• Social Studies Vocabulary list

    1973 oil crisis- began on October 17, 1973 when OPEC announced they would no  longer ship oil to nations that aided Israel in its conflict with Egypt


    38th parallel- latitude line that marks the separation between North and South Korea


    95 Thesis- document written by Martin Luther to explain his issues or grievances with the Church practices on October 31, 1517


    Absolutism- concept used by rulers and kings in which they governed without any opposition and had complete power to make decisions


    absolute location- the exact spot on Earth where something is found, often stated in latitude and longitude


    acid rain- a name given to the moisture that has reacted with sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides which can come from the burning of fossil fuels.


    Afghanistan- a landlocked, mountainous country located NW of India and E of Iran in Southwest Asia.


    African National Congress- founded in 1912 by South Africans to bring people of all races together to end apartheid


    African Union- organization of 53 African nations that work together to bring peace and security to the continent, encourage democracy, and work to secure human rights in Africa


    AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)- a disease of the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which makes the infected person vulnerable to other diseases and which can result in death


    air pollution- the human introduction into the atmosphere of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological material that cause harm or discomfort to humans or the environment.


    al-Qaeda- militant Sunni Islamist organization, which has been deemed terrorist by the United Nations and a number of UN countries


    Allied Forces- nations allied in opposition to the Central Powers in World War I or to the Axis Powers in World War II. The original Allies in WWI were British, France, Russia, Portugal, Japan, Italy


    Animist- a person who believes that spirits are found in natural objects and surroundings.  


    Annul- declare something invalid or have no value


    antiretroviral drugs (AVTs) – drugs that are able to slow down the progress of HIV-AIDS infections.


    anti-Semitism- hatred of the Jews simply because they practice the Jewish faith.


    apartheid- official policy of racial segregation in South Africa involving political, legal and economic discrimination against people of color


    Arab- a member of a Semitic people inhabiting Arabia and other countries of the Middle East.


    Arabian Gulf- another name for Persian Gulf.


    Arabian Sea- the NW arm of the Indian Ocean between India and Arabia.


    arable land- soil that is suitable for farming


    archipelago- a large group of islands


    arid- extremely dry because of little rain fall


    armistice- An agreement made by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting for a certain time; a truce


    Ashanti- a group of people found in the modern country of Ghana


    assimilation- giving up one’s own customs and adopting those of another culture


    Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)- an organization that was organized to help the member countries cooperate on economic matters, encourage cultural exchanges, and to help peace and stability in the region


    Atlas Mountain Range- a group of mountains that separate the coastal regions from the great Sahara Desert in northern Africa


    autocratic government system- a government in which the ruler has absolute power to do whatever he wishes and make and enforce whatever laws he chooses


    automobile emissions- the carbons and other chemicals that come from a cars engine


    AVTs- drugs that are able to slow down the progress of HIV-AIDS infections


    ayatollah- religious head of state in Iran


    balance of power- (economics)difference in value between nations imports and exports; (government)  the power to prevent situations or forces from taking over completely.


    Bantu- a member of any of a large number of linguistically related peoples of central and Southern Africa


    bartering- a system in which goods and services are exchanged instead of using cash as a payment in a traditional economy


    Bedouins- Nomadic herders in the deserts of Egypt and SW Asia


    Berlin Conference- meeting held in 1884 by European countries to divide African land and end slavery


    Bias- (see point of view)


    Bill of Rights- a document stating the basic freedoms that all citizens may enjoy


    birthrate- number of births per 1,000 people in a year

    Black Death- also know as Bubonic Plague; infectious disease spread by fleas leaving black & blue sores while killing up to 1/3 of European population during the Middle Ages. 


