Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The ABCs of World History

Must know people, places, and events in the history of the world.

- A 2000 B.C Mesopotamian who made a covenant with God saying that if Abraham's followers Hebrews) accepted Him, Abraham's people would have a promised land.
Algeria - A former French colony that gained independence in 1962 following nearly a decade long War of Independence.
Anti-Comintern Pact - Declared opposition to international communism.

Balfour, Arthur - An early 20th century British Prime Minister, he is most famous for the "Balfour Declaration" which promised a homeland for Jews.
Bay of Pigs - Is an island off the southern coast of Cuba and was site of the failed "Bay of Pigs Invasion" by President JFK, a plan to overthrow Fidel Castro.
Blitzkrieg - A term coined in 1939 describing Germany's use of lightning quick and offensive tactics in its invasion of Polish borders.

Castro, Fidel
- The president of Cuba who started the July 26th movement, a revolt that would eventually overthrow the then president general Batista in 1959.
Canaan - Refers to present-day Israel and was the "promised land" that God assured the Hebrews back in 2000 B.C.
Cold War - Lasted from 1949 through 1991 and was the struggle between the Soviet Union and the United States. It did not refer to direct hostility, rather other forms such as economic warfare and an arms race for nuclear weapons.

deGaule, Charles - The president of France from 1959 to 1969. Founded the Fifth French Republic in 1958.
Dien Bien Phu, Battle of - A war fought in 1954 between France and the Vietnamese's Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam. The French were victorious.
D-Day - Refers to the June 6, 1944 invasion by the allied forces into Normandy, France against the Nazi Germans who occupied France.

Eliot, George
- Was the pen name of the Victorian era English novelist Mary Ann Evans , whose novels were mostly set in provincial England.
English Channel - Located between England and Northern France, this has served as a natutral defense location for England especially against Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars and against Adolph Hitler in WWII.
Estates General - Was an assembly of the different classes in France around and before 1789. It consisted of: Roman Catholic Clergy (1st), Nobility (2nd), and Bourgeoisie, Peasants, and all others (3rd).

Ferdinand, Franz - Was the archduke of Austria around the early 20th century and was most notably assassinated in 1914 (one of the reasons for the start of WWI).
Finland, Gulf of - Extends from Finland all the way to Russia and at the time of WWII was an important mining site for countries such as Finland, Germany, and Russia.
Fourteen Points - Were annoucned by U.S President Woodrow Wilson in 1918 and were literally fourteen points concerning the rebuilding of Europe.

Garibaldi, Guiseppe - Was an Italian patriot in the 19th century. He successfully captured Sicily in a fight against the Borubon French.
Gaza Strip - A small strip of land that is located next to the Mediterranean Sea and Israel. Controlled by Egypt until the 1967 six day war when it was captured by Israel.
Great Leap Forward - Was carried out from 1958-1962 in Communist China and was an economic and social plan to transform China into an industrialized society from being mostly farmland.

Hirohito - The emperor of Japan from 1926 to 1989. He is notable for his alliance with Germany and Italy during World War II and for his cruelty.
Hiroshima - A city in Japan that was atomically ombed by the U.S in 1945 and as a result led to the surrendering of the Japanese government.
Holocaust - The systematic persecution and genocide of Jews in Europe and North Africa during WWII by Nazi Germany.

Ignatius of Loyola - A former Spanish warrior who in 1534 foudned the Society of Jesus "Jesuits" and whose main goal was defending the Church against Protestants and spreading Catholicism.
Iwo Jima, Battle of
- Was fought between U.S and Japan in 1945; as a result of a U.S victory, they gained the volcanic Japanese island and all the airfields there.
Industrial Revolution - A major technological, socio-economic, and cultural revolution that began in the late 18th and 19th centuries in Britain and spread to volcanic parts of the world.

Johnson, Lyndon B. - President of the U.S from 1963 to 1969; known for the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which faciliated increased involvement in the Vietnam War.
Jerusalem - Nicknamed the "Holy Land," as it's a top pilgrimmage site fofr Christians, Muslims, and Jews. The capital of Israel, captured by Israeli forces following the 6 day war.
June 28th, 1914 - In Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinted by Gavrilo Princip, a member of the Young Bosnia terrorist group.

Kenyatta, Jomo - President of Kenya from 1964 to 1978. He was the leader of the Mau Mau, a terrorist organization.
Kenya - Country in Eastern Africa which gained its independence through Jomo Kenyatta's violent revolts in 1963.
Kristallnacht - A massive nationwide program against Jews in Germany and Austria in 1938.

Lennon, Valdimir - A Communist revolutionary of Russia; the leader of the Bolsheviks and Premier of the Soveit Union from 1914-1917.
London (Battle of Britain) - An attempt by the German air force to gain superiority of Britain during the early stages of WWII. After Germany attempted a raid on london in September of 1940, The Battle of Britain concluded.
League of Nations - An international organization founded after the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Woodrow Wilson's 14th point.

