Social Studies Dictionary

Abolition

The immediate ending of slavery.

Abolitionist

An antislavery campaigner in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Absolutism

1(Political) A political system in which a ruler holds total power; 2(Philosophy) Truth is unalterable and permanent fact in all possible contexts without contradiction.

Academy

An educational institution devoted to a particular subject.

Acculturation

The process by which somebody absorbs the culture of a society from birth onward.

Acreage Allotment

Government pays support prices for farmer's crops on assigned acres.

Acropolis

In Ancient Greece, the fortified citadel of a city.

Adjourn

To suspend the business of a governing body.

Adjournment

To suspend or postpone a meeting.

Affirmative Action

An active effort to improve employment or educational opportunities for minorities.

Agora

In Ancient Greece, an open space in a town where people gathered, especially a marketplace.

Agriculture

The occupation, business, or science of cultivating the land, producing crops, and raising livestock.

Airborne

Being transported by aircraft.

Alchemy

The attempt to change base metals into gold.

Allied Powers

In World War I, the alliance of Allied powers consisted of France, Great Britain, Serbia, Russia, Italy, Romania, Portugal, the United States, and Greece; In World War II, the alliance of China, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, the United States, and France.

Allocate

Distributing scarce resources in order to satisfy the greatest numbers of needs and wants.

Ambassador

The highest ranking diplomat sent by one country as its long-term representative to another.

Ambush

An unexpected attack from a concealed position.

Amendment

A change to a constitution.

Americanization

Causing someone to acquire American traits and characteristics.

Amnesty

The act of granting a pardon to a large group of people.

Amphibious

Operations taking place or operating both on land and in water.

Anarchist

A person who believes that there should be no government.

Anarchy

The absence of government.

Ancient Period

Belonging to the distant past, especially to the time before the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE.

Annex

Incorporating territory into an existing political unit or within the domain of a country.

Anomie

The loss of direction felt in a society when social control of individual behavior has become ineffective.

Anthropology

The interpretational study of humankind in all its aspects, especially human culture or human development.

Anti-Federalists

Those who opposed the adoption of the American Constitution; wanted a weak central government.

Anti-Semitism

Policies, views, or actions that harm or discriminate against Jews.

Apartheid

System of racial segregation in South Africa.

Appeal

A formal request to a higher authority requesting a change in or confirmation of a decision.

Appeasement

Accepting demands in order to avoid conflict and maintain peace.

Appellate Jurisdiction

The power vested in a court authorizing it to review the decisions of lower courts.

Apportionment

The distribution of legislative seats based proportionally on the population of states or electoral districts.

Appropriation

A sum of money that has been set aside from a budget.

Arbitration

Settling a dispute by agreeing to accept the decision of an impartial outsider.

Archaeology

The interpretational study of past cultures through the analysis of their artifacts.

Aristocracy

Upper class whose wealth is based on land, and power is transferred from one generation to another.

Armistice

A temporary agreement to end fighting.

Army

The branch of a country's armed forces trained to fight on land.

Artillery

Soldiers using powerful guns: soldiers who specialize in operating large, powerful firearms, regarded as a group or unit.

Assembly Line

A production system with machines and workers arranged so that each person performs an assigned task again and again as the item passes before him or her.

Asymmetrical Warfare

War between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly.

Atlatl

A spear-throwing device used to steady the butt of the spear during the throwing motion.

Attrition

The gradual wearing down of morale and the powers of resistance by persistent attacks.

Austerity

Budgetary policies used by governments to reduce public debt and deficits during adverse economic conditions.

Autocracy

A form of government in which a single person rules with unlimited power.

Autonomous

Free and independent.

Axis Powers

In World War II, the alliance of Germany, Italy, Hungary, Finland, and Japan.

Baby Boom

A marked rise in birthrates.

Balance of Power

The international distribution of power in such a way that no single nation has dominance over the others.

Ballistic

Relating to the movements of objects propelled through the air.

Baroque

A flamboyant style of architecture and art, or its period in European history.

Barrage

Military bombardment: a long continuous burst of gunfire.

Basin

Area of land drained by a given river and its branches; land surrounded by high ground.

Battery

A group of artillery pieces that function as a single tactical unit.

Battle (Pitched)

A fierce battle involving a large number of people and fought between two sides who take up prearranged positions in close proximity to each other.

Bayonet

A blade that can be attached to the end of a rifle and used for stabbing.

Bazaar

A covered marketplace in Islamic cities.

Bear Market

A financial market in which the price of stocks and bonds is generally on decline.

Behaviorism

Conditioning the student to perform a desired behavior through positive and negative reinforcement.

Bicameral

A two-chamber legislature.

Bilingualism

The practice of teaching immigrant students their native language.

Bill

A written proposal for a new law.

Bill of Attainder

A law that establishes guilt and punishes people without trial.

Binding Arbitration

Process whereby a neutral party hears arguments from two opposing sides and makes a decision that both must accept.

Bioterrorism

Use of biological and chemical weapons in terrorist attacks.

Biowarfare

Use of disease or poison against civilians and soldiers in wartime.

Black Codes

Laws passed to control freedman and exploit African-American workers.

Black Power

The mobilization of the political and economic power of African Americans to improve their condition.

Blitzkrieg

A swift and sudden military attack to subject an enemy with an overwhelming amount of force in order to force them into submission.

Blockade

An organized naval action to prevent people or goods entering or leaving a place.

Blues

Style of music evolving from African American spirituals and noted for its melancholy sound often performed over a repeating harmonic pattern.

Bond

A note issued by the government which promises to pay off a loan with interest.

Boomtown

A town that grew up quickly, usually based on a recent discovery of an exploited item.

Bootlegger

A person who sold, transported, or made illegal liquor.

Boss

A powerful party leader.

Bourgeoisie

The middle class (including merchants, industrialists, and professional people).

Boyar

A Russian noble.

Boycott

To cease or refuse to deal with something such as an organization, a company, or a process, as a protest against it or as an effort to force it to become more acceptable reserved.

Breach

To break down the defensive position in order to allow something to pass through it.

Breakout

Exploiting a breach in enemy lines so a large force could pass through.

Breastwork

Low earth wall as fortification at chest height as a temporary barrier for defense.

Bridgehead

Position seized by advancing troops in enemy territory and serving as a basis for further advances.

Brinkmanship

The willingness to go to war in order to force an opponent to back down.

Broker

A person who carries out the investors' order to buy or sell commodities.

Broker State

Role of government to work out conflicts among competing interest groups.