    Black September- Palestinian international terrorist organization that split from the PLO in 1974 and is responsible for many terrorist attacks


    Brahman- the name Hindus have given to the gods they believe are part of a supreme spirit


    brown clouds- thick large mass of water, vapor and air pollution formed in the atmosphere


    Buddha- the name given to the priest of the Buddhist religion; also known as “The Enlightened One”


    Buddhism- a belief that people could find peace if they could reject greed and desire


    Bureaucracy – a system of organization used by nonelected government officials and businesses


    cabinet- a group of advisors


    capitol goods- the factories, machines and technology that people use to make products to sell


    capitalism- an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and developed


    cartography- the art and science of mapmaking


    caste system- a system in which people’s position in a society is determined by their birth into a particular caste or group


    ceremonial emperor -a ruler with no power


    Chinese Communist Party- the name of the ruling party in China


    Cholera- an acute bacterial intestinal infection caused by ingestion of contaminated water or food; it causes severe watery diarrhea, dehydration, and possibly death


    Christianity- the belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God


    Central Powers- In World War II the alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary and other nations allied with them in opposing the Allied Forces


    civilian- a person who is a regular citizen in a country and is not a member of the military


    civil disobedience- the refusal to obey unfair laws even if the result was punishment


    civil war- a conflict between two or more groups within a country


    climate- the state of the atmosphere at a particular location over a long period of time; usually discussed in terms of temperature and rainfall


    coalition government- type of government ruled by a group of several different political parties that have to cooperate in order to make decisions


    Cold War- from the 1940s until 1991, the US and the Soviet Union built up their weapons and supported other nations in their conflicts; the US supported democratic nations; the Soviet Union supported Communist nations


    collective- all ownership and decision making is in the hands of the government


    collective farm- where people work together and share whatever they produce


    colonialism- the establishment of government in a foreign territory over different people


    colonize- to take over and settle another country


    command economy- an economy in which a government planning group makes most of the

    basic economic decisions for the workers


    commercial agriculture- a type of farming in which farmers produce food for sale


    communist- an economic structure or government that promotes the establishment of a classless society based on common ownership of products and property


    Commonwealth- a type of republic which people vote to make decisions with a head of state not a king.


    condensation- the process by which water changes from a gas into tiny liquid droplets


    confederation government system- a system in which the local government holds all of the power and the central government depends on the local government for its existence


    conflict diamonds- diamonds that are mined and put on the market to fund armed conflicts. Sometimes called Blood Diamonds


    Confucianism- a philosophy or ethical system based on good deeds and morality


    Congo River- beings in Central Africa near Lake Tanganyika, flows through central and west Africa through the largest rain forest in Africa for almost 3,000 miles before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean.  


    Conquistador-Spanish word for conquerors of the Americas


    constitutional monarchy- a government in which the powers of the ruler are restricted to those granted under the constitution or laws of the nation


    cooperatives- farms that are owned by the government; workers are told what produce they may produce


    coup- a sudden seizure of government power


    credit- the ability to borrow money


    crime against humanity- term of international law that refers to serious human rights violations


    culture- a learned system of shared beliefs and ways of doing things that guide a person’s daily behavior


    culture traits- elements of culture such as dress, food, or religious beliefs


    Cultural Revolution- a name given to China’s attempt in the 1960s to improve its economy by reorganizing its farms, businesses, and most of society


    currency- something that is used as a medium of exchange; money


    cyclones- violent storms with high winds and heavy rain in South Asia, similar to hurricanes in the Caribbean


    death rate- number of deaths per 1,000 people in a year


    deforestation- the destruction of trees and other vegetation


    delta- landform created by the deposit of sediment at the mouth of a river


    demilitarized zones/DMZ- -a buffer zone  that serves a barrier separating two countries, such as North and South Korea


    democracy – originates from the Greek word  “demos” which means people; another name for democratic government system


    democratic government system- a political system in which the people play a much greater role in deciding who the rulers are and what decisions are made


    Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire)- large country in central Africa with a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean


    desalination- the process of removing salt and other chemicals from the sea water


    desertification- the process of land becoming like a desert, due to deforestation and drought


    developing countries- countries in different stages of moving toward development


    dharma- in Hinduism, a moral duty


    Diaspora- any people or ethnic group that must leave their homeland, and as a result is dispersed throughout other parts of the world


    dictator- one who rules a country with complete authority


    Diet (the) - a two- house legislature that is elected by the Japanese people


    diffusion- the movement of ideas or behaviors from one cultural region to another


    district council- a group elected or appointed as a legislative body 


    Divine Rights Theory- (Divine Right of Kings) Theory used by kings and emperors as a reason to rule with absolute power;   rulers get their power from God


    dominion- having control or the exercise of control over another country


    Domino Theory- a term meaning if one country fell to communism, all the others nearby would fall as well


    drip irrigation- a system, using computers that measures out how much water each plant receives


    drought- an extended period of time without rainfall 


    dowry- sum of money paid by wife’s family to the husband once married


    Economics- the study of how people chose to use scarce resources (natural, human, capital) to produce and distribute goods.