Mussolini, Benito - Leader of Italy between 1922 and 1943, who set up a fascist nation through diplomacy and propaganda.
Manchuria - Northeast region in China and Asia. It was invaded by Russia as part of its declaration of war in 1945 on Japan.
Monroe Doctrine - Expressed in 1823 and stated that no European power or country shoudl colonize or interfere with the affairs of the Americas.

Nkrumah, Kwame - An anti-colonial African leader, founder of Ghana, and one of the most influential Pan-Africanists of the 20th century.
Normandy - Located in the northwest region of France, it is famous for being the site of the 1944 allied D-Day invasion.
Nationalism - A form of identity under which countries believe they are the "only legit basis for the state" as well as the belief in strengthening national unity and rejecting foreign influences. Nationalism gained a lot of popularity in the 20th century in countries such as India, China, and Japan.

Orlando, Vittorio - Was Italy's prime minister from 1917-1919. He served as Italy's representative at the Paris Peace Conference.
Osaka - One of Japan's main harbors/ports during WWII for warships and other military weapons. It was demilitarized following the war.
Opium Wars - Consisted of two wars fought bertween Britain and China concerning opium trade. China had banned it, but Britain saw it as a great economic tool.

Picasso, Pablo
- An early 20th century Spanish painter and sculptor who used the technique of cubism in his work.
Pearl Harbor - An embayment in Hawaii and the site of a Japanese surprise attack on the U.S prompting the U.S to enter World War II.
Pan-Africanism - The belief in the uniqueness of African heritage. No matter where the black man is from, he is African. Some of the most famous proponents of this movement were Marcus Garvey and W.E.B DuBois. This was popularized in the year 1900.

Qing, Jiang - Fourth wife of Mao Zedong. She emerged as a serious political figure in China after being appointed Deputy Director of the Cultural Revolution.
Qum - A city in Iran that has one of the holiest shrines of Islam: The Fatimah shrine dedicated to the Muslim saint. Occupied by Arabs in the 600s A.D.
Quadruple Alliance - Refers to the Central Powers of WWI, consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria.

Rasputin, Grigori - A Russian mystic who influenced Russia's Romanov Dynasty. He played a rather large role in Tsarina Alexandra's life and partly healed her son Alexei's hemophilia.
Rhineland - Refers to the area of land in Western Germany that was taken over by Germany following World War II. I
Russian Revolution - Series of political events in Russia after the elimination of the autocracy system and the Provision Government resulting in the establishment of the Soviet Party by the Bolsheviks.

Stalin, Josef - Leader of the Communist Soviet Union from 1924 until 1953. Ruled by forms of mass terror, deportations, and collective farming.
Sudetenland - An area in Western Czechoslovakia controlled by Sudeten Germans until 1945 when they were expelled from this area.
Social Darwinism - A concept similar to Darwin's theory of evolution that said that the people with the most favorable traits are more likely to survive in a society. This can be applied to competition between different groups. Common in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Tolstoy, Leo - A 19th century Russian novelist and philosopher, most famous for his book War and Peace.
Tiananmen Square - A large plaza in Beijing that was the center of mass Cultural Revolution rallies i nthe 1940s and later protests in the late 1980s.
Truman Doctrine - Announced in the late 1940s by U.S President Harry Truman stating that the U.S gov't would support Greece and Turkey from falling into Communist control.

Urban II - Roman Catholic Pope from 1088 to 1099. He was the leader of the first Crusade against the Turks.
United Staes (WWII) - Forced to enter WWII after the Japanese surprise attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
U-2 Spy Planes - Surveillance aircrafts that were shot down on two occasions: once in Soviet territoryy and second in Cuba during the missile crisis.

Verdi, Giuseppe - A 19th century Italian composer who produced mainly operas.
Versailles - Suburb of Paris, France that was put in the limelight due to the signing of treaties such as the Treaty of Versailles.
Viet Cong - An insurgent organization fighting the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War from 1957 to 1975.

Wilson, Woodrow - U.S President from 1913 to 1921, he didn't want the U.S to get invovled in World War I, but after Germany continued its submarine warfare, he took America into the "war to end all wars."
Waterloo, Battle of - Napoleon's last battle and the last Napoleonic Wars battle in 1815 against the English, Dutch, and Prussians. Ended French domination in Europe.
Warsaw Pact - An organization made up of mostly eastern European states established in 1955 to counter NATO. Memers included East Germany and the Soviet Union.

Yamamoto, Isoroku - Commander of the Japanese navy; came up with the plan to surprise attack the U.S at Pearl Harbor.
Yalta - Site of the Yalta Conference, a war time meeting between Churchill, FDR, and Stalin.
Yom Kippur War - Fought in 1973 between Egypt, Syria, and Israel. A shocker to Israel on this most holy day for Jews.

Zimmerman, Arthur - Germany's secretary of Foreign Affairs from 1916-1917. Most famous for his telegram sent to Mexico proposing Mexico to help against the U.S.
Zaire - Central African country that gained its independence in 1960, after Belgium couldn't maintian contorl and pulled out of the country.
Zionism - A political movement that supports a homeland for Jewish people in the Land of Israel where the Jewish nation is said to have originated 3,000 years ago and had self-governing steas and kingdoms until the 2nd century. Became increasingly popular in the 17 and 1800s.

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