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A group of Turkic-speakers who controlled their own centralized empire from 744 to 840 in Mongolia and Central Asia.
steam engine
engine A machine that turns the energy released by burning fuel into motion. Thomas Newcomen built the first crude but workable steam engine in 1712. James Watt vastly improved his device in the 1760s and 1770s. Steam power was later applied to moving machinery in factories and to powering ships and locomotives.
Yi (1392-1910)
The Yi dynasty ruled Korea from the fall of the Koryo kingdom to the colonization of Korea by Japan.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
A 1946 United Nations covenant binding signatory nations to the observance of specified rights.
treaty ports
Cities opened to foreign residents as a result of the forced treaties between the Qing Empire and foreign signatories. In the treaty ports, foreigners enjoyed extraterritoriality.
Tokugawa Shogunate (1600-1868)
The last of the three shogunates of Japan.
Capital city of Egypt and home of the ruling dynasties during the Middle and New Kingdoms. Amon, patron deity of Thebes, became one of the chief gods of Egypt. Monarchs were buried across the river in the Valley of the Kings.
weapons of mass destruction
Nuclear, chemical, and biological devices that are capable of injuring and killing large numbers of people.
water wheel
A mechanism that harnesses the energy in flowing water to grind grain or to power machinery. It was used in many parts of the world but was especially common in Europe from 1200 to 1900.
utopian socialism
A philosophy introduced by the Frenchman Charles Fourier in the early nineteenth century. Utopian socialists hoped to create humane alternatives to industrial capitalism by building self-sustaining communities whose inhabitants would work cooperatively.
Device for securing a horseman's feet, enabling him to wield weapons more effectively. First evidence of the use of stirrups was among the Kushan people of northern Afghanistan in approximately the first century C.E.
United Nations
International organization founded in 1945 to promote world peace and cooperation. It replaced the League of Nations.
Equatorial region between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. It is characterized by generally warm or hot temperatures year-round, though much variation exists due to altitude and other factors. Temperate zones north and south of the tropics generally have a winter season.
Tang Empire
Empire unifying China and part of Central Asia, founded 618 and ended 907. The Tang emperors presided over a magnificent court at their capital, Chang'an.
Treaty of Versailles (1919)
The treaty imposed on Germany by France, Great Britain, the United States, and other Allied Powers after World War I. It demanded that Germany dismantle its military and give up some lands to Poland. It was resented by many Germans.
Tulip Period (1718-1730)
Last years of the reign of Ottoman sultan Ahmed III, during which European styles and attitudes became briefly popular in Istanbul.
World Trade Organization (WTO)
) An international body established in 1995 to foster and bring order to international trade.
three-field system
system A rotational system for agriculture in which one field grows grain, one grows legumes, and one lies fallow. It gradually replaced two-field system in medieval Europe.
Washington, George (1732-1799)
Military commander of the American Revolution. He was the first elected president of the United States (1789-1799).
Wilson, Woodrow (1856-1924)
President of the United States (1913-1921) and the leading figure at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. He was unable to persuade the U.S. Congress to ratify the Treaty of Versailles or join the League of Nations.
Watt, James (1736-1819)
) Scot who invented the condenser and other improvements that made the steam engine a practical source of power for industry and transportation. The watt, an electrical measurement, is named after him.
Greek and Phoenician warship of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E. It was sleek and light, powered by 170 oars arranged in three vertical tiers. Manned by skilled sailors, it was capable of short bursts of speed and complex maneuvers.
Stalin, Joseph (1879-1953)
) Bolshevik revolutionary, head of the Soviet Communist Party after 1924, and dictator of the Soviet Union from 1928 to 1953. He led the Soviet Union with an iron fist, using Five-Year Plans to increase industrial production and terror to crush all opposition.
City on the Niger River in the modern country of Mali. It was founded by the Tuareg as a seasonal camp sometime after 1000. As part of the Mali empire, Timbuktu became a major terminus of the trans-Saharan trade and a center of Islamic learning.
Early Indian sacred "knowledge—the literal meaning of the term—long preserved and communicated orally by Brahmin priests and eventually written down. These religious texts, including the thousand poetic hymns to various deities contained in the Rig Veda, are our main source of information about the Vedic period (ca. 1500-500 B.C.E.).
Song Empire
Empire in central and southern China (960-1126) while the Liao people controlled the north. Empire in southern China (1127-1279; the "Southern Song) while the Jin people controlled the north. Distinguished for its advances in technology, medicine, astronomy, and mathematics.
World Bank
A specialized agency of the United Nations that makes loans to countries for economic development, trade promotion, and debt consolidation. Its formal name is the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The community of all Muslims. A major innovation against the background of seventh-century Arabia, where traditionally kinship rather than faith had determined membership in a community.
