World History 1st Semester Study Guide

Paleolithic Age
These were nomadic people, they moved around for food, water and shelter. Their main form of religion was animism, which is the belief of animal spirits (found cave rock paintings). From this time period, there are also statues of pregnant womean/earth mother goddess. The roles of women was to cook/care for the children, and the men farmed/hunted. Men and women were more or less considered equal.
Neolithic Age
This time period existed during the Agricultural Revolution, or the development of farming and shift from hunting, and also included the domestication of animals. Settled villages led to multi-community interaction and the making of beer and bread. Women’s roles were to cook/care for the children, men farmed/hunted. The balance between men and women was not equal; men were considered superior.
8 Components of Civilization
Cities, organized governments, complex religions, job specialization, social classes, art and architecture, public works, writing
Tigris and Euphrates
These are the names of the rivers that run through the Middle East and ancient Mesopotamia.
Sumerians
This people believed in polytheism, or the belief in many Gods. Their social classes included kings, landlords, priests, and merchants, and slaves. They are credited with inventing the wheel, plow, sail, and ziggurat. This people was the first ever city-state, and was home to Hammurabi. They were attacked by the Assyrians and taken over.
Cuneiform
This is the system of writing used by the Sumerians under Hammurabi’s rule.
Sargon of Akkad
This man defeated the Sumerians with his Assyrian army, and resulted in the spread of culture. He created the first empire, thus was the first emperor.
Hummurabi
This man was a great ruler of the Babylonian empire and created the first code of laws, which said “An eye for an eye”. He helped unify diverse groups, and collected existing rules and judgments.
Upper Egypt
This is an area in South (higher elevation, Nile River runs backwards) Egypt on a skinny strip of land along the Nile.
Lower Egypt
This area exists in northern Egypt and includes the Nile delta region, which is a broad, marshy, triangular area and deposits silt at the mouth. The delta is caused because the Nile river split and boulders turned the river into churning rapids. This kingdom ususally was stronger than the other Egyptian kingdom.
Rosetta Stone
This was a stone found in Egypt that had multiple languages on it which helped Egyptologists understand hieroglyphics from Greek.
Egypt’s Government
This was a theocracy, or rule based on religious authority. The “king” was considered a god.
Pharaohs
These people were regarded like Gods, splendid and powerful. They stood at the conter of religion and government. They even were considered to rule after death, mummified in a pyramid.
Hieroglyphs
These were the symbols used in multiple ancient civilizations including Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Unique Indus cities
Some of these include Kalibangan, Mohenjo-Daro, and Harrapa.
Harrapan
This was the written language of the Indus people. It is impossible to decipher, and has roughly 400 symbols.
Indus Religion
This was probably a theocracy, and the people of this civilization prayed for a good harvest and safety from floods. They believed in Shiva, or the mother goddess, reincarnation, and the worship of the cow. It had elements that would one day be incoroporated into Hinduism and Buddism.
The Decline of the Indus River Valley Civilization
This happened as a result of the decline of building quality and several other factors. Many of this civilization’s great cities fell apart due to earthquakes.
The Shang Dynasty
This was the first dynasty of China, and the first family of China to leave written records. The first (ever) emperor was Shi Huangdi. They built elaborate palaces and tombs and surrounded the city with massive walls because of attacks.
The Zhou Dynasty
This was the second Chinese dynasty which came to be after their overthrow of the Shang dynasty.
Mandate of Heaven
This is the Chinese “divine approval” that most simply put is the authority of the emperor because heaven chose him as such.
China’s Dynastic Cycle
This was a cycle in China that consisted of an overthrow of government leading to the creation of a new dynasty. The dynasty would then create all sorts of reforms and be highly productive. However, after a while, the dynasty would soon become corrupt and nonproductive, and someone else would overthrow and thus the cycle would begin again.
China’s Silk Roads
This was a system of caravan roads across central Asia, on which traders carried silk and other goods.
Greece’s Geography
This was very mountainous and difficult to travel through. Because of this, it lead to the creation of many independent city-states.
Greece’s Government
This varied from city-state to city-state, but it consisted mostly of democracies and monarchies.
