An ideological struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union that was conducted between 1946 and 1991
The current association of 27 European countries that are joined together in an agenda of economic, political, and cultural integration
Hilly topographic features that mark the path of Pleistocene glaciers. They are composed of material eroded and carried by glaciers and ice sheets.
Flooded, glacially carved valleys. In Europe, fjords are found primarily along Norway's western coast.
Barren, mostly flat lands of southern Scandinavia that were heavily eroded by Pleistocene ice sheets. In many places this landscape is characterized by large expanses of bedrock with little or no soil that resulted from glacial erosion.
Marine West-Coast Climate
A moderate climate with cool summers and mild winters that is heavily influenced by maritime conditions. Such climates are usually found on the west coasts of continents between the latitudes 45 to 50 degrees.
A climate region in a continental interior, removed from moderating oceanic influences, characterized by hot summers and cold winters. In such climate, at least one month must average below freezing.
A unique climate found in only five locations in the world, that is characterized by hot dry summers with very little rainfall. These climates are located on the west side of continents between 30 and 40 degrees latitude.
Workers from Europe's agricultural periphery, primarily Greece, Turkey, southern Italy, and the former Yugoslavia, solicited to work in Germany, France, Sweden, and Switzerland during chronic labor shortages in Europe's boom years (1950's to 1970's)
The 1985 agreement between some, but not all, European Union member countries to reduce border formalities in order to facilitate free movement of citizens between member countries of this new "Schengenland." For example, today there are no border controls between France and Germany or between France and Italy.
An urban landscapes from 900 to 1500 CE, characterized by narrow, winding streets, three or four story structures (usually in stone, but sometimes wooden), with little open space except for the market square. These landscapes are still found in the centers of many European cities.
An urban landscape generally constructed during the period from 1500 to 1800 that iis characterized by wide, ceremonial boulevards; large monumental structures (palaces, public squares, churches, and so on); and ostentatious housing for the urban elite. This is a common landscape in European cities.
A state or national policy of reclaiming lost lands or those inhabited by people of the same ethnicity in another nation-state.
An array of nonaligned or friendly states that "buffer" a larger country from invasion. In Europe, keeping a buffer zone has been a long term policy of Russia (and also of the former Soviet Union) to protect its western borders from European invasion.
A centrally planned and controlled economy, generally associated with socialist or communist countries in which all goods and services along with agricultural and industrial products are strictly regulated. This form of economy was used during the Soviet era in both the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites.
The 13 states that form the European Monetary Union, with its common currency, the euro. The euro completely replaced national currencies in July 2002.
A Russian term for an acidic soil of limited fertility, typically found in northern forest environments.
A Russian term for dark, fertile, soil often associated with grassland setting in southern Russia and Ukraine
A cold climate condition in which the ground remains permanently frozen.
The vast coniferous forest of Russia that stretches from the Urals to the Pacific Ocean. The main forest species are fir, spruce, and larch.
A key southern Siberian railroad connection completed during the Russian empire (1904) that links European Russia with the Russian Far East terminus of Vladivostok
Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) Railroad
A key central Siberian railroad connection completed in the soviet era (1984) which links the Yenisey and Amur rivers and parallels the Trans-Siberial Railroad.
A collection of Soviet-era labor camps for political prisoners made famous by writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
A policy of the Soviet Union designed to spread Russian settlers and influences to non-Russian areas of the country
A group of peoples in eastern Europe and Russia who speak Slavic languages, a distinctive branch of the Indo-European language family
Eastern Othodox Christianity
A loose confederation of self-governing churches in eastern Europe and Russia that are historically linked to Byzantine traditions and to the primacy of the patriarch of Constantinople (Istanbul)
Highly mobile Slavic-speaking Christians of the southern Russian steppe who were pivotal in expanding Russian influence in 16th and 17th century Siberia
An artistic style once popular in the Soviet Union that was associated with realistic depictions of workers in their patriotic struggles against capitalism.
A faction within the Russian Communist movement led by Lenin that successfully took control of the country in 1917
Minor political subunits created in the former Soviet Union and designed to recognize the special status of minority groups within existing republics.
A term coined by British leader Winston Churchill during the Cold War to define the western border of Soviet power in Europe. The notorious Berlin Wall was a concrete manifestation of the Iron Curtain
A policy of greater political openness initiated during the 1980s by then Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev
A program of partially implemented, planned economic reforms undertaken during the Gorbachev years in the Soviet Union and designed to make the Soviet economy more efficient and responsive to consumer needs.
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
A loose political union of former Soviet republics (without Baltic states) established in 1992 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Centralized Economic Planning
An economic system in which the state sets production targets and controls the means of production.