Muslim religious scholars. From the ninth century onward, the primary interpreters of Islamic law and the social core of Muslim urban societies.
The condition experienced by economies that depend on colonial forms of production such as the export of raw materials and plantation crops with low wages and low investment in education.
In Chinese belief, complementary factors that help to maintain the equilibrium of the world. Yin is associated with masculine, light, and active qualities; yang with feminine, dark, and passive qualities.
Yuan Empire (1271-1368)
Empire created in China and Siberia by Khubilai Khan.
Women's Rights Convention
Convention An 1848 gathering of women angered by their exclusion from an international antislavery meeting. They met at Seneca Falls, New York to discuss women's rights.
Timur (1336-1405)
Member of a prominent family of the Mongols' Jagadai Khanate, Timur through conquest gained control over much of Central Asia and Iran. He consolidated the status of Sunni Islam as orthodox, and his descendants, the Timurids, maintained his empire for nearly a century and founded the Mughal Empire in India.
Truman Doctrine
Foreign policy initiated by U.S. president Harry Truman in 1947. It offered military aid to help Turkey and Greece resist Soviet military pressure and subversion.
Young Ottomans
Movement of young intellectuals to institute liberal reforms and build a feeling of national identity in the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the nineteenth century.
The people who dominated southern Mesopotamia through the end of the third millennium B.C.E. They were responsible for the creation of many fundamental elements of Mesopotamian culture—such as irrigation technology, cuneiform, and religious conceptions—taken over by their Semitic successors.
The people and dynasty that took over the dominant position in north China from the Shang and created the concept of the Mandate of Heaven to justify their rule. The Zhou era, particularly the vigorous early period (1027-771 B.C.E.), was remembered in Chinese tradition as a time of prosperity and benevolent rule. In the later Zhou period (771-221 B.C.E.), centralized control broke down, and warfare among many small states became frequent.
Taiping Rebellion (1853-1864)
The most destructive civil war before the twentieth century. A Christian-inspired rural rebellion threatened to topple the Qing Empire.
Vietnam War (1954-1975)
Conflict pitting North Vietnam and South Vietnamese communist guerrillas against the South Vietnamese government, aided after 1961 by the United States.
The term the Greeks used to describe someone who seized and held power in violation of the normal procedures and traditions of the community. Tyrants appeared in many Greek city-states in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C.E., often taking advantage of the disaffection of the emerging middle class and, by weakening the old elite, unwittingly contributing to the evolution of democracy.
Stanley, Henry Morton (1841-1904)
British-American explorer of Africa, famous for his expeditions in search of Dr. David Livingstone. Stanley helped King Leopold II establish the Congo Free State.
tsar (czar)
From Latincaesar, this Russian title for a monarch was first used in reference to a Russian ruler by Ivan III
Wedgwood, Josiah (1730-1795)
English industrialist whose pottery works were the first to produce fine-quality pottery by industrial methods.
Reign period of Zhu Di (1360-1424), the third emperor of the Ming Empire (r. 1403-1424). He sponsored the building of the Forbidden City, a huge encyclopedia project, the expeditions of Zheng He, and the reopening of China's borders to trade and travel.
A massive pyramidal stepped tower made of mudbricks. It is associated with religious complexes in ancient Mesopotamian cities, but its function is unknown.
Sokoto Caliphate
A large Muslim state founded in 1809 in what is now northern Nigeria.
Ural Mountains
This north-south range separates Siberia from the rest of Russia. It is commonly considered the boundary between the continents of Europe and Asia.
tropical rain forest
High-precipitation forest zones of the Americas, Africa, and Asia lying between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
City in Russia, site of a Red Army victory over the German army in 1942-1943. The Battle of Stalingrad was the turning point in the war between Germany and the Soviet Union. Today Volgograd.
Suez Canal
Canal Ship canal dug across the isthmus of Suez in Egypt, designed by Ferdinand de Lesseps. It opened to shipping in 1869 and shortened the sea voyage between Europe and Asia. Its strategic importance led to the British conquest of Egypt in 1882.
Wright, Wilbur (1867-1912), and Orville (1871-1948)
American bicycle mechanics; the first to build and fly an airplane, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, December 7, 1903.
In medieval Europe, a sworn supporter of a king or lord committed to rendering specified military service to that king or lord.
A powerful city-state in central Mexico (100 B.C.E.-750 .C.E.). Its population was about 150,000 at its peak in 600.
Treaty of Nanking (1842)
The treaty that concluded the Opium War. It awarded Britain a large indemnity from the Qing Empire, denied the Qing government tariff control over some of its own borders, opened additional ports of residence to Britons, and ceded the island of Hong Kong to Britain.
Muslims belonging to branch of Islam believing that the community should select its own leadership. The majority religion in most Islamic countries.