    economic systems- describe how countries make decisions about how to use scarce productive resources


    Egypt- a large North African country located along the banks of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean coast


    Eightfold Path- the eight rules for the conduct a person practicing the Buddhist religion was to follow during his or her lifetime


    embargo- a trade barrier in which one country announces that it will no longer trade with another country in order to isolate and cause problems with that country’s economy


    emperor- the male ruler of an empire


    entrepreneur- creative, original thinkers who are willing to take risks to create new businesses and products


    ethnic group- a group of people who share cultural ideas and beliefs that have been a part of their community for generations


    ethnocentrism- seeing differences in another culture as inferior


    Euphrates River- one of the longest rivers of Southwest Asia which begins in Turkey and flows through Syria and Iraq


    exchange rate- a system of changing from one type of currency (money) to another


    exile- people forced to leave their country due to war, or punitive reasons.


    exports- products a country sells to other countries


    extinction- a dying out of a species or plants or animals


    famine- extreme and general scarcity of food


    federal government system- a political system in which power is shared between the national and local governments, including executive, legislative and judicial branches


    federal republic- government in which elected individuals made decisions for the people


    Five Pillars of Islam- five things Muslims must do in their practice of Islam, during their lifetime


    fossil water- water that has been underground for centuries


    four main castes- the division of the caste system in the Hindu religion


    Four Noble Truths- the four phases of the Buddhist religion


    free enterprise- a business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government and interference.


    Ganges Action Plan- a plan begun in 1985 to try and clean up the Ganges River


    Gaza Strip- a coastal region of the southeastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea bordering Israel and Egypt


    genocide- systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political or ethnic group


    geography- the study of Earth’s physical and cultural features


    Ghandi/ Mahatma- a name given to Mohandas K. Ghandi, a politician in India, who was instrumental in helping India gain its freedom from British colonial rule; means “Great Soul”


    global warming- a slow increase in Earth’s average temperature


    globalization- process in which connections around the world increase and cultures around the world share similar practices


    Golden Rule of Behavior- a belief from the religion of Confucianism that “What you do not like when done unto yourself, do not unto others”


    Grand Canal- one of the world’s oldest and longest canal systems (built more than 2,000 years ago) connecting the Yangtze and Huang rivers


    Great Leap Forward- a name given to China’s attempt in the 1950s to reorganize its economy


    Green Line- the place where the cultivated land ends and the desert begins


    Green Revolution- a name given to the time period in India in the 1960s when they tried to modernize their agricultural system by introducing new types of seeds and grains, and fertilizer and pesticides were made available


    Griots- West African storytellers who pass on the oral histories of their tribes or people


    gross domestic product (GDP)- the value of al the goods and services produced within a nation in a given year


    gross national product- value of all goods and services that a country produces in one year within or outside the country


    guerilla- soldier that uses hit and run tactics when fighting instead of traditional fighting tactics


    hajj- Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca


    Hamas- Militant Palestinian Islamic movement. The group is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the creation of a Palestinian Islamic state


    hereditary monarchy- the government is led by a king who comes from a family that has ruled the country for several generations


    Hezbollah- an organization of militant Shiite Muslims based in Lebanon


    Hinduism- the worship of many gods that are a part of a supreme spirit named Brahman

    Hitler, Adolf- chancellor of NAZI Germany from 1933-1945 

    Ho Chi Minh- Vietnamese leader and first president of North Vietnam (1954-1969). His army was victorious in the French Indochina War (1946-1954), and he later led North Vietnam's struggle to defeat the U.S.-supported government in South Vietnam


