AP WORLD HISTORY
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

Globalization – the economic, political, and cultural integration and interaction of all parts of the world brought about by increasing trade, travel, and technology

Population – all of the people OR total of such people inhabiting a specified area

Population density – the number of inhabitants per unit geographical region

Demography – the study of the characteristics of human populations, as size, growth, density, distribution, and vital statistics

Migration – the act of moving from one country or region and settling in another; to change location periodically/seasonally

Diaspora – description of communities of a given ethnic group living outside their homeland

Urban/urbanization – pertaining to, or located in, or constituting a city; process of making or developing a city

Rural – of or pertaining to the country or people of the country as opposed to the city or people of the city; of or relating to agricultural, farming

Society/social – totality of social relationships among people; a group of people broadly distinguished from others by mutual interests, common cultures

Culture/cultural – socially transmitted patterns of action and expression; arts, beliefs, knowledge, technology

Economic/economical – of or pertaining to the production, development, and management of material wealth

Political – of, pertaining to, or dealing with the study, structure, or affairs of government, politics, or the state

Sovereignty – complete independence and self-government; royal rank, authority, or power

Autocracy – government in which the ruler has absolute power

Monarchy/Monarch – government by a sovereign ruler, i.e. king or queen

Aristocracy – a class or government ruled by a privileged people based on heredity

Democracy – a system of government in which all citizens have equal and political and legal rights, privileges, and protections; “rule of the many”

Oligarchy – a form of government in which a small group of people exercise control; “rule by the few”

Republic – a form of government based on a constitution and/or not a monarchy working freely and equally for a common cause or will

Theocracy – government by divine authority

Tyranny/Tyrant – description of one who seizes and holds power in violation of the normal procedures and traditions of the community

Dictator/Dictatorship – absolute ruler; all power is concentrated into one person

Autonomy – self-government; uncontrolled by any foreign or outside power or ruler

Bureaucracy – an administrative organization that relies on non-elected officials and regular procedures

Dynasty – a family of rulers whose right to rule is passed on within the family

Revolution – a sudden political overthrow brought about from within a system (in most cases political and/or social)

Civilization – term to describe complex societies OR to describe any group of people sharing a set of cultural traits

City-state – a small independent state consisting of an urban center and the surrounding agricultural territory

Empire – a large political unit that controls many people or territories

Chiefdom – form of political organization with rule by a hereditary leader who held power over a collection of villages and towns; less powerful than kingdoms and empires and based on gift giving and commercial links

Nation – a people, usually the inhabitants of a specific territory, who share common customs, origins, history, and language or related languages; an aggregation of people organized under a single government, i.e. country

Clan – a group of related families

Settlement – establishment of a people in a new region; sometimes related to colonization

Region/Regional – an area distinguished by environment, geography, and/or culture

Philosophy – an organized system of thought

Religion – a belief system recognizing a supreme power, such as a deity or deities

Monotheism – belief in the existence of a single divine entity; i.e. Judaism, Christianity, Islam

Polytheism – belief in many gods or more than one deity; i.e. Hinduism

Secular – worldly; absent of religion or religious perception/consideration

Ideology – the body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture

Agriculture/agricultural – the science, art, and business of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock useful to humans; farming

Labor – work; physical activity for earning wages

Merchant – a person whose occupation is the wholesale purchase and retail sale of goods for profit

Artisan – a skilled craftsperson who makes products

Nobility/noble – possessing hereditary rank in a political system or social class; usually wealthy

Middle class – members of society occupying an intermediate social and economic position between the laboring classes and those who are wealthy in land or money

Peasant – a member of the class comprising small farmers and tenants, sharecroppers, and laborers on the land where these constitute the main labor force in agriculture

Slave/slavery – person/institution bound in servitude to a person or household as an instrument of labor

Gender – classification of sex; male or female

Domestication – adaptation for human use

Patriarchy – dominated by men

Patrilineal – tracking lineage through the father

Matrilineal – tracking lineage through the mother

Vernacular – the language of everyday speech in a particular region

Analyze – determine various factors or component parts and examine their nature and relationship

Evaluate/Assess – judge the value or character of something; appraise; weigh the positive and negative points; give an opinion regarding the value of; discuss the advantages and disadvantages of

Compare – examine for the purpose of noting similarities and differences

Contrast – examine in order to dissimilarities or points of difference

Describe – give an account of; tell about; give a word picture of

Discuss – write about; consider or examine by argument or from various points of view; debate; present the different sides of

Explain – make clear or plain; make clear the causes or reasons for; make known in detail; tell the meaning of