Bubble

Illusionary inflation of prices that is grossly out of proportion to real values.

Budget Deficit

The amount by which expenses exceed income.

Bull Market

A financial market in which the price of stocks and bonds is generally on the rise.

Bureaucracy

An administrative organization that relies on non-elective officials and regular procedures.

Bushwhacker

A Confederate guerrilla who fights in remote or rural areas during the Civil War.

Busing

A policy of transporting children to schools outside their neighborhoods to achieve greater racial balance.

Cabal

An exclusive group of people formed in conspiracy.

Caesar

The title given to a Roman emperor, especially from the reign of Augustus to that of Hadrian.

Caliber

The internal diameter of a barrel of a firearm or cannon.

Caliph

A successor of Mohammad as spiritual leader of Muslims.

Campaign

Series of military operations taking place in one area over a period to achieve a specific objective.

Cannon

A mounted weapon that fired heavy projectiles through a simple iron tube.

Cantonment

Military quarters.

Cape

A point of land surrounded by a body of water.

Capital

Money available for investment.

Capital Formation

The accumulation of financial and capital goods that increase economic development.

Capitalism

A market-based economic system in which individuals own the means of production.

Capitalist

A person who invests wealth, particularly money, in a business.

Carbine

A lightweight rifle with a short barrel.

Carpetbaggers

Northerners who moved to the South to support the Republicans.

Cartel

Group of sellers or producers of certain goods or service who unite to control prices.

Cash Crop

Crops grown for direct sale, and not for personal consumption.

Caste System

Many social divisions based on occupation and family.

Caucus

Private meeting of party leaders to choose a candidate for office.

Caudillo

A strong leader who rules chiefly by military force with help from a landed elite.

Cavalry

The part of an army made up of soldiers trained to fight by mobile methods.

Cede

To yield.

Censorship

Suppression or attempted suppression of something regarded as objectionable

Censure

To express a formal disapproval of an action.

Central Powers

In World War I, the alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire.

Centrism

The holding or advocating of moderate political or other views.

Certoriari

An issue to a lower court to review the judgment for reversible error; or, to review when no appeal is a matter of right.

Chain of Being

A belief that all forms of matter (including life) are organized from the basic to the highest perfection.

Channel

Deep, narrow body of water that connects two larger bodies of water; seep part of a river.

Charge

Offensive attack by rushing forward.

Charter

A constitution.

Check Clearing

The daily process of debiting and crediting a bank's accounts.

Checks and Balances

Each branch of the government exercise some control over the others.

Citadel

A fortress or strongly fortified building in or near a city, used as a place of refuge.

Citizenship

The legal status of being a citizen of a country.

Civics

The study of the rights and duties of citizens, as well as, the inner workings of government.

Civil Disobedience

Refusal to obey laws that are considered to be unjust.

Civil Law

The body of law that developed from core principles codified into a referable system.

Civil Liberties

The guarantee of the individual's natural rights without interference by the government (freedom from government persecution).

Civil Rights

Rights to be free from unequal treatment based on certain protected characteristics (freedom from institutional or individual discrimination).

Civil Warfare

A war between opposing groups within a country.

Civilization

A complex culture in which large numbers of people share a number of common elements such as social structure, religion, and art.

Clan

A group of related families.

Class

A group of people within a society who share the same socioeconomic status.

Classical Conditioning

The teaching of a response to a new action by pairing it repeatedly with another action.

Classical Period

Relating or belonging to the ancient Greeks or Romans or their cultures.

Classicalism

Studies based in the traditions of Western culture as understood and taught in the Middle Ages.

Clergy

Church leaders.

Closed Shop

An agreement in which a company agrees to only hire union members.

Closed System

A social system in which there is little room or no possibility of individual mobility.

Cloture

A motion to end debate and call for an immediate vote.

Coalition

A temporary union between two or more groups to achieve a military goal.

Cold War

The ideological and confrontational conflict between the democratic West and the communist East.

Collateral

Property pledged by a borrower as security for a loan.

Collective Bargaining

Rights of unions to negotiate with employers over wages and hours.

Collective Security

The maintenance of peace and security through the united action of nations, usually though treaties and alliances.

Collectivization

A system in which private farms are replaced with large state-run farms.

Colony

A settlement of people living in new territory linked to a mother country by trade and government control.

Column

An organized line of soldiers or vehicles.

Comedy

A play depicting amusing events.

Command Economy

A system in which government controls the means of production.

Commission

A municipal government that combines executive and legislative powers in an elected body.

Commodity

A marketable product.

Commodity Money

A money system based on an item that has value in society.

Common Law

The body of law developed as a result of custom and judicial decisions.

Commonwealth

A political organization founded for the common good in the form of representative government.

Commune

1(Social) A group living arrangement in which members share everything and work together; 2(Economic) A group of collective farms with people living and working together.

Communism

A socioeconomic system in which all property and wealth is owned in a classless society by all the members.

Competition

A state of rivalry among sellers of the same or similar products.

Complementary Good

A good commonly used with another goods.

Compliance

Acting in accordance with the wishes, the suggestions, or the direct request of another person.

Compromise

A settlement of a dispute in which two or more sides agree to accept less than they originally wanted.

Concentration Camp

A camp were persons are detained or confined.

Concession

Political compromise.

Confederacy

A loose union of independent states with a weak central government.

Conformity

Changing or adopting an attitude or behavior to be consistent with the norms of a group or the expectations of others.

Conglomerate

A combination of two or more corporations engaged in entirely different businesses that fall under one authority.

Conquistadors

A Spanish conqueror of the Americas.

Conscription

An obligatory enrollment of citizens for a period of service, usually in the armed forces.

Consensus

An agreement about basic beliefs.

Conservation

The preservation, management, and care of natural and cultural resources.

Conservative

Government power should be limited in order to maximize individual freedom.

Consideration

An item of beneficial value [“the thing exchanged”] that is the essential reason for a party to bargain a binding contractual arrangement.

Conspiracism

A world view that places surreptitious human events of great social, political, or economic impact events central in unfolding history.

Constituency

The voters or residents in a particular electoral district.

Constitution

A written statement outlining the basic laws or principles by which a country or organization is governed.

Consul

1(Political) A government official living abroad to promote the commercial interests of the home country; 2(History) In Ancient Rome, one of the two chief magistrates who were elected to govern annually.

Consulate

Government established to replace the French Directory.

Consumer

One who buys goods or services for personal use.

Containment

The policy of preventing the expansion of a hostile power.