Aristocracy
This is a style of government that is ruled by small noble, land owning families.
Oligarchy
This is a style of government that is ruled by a few powerful people.
Democracy
This is a style of government that is rule of the people, by the people, in which representatives are elected and chosen by the people.
Philosophers
These were “great thinkers,” and were determined to seek the truth.
Sophists
This is another word for philosopher. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle all were these.
Socrates
This man was one of Greece’s sophists. He is most known for his interests in education and reforming the way things were taught.
Plato
This was one of Greece’s sophists who is best known for questioning leadership and government.
Aristotle
This was one of Greece’s sophists who is best known for his progress in science, more particularly the physical world.
Direct Democracy
This was a form of government in which citizens rule directly and not through representatives.
Athenian Culture
This culture was very artistic and intellectual. It lead to the creation of some of the most fundamental forms of many governments today.
The Persian Wars
These were wars between Greece and Persia in which all of the city-states of Greece united and fought against the invasion, eventually leading to Greece’s victory.
Periclean Age
This was the time in Greece between the Persian Wars and the death of Periclese. This was considered the short but glorious Golden Age of Athens.
Spartan Government
This government was built in a strong military state with two kings. They were very invasion-focused, and had strict military recquirements for boys as young as 8 years old.
Peloponnesian War
This was a war between Sparta and Athens. Although Athens had a strong navy, Sparta had a strong military, and after several battles beat Athens. Although Sparta won, Athens was still culturally dominant.
Alexander the Great
This man was the son of Phillip II, king of Macedonia. He had control of Macedonia, Greece, Persia, and more, and died of hypothermia after a 13-year-conquering on his return to Macedonia.
Hellenistic Culture
This was a culture that emerged due the the blending of Egyptian, Persian, and Indian influences
Rome’s Geography
This city was built on 7 hills in the center of Italy, between the Alps and Italy’s southern tip.
Rome’s Founding
According to legend, the two twin brothers Romulus and Remus were raised by wolves and grew up in what would soon become a prominent city.
Rome’s Influence
This came from Greek and the Etruscans.
Roman Religion
This consisted of powerful spirits (Numina), and Lares were the guardian spirits of each family. It was highly influenced by the Greeks.
Republic
This was a form of government which was formed after a certain people had had a bad experience with kings and wanted nothing of them. It includes electing one person to speak for all.
Patricians
These were the elite, wealthy landlords of Rome, and were the only people who could become Senators or Consuls.
Plebeians
This was the social class in Rome who was basically those who remained once one removed the rich landlords (figuretively, not literally). They could not be Senators or Consuls, but had representation in the form of Tribunes, who did not have as much power but was unique in that they had veto powers that the Patricians did not.
Consuls
These were two Roman officials who commanded the army and directed government. They had only one year terms, and one could veto the other
Roman Education
This was based off of the ideas of Greek philosophers.
Senate
This was the aristocratic branch of Roman government. It had legislative and administrative functions.
Tribunes
These were the representatives of the Plebeians, protected Plebeians from unfair acts of Patrician officials.
Punic Wars
These were three wars between Rome and Carthage which resulted in Rome’s triumph.
This is a conflict between two groups within the same country.
Julius Caesar
This man was a Roman military leader who ruled as a triumvirate and captured land. He became a self-proclaimed dictator-for-life. He was murdered soon afterwards.
Octavian
This man was the first emperor of Rome. He got the title of Augustus, and he was the grandnephew of Julius Caesar. His rule invoked the Pax Romana.
Rome’s Civil War
This occured as a result of Rome’s two leaders disagreeing. Julius Caesar was leading his army in present-day France, while Pompeii ruled back in Rome. Julius decided that Pompeii was becoming too powerful, so he attacked him.
Pax Romana
This was a period of peace in Rome in which people could travel along roads relatively safely and trade flourished.
Changes in Roman Government
Some of these included an efficient government and able rulers. Also, a civil service was founded, and existed even after the death of Augustus Caesar.
Rome’s Law and Economy
Some of these aspects included the importance of agriculture; 90% of people farmed. It also had a vast trading network. However, there was a large gap between poor and rich, and slaves were in existance there. Also, this society had so grown that it was having difficulty providing food for all of the people within its borders. However, legally, some changes were being made, including the deciding of a citizen’s right to a fair trial and being “innocent until proven guilty.”