Yuan Shikai (1859-1916)
Chinese general and first president of the Chinese Republic (1912-1916). He stood in the way of the democratic movement led by Sun Yat-sen.
Stone Age
The historical period characterized by the production of tools from stone and other nonmetallic substances. It was followed in some places by the Bronze Age and more generally by the Iron Age.
Zapata, Emiliano (1879-1919)
Revolutionary and leader of peasants in the Mexican Revolution. He mobilized landless peasants in south-central Mexico in an attempt to seize and divide the lands of the wealthy landowners. Though successful for a time, he was ultimately defeated and assassinated.
A form of iron that is both durable and flexible. It was first mass-produced in the 1860s and quickly became the most widely used metal in construction, machinery, and railroad equipment.
Historians' term for a state that acquires prestige and power by developing attractive cultural forms and staging elaborate public ceremonies (as well as redistributing valuable resources) to attract and bind subjects to the center. Examples include the Gupta Empire in India and Srivijaya in Southeast Asia.
Restructuring reforms by the nineteenth-century Ottoman rulers, intended to move civil law away from the control of religious elites and make the military and the bureaucracy more efficient.
The pursuit of people suspected of witchcraft, especially in northern Europe in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
A Persian-influenced literary form of Hindi written in Arabic characters and used as a literary language since the 1300s.
Athenian philosopher (ca. 470-399 B.C.E.) who shifted the emphasis of philosophical investigation from questions of natural science to ethics and human behavior. He attracted young disciples from elite families but made enemies by revealing the ignorance and pretensions of others, culminating in his trial and execution by the Athenian state.
Zheng He (1371-1433)
An imperial eunuch and Muslim, entrusted by the Ming emperor Yongle with a series of state voyages that took his gigantic ships through the Indian Ocean, from Southeast Asia to Africa.
Tiananmen Square
Site in Beijing where Chinese students and workers gathered to demand greater political openness in 1989. The demonstration was crushed by Chinese military with great loss of life.
tribute system
A system in which defeated peoples were forced to pay a tax in the form of goods and labor. This forced transfer of food, cloth, and other goods subsidized the development of large cities. An important component of the Aztec and Inca economies.
third-century crises
Historians' term for the political, military, and economic turmoil that beset the Roman Empire during much of the third century C.E.: frequent changes of ruler, civil wars, barbarian invasions, decline of urban centers, and near-destruction of long-distance commerce and the monetary economy. After 284 C.E. Diocletian restored order by making fundamental changes.
tributary systems
A system in which, from the time of the Han Empire, countries in East and Southeast Asia not under the direct control of empires based in China nevertheless enrolled as tributary states, acknowledging the superiority of the emperors in China in exchange for trading rights or strategic alliances.
Tecumseh (1768-1813)
Shawnee leader who attempted to organize an Amerindian confederacy to prevent the loss of additional territory to American settlers. He became an ally of the British in War of 1812 and died in battle.
Degree-granting institutions of higher learning. Those that appeared in Latin West from about 1200 onward became the model of all modern universities.
Confederation of nomadic peoples living beyond the northwest frontier of ancient China. Chinese rulers tried a variety of defenses and stratagems to ward off these "barbarians, as they called them, and finally succeeded in dispersing the Xiongnu in the first century C.E.
steppes Treeless plains, especially the high, flat expanses of northern Eurasia, which usually have little rain and are covered with coarse grass. They are good lands for nomads and their herds. Living on the steppes promoted the breeding of horses and the development of military skills that were essential to the rise of the Mongol Empire.
A people of modern South Africa whom King Shaka united in 1818. people of modern South Africa whom King Shaka united in 1818.
Name of capital city and empire centered on the region near Lake Titicaca in modern Bolivia (375-1000 C.E.).
Umayyad Caliphate
First hereditary dynasty of Muslim caliphs (661 to 750). From their capital at Damascus, the Umayyads ruled an empire that extended from Spain to India. Overthrown by the Abbasid Caliphate.
Country centered on the high, mountain-bounded plateau north of India. Tibetan political power occasionally extended farther to the north and west between the seventh and thirteen centuries.
A people, language, kingdom, and empire in western Sudan in West Africa. At its height in the sixteenth century, the Muslim Songhai Empire stretched from the Atlantic to the land of the Hausa and was a major player in the trans-Saharan trade.
Warsaw Pact
The 1955 treaty binding the Soviet Union and countries of eastern Europe in an alliance against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Yamagata Aritomo (1838-1922)
One of the leaders of the Meiji Restoration.
Tamil kingdoms
The kingdoms of southern India, inhabited primarily by speakers of Dravidian languages, which developed in partial isolation, and somewhat differently, from the Aryan north. They produced epics, poetry, and performance arts. Elements of Tamil religious beliefs were merged into the Hindu synthesis.