Contemporary Issues

The study of recent events and issues that pertains to all facets of a scrutinized society.

Continent

Any of the seven large continuous land masses that constitute most of the dry land on the surface of the Earth.

Contra

Counterrevolutionary.

Contraband

Goods whose importation, exportation, or possession is illegal.

Contract

A legally binding agreement between individuals or groups.

Convoy

A group that travels with something, such as a ship, to protect it.

Cooperative

A farm or business owned and operated for the benefit of the people who run it with all profits shared equally.

Cooperative Individualism

Policy of encouraging manufacturers and distributors to form their own organizations and volunteer information to the federal government in an effort to stimulate the economy.

Corporation

An organization that is authorized by law to carry on an activity but treated as though it were a single person.

Corporatocracy

Economic and political system controlled by corporate interests.

Cost-Plus

A government contract to pay a manufacturer the cost to produce an item plus a guaranteed percentage.

Council

An appointed or elected body of people with an administrative, advisory, or representative function.

Council-Manager

A municipal government in which the legislative (council) is elected, and the executive powers rests more with a hired nonpartisan manager rather than the elected mayor.

Counterattack

An assault in response to an assault by an enemy or opponent.

Counterculture

A culture with values and beliefs different than the mainstream.

Counting Coups

Levels of bravery during battle, especially touching an enemy warrior without harming him.

Country

A nation or state that is politically independent, or a land that was formerly independent and remains separate in some respects.

County

A subunit of local government; one of the administrative subdivisions of states.

Coup de Grâce

A final stroke or shot that kills a person or animal, especially one intended to end suffering.

Coup de Main

A sudden, fierce, and successful surprise attack against an enemy.

Coup d'etat

A sudden overthrow of the government.

Creationism

The belief that God created the world and everything in it as described by Genesis.

Credibility Gap

The lack of trust or believability.

Credit

An arrangement by which a buyer can take possession of something now and pay for it later or over time.

Credit Bureau

A company that collects and reports to its clients financial information and obligations.

Credit Rating

An evaluation of a person's or company's financial condition and reliability.

Creole

A person of European descent born in the New World.

Crossing the Tee

Crossing in front of a line of enemy ships, allowing the crossing line to bring all their guns to bear while receiving fire from only the forward guns of the enemy.

Cult of Personality

The use mass media and propaganda to create an idealized and heroic public image of an authority figure.

Culture

The beliefs, customs, practices, and social behavior of a particular nation or people.

Cuneiform

A system of writing using a reed stylus to create wedge-shaped impressions on a clay tablet.

Currency

The paper money and coins that are in circulation.

Curriculum

All subjects taught at an educational institution, or the topics taught within a subject.

Czar

A person given government authority for dealing with a particular issue or problem.

Daimyo

Heads of Japanese noble families who control vast estates.

Dark Ages

The period of European history between the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 CE and about 1000 CE, for which there are few historical records and during which life was comparatively uncivilized.

Database

An arranged collection or house of data structured so that it can be automatically retrieved or manipulated.

De Facto

Existing in fact rather than legally.

De Facto Segregation

Segregation by custom and tradition.

De Jure

By right according to law.

Default

The failure to make payments on a loan.

Defendant

The person against whom a civil suit is brought into court.

Defensive

Aiming to deflect or avoid a perceived attack or siege.

Deficit Spending

Practice of spending borrowed money rather than raising taxes to boost the economy.

Defilade

Fortifications or protection designed to guard against enemy gunfire that might be aimed at a line of troops.

Deflation

Contraction of money supply that results in declining prices.

Deism

Religious philosophy based on reason and natural law.

Delegate

Somebody chosen to represent or given the authority to act on behalf of another person, group, or organization.

Delta

Land built up from soil carried down-stream by a river.

Demand

The level of desire or need that exists for particular goods or services.

Democracy

A form of government ruled by the people.

Demography

The study of human populations.

Denomination

A religious grouping within a faith that has its own system of organization.

Deport

To expel individuals from the country.

Depreciation

A decrease in value of a capital good.

Depression

A prolong and severe decline in overall business with zero growth.

Deregulation

Lifting or lessening of government control or restrictions on a company or industry.

Derivatives

A financial tool whose properties depend on the properties of another tool.

Despotism

A form of government in which a single entity (individual or group) rules with absolute power.

Détente

A phase of relaxed tensions and improved relations between two adversaries.

Deterrence

The policy of discouraging enemy attack by maintaining sufficient military force to retaliate.

Developed Nation

Nations that have formed industrially.

Developing Nation

A nation only beginning to form industrially.

Deviance

Behavior that is sharply different from a customary, traditional, or generally accepted standard.

Dialectic

The tension between two conflicting interacting forces, elements, or ideas.

Dictatorship

A form of government where a leader rules a country with absolute power, usually by force.

Diffusion

The spreading of features of a way of life (tools, practices, or ideas) from one culture to another.

Diplomacy

A communicating relationship among nations by members and employees of each nation's government.

Direct Primary

A vote held by all members of a political party to decide their candidate for public office.

Direct Rule

A colonial government with officials from the mother country ruling.

Discrimination

Unfair treatment of one person or group, usually because of prejudice about race, ethnicity, age, religion, or gender.

Disfranchise

To deprive the right to vote.

Displacement

To leave one position and occupy another.

Dissident

Somebody who publicly disagrees with an established system of authority.

Dissonance

The unpleasant state that occurs when people become aware of inconsistencies between their attitudes and behavior.

Diversification

Spreading savings investment among several investors.

Divide

Stretch of high land that separates river systems.

Dividend

A stockholder's portion of a corporation's profit.

Divine Right

The belief that kings receive their power from God.

Doctrine

A rule or principle that forms the basis of foreign policy.

Dogfight

An aerial combat involving two or more fighter planes.

Dollar Diplomacy

A policy of joining the business interest of a country with its diplomatic interests abroad.

Domestic

Relating to the inside of a country's borders.

Domino Theory

If one nation falls to communism, then neighboring countries would fall.

Dove

Someone who believes the United States should disband military efforts.

Downstream

Direction in which a river or stream flows from its source to its mouth.

Dragoon

A mounted infantryman armed with a carbine: The word is retained in the names of some modern regiments that were originally cavalry regiments.

Due Process

Courts must follow proper procedures and rules, as well as treat individuals equally.

Duma

The Russian legislative assembly.

Dust Bowl

The area of southern Great Plains severely damaged by droughts and dust storms during the 1930s.

Dynamic

Active and changing.

Dynasty

A family of rulers whose right to rule is passed on within the family.