    Holocaust- a time when over six million Jews were killed in concentration camps set up by Germany


    human capital- the knowledge and skills that make it possible for workers to earn a living producing goods or services


    human geography- the study of people, past or present


    human-environment interaction- relationship between people and the environment


    human resources- the people who work to produce goods and services


    humanism- a key intellectual idea within the Renaissance; study of history, philosophy, poetry to find idea of being human


    hydroelectric power- electricity produced from the energy of running water


    Indulgence- release from all or part of the punishment for sin;


    immigrant- person who arrives from another country


    imperialism- control by one country over another country’s government, trade and culture


    imports- products a country buys from other countries


    income- the monetary payment received for goods or services, or from other sources, as rents or investments


    Indian National Congress- a two-house legislature made up of representatives elected from all across the country of India


    industrialized countries- countries that rely more on industry than agriculture


    inflation- the rising of prices or value of items without growing ability to make up the difference


    interdependence- depending on another country for resources or goods and services


    invest- to put money to use in something offering potential profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value


    Iran- west of Afghanistan; one of the largest countries in SW Asia


    Iraq- a country west of Iran which has the advantage of having two of the largest rivers in the region, the Tigris and the Euphrates


    irrigation- providing water for crops in a dry area


    Islam- the religious faith of Muslims, based on the words and religious system founded by the prophet Muhammad


    Israel- a republic in SW Asia, on the Mediterranean Sea; created in 1948 by the United Nations as a home to the Jewish people of the world


    Jordan River- a smaller but important river that begins in the southern end of the Sea of Galilee and flows into the Dead Sea


    Judaism- a religious group of Jews who believe in one God


    Kalahari Desert- a great desert located in the southern part of Africa


    kami- the divine spirit that followers of the Shinto’s religion believe live in nature; means superior in Japanese language


    Karma- the belief that ones actions determine ones fate


    Kenya- a country located along the eastern coast of Africa bordering the Indian Ocean


    Klerk, F. W. de- the South African president who in 1990 freed Nelson Mandela from prison after he had served 27 years


    Kurds- a distinct ethnic group that lives in the mountainous areas where Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq come together


    laissez-faire- a French phrase that means to allow them to do as they please


    Lake Tanganyika- one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world and one of the deepest lakes in the world, located in the Great Rift Valley


    landforms- the shapes of land on Earth’s surface


    Law of Return- law in Israel stating that Jews from any country can automatically have citizenship in Israel


    legislature- section of government  that makes and carries out the laws of the country


    levee- bank built up near a river to prevent flooding


    literacy rate- percentage of people who can read and write in a country


    loess- another name for the silt or sediment that is deposited along a rivers path, creating rich soil for famers


    Long March- the name given to the 6000 mile journey that Mao Zedong and his followers took to avoid capture by the Chinese government


    MacArthur Constitution- a name given to the constitution that was written by Douglas MacArthur (the American commander of the occupation forces) after World War II for Japan


    MacArthur, General Douglas- the American commander given the job of rebuilding Japan after World War II


    malaria- a tropical disease spread by mosquitoes


    mandate- former territories of defeated World War I countries that were placed under the control of winning countries after the war


    Mandela, Nelson- South African statesman who fought against apartheid and was released from prison to become the nation’s first democratically elected president in 1994


    market- anywhere sellers exchange goods and services


    market economy- an economy in which a society’s economic decisions are made by individuals who decide what to produce and what to buy


    Marxism- political, economic and social principles and policies advocated by Karl Marx, later used as a framework for communism


    Mau Mau- Kenyan secret society formed to fight British rule


    Mercantilism- economic system used in 17th century; nation’s wealth directly tied to supply of gold and silver in treasury.


    Mercenaries- soldiers who sell their abilities just for money


    micro-credit industry- the extension of very small loans to the unemployed and to others living in poverty that are not considered a good financial risk


    Middle Passage-the  2nd section of the triangular trade or Trans-Atlantic Slave trade; which transported slaves to the Americas in exchange for finished goods from European nations.