Aquaducts
This was one of Rome’s most successful engineering feats which brought water from rivers and lakes into cities through a complex piping system.
Roman Art
Some of these included great temples, and frescoes, which were paintings made on damp plaster.
Roman Writing
Some of these icluded Virgil’s aeneid and the first writings of the Bible.
Decline of the Roman Empire
Some contributing factors of this include the speaking of Greek in the east and the speaking of Latin in the west, as well as the East’s having better trade and being overall wealthier. Eventually, the two sides split, which lead to flourishing in the East and an even worse situation in the West.
Germanic Invasions
This was a contributing factor to the fall of Rome. The Huns also lead to its downfall.
Confucianism
This religion/philosophy was founded by Confucius. It’s holy text is the Analects (five classics), and one of their beliefs is in social order, harmony, and good government based on strong family relationships.
Daoism
This religion/philosophy was founded by Laozi, who believed natural order is more important than social order, a universal force guides all things, and humans should live simply and in harmony with nature.
Hinduism
This religion/philosophy believes in gods named Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Their famous texts are Vedas and Puranas, and in this religion/philosophy, the Brahman is the priest. They believe the soul never dies, it’s continuously reborn though a process called reincarnation. They also believe that pPeople achieve happiness and enlightenment after they free themselves from earthly desires. Freedom comes from a life of worship, knowledge, and virtuous acts.
Buddhism
This religion/philosophy was founded by Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Buddha, and they have many monks and nuns. A core belief is that people achieve complete peace and happiness (Nirvana) by eliminating their attachment to worldly things. Achieved by: right views, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.
Islam
This religion/philosophy was founded by Muhammad, and their sacred book is the Qur’an, a holy book which tells how to achieve salvation by following the 5 pillars of Islam and living a just life. The Pillars are faith, prayer, charity to the poor, fasting during Ramadan, and if financially and physically capable, making a pilgrimage to Mecca sometime in a follower’s lifetime.
Christianity
This religion/philosophy was founded by Jesus Christ, and it believes in one God that was the father of Jesus and watches over and cares for people. Another belief is that Jesus Christ died to save humanity from their sins, and his death and resurrection made eternal life possible for others.
Judaism
This religion/philosophy believes in one God(Yahweh), and Abraham is its founder. Its holy text is the Hebrew bible (Torah). A key belief is in only one God who loves and protects people, but also holds people accountable for sins, people serve God by studying the Torah and living by its teachings.
Legalism
This religion/philosophy was founded by Hanfeizi and Lisi, who believed a highly efficient and powerful government would restore society. Punishments are used to maintain social order. Rulers provide rewards for good actions.
Shintoism
This religion/philosophy was in Japan’ clans and worshipped thousands of local gods. Their holy text is the “Way of the Gods” based on respect for forces of nature and worship of ancestors.
Islam Caliphates
These occured when Muhammad died and he had no successor, so relatives were chosen to replace him. After their “coincidential” deaths, a civil war broke out because some believed that the next successor had to be a direct descendant, others said as long as the person was rightly guided, they could be a caliph (ruler of Muslims)
Shi’a
These people thought that the caliph must be a descendent of the prophet Muhammad
Sunni
These people did not resist Umayyads and believed 1st caliphs were rightly guided
Sufi
These people were Islamic and wanted a life of poverty
Charlemagne
This man was the son of Pepin the Short, and was left the Frankish kingdom. He built a great empire and conquered lots of land and spread Christianity. He strengthened royal power by limiting the authority of the nobles. He also encouraged learning by opening a palace school. He was crowned emperor by Pope Leo ll, joining of Germanic power, the Church, and heritage of the Roman Empire. He tried to revive the old Greek and Roman cultures, but failed. When he died, his land was split into thirds through the Treaty of Verdun.
Charles Martel
This man was the mayor of Charlemagne’s palace in 719; he had more power than the king. He also extended Frankish reign, as well as defeating Muslim raiders from Spain at the Battle of Tours, which was significant for Christian Europeans.
