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A Hindu concept that was a guide to living in this world and at the same time pursuing spiritual goals. Hindu avoidance of a fixed moral rule is why it allowed for more diversity than most religions.
Mountain system of south-central Asia which divides India from Asia, leaving India to develop in relative cultural isolation.
Meaning hymns to the gods; four ancient books of Aryan religious traditions in which can be found the origins of Hinduism.
Subgroups of castes, each with distinctive occupations and tied to their social stations by
Hindu mystics who gathered disciples around themselves.
Hindu idea that a basic holy essence formed part of everything in the world.
Hindu idea in which souls do not die when bodies do but pass into other beings, either human or animal. Where the soul goes depends on how good a life that person has led.
Buddist idea which literally means a world beyond existence itself. It is the ultimate goal of the reincarnation cycle.
Spherical shrines to Buddha.
Qin Shi Huangdi and the Qin dynasty: (221-202 B.C.E.)
Characterized by the centralization of state rule that resulted in the elimination of local and regional political competitors. It expanded the boundaries of China to include Hong Kong. The Great Wall of China was built in this era.
China’s “First Emperor” who gave that country its name. Under his brutal rule, Hong Kong was annexed and the Great Wall of China was built.
(202 B.C.E.-220 C.E.)
Followed the Qin dynasty. Expanded China’s possessions to include Korea, Indochina, and central Asia. Era generally characterized by stability, prosperity, and peace. Contemporary of and often compared to the Roman Empire.
Confucian idea in which a good ruler was thought to have a divine right to rule.
Stone wall extending across northern China, built during the Qin dynasty as a defense against northern nomads.
Educated bureaucrats who were one of the three main social groups of ancient China.
General category of people identified as ancient China’s lowest social group who performed unskilled labor.
Ideas that social organization should be ordered with the male as the head of the family and institutions.
A spiritual alternative to Confucianism that emphasized the harmony in nature and life. True understanding comes from withdrawing from the world and contemplating the life force.
The most famous of the trading routes established by pastoral nomads connecting the Chinese, Indian, Persian, and Mediterranean civilizations; transmitted goods and ideas among civilizations.
Paleolithic Age (Old Stone)
Most of the 2 million-plus years during which our species has existed. Throughout this time span, which runs to about 14,000 years ago, human beings learned only simple tool use, mainly through employing suitably shaped rocks and sticks. During this time, the human species developed into Homo erectus, and later Homo sapiens sapiens. The greatest achievement was the spread of the human species over much of the Earth’s surface.
Mesolithic Age (Middle Stone)
A span of several thousand years, from about 12,000 to 8000 B.C.E., during which human ability to fashion tools improved greatly. The Mesolithic people’s ability to domesticate more animals led to an increase in food supply and a subsequent increase in population growth.
The term for the invention of agriculture. Began in the Middle East as early as 10,000 B.C.E. and gradually spread to other centers, including parts of India, north Africa, and Europe. Human beings were able to settle more permanently and specialize in economic, political, and religious functions. Also created a great increase in population.
Term used for human patterns before the invention of writing allowed for the creation of the kinds of records with which historians prefer to study the past. This huge span of time includes the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic periods.
By about 3000 B.C.E., had become common in the Middle East. Like agriculture, knowledge of metals gradually fanned out to other parts of Asia and to Africa and Europe. Was extremely useful to agricultural and herding societies. It allowed for the creation of more efficient farming tools and better weaponry.
Comes from the Latin term for “city.” Formal states, writing, cities, and monuments characterize civilizations. They also develop elaborate trading patterns and extensive political territories. The origins of civilization date only to about 3500 B.C.E. The first civilization arose in the Middle East, along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Many of the accomplishments of the river -valley civilizations had lasting impact and are still fundamental to world history today.
A Neolithic village located in southern Turkey. It has been elaborately studied by archeologists and has produced substantial historical data on the political, economic, and cultural dynamics of the Neolithic period.
All sprang up alongside the banks of major rivers in order to irrigate their agricultural fields. The first river valley civilizations began in the Middle East and flourished for many centuries. They created a basic set of tools, intellectual concepts such as writing and mathematics, and political forms that would persist and spread to other parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Most of the river valley civilizations were in decline by 1000 B.C.E.
Founded in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in a part of the Middle East long called Mesopotamia. One of the few cases of a civilization that started absolutely from scratch, with no examples to imitate. This civilization progressed mostly because of the accomplishments of the Sumerians.