    Middle Way (the)- the goals that were to be accomplished by following what Buddha called the Eightfold Path (eight rules for conduct) in the religion of Buddhism


    mila- local beliefs the Swahili follow; for example, spirits can possess a person and there is a close link between their religious beliefs and the practice of medicine and healing


    mineral deposits- a mass of naturally occurring mineral material, usually of economic value; such as lead, zinc, gold, or silver


    mineral resources- a natural resource such as coal, iron ore, gold, or silver that are of economic value


    Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI)- a group that helps companies decide what products will sell best on the global market


    mixed economy- an economy that has characteristics of both market and command economic systems


    monarchy- a government where a king and his advisors make most of the decisions; it is a type of unitary government


    monotheism- belief in only one god


    monsoon- a seasonal prevailing wind, lasting several months, bringing heavy rains often causing great hardships for those living in the area due to flooding


    mosques- Islamic houses of worship


    Muhammad- an Arab prophet who founded Islam


    multicultural- a mixture of different cultures within the same country or community


    Muslim- a name given to the followers of the Islam religion


    Muslim League- a group organized in 1855 in an effort to put more power into the hands of Indians


    National People’s Congress- a group of people elected every five years by a vote of the Chinese people


    nationalism- the loyalty to a group with whom one shares a common history, culture and or religion


    nationalist movements- movements that seek independence for the people in the country


    natural resource- something that is in or supplied by our natural environment and can be consumed or used by people


    New Imperialism- refers to countries competing for land


    Nile River- world’s longest river, in northeastern Africa


    Niger River- originating in western Africa, it is the third largest river in Africa, flowing from Guinea over 2600 miles to the African coast


    Nigeria- a large nation on the coast of West Africa that has nearly every kind of habitat found in Africa


    Nile River- the longest river in the world which begins in the central mountains of Africa, runs through Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt and flows northward over 4000 miles until it reaches the Mediterranean Sea at Alexandria, Egypt


    Nirvana- name given to reaching a state of perfect peace in the religion of Buddhism


    nomads- people who move from place to place usually traveling by camel, looking for water or food


    nonrenewable resources- resources such as coal and oil, that cannot be replaced by Earth’s natural processes


    non-violence- a lack of violence


    oasis- a small place where trees are able to grow and where people can live with grazing animals and a few crops


    oil- one of the most important and valuable fossil fuels


    oligarchy government system- a system in which a political party or other small group takes over a government and makes all of the major decisions; government by the few


    OPEC/ Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries – group founded to set oil prices and policies around the world


    Operation Iraqi Freedom- an invasion led by the United States in 2003 to stop the development of nuclear weapons by Iraq


    opportunity cost- the opportunity cost of a choice is the value of the best alternative given up. It is the most valuable alternative that you don’t choose when you make a decision


    Organization of African Unity (OAU)- an organization founded in 1963 that tries to promote cooperation among African countries


    Ottoman Empire- an empire that controlled much of the Middle East or SW Asia from the 1300s until the end of World War I


    outsourcing- a company hires workers in another country for lower wages than they would have to pay workers from within the company’s home country


    Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) – political and paramilitary organization regarded by Arab states as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people


    Pan African movement- the desire for people of African descent, no matter where they lived in the world, to think of Africa as a homeland


    pandemic- large scale epidemic


    parliament- the name given to the group of people elected to run a parliamentary system of government


    parliamentary democratic government- a democratic form of government in which the people vote for those who represent the political party they feel best represents their views of how the government should operate 


    patron- a person or group that pays to complete jobs or tasks


    peninsula- a body of land that is surrounded by water on three sides


    per capita (GDP)- the amount of goods and services produced compared to the number of people


    Persian Gulf- one of the main shipping routes for oil to be shipped out from the rich fields of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran and other countries that line its shores; also known as Arabian Gulf


    Persian Gulf War/Operation Desert Storm a military force used to liberate Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion in 1991; also called Operation Desert Storm


    Persians- people who live in the modern country of Iran 


    Perspective- science of vision; used in art to create 3D on 2D surfaces; point of view


    Plantations- large farms


    Point of View- also called perspective; the angle seen by the person explaining;


    Political Bureau of the Communist Party- a small group of men who make all of the decisions on how the Chinese government and life in that country should be organized


    population density- the average number of people living in within a set area


    predestination- concept by John Calvin which said God had already determined who was saved and who was not.  