Dystopia

An imaginary place where everything is as bad as it possibly can be.

Earthworks

Fortification made of the ground.

Easy Money

Lowering interest rates to make money less difficult to borrow and increase money in circulation.

Echelon

A diagonal formation in which individuals or units are positioned behind and to one side of those in front to give a stepped effect and allow each a clear view ahead.

Economics

The study how society chooses to use scarce resource.

Economy

The production and consumption of goods and services of a community regarded as a whole.

Education

The imparting and acquiring of knowledge.

Efficiency

The production of goods and services using the smallest amount of resources.

Egalitarianism

People are equal and should enjoy equal social, political, and economic rights and opportunities.

Elastic Clause

The right of Congress to make all laws to carry out other powers.

Elasticity of Demand

A change in the price of a good affects quantity wanted.

Elasticity of Supply

A change in the price of a good affects quantity given.

Electorate

The qualified voters in a given area or district.

Electors

Member of a selected group or party chosen from each state to formal vote for their leader, such as an emperor or president.

Elite

Small group of people within a society who are more privileged in social, economic, or political power.

Emancipation

The act or process of freeing enslaved persons.

Embargo

A government agreement to prohibit trade with other countries.

Embassy

The residence and place of business of the highest ranking diplomat in a foreign country.

Eminent Domain

The power of the government to take private property for public use.

Empire

A large political unit, usually under a single ruler that controls many peoples or territories.

Empiricism

A philosophical belief that all knowledge is derived from the experience of the senses.

Encirclement

To surround somebody or something: to form a circle around somebody or something.

Encomienda

In Spanish Colonial America, the granted right of Spanish landowners to use Native Americans for work.

Enfilade

Position in which troops are exposed to gunfire along the length of their formation.

Enfranchise

To give somebody the right to vote in an election.

Enlightenment

An 18th Century intellectual movement in Western Europe that emphasized reason and science in philosophy and in the study of human culture and the natural world.

Entitlements

A required government program for a specific population to receive specific social benefits.

Enumerate

Written down, usually in list form.

Enumerated Powers

The expressed powers of Congress that are written in the constitution.

Envelopment

An offensive maneuver in which the main attacking force passes around or over the enemy's principal defensive positions to secure objectives to the enemy's rear.

Ephor

In Ancient Greece, one of five Sparta men elected each year who were responsible for the education of youth and the conduct of all citizens.

Epidemic

An outbreak of a disease that spreads more quickly and more extensively among a group of people than would normally be expected.

Equal Protection Clause

Applying the law the same way for all people.

Erosion

The gradual wearing down of rock or soil by physical breakdown, chemical solution, and transportation of material.

Espionage

Spying, especially to gain government secrets.

Essentialism

To instill students with the "basics" of academic knowledge and character development.

Establishment

Those hold power and control the institutions in a society or a professional group.

Establishment Clause

Government cannot take actions to create an official religion.

Estate

In French history, any of three traditional ranks or sectors of society with some political power: The clergy, nobility, and the middle class.

Estate Tax

A tax levied on the assets, or property, of a person who died.

Ethnic Cleansing

Policy of expulsion, imprisonment, or extermination of ethnic minorities from its lands by a dominant majority.

Ethnocentric

A belief in the superiority of a social or cultural group that a person belongs to.

Eugenics

A pseudo-science that deals with the improvement of hereditary traits of a race or breed.

Evangelist

A Christian who tries to persuade other people to become Christian, especially at public gatherings or in broadcast.

Evict

To force a tenant to leave a property, especially the tenant's residence, usually because he or she has failed to comply with the terms of the lease.

Evolution

The scientific theory that human and other forms of life have evolved over time.

Ex Post Facto

A law that makes a crime of an act that was legal when it was committed.

Exchange

A process by which producers and consumers agree to provide one item for another.

Excise Tax

A tax levied on the manufacture, sale, and consumption of luxury items.

Executive Branch

The branch that administers the laws.

Existentialism

Students create an environment in which they may freely choose their own preferred curriculum.

Ex-Officio

"In the place of" [Latin]: A substitution on a panel or committee.

Expansionary Fiscal Policy

To stimulate economic activity by reducing taxes and increasing spending.

Expeditions

A trip made by a group of people for a particular purpose, to explore unknown territory, to do scientific study, or to achieve a military objective.

Experience

Knowledge acquired through the senses, and not through abstract reasoning.

Expressed Powers

Powers directly stated in the Constitution.

Expropriation

The seizure of private property by a government with full or partial payment.

Extermination Camp

A camp where prisoners were sent to be executed.

Externality

An effect that an economic activity has on people and businesses.

Extradite

Returning a criminal or fugitive who flees across state lines back to the original state.

Extraterritoriality

Living in a section of a country set aside for foreigners, but not subjected to the host country's laws.

Extrinsic

Coming or operating from outside something.

Fabian Approach

Avoiding a direct confrontation to wear down an opponent.

Facilitate

Aiding or assisting in a process, especially finding solutions to problems or tasks.

Faction

A minority that has specific interests or beliefs that are not always in harmony with the larger group.

Factoid

Information that is not true, but is generally accepted as true.

Failed State

A state that cannot provide some of the basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government.

Fascism

An Italian political system headed by a dictator that calls for an emphasis on intense nationalism, antisocialism, and elitism.

Federal System

A system of government in which power is shared among different levels of governments.

Federalism

A system in which power is divided between national government and state governments.

Federalists

Those who supported the adoption of the American Constitution; wanted a strong central government.

Feminism

The belief that men and women should be equal politically, economically, and socially.

Feudalism

Political and social system in which vassals held land from lords in exchange for military service.

Fiat Money

Money that is not backed up by gold or silver, but required by the government as exchange.

Fief

A grant of land.

File

A single column of soldiers (One in front of another).

Filibuster

An attempt to kill a bill by having continuous speech so a vote cannot take place.

Finance Charge

Total cost of credit.

Fine

Sum of money paid for breaking a law.

Firearm

A small weapon that fires a small projectile at high velocity though a metal tube with an explosive charge.

Fireside Chats

Radio broadcasts made by Franklin Roosevelt to the American people to explain his initiatives.

Fiscal Policy

Levels of taxing, borrowing, and spending that promotes the desired economic goals.

Fixed Expense

An expense that does not change from month to month or with a person's activity.

Flank

Side of military formation: the left or right side of a military formation.

Flapper

A young woman of the 1920s who showed freedom from convention, especially in dress.