By about 3500 B.C.E., had developed a cuneiform alphabet, the first known human writing. Characterized by their development of astronomical sciences, intense religious beliefs, and tightly organized city-states. Improved the region’s agricultural prosperity by learning about fertilizers and adopting silver as an early form of commercial exchange. Eventually fell to a people called the Akkadians, who continued much of the Sumerian culture.
Emerged in northern Africa, along the Nile River, by about 3000 B.C.E. Benefited from trade and technological influence from Mesopotamia, but it produced different social structures and culture. Unlike Mesopotamian civilization, Egyptian civilization featured very durable and centralized state institutions. Mathematical achievements and impressive architectural forms, including the pyramids
River Valley Civilization
Prosperous urban civilization along the Indus River by 2500 B.C.E., supporting several large cities, including Harappa, whose houses had running water. Had trading contacts with Mesopotamia, but developed a distinctive alphabet and artistic forms. Invasions by Indo-Europeans resulted in such complete destruction of this culture that little is known about its subsequent influence on India.
River Valley Civilization
Along Huanghe River in China, developed in considerable isolation, though some overland trading contact developed with India and the Middle East. Organized state, carefully regulated irrigation in the flood-prone river valley, the Chinese had produced advanced technology and elaborate intellectual life by about 2000 B.C.E.
Ruled over the Huanghe River valley by about 1500 B.C.E. Rulers are noted for constructing substantial tombs and palaces. The Zhou took over the river valley from the Shang around 1000 B.C.E., ruling a loose coalition of regional lords.
Most influential of the smaller Middle Eastern groups that gave the world the first clearly developed monotheistic religion. Settled near the Mediterranean around 1200 B.C.E. but never able to form a strong political or military tradition. Jewish monotheism has sustained a distinctive Jewish culture to our own day; it would also serve as a key basis for the development of both Christianity and Islam as major world religions.
Neolithic Age (8000-
Time period when people used polished stone artifacts and were farmers.
Social organization used by hunter-gatherer societies with associations of families not exceeding 25 to 60 people.
Bronze Age: (4000-
Subdivision of prehistory based on technological advancement in which bronze metalwork was developed in the Middle East.
Hunting and gathering
Preindustrial state in which members use a combination of hunting and gathering to acquire food.
Slash and burn agriculture
System of agriculture that allows farmers to grow grain in places it does not naturally grow. It involves cutting the forestation of an area which is burned for the purposes of using the ashes as fertilizer for the deforested area.
People with no permanent home but who roam from place to place searching for pasture lands.
One of the Amorite kingdoms in Mesopotamia which developed an empire centralized at the city-state of Babylon; collapsed due to foreign invasion.
Type of written communication in which symbols are used to represent concepts; typical of Chinese writing.
Extended the Greek Empire begun by his father into the Persian Empire, all the way to India. From a political standpoint, his efforts were largely in vain, but Greek cultural contributions to the area cannot be overstated.
After Alexander’s death, Greek art, education, and culture merged with those in the Middle East. Trade and important scientific centers were established, such as Alexandria, Egypt.
Dictator of the Roman republic who effectively ended the republic and, with his successor Augustus, transformed it into an empire.
Diocletian and Constantine
Strong emperors toward the end of the Roman Empire who tried with some success to reverse the tide of its ultimate fall. Constantine moved the capital away from Rome and allowed freedom of worship for Christians.
“Politics” comes from the Greek word for city-state. Though united in language and religion, the Greeks held differing forms of government, from monarchies to oligarchies to aristocratically controlled democracies.
The most important legislative body in the Roman republic, composed mainly of aristocrats.
The two men who shared executive power in the Roman republic, but in times of crisis the Senate could choose a dictator with emergency powers.
Roman writer and senator who expounded on the value of oratory in political discourse.
Leading figure in the development of classical Mediterranean philosophy. He encouraged his students to question conventional wisdom. His work symbolized the Greco- Roman emphasis on the power of human thought.
Socrates’ greatest pupil, who suggested that humans could approach an understanding of the perfect forms of truth, good, and beauty that he thought underlay nature.
Student of Plato who developed logic and scientific reasoning in the Western sense. He stressed the value of moderation in all things.
Adherents of this Greek philosophy emphasized an inner moral independence cultivated by strict discipline and personal bravery.