The spreading of the Church
The Church converted many Germanic people to Christianity. The fear of Muslim invaders converted most people, who were converted by Missionaries, who were people who traveled around spreading religions.
Monastic Culture
The Church built religious communities called monasteries. Monks gave up their possessions and evoked their lives to serving God. Women (nuns) lived in convents.
The Purpose of Feudalism
Kings wanted a large amount of land to own, so Lords would live on their large manors which served as their own self-sufficient towns, and the kings provided protection to the Lords in exchange for loyalty and services. The Lords had mini-armies of knights, and they would give fiefs (land) to vassals, who would have serfs work the land.
Vassals
These were people who received a fief
Fief
This was granted land from a lord to a vassal.
Serfs
These were people who could not lawfully leave the land where they were born. They tended to the lord’s land/estate.
Romantic View
This is one of the knight’s codes of chivalry. It told of a knight’s duty to his lady.
Troubadours
These were traveling poet-musicians at castles and courts of Europe who would sing to women about their loves.
Chivalry
This was a complex set of ideals, demanding a knight fight bravely for his three masters- his earthly feudal lord, the Heavenly Lord, and his chosen lady. The ideal knight was brace, loyal, and courteous.
The Societal Role of Knights
Knights were supposed to protect the weak and the poor.
Tournament
These were mock battles, combined recreation with combat training. Two knights charge at each other in an attack on horse, then proceed to knock each other off and fight on the ground with swords until one “triumphs.”
William the Conquerer
This man was from Normandy, and through him France invaded England and took control.
Henry II
This man married Eleanor of Aquitane, gaining French land through the marriage
Magna Carta
This was a document which limited the power of the king and guaranteed no taxation without representation, a jury trial, and the protection of citizens’ rights.
Parliament
This was formed from high class citizens of every country forming a legislative branch that limited the royal power.
Estates Generals
These were commoners who helped limit the power of nobles in France.
The Purpose of the Crusades
The goal was to take over the Holy Land (Jerusale/Palestine). Muslims controlled Palestine, and threatened Constantinople: this was also an opportunity to get rid of quarrelsome knights.
Outcomes of the Crusades
The first Crusade captured a narrow strip of land and made four feudal states, which were taken over by Muslim attacks. The second tried to recapture the land and failed. The Third tried to recapture Jerusalem, but Richard the Lion-hearted made a truce with Saladin, and Jerusalem remained under Muslim control, but unarmed Christians could visit. The Fourth Crusade totally failed.
Guilds
These were organizations made up of people from the same business or trade; they created a standard for prices, quality and working conditions.
Commercial Revolution
After the Crusades, trade was expanded to farther distances and more products. Local markets began to meet the needs of each community, and “letters of credit” between merchants eliminated the need to carry large amounts of cash and it simplified trading. Towns attracted trade and grew into cities; the culture of cities helped to decrease the use of feudalism.
Bubonic Plague
This was a disease that came from Asia and resulted in one third of Europe’s death. It was caused by flees on rats that spread when traders and merchants traveled. It caused purple and black spots on the skin.
Outcome of the Bubonic Plague
Some results included populations falling, trade declining, prices rising, peasants demanded money and when they didn’t get it they revolted, and Jews (ever the scapegoats) were blamed for bringing the plague. The Church suffered a loss of prestige; priests abandoned their duties.
Gothic Architecture
Some main features include 1.) Focus on light and high arched ceilings 2.) Cathedrals had beautiful colored stained glass windows illustrating bible scenes 3.) Flying buttresses transferred weight to the thick exterior walls
The Hundred Years War
This was a war between England and France in which they battled for more than 100 years on French land. Edward lll launched a fight for the French throne. The French drove the English out of France, except for the port city of Calais. The outcome was a feeling of nationalism occurred in England and France, and this marked a turning point in the world’s history of war, because they began making long distance weapons such as cannons and longbows. Power and prestige of French monarchs increased. The English suffered (War of the Roses) in which nobles fought for the throne. This marked the end of the Middle Ages.
Joan of Arc
This was a teenage French peasant girl named Joan felt moved by God to rescue France from its English conquerors. She almost turned it around, but she ended up being burned at the stake and called a heretic.

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