Flat Tax

Taxation method based on all income, regardless of level, assessed at the same rate.

Flatboat

A large boat with a flat bottom used for transporting goods on shallow waterways.

Flexible Expense

An expense that changes from month to month or with a person's activity.

Flexible Response Theory

The buildup of conventional troops and weapons to allow a nation to fight a war without nuclear weapons.

Forage

To search or raid for food.

Foreclose

To take possession of a property from a mortgage because of defaults on payments.

Foreign

Relating to the outside of a country's borders.

Fort

A building or group of buildings with strong defenses, usually strategically located and guarded by troops.

Forum

A place in which the public may debate an issue or express opinions.

Franchise

A business that pays another business to use the name and product line.

Free Enterprise

A system in which private business operates with limited government involvement.

Free Exercise Clause

Government cannot restrict individuals from practicing their religion.

Free Market

When buyers and sellers make free choices in the economy.

Free Trade

International trade that is not subject to protective regulations or tariffs intended to restrict foreign imports.

Freedmen

Persons freed from slavery.

Freedmen's Bureau

An organization that provides former slaves with food, clothing, medical care, education, and other forms of assistance.

Frontal Assault

An offensive maneuver in which the main action is directed against the front of the enemy forces.

Frontier

The part of a country with expanding settlement that is being opened up by hunters, herders, and other pioneers in advance of full urban settlement.

Frontier Thesis

The development of American culture was not imported from Europe, but was created in the nation's continuous frontier experience.

Full Employment

Lowest level possible of unemployment in an economy.

Full Faith and Credit Clause

States within the United States have to respect the laws, records, and proceedings of other states.

Fundamentalism

The belief that doctrine should be implemented literally, not interpreted, implied, or adapted.

Futures

Goods or stocks sold for upcoming delivery, or the contracts for them.

Garrison

Body of troops stationed at a military post.

Generation Gap

A cultural separation between parents and their children.

Genocide

The deliberate mass murder of a particular group of people.

Gentrification

New people moving into a neighborhood, forcing out those who lived there, and changing the area‘s essential character.

Geography

The study of all the physical features of the Earth’s surface.

Gerrymandering

To manipulate an electoral area, usually by altering its boundaries, in order to gain an unfair political advantage in an election.

Ghetto

A neglected, yet densely populated area, lived in by a group that experiences discrimination.

Ghost Dance

A Plains Amerindian religious movement in the late 19th Century that promised the revival of traditional Native North American culture.

Glacier

Large, thick body of slowly moving ice.

Glasnost

Policy of open discussion of political and social issues with freer circulation of information.

Global Politics

The study of political and economic interrelationships between the people, groups, or organizations on the international level.

Globalism

A belief that worldwide issues have more weight than national or state concerns.

Globalization

To become adopted on a global scale, or cause something, especially social institutions, to become adopted on a global scale.

Gold Standard

Monetary standard in which one ounce of gold equaled a set number of dollars.

Goods

An object or material that can be purchased to satisfy human wants or needs.

Government

The institution through which a state maintains order, services, and enforce decisions.

Grand Jury

A group that hears charges against a suspect for trial.

Grassroots Movement

A group of people organized at the local or community level.

Great Leap Forward

An economic plan to rapidly develop agriculture and industry.

Great Society

A legislative program that intended to improve education, health care, and housing and to fight poverty and racism in American during the late 1960s.

Greenback

A piece of U.S. paper money issued by the Union to keep the economy stable and help to pay for the Civil War.

Grenade

A small bomb that is thrown by hand or shot from a rifle or other weapon.

Grievance

A cause for complaint for unfair treatment.

Griots

A special class of African storytellers who were historians.

Gross National Product

The total value of goods and services produced by a country during a year.

Guerrilla Warfare

The use of armed band that carries out surprise attacks and sabotage rather than open warfare.

Guild

A business association associated with a particular trade or craft.

Gulf

A part of a large body of water that extends into a shoreline (opposite of a bay).

Habeas Corpus

Requiring a law official to bring a prisoner to court and show cause for holding the prisoner.

Hawk

Someone who believes the United States should continue military efforts.

Hedgerow

Rows of shrubs or trees on a dirt wall surrounding a field.

Heer

The German army.

Heresy

The denial of basic church doctrines.

Hieroglyphics

An Egyptian writing system that uses symbols or pictures to denote objects or concepts.

Hill

Elevated land area with sloping sides that is smaller than a mountain.

History

An interpretational study of past events through the analysis of chronologic records.

Holding Company

A company whose primary purpose is owning a controlled share of stock in other companies.

Holocaust

Name given to the mass slaughter of Jews and other groups by the Nazis.

Homestead

Method of acquiring a piece of U.S. public lands by living on and cultivating it.

Hoplite

A heavily armed Greek foot soldier.

Hors de Combat

Out of the fight, surrendered, or wounded.

Howitzer

A cannon with a bore diameter greater than 30 mm and a maximum elevation of 60 degrees that fires projectiles in a curved trajectory.

Human/Environment Interaction

A focus on how people respond to their surroundings.

Humanities

An academic disciplines that studies all aspects of human culture.

Hung Jury

A jury that is unable to reach a decision.

Hunting and Gathering

The seeking of game and edible plants for subsistence.

Immigrant

A newcomer to a country who has settled there.

Impeachment

To formally charge an elected public official with misconduct in office.

Imperator

In Ancient Rome, a victorious military commander during the time of the Roman Republic that came to mean an absolute ruler.

Imperialism

The actions used by one nation to exercise political or economic control over a smaller or weaker nation.

Implied Powers

Powers that the government requires to carry out the written powers in a constitution.

Inalienable Rights

Rights that cannot be taken away.

Incendiary

A bomb containing highly flammable substances that will cause a fire on impact.

Incentive

Something that encourages an action or effort.

Incorporation

The process that allows the Federal Bill of Rights to be applied to all levels of government.

Incumbent

Somebody currently holding an official post and seeking reelection for that post.

Indemnity

Payment for damages.

Indicative Planning

Development of non-mandatory goals by government or coordinate private and public investments.

Indigenous

Native to a region.

Indirect Rule

A colonial government with local elites ruling.

Indulgence

Release from all or part of punishment through payment or service.

Industrial Capitalism

Economic system based on industrial production or manufacturing.

Industrialized Nation

A nation with large industry and advance technology.

Industrialization

Process of changing a society to mechanized methods of production and manufacturing of goods.

Infantry

Soldiers or a unit of soldiers who are trained to fight on foot.

Infidel

A Muslim term applied to an unbeliever.