Semiarid grasslands found in many parts of the world. Grasses are usually shorter and less dense in steppes than in prairies
Nomadic and sedentary peoples who rely on livestock (especially cattle, camels, sheep and goats) for sustenence and livelihood
A form of pastorialism in which animals are taken to high altitude pastures during the summer months and returned to low altitude pastures during the winter
A political state led by religious authorities. Also called a theocratic state.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
Formed in 2001, a geopolitical group composed of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan that focuses on common security threats and works to enhance economic cooperation and cultural exchange in Central Asia
Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)
A Russian led military association that includes Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The CSTO and SCO work together to address military threats, crime and drug smuggling.
The amount of sand, silt, and clay carried by a river
A fine, wind deposited sediment that makes fertile soil but is very vulnerable to water erosion.
The process of exporting industrial pollution and other waste material to other countries. Pollution exporting can be direct as when waste is simple shipped abroad for disposal, or indirect, as when highly polluting factories are constructed abroad.
The spread of desert conditions into semiarid areas due to improper management of the land
A state in which a disproportionately large city (e.g. New York, London, Bangkok) dominated the urban system and is the center of economic, political, and cultural life
A massive urban agglomeration that results from the coalescing of two or more formerly separate metropolitan areas.
A writing system in which each symbol represents not a sound but a concept
A philosophical system based on the ideas of Confucius, a Chinese philosopher who lived in the 6th century BCE. Confucianism stresses education and the importance of respecting authority figures, as well as the importance of authority figures acting in a responsible manner. Confucianism is historically significant throughout East Asia
The Chinese characters, or ideographs, used in Japanese Writing
The main Japanese syllabary, used for writing indigenous words. Each symbol stand for a particular vowel-consonant combination.
A philosophy developed by Karl Marx, the most important historical proponent of communism. Marxism, which has many variants, presumes the desirability and the necessity of a socialist economic system run through a central planning agency.
The scattering of a particular group of people over a vast geographic area. Originally the term referred to the migrations of Jews out of their homeland, but now it has been generalized to refer to any ethnic dispersion
A language in which the same set of phonemes (basic sounds) may have very different meanings, depending on the pitch in which they are uttered
Allegiance to a particular tribe or ethnic group rather than to the nation-state. Tribalism is often blamed for internal conflict in Sub Saharan States
In the context of China, provinces that have been granted a degree of political and cultural autonomy, or freedom from centralized authority, due to the fact that they contain large numbers of non-Han Chinese people. Critics contend that they have little true autonomy.
Spheres of Influence
In countries not formally colonized in the 19th and early 20th centuries (particularly China and Iran), limited areas gained by particular European countries for trade purposes and more generally for economic exploitation and political manipulation.
The true ruler of Japan before 1868. In contrast, the emperors power was merely symbolic.
Special Administrative Region
In China, a region of the country that temporarily maintains its own laws and own system of government. When Hong Kong was rejoined with China in 1997, it became a special administrative region, a position that it is schedule to keep until 2047. In 1999 Macao passed from Portuguese rule to become China's second special administrative region.
"Occuring in many different nations." A multinational company is one that establishes significant production operations outside of the country in which it's based.
An economic system in which the state has minimal involvement and in which market forces largely guide economic activity.
Special Economic Zones (SEZs)
Relatively small districts in China that have been fully opened to global captialism.
Social and Regional Differentiation
A process by wich certain classes of people, or regions of a country grow richer when others grow poorer.
Regions of heavy industry that experience marked economic decline after their factories cease to be competitive.
The seasonal pattern of changes in winds, heat, and moisture in South Asia and other regions of the world that is a product of larger meteorological forces of land and water heating, the resultant pressure gradients, and jet stream dynamics. The monsoon produces distinct wet and dry seasons.
Enhanced precipitation over uplands that results from lifting and cooling of air masses as they are forced over mountains.
A weather phenomenon in which mountains block moisture, producing an area of lower precipitation on the leeward side of the uplift.
The accumulation of salts in the upper layers of soil, often causing a reduction in crop yields, resulting from irrigation using water with high natural salt content and/or irrigation of soils that contain a high level of mineral salts.
Settlements of temporary and often illegal housing in Indian cities, caused by rapid urban migration of poorer rural people and the inability of the cities to provide housing for this rapidly expanding population.
The original Indo-European language of South Asia, introduced into northwestern India perhaps 4000 years ago from which Indo-Aryan languages evolved. Over the centuries, Sanskrit has become the classical literary languages of the Hindus and is widely used as a scholarly second language, much like Latin in medieval Europe.
Mughal (Mogul) Empire
The powerful Muslim state that ruled most of northern South Asia in the 1500s and 1600s. The last vestiges of the Mughal dynasty were dissolved by the British following the rebellion of 1857
The complex division of South Asian society into different hierarchically ranked hereditary groups. The caste system is most explicit in Hindu society but is also found in other cultures to a lesser degree.
A religious group in South Asia that emerged as a protest against orthodox Hinduism around the 6th century BCE. Its ethical core is the doctrine of non injury to all living creatures. Today, Jains are noted for their nonviolence which prohibits them from taking the life of any animal.
