fittest," performed cruel surgeries and experiments on the prisoners in the concentration camps.
Great Leap Forward Name of Mao Zedong's idea in which he established collective farms where many people worked on many acres per farm. Because of this, many Chinese died.
Erwin Rommel Famous Nazi Field Marshall in Africa. Attempted to assassinate Hitler.
Stalingrad Famous battle between Russia and Nazi Germany in which Russian Artillery destroyed German army. The Germans were subsequently sent out of Russia.
Yalta Famous conference between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. Roosevelt, influenced by a Communist Agent, was ready to give large amounts of territory including East Berlin and Poland to Stalin
Winston Churchill Prime Minister of the UK 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. Inspirational leader who gave the British people the willpower to resist Nazi Germany in 1940 and 1941, leading to the invasion of Italy (1943), the D-Day invasion of Normandy (1944) and ultimately victory over Hitler (1945).
European Union Association of 27 states in Europe. Began as a free trade area (1958) known as the Common Market, becoming a single European market in the 1980s with extensive socialist-style regulation of business. Now in the process of becoming a super-state governed by the French political elite. In 2002 it instituted a single currency, the Euro, which is now on the point of collapse.
Georgi Konstantinovich Zhukov One of the greatest generals of the Second World War and of all time, whose victories, especially the crucial battles of Stalingrad and Kursk, led to the defeat of Hitler.

See also