Infiltration

The movement through or into an area or territory occupied by either friendly or enemy troops or organizations.

Inflation

Expansion of money supply that results in increasing prices.

Inherent Powers

Powers that the national government may exercise simply because it is a government.

Initiative

The right of citizens to place a measure or issue before voters or the legislature for approval (proposing a law).

Installment

Buying an item on credit with a monthly plan to pay off the value of the good.

Insurgency

A rebellion or uprising against a government.

Insurrection

An act of rebellion against the established government.

Interdependence

The relationship of mutual reliance and influence and influence among actors in an economy.

Interdiction

To keep an enemy from using an area by troop movements or other means.

Interest Group

Group of people with common goals who influence government policy.

Internationalism

A national policy of actively trading with foreign countries to foster peace and prosperity.

Interstate Commerce

Trade among states.

Interventionism

The policy of political interference or military involvement by one country in the affairs of another.

Intifada

Palestine Liberation Organization militant movement in the 1980s.

Intrinsic

Coming or operating from inside something.

Iron Curtain

A political and military barrier that isolated Soviet controlled countries of Eastern Europe.

Iron Law of Oligarchy

A principle of organizational life under which even democratic organizations will become bureaucracies ruled by a few individuals.

Iron Triangle

A relationship formed among legislators, executives, and lobbyists who work together for a particular interest.

Ironclad

Covered with metal (namely iron) for protection or armor.

Irrigate

To bring a supply of water to a dry area, especially in order to help crops to grow.

Island

Land area, smaller than a continent, completely surrounded by water.

Isolationism

National policy of avoiding involvement in world affairs.

Isthmus

Narrow stretch of land connecting two larger land masses.

Janissary

A soldier in the elite guard of the Ottoman Turks.

Jazz

Style of music that uses syncopated rhythms and melodies.

Jim Crow Laws

Racial segregation in public places.

Jingoism

Extreme patriotism expressing itself especially in hostility toward other countries.

Judicial Activism

The Supreme Court should play an active role in dealing with temporary matters.

Judicial Branch

The branch that interprets the laws.

Judicial Restraint

When the Supreme Court avoids taking an initiative on a social or political issue.

Judicial Review

Power to declare an act constitutional or unconstitutional.

Jurisdiction

The authority of the court to rule on certain cases.

Kamikaze

A Japanese pilot trained for the suicide mission of flying an aircraft packed with explosives into an enemy target.

Keelboat

A covered riverboat with a keel and shallow draft but no sail, propelled by rowing, poling, or towing, and used for transporting freight.

Khanate

A Mongolian territory.

Kleptocracy

When a government exists to increase the personal wealth and power of its ruling class at the expense of the wider population.

Kriegsmarine

The German navy.

Labor Union

An organization of wage earners that is set up to serve and advance its members' interests in terms of wages, benefits, and working hours and conditions.

Laissez Faire

A belief that states governments should not impose regulations but leave the economy alone.

Lame Duck

An elected officeholder left powerless after a successor has been elected, but has not yet taken office.

Land Reform

Redistribution or changes in property ownership.

Law

A rule or act passed by a legislative body that is binding and enforceable by authority.

Lay Investiture

Secular rulers chose nominees to church offices.

Leadership

The ability to guide, direct, or influence people.

Legislative Branch

The branch that creates the laws.

Liability

A legally enforceable obligation for unpaid expense.

Libel

A false and malicious published statement that damages somebody's reputation.

Liberal

Government should take an active role in social and economic programs.

Libertarian

A philosophy that advocates personal liberty, the free market, free trade, and noninterventionism.

Limited Government

A system in which the power of the government is not absolute.

Limited Warfare

A war fought with limited commitment of resources and to achieve a limited objective.

Line of Battle

Ships of the fleet form a line end to end.

Linear A

An undeciphered writing system of the Minoans found on clay remains in Crete.

Linear B

An early form of Greek writing of the ancient Mycenaeans, deciphered in the Twentieth Century.

Line-Item Veto

Rejecting part of the bill while signing the rest into law.

Liquidity

The ease with which an individual or a business can convert assets into cash without loss.

Lobbying

Persuading government officials to support certain policies.

Lobbyist

An individual paid to influence a government officials or administrators.

Location

The site or position of something.

Logic

Employing arguments and aims to distinguish good from bad reasoning.

Logistics

Involving the planning and management of how groups of people or goods are moved.

Luftwaffe

The German air force.

Lynching

To seize somebody believed to have committed a crime and put him or her to death immediately and without trial, usually by hanging.

Machavellian

Using clever trickery, amoral methods, and expediency to achieve a desired goal.

Macro-Perspective

A broad, overall view.

Magic Realism

A form of expression that combines realistic events with fantastic backgrounds.

Magistrate

A local law officer with extremely limited powers.

Maize

Corn.

Mandate

Authorization to act given to a representative.

Manifest Destiny

The United States must expand its boundaries from ocean to ocean.

Manor

An agricultural estate run by a lord and worked by peasants.

Manufacturing

The production of finished goods from raw materials, especially on a large industrial scale.

Manumission

To free somebody from slavery.

Margin

Buying a stock by paying only a fraction of the price and borrowing the rest.

Margin Call

Demand by brokers that investors pay back the made on the stocks purchased.

Market System

An economic system that allows economic questions to be answered by individuals.

Marketing Quotas

A limit among farmers to market only an assigned portion of a crop.

Martial Law

A law administered by military forces in an emergency.

Mass Media

A medium of communication intended for each a wide audience.

Mass Production

The production of large quantities of goods using machinery.

Massive Retaliation

A policy of using massive response against at Communist state trying to seize a peaceful state by force.

Materialism

The devotion to physical wealth and possessions at the expense of spiritual or intellectual values.

Matrilineal

Inherited or traced through the women's line of descent.

Mayor-Council

An elected municipal government in which the legislative (council) and executive (mayor) powers are separated.

Mediation

The intervention by a third party between two sides in a dispute in an attempt to help them reach an agreement.

Medieval Period

SEE Middle Ages.

Mercantilism

Prosperity of a nation depended on a large supply of gold and silver.

Mercenary

A professional soldier paid to fight for an army other than that of his or her country.

Merger

The joining of two or more businesses under a single ownership.

Mesa

Area of raised land with steep sides; smaller than a plateau.

Mestizo

A person of mixed European and Native American descent.

Metaphysics

The study of the nature of being and beings, existence, time and space, and causality.

Micro-Perspective

Focusing on details.