Athenian dramatist who specialized in psychological tragedies, such as Oedipus Rex.
Greek epic poem attributed to Homer but possibly the work of many authors; defined
gods and human nature that shaped Greek mythos.
Doric, Ionic, Corinthian
Three forms of Greek columns that represent what is still known as classical architecture.
Battle of Marathon
In this battle, the Persians who have invaded Greece are defeated on the Plain of Marathon by an Athenian army led by the general, Miltiades.
King Xerxes (486–465 BCE)
Persian king who invaded Greece in retribution for earlier Persian defeats by the Greeks; his forces were defeated by the Greeks in the battles of Salamis and Plataea.
Battle of Thermopylae (480 B.C.E.)
Battle in which Spartan king Leonidas and his army of 300 Spartans and 700 Thespians refused to surrender to the numerically superior Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae; they were annihilated to the man but allowed the other Greek armies to prepare for the Persian invasion.
Persian religion developed by the prophet Zoroaster around 600 B.C.E. in which is taught that life is a battle between the opposing forces of good and evil, with humans having to choose between the two.
War which involved Athens and its allies against Sparta and its allies; Sparta ultimately won the war but a majority of the Greek city-states are weakened considerably by the fighting.
Philip II of Macedon
King of Macedon who defeated a combined army of Thebes and Athens to become the ruler of the Greek city-states; father of Alexander the Great.
Seaport in Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea which was founded by Alexander the Great and became the center of Hellenistic culture.
The balanced constitution of Rome; featured an aristocratic Senate, a panel of magistrates, and several popular assemblies.
Ancient city-state in north Africa founded by the Phoenicians and destroyed by the Romans in the Punic Wars in 146 B.C.E.
(63 BCE–14 CE)
Grandnephew of Caesar who restored order to Rome after a century of political chaos; he assumed the title Augustus and instituted a monarchial government in which the emperor was dictator, chief military general, and chief priest; first emperor of Rome.
Greek word for city-state.
A government based on the rule of an absolute ruler.
A government based on the rule of the vote of the people.
A government based on the rule of the best of the society.
Roman law code developed in response to the democratization of the Roman republic.
Hellenistic astronomer who produced an elaborate theory of the sun’s motion around the Earth.
A reformist movement among the Islamic Berbers of northern Africa; later than the Almoravids, penetrated into sub-saharan Africa.
Iberian Muslim philosopher; studied Greek rationalism; ignored among Muslims but influential in Europe.
Replaced Mongol Yuan dynasty in China in 1368; lasted until 1644; initially mounted large trade expeditions to southern Asia and Africa; later concentrated on internal development within China.
Regional Iberian kingdoms; participated in reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from the Muslims; developed a vigorous military and religious agenda.
Genoese explorers who attempted to find a western route to the “Indies”; precursors of European thrust into southern Atlantic.
Portuguese prince; sponsored Atlantic voyages; reflected the forces present in late postclassical Europe.
Began with a Russian attack on the Ottoman Empire; France and Britain joined on the Ottoman side; resulted in a Russian defeat because of Western industrial might; led to Russian reforms under Alexander II.
Alexander II in 1861 ended serfdom in Russia; serfs did not obtain political rights and had to pay the aristocracy for lands gained.
Constructed during the 1870s and 1880s to connect European Russia
with the Pacific; increased the Russian role in Asia.
Russian term for articulate intellectuals as a class; desired radical change in the Russian political and economic systems; wished to maintain a Russian culture distinct from that of the West.
Political groups that thought the abolition of formal government was a first step to creating a better society; became important in Russia and was the modern world’s first large terrorist movement.
Russian Marxist leader; insisted on the importance of disciplined revolutionary cells.
Literally “majority” party, but actually a political group backed by a minority of the population; the most radical branch of the Russian Marxist movement; led by Lenin.
Russian Revolution of 1905
Defeat by Japan resulted in strikes by urban workers and insurrections among the peasantry; resulted in temporary reforms.
Russian national assembly created as one of the reforms after the Revolution of 1905; progressively stripped of power during the reign of Nicholas II.
Russian minister who introduced reforms intended to placate the peasantry after the Revolution of 1905; included reduction of land redemption payments and an attempt to create a market-oriented peasantry.
Agricultural entrepreneurs who used the Stolypin reforms to buy more land and increase production.