Sun Yat-sen (1867-1925)
Chinese nationalist revolutionary, founder and leader of the Guomindang until his death. He attempted to create a liberal democratic political movement in China but was thwarted by military leaders.
A state based on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, between the seventh and eleventh centuries C.E. It amassed wealth and power by a combination of selective adaptation of Indian technologies and concepts, control of the lucrative trade routes between India and China, and skillful showmanship and diplomacy in holding together a disparate realm of inland and coastal territories.
Capital of the Aztec Empire, located on an island in Lake Texcoco. Its population was about 150,000 on the eve of Spanish conquest. Mexico City was constructed on its ruins.
Bantu language with Arabic loanwords spoken in coastal regions of East Africa.
The Japanese word for a branch of Mahayana Buddhism based on highly disciplined meditation. It is known in Sanskrit asdhyana, in Chinese aschan, and in Korean asson.
trans-Saharan caravan routes
Trading network linking North Africa with sub-Saharan Africa across the Sahara.
Victorian Age
The reign of Queen Victoria of Great Britain (r. 1837-1901). The term is also used to describe late-nineteenth-century society, with its rigid moral standards and sharply differentiated roles for men and women and for middle-class and working-class people.
Third World
Term applied to a group of developing countries who professed nonalignment during the Cold War.
Tupac Amaru II
Member of Inca aristocracy who led a rebellion against Spanish authorities in Peru in 1780-1781. He was captured and executed with his wife and other members of his family.
Vargas, Getulio (1883-1954)
Dictator of Brazil from 1930 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1954. Defeated in the presidential election of 1930, he overthrew the government and created Estado Novo ("New State), a dictatorship that emphasized industrialization and helped the urban poor but did little to alleviate the problems of the peasants.
Two categories of social identity of great importance in Indian history.Varnaare the four major social divisions: theBrahminpriest class, theKshatriyawarrior/administrator class, theVaishyamerchant/farmer class, and theShudralaborer class. Within the system ofvarnaare manyjati, regional groups of people who have a common occupational sphere, and who marry, eat, and generally interact with other members of their group.
Villa, Francisco "Pancho (1878-1923)
A popular leader during the Mexican Revolution. An outlaw in his youth, when the revolution started, he formed a cavalry army in the north of Mexico and fought for the rights of the landless in collaboration with Emiliano Zapata. He was assassinated in 1923.
Polish trade union created in 1980 to protest working conditions and political repression. It began the nationalist opposition to communist rule that led in 1989 to the fall of communism in eastern Europe.
V ersailles
The huge palace built for French King Louis XIV south of Paris in the town of the same name. The palace symbolized the preeminence of French power and architecture in Europe and the triumph of royal authority over the French nobility.
Theravada Buddhism
Way of the Elders branch of Buddhism followed in Sri Lanka and much of Southeast Asia. Therevada remains close to the original principles set forth by the Buddha; it downplays the importance of gods and emphasizes austerity and the individual's search for enlightenment.
stock exchange
A place where shares in a company or business enterprise are bought and sold.
Andean civilization culturally linked to Tiwanaku, perhaps beginning as a colony of Tiwanaku.
Political belief that extreme and seemingly random violence will destabilize a government and permit the terrorists to gain political advantage. Though an old technique, terrorism gained prominence in the late twentieth century with the growth of worldwide mass media that, through their news coverage, amplified public fears of terrorist acts.
submarine telegraph cables
Insulated copper cables laid along the bottom of a sea or ocean for telegraphic communication. The first short cable was laid across the English Channel in 1851; the first successful transatlantic cable was laid in 1866.
Western Front
A line of trenches and fortifications in World War I that stretched without a break from Switzerland to the North Sea. Scene of most of the fighting between Germany, on the one hand, and France and Britain, on the other.
Suleiman the Magnificent (1494-1566)
The most illustrious sultan of the Ottoman Empire (r. 1520-1566); also known as Suleiman Kanuni, "The Lawgiver. He significantly expanded the empire in the Balkans and eastern Mediterranean.
sub-Saharan Africa
Portion of the African continent lying south of the Sahara.
Swahili Coast
Past African shores of the Indian Ocean between the Horn of Africa and the Zambezi River; from the Arabicsawahil, meaning "shores.
A religion originating in ancient Iran with the prophet Zoroaster. It centered on a single benevolent deity—Ahuramazda—who engaged in a twelve-thousand-year struggle with demonic forces before prevailing and restoring a pristine world. Emphasizing truth-telling, purity, and reverence for nature, the religion demanded that humans choose sides in the struggle between good and evil. Those whose good conduct indicated their support for Ahuramazda would be rewarded in the afterlife. Others would be punished. The religion of the Achaemenid and Sasanid Persians, Zoroastrianism may have spread within their realms and influenced Judaism, Christianity, and other faiths.

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