One of Pakistan's official languages (along with English), it is very similar to the Indian language of Hindi, although it includes more words derived from Persian and Arabic and is written in a modified form of the Persian Arabic alphabet. Although most Pakistanis do not speak Urdu at home, it is widely used as a second language and is extensively employed in education, the media, and government, thus giving Pakistan a kind of cultural unity.
A strictly South Asian language family that includes such important languages as Tamil and Telugu. Once spoken through most of the region, Dravidian languages are now largely limited to southern South Asia.
The promotion of one language over others that is, in turn, linked to shared notions of nationalism. In india, some Hindu nationalists promote Hindi as the national language, yet this is resisted by many other groups in which that language is either not spoken or does not have the same central cultural role as in the Ganges Valley. The lack of a national language in India remains problematic.
British East India Company
A private trade organization that acted as an arm of colonial Britain in ruling most of South Asia until 1857, when it was abolished and replaced by full governmental control.
Regional Hindu royalty, usually a king or prince, who ruled specific areas of South Asia before independence but who was usually subject to overrule by British colonial advisers.
The historical and contemporary propensity of Indians to migrate to other countries in search of better opportunities. This has led to large Indian populations in South Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific islands, along with western Europe and North America.
In countries with a strong Roman Catholic heritage, such as Poland and the Czech Republic, the Latin alphabet is used in writing. In contrast, countries with close ties to the Orthodox church- such as Bulgaria, Macedonia, Bosnia, and Serbia – use the Greek-derived Cyrillic alphabet
transfer to private ownership of firms and industries previously owned and operated by state governments
refers to the widespread movement away from the historically important organized religions of Europe
the return of nuclear weapons from outlying republics to Russian control and their partial dismantling was completed during the 1990s. the soviet-era nuclear arsenals of Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus were removed in the process
a portion of a country’s territory that lies outside its contiguous land area
Farther out from the city centers are mikrorayons, large, Soviet-era housing proejcts of the 1970s and 1980s. composed of massed blocks of standardized apartment buildings ranging from 9 to 24 stories in height
Peasants were attracted to the region by its agricultural opportunities and by greater political freedoms than they traditionally enjoyed under the tsars, the authoritarian leaders who dominated plolitics during the pre-1917 Russian empire
A series of alluvial fans (fan-shaped deposits of sediments dropped by streams flowing out of the mountains) have long been devoted to intensive cultivation
In northern China, population distribution is more variable. The North China plain has long been one of the most thoroughly anthropogenic landscapes in the world (a landscape that has been heavily transformed by human activities)
By certain criteria, only the eastern half of China (often referred to as China proper) fits well into the East Asian world region
Taoism is indirectly associated with feng shui, commonly called geomancy in English, which is the Chinese and Korean practice of designing buildings in accordance with the spiritual powers that supposedly flow through the local topography
Standing outside this traditional order are the so-called untouchables, now usually called Dalits, whose ancestors held “impure” jobs, such as those associated with leather working
The tension between Hinduism and Islam in northern South Asia gave rise to a new religion called Sikhism. It originated in the 1400s in the Punjab, near the modern boundary between India and Pakistan
Missionaries were more successful in the highlands inhabited by tribal peoples worshiping nature spirits and their ancestors. The general name for such religions is animism
The government’s response has been one of aggressive “affirmative action” by which economic power is transferred to the dominant Malay, or Bumiputra (sons of the soil) community
The Macros regime instituted a kind of crony capitalism, in which the president’s friends were given huge economic faovrs, while those believed to be enemies had their properties taken
In Washington, DC, the domino theory guided foreign policy. According to this notion, if Vietnam fell to the communists, then so would Laos and Cambodia; once those countries were lost, Burma, Thailand, and perhams Malaysia and Indonesia would also become members of the communist bloc
Singapore has transformed itself from a entrepot city, a place where goods are imported, stored, and then transshipped, to one of the world’s wealthiest and most modern states
In Laos the communist Pathet Lao forces challenged the government, while in Cambodia the Khmer Rouge guerrillas gained considerable power
Malay is native to the Malay peninsula, eastern Sumatra, and coastal Borneo ye was spread historically throughout the region by merchants and seafarers, as a result, it became a common trade language, or lingua franca, throughout much of the insular realm.
In the swidden system, small plots of several acres of forest or brush are periodically cut by hand
Indonesia has had the most explicit policy of transmigration, or relocation of its population from one region to another within its national territory
Insular Southeast Asia has numerous volcanoes because it lies along the intersection of several tectonic plates. This geologically active situation generates a number of natural hazards, including earthquakes, toxic and volcanoes, and tsunamis (sometimes called ‘tidal waves’)
The coastal areas of mainland southeast Asia and the Philippines are highly vulnerable to tropical cyclones, or typhoons, as they are called in the western pacific.
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