    Primary sources- original media, artifacts, and information which is recorded during the time period or event being observed  


    premier- a name given to a chief administrator of a government


    president- the chief executive of a government


    presidential form of democratic government- sometimes called a congressional form of government; in this type of government a president is chosen to be the leader


    prime minister- the name given to the head of government; chief executive of a parliamentary democracy


    production process- these are the steps that bring resources together to make goods and services


    productive resources- the use of natural, human and capital to produce goods and services that you expect to sell for a price high enough to cover production costs


    propaganda- systematic messages aimed to influence the opinions, beliefs, or emotions of a group


    protective tariff-  a tax on foreign goods that protects local manufacturers from competition coming from cheap goods made in another country


    qanats- underground tunnels in SW Asia that bring water from the hills to dry plains


    quota- a limit on the number of goods or services that may be imported


    Quran- the holy book of the Islam religion


    race- a group of people who share inherited physical or biological traits


    racism- belief that one race is better than another


    rainforest- areas with hot, humid, tropical climates and dense, evergreen forests with trees hundreds of feet tall


    Renaissance- a French word meaning “rebirth”; political, social, and economic growth of Europe, beginning in Italy, to return to status of Roman/Greek culture.


    rate of return- the gain or loss of an investment over a specified period, expressed as a percentage increase of the initial investment cost


    Red Army- a name given to the communist army in the Republic of China


    Red Guard- the name of the new army of young people Mao Zedong used to enforce his policies in the 1960s


    rebels- soldiers fighting against their country’s government


    refugees- people who have to leave their homes as the result of war


    reincarnation- a belief that the soul does not die with the body, but enters the body of another being, either a person or an animal


    relative location- the position of a place in relation to another place


    religious group- a group with a belief system in a god or gods, with a specific set of rituals and literature


    reparations- the payment for damages done to property


    republic- a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote


    Republic of Sudan- located just south of Egypt in southeastern Africa, Sudan is the largest country in Africa and also the largest among the countries that make up the Arab world


    respiratory disease- those diseases of the lungs, bronchial tubes, and trachea in the human body


    rift- long, deep valleys with mountains or plateaus on either sides


    Ring of Fire- large numbers of earthquakes and volcano eruptions occurring in the basin of the Pacific Ocean


    robotics- using mechanical techniques with robots to assemble goods or products


    Rub Al-Khali- a desert in southern Saudia Arabia that means “empty quarter”


    Sahara Desert- the largest desert on planet Earth covering over 3.5 million square miles, located in North Africa


    Sahel- a dry, semi-arid region south of the Sahara Desert covering almost 1,800,000 square miles that is slowly turning into desert land. It serves as a transition region between the harsh desert to the north and the grasslands and rain forest to the south and stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. The word Sahel means “border” or “margin”


    Saudia Arabia- the largest country of the Arabian Peninsula in SW Asia; controlled by a monarchy


    savanna- a vast area of both grassland and more tropical habitats in the middle of Africa closer to the equator


    savings- the money that you have not spent after buying things you want

    scarcity- because resources are limited you can’t have everything you want. Because of scarcity people must make choices


    Scramble for Africa- rapid growth of European colonies in Africa in the 19th century


    secular- a word meaning it favors no special religion


    sect- a smaller group within a religion that has different views from the majority of people of the religion


    sediment- the topsoil, silt and minerals from the mountains that is gradually spread along the path of a river enriching the farmland and creating a large, fertile delta at the mouth of a river


    self-sufficient- sufficient means a person or nation is not dependent on others to provide the goods and services they want/need


    sepoy- an Indian soldier in the British army


    Shia Muslims- the second largest denomination of Islam


    Shintoism- the earliest religion in Japan which means “way of the gods”


    silt- rich topsoil, carried by floodwaters


    Social Studies- usually 5 subjects from the “humanities” which determine how a society grows and lives; Geography, Economics, Culture, History,  and Civics & Government, 


    South Africa- a country located at the very southern tip of the African continent that is mostly a broad plateau with large stretches of grasslands in the interior