American naval officer; in 1853 insisted under threat of bombardment on the opening of ports to American trade.
Power of the emperor restored with Emperor Mutsuhito in 1868; took name
of Meiji, the Enlightened One; ended shogunate and began a reform period.
A multinational treaty sponsored by American and French diplomats that
outlawed war; an example of the optimism that existed during part of the 1920s.
Nationalist political form that featured an authoritarian leader, aggressive foreign policy, and government-guided economics; started in Italy.
Founder and dictator of the Fascist Party in Italy.
In Japan, industrial corporations with close government cooperation that expanded rapidly in this era into shipbuilding and other heavy industries.
Mexico’s long-serving dictator who resisted political reforms; his policies
triggered the Mexican Revolution.
Mexican revolutionary who led guerrilla fighting in the North; pursued unsuccessfully by the U.S. government in 1913.
Mexican revolutionary who led guerrilla fighting in the South; motto was
“Tierra y Libertad”; demanded land reform.
Women who were guerrilla fighters in the Mexican Revolution.
Sought to impose a Díaz-type dictatorship; forced from power by Villa and Zapata.
Emerged as Mexico’s leader at the end of the revolution; wrote a new
constitution that promised land reforms.
Party of the Industrialized Revolution (PRI)
This Mexican political party dominated politics
from the 1930s to the end of the century.
Leader of the provisional government in Russia after the fall of the tsar;
kept Russia in World War I and resisted major reforms; overthrown by Bolsheviks at the end of 1917.
Russian Civil War
Millions died in the struggle between the Reds (pro-
Communist forces) and Whites (an amalgam of non-Communists); the Reds won, largely because of the organizational skills of Leon Trotsky.
Lenin deputy who organized the Red Army during the civil war and later lost a power struggle to Stalin.
Lenin’s temporary measure that allowed some capitalism within a
Communist framework; food production increased under this program; ended by Stalin.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
Name of the Moscow-based multiethnic Communist regime from 1923 to 1991
Parliament under the U.S.S.R. that had many of the trappings but few of the
powers of its Western counterparts.
Assistant to Lenin who beat out Trotsky for undisputed control of the U.S.S.R. after Lenin’s death; installed the nationalistic “socialism in one country” program,
collectivization, and widespread purges.
Western-educated leader of the Revolutionary Alliance, the Guomindang, and at times, China, in the 1910s and 1920s; struggled with warlords for control of the nation.
Popular 1919 uprising in China against Japanese interference and for Western-style government that featured intellectuals and students as its leaders; sank under the weight of problems facing China in the early 20th century.
Leader of Chinese Communist Party and eventual dictator of that country.
Nationalist party in China; it was the Communist Party’s greatest rival, yet the Guomindang and Communists forged an alliance against Japanese aggression; the ruling party in mainland China until 1949, it failed to implement most of the domestic programs it proposed.
Successor to Sun as leader of the Nationalists; fierce opponent of the
Communists, yet he formed an alliance with them to fight Japan.
To escape the Nationalists, 90,000 Mao supporters traveled thousands of miles in 1934 to remote regions; solidified Mao’s leadership and created much of his myth.
Fought over a period of almost 10 years from 1910; resulted in ouster of
Porfirio Díaz from power; opposition forces led by Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata.
Military organization constructed under leadership of Leon Trotsky, Bolshevik
follower of Lenin; made use of people of humble background.
President of Mexico from 1934 to 1940; responsible for redistribution of
land, primarily to create ejidos, or communal farms; also began program of primary and rural
Worldwide economic collapse that began in late 1929 and continued until
the outset of World War II.
The United States’ answer to the Great Depression, consisting of government
assistance to people affected by the crisis and of government reform of economic institutions.
Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party; under the guise of political unity, the Nazis forged a totalitarian state.
Hitler’s secret police that imprisoned and killed his real and imagined opposition.
Britain and France’s policy of compromise with Hitler and Mussolini.
Fascists led by General Franco fought supporters of the existing republic in
the 1930s; Germany and Italy aided the victorious Franco.
Soviet policy of eliminating private ownership of farmland and creating large state-run farms.
“Political Bureau” in the U.S.S.R. that was titularly the executive committee but in reality was, especially under Stalin, a rubber-stamp organization.
*Examples: bone structure of alligators, penguines, bats
Type of Genetic Drift
Catastrophic deaths limit alleles
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