Middle Ages

The period in European history between antiquity and the Italian Renaissance, often considered to be between the end of the Roman Empire in the 5th Century and the early 15th Century.

Migration

The act or process of moving from one region or country to another.

Military-Industrial Complex

Relationship between the military and the defense industry to promote greater military spending and policy.

Militia

Soldiers who are civilians but take military training and can serve full-time during emergencies.

Mine

1(Economic) An excavated area from which minerals, often in the form of ore, are extracted; 2(Military) An explosive device concealed underground or underwater that detonates on contact with a person, vehicle, or ship.

Missile Gap

Belief that the Soviet Union had more nuclear weapons than the United States.

Missionary

Somebody doing church work abroad: somebody sent to another country by a church to spread its faith or to do social and medical work.

Mixed Economy

Government regulates private enterprise.

Mobile Vulgus

"The fickle crowd" [Latin]: To rule by the passions of a mob.

Mobilization

The process of assembling troops and supplies for war.

Moderate

Politically and philosophically middle-of-the-road on issues.

Monarchy

A political system in which a state is ruled by a hereditary sovereign.

Monasticism

Practice of living the life of a monk.

Monetary Policy

Regulating a nation's money supply and credit to pursue economic goals.

Monopoly

Total control of a type of industry by one person or one company.

Monotheism

Having belief in one god.

Moratorium

A formally agreed suspension of activity.

Mortar

Cannon with a relatively short and wide barrel, used for firing shells at a high angle over a short distance.

Mosque

A Muslim house of worship.

Mother Country

The country of origin of people who have left to found a colony or colonies elsewhere; the country may also control the domestic and foreign affairs of the colony (SEE Imperialism).

Mountain Peak

Pointed top of a mountain.

Mountain Range

A series of connected mountains.

Movement

An area unified by some feature or mixture of features.

Muckraker

A journalist who uncovers abuses and corruption in a society.

Mulatto

A person of mixed European and African descent.

Munitions

Military supplies, such as weapons and ammunition.

Napalm

Highly flammable jelly, produced by mixing a thickening agent with gasoline and used in flamethrowers and fire bombs.

Nation

A group of people united by bonds of race, language, custom, or history.

National Debt

Total amount of money the government owes.

Nationalism

Loyalty and devotion to a unique cultural identity based on common cultural traits.

Nationalization

The government takeover of specific companies.

Nativism

A preference for native-born people and a desire to limit immigration.

Natural Law

A body of moral principles and justice that is common to all humankind recognizable by human reason alone.

Natural Rights

Rights with which all humans are supposedly born.

Natural Selection

Some organisms are more adaptable: survival of the fittest.

Navy

The branch of a country's armed forces trained to fight at sea.

Nazism

German emphasis on extreme nationalism, corporate state, discipline, and racism.

Near Money

An asset that can easily be converted into cash when needed.

Nepotism

Favoritism shown by somebody in power to relatives and friends, especially in appointing them to good positions.

Newspeak

Ambiguous language designed to conceal the truth used by bureaucrats and propagandists.

Nirvana

Ultimate reality and the end of the self for a reunion with the Great World Soul.

No Man's Land

Land that is not occupied.

No Quarter

Killing all enemy troops, even those who surrendered or were captured.

Nomad

A person who moves from place to place.

Non-Government Organization

A legally constituted organization created by natural or legal people that operate independently from any form of government.

Normal Schools

A school or college for training teachers.

Normalcy

The state or fact of being ordinary.

Norms

The standard pattern of behavior that is considered normal in a society.

Nuclear Proliferation

The spread of nuclear weapons to new nations or groups.

Nullification

States have the right to declare a federal law invalid.

Offensive

An attack, assault, or siege.

Oligarchy

A form of government in which a small group of people exercises controls.

Oligopoly

A few large sellers exercises exclusive or nearly exclusive control over a good or service.

One-Crop Economy

An economy system dominated by the production of one item.

Open Door Policy

A policy that allowed each foreign nation in China to trade freely in the other nations' sphere of influence.

Open Shop

A business where membership in a labor union is not a condition of employment.

Open System

A social system in which the position of each individual is influenced by his or her achieved status.

Ordinance

A law.

Ordnance

Military weapons systems, including supplies for their use and equipment for their maintenance.

Original Jurisdiction

The power vested in a court authorized to hear a case for the first time.

Orwellian

An ideal and perfect place or state where everyone lives in harmony, usually under the command of totalitarianism.

Outcome-Based

Student-centered learning methods that focus on empirically measuring student performance.

Overwatch

When one small unit or military vehicle supports another unit while they are engaged.

Pan-Africanism

Unity of all black Africans regardless of national boundaries.

Pan-Arabism

Unity of all Arabs regardless of national boundaries.

Panarchism

A political philosophy emphasizing an individual's right to freely join or leave the jurisdiction of any governments they choose.

Panzer

German tanks.

Papyrus

Writing material used by ancient Mediterranean civilizations that was made from the pith of the stem of a water plant.

Parthian Shot

Hostile remark made when leaving: a final hostile remark or gesture made while leaving.

Partisan

A member of a group that has taken up armed resistance against occupying enemy forces.

Partnership

A business owned and controlled by two or more people who share in the profits.

Patrician

A member of the ruling, landowning class of ancient Rome.

Patrilineal

Inherited or traced through the men's line of descent.

Payroll Tax

Income tax and other statutory deductions made by the employer from the employee's gross salary or wages.

Pedagogy

The science or profession of teaching.

Pegging

Fixing a country's currency to stay at a certain rate below or above another country's currency.

Pemmican

Amerindian pressed cake made with lean dried meat, melted fat, and dried berries or fruits.

Penetration

A form of offensive which seeks to break through the enemy's defense and disrupt the defensive system.

Peninsula

Body of land surrounded by water on three sides.

Peninsular

A person born in Iberia who resided in Latin America for political and economic gain.

People's Communes

Large collective farms.

Perestroika

A policy of economic and government restructuring.

Periphery

The outer boundary of something.

Persuasion

The ability to convince somebody to perform a particular action, especially by reasoning, pleading, or coaxing, or by believing in a promoted idea.

Petition

An appeal.

Petroglyph

A prehistoric drawing done on rock.

Phalanx

A wall of shields created by foot soldiers marching close together in a rectangular formation.

Philosophes

Intellectuals during the Enlightenment.

Philosophy

The examination of basic principles or concepts.

Physiological

Relating to the way that living things function.

Picket

A soldier or small body of troops used to guard ground of tactical importance.