    Special Economic Zones- a name given to those areas that were set up along the coastal areas to try to encourage foreign companies to do business with China



    specialization- those products a country makes best and that are in demand on the world market


    specialize- to train or devote oneself to a particular area or study or occupation


    stalemate-  position where no progress can be made by any side involved in a conflict


    Strait of Hormuz- a very narrow waterway in which ships must navigate to and from the Persian Gulf


    Subcontinent- a large landmass that is a distinct part of another continent


    subsistence farming/agriculture- growing food to provide for sustenance of your family


    Sudan- also called Republic of Sudan, the largest country in Africa, located in the northeastern part of the continent


    Suez Canal- a canal in Egypt that allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without the need of traveling around the southern tip of Africa


    Sunni Muslims- the largest denomination of Islam


    Super Power- A superpower is a state with a leading position in the international system and the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests


    Swahili- a people and culture found on the coast of east Africa


    Syrian Desert- a very large desert shared between Syria and Iraq


    Taliban- a radical Muslim government of Afghanistan


    tariff- a tax placed on goods when they are brought into one country from another country


    theocracy- a government in which God is seen as the true leader and religious leaders serve as the political leaders


    third- world countries- developing countries that lack economic opportunities


    Tiananmen Square- a large plaza in central Beijing, China: noted esp. as the site of major student demonstrations in 1989 suppressed by the government


    Tigris River- river that begins in Turkey and flows through Iraq


    Time- unit of measurement which marks one moment from another  


    trade- the voluntary exchange of goods and services among people and countries


    trade barriers- anything that slows down or prevents one country from exchanging goods with another


    trade off- getting less of one thing in order to get more of something else


    tradition- something that has been passed down in a culture form one generation to the next


    traditional economy- an economy in which most of the economic decisions that are made are based on custom and on the habit of how such decisions were made in the past


    triangular trade- 3 section pattern of commerce which created the global economy during the 1500’s until the 1800’s.  Also known as Transatlantic Slave Trade


    tributary- any smaller stream of river that flows into a larger stream or river


    Tuareg- a group whose name means “free men” as their nomadic way of life has not tied them down to one area


    Turkey- a country located to the north and west of Iraq, where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers begin


    typhoon- a tropical storm


    underground aquifers- layers of underground rock where water runoff from rains and streams is trapped


    unitary government system- local governments such as state or county systems may have some power, but they are under the control of the central government


    United Nations- an international organization formed after World War II whose aims are to facilitate cooperation in international law and international security


    uranium- element that is an essential part of  nuclear weapons


    urban- closeness of people and resources in a define space;  city life


    value per capita- a phrase meaning per person


    Vantage Point- See point of view


    Vedas (also referred to as The Book of Knowledge)- a book containing prayers and rituals of the Hindu religion 


    Vernacular- language spoken or written by a specific culture or region; non Latin


    Vietcong-  A member of the communist guerrilla movement in Vietnam that fought the South Vietnamese government forces 1954–75 with the support of the North Vietnamese army and opposed the South Vietnamese and US forces in the Vietnam War


    Vietminh League- a group that had Vietnamese independence as its goal


    Vietnamization- when the South Vietnamese took on more of a combat role during the Vietnam War


    voluntary trade- both parties in the transaction see that they will be able to gain something from the exchange; ideally there is no government restriction or regulation, either between individuals or between countries


    water pollution- contamination of water supplies due to chemicals, fertilizer, sewage and other garbage


    water treatment facilities- a process of removing contaminants from waste water


    westernize- to force people of Asia or Africa, for instance to adopt the culture and/or politics


    witchcraft- magic used by supernatural beings


    Yalta Agreement- an agreement signed by Germany and Japan after World War II that called for allied countries to temporarily occupy the lands where their troops were when the war ended


    Zedong, Mao- a founder of the Chinese Communist Party (1921), he led the Long March (1934-1935) and proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949


    Zionism- international movement originally for the establishment of a Jewish national or religious community in Palestine and later for the support of modern Israel


    Zionists- a group who felt the world’s Jews deserved to return to a homeland in Zion