Pincer Maneuver

Military maneuver that attempts to surround an enemy by simultaneous attack from the front and two side columns that curve around the enemy and back toward each other.

Place

An area that includes those features and characteristics that gives an area its own identity or personality.

Plain

Area of level land, usually at a low elevation.

Plaintiff

A person whom brings charges in court.

Plateau

Area of flat or rolling land at a high elevation.

Platform

A statement of political party's principles and beliefs.

Plebeians

A social class made up of minor landholders, craftspeople, merchants and small farmers in ancient Rome.

Plebiscite

A popular vote.

Pluralism

The existence of different cultural groups within one society.

Plurality

The largest number of votes in an election.

Plutocracy

The rule of a society by its wealthiest people.

Pogroms

Organized persecution or massacre of a minority group.

Polis

A city-state of ancient Greece.

Political Action Committees

Organization that raises funds and financial support for a candidate.

Political Machine

An organization linked to a political party that often controlled local government.

Political Party

A group of individuals with common interests who organize to win control of elected offices.

Politics

The effort to control or influence the conduct and policies of the government.

Poll Tax

A tax that had to be paid before a person could vote.

Polling Place

The location in precinct where people vote.

Polytheism

Having a belief in many gods.

Pope

The bishop of Rome, head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Popular Sovereignty

Rule by the people.

Populism

Political focus or emphasis on the lives of ordinary people.

Pork-Barrel

Laws favoring projects of questionable necessity.

Posse Comitatus

The prohibition of the military from maintain "law and order" on domestic soil not owned by the Federal government.

Post-Modernism

Movement that does not expect rationality in the world and is comfortable with many "truths."

Pragmatism

A straightforward way of thinking that is concerned more with results rather than principles.

Preamble

An introduction to a formal document.

Predestination

The belief that God has determined in advanced who will be saved and condemned.

Prehistory

The period before writing was developed.

Price Ceiling

A maximum price for a good.

Price Floor

A minimum price for a good.

Price Index

Comparing prices over time.

Price Stability

The condition that exists when all price levels remain relatively constant over a period of time.

Price Supports

Buying farmers' crops if market price falls below support price.

Primary

An election in which members of a party choose candidates for a governmental position.

Private

Belonging to, restricted to, or intended for an individual person.

Privatization

The act of returning property from the government to individuals.

Producer

A person or group that makes goods or services to satisfy needs or wants.

Product Market

A market that the producers offer final goods and services.

Profit

The difference of the revenue received and cost of providing it.

Progressive Tax

Taxation method in which the tax rate increases as income increases.

Progressivism

1(Political) The idea that government should be the vehicle for social and economic reform; 2(Philosophy) An emphasis on the development of social skills and learning by doing with highly personalized objectives.

Prohibition

A policy that forbids by law the manufacture, sale, and transport of goods or services.

Proletariate

The working class.

Propaganda

The spreading of ideas about an institution or individual for the purpose of influencing opinion.

Prosperity

In a business cycle, an extended incline in overall business with substantial growth.

Protectionism

The use of trade barriers to safeguard a nation's industry against foreign competition.

Protectorate

A country that is technically independent but is actually under the control of another nation.

Psychology

The scientific study of the human mind and mental states, and of human and animal behavior.

Public

Relating to or concerning the people at large.

Public Assistance

Government programs that distributes money to poor people.

Public Housing

Government-subsidized housing for low-income families.

Public Opinion

The general attitude or feeling of the public concerning an issue or political decision-making.

Public Policy

The course of action a government takes in response to some issue or problem.

Public Works

Projects built with public funds for public use.

Public-Interest Group

A group that seeks policy goals that they believe will benefit the nation.

Pursuit

An offensive operation designed to catch or cut off a hostile force attempting to escape, with the aim of destroying it.

Pyrrhic Victory

Victory won at such great cost to the victor that it is identical to a defeat.

Quorum

A fixed minimum percentage or number of members who must be present before the members can conduct valid business.

Quota

The range of limits to be achieved in dollars or units of something.

Racism

The belief that people of different races have different qualities and abilities, and that some races are inherently superior or inferior.

Radicals

Somebody with radical or extreme views on political, economic, or social issues.

Ragtime

A style of popular music characterized by distinctive syncopated right-hand rhythms against a regularly accented left-hand beat.

Raiding

Attacking suddenly with made soldiers, aircraft, or any other force in an attempt to seize or destroy an enemy’s position.

Raking Fire

Fire directed parallel to the long axis of an enemy ship.

Rank

A single row of soldiers (side by side).

Ratification

To give formal approval.

Ration

1(History) A fixed and limited amount of something, especially food, given or allocated to a person or group from the stocks available, especially during a time of shortage or a war; 2(Military) An allotted amount of food given to soldiers.

Rationalism

A system of thought that reason is the chief source of knowledge.

Rationing

The giving out of scarce items on a limited basis.

Realism

A movement that sought to portray lower and middle class life as it actually was.

Realpolitik

Politics based on pragmatism or practicality rather than on ethical or theoretical considerations.

Reapportionment

The method states use to draw up political boundaries based on population.

Reason

The ability to think logically regarded as a basis for knowledge.

Recall

The right that enables voters to remove unsatisfactory elected officials from office.

Recession

In a business cycle, a substantial and general decline in overall business with some growth.

Reconnaissance

The exploration or examination of an area, especially to gather information about the strength and positioning of enemy forces.

Reconstruction

The period after the American Civil War the process by which the states of the Confederacy were reintegrated into the Union.

Recovery

In a business cycle, a substantial and general incline in overall business with some growth.

Redistricting

The redrawing of the boundaries of legislative districts for electoral purposes.

Referendum

The practice of letting voters accept or reject measures proposed by the legislature (approving a law).

Reflation

The intentional reversal of deflation through monetary action by a government.

Reformation

The 16th Century religious movement in Europe that set out to reform some of the doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the development of Protestantism.

Refugee

A person who flee to a foreign country to avoid war or persecution.

Region

An area unified by some feature or mixture of features.

Regressive Tax

Taxation method in which the tax rate decreases as income increases.

Relativism

Concepts may change based on perceptions from culture or situation.

Relief

1(Economics) Aid to the needy and welfare; 2(Geography) Changes in elevation, either few or many, that occur over a given area of land.

Renaissance

A European movement, from 14th through 16th Centuries, featuring major cultural and artistic change, including the revival of classical culture, the beginnings of modern science, and geographic exploration.

Reparation

Payment by the losing country in a war to the winner for damages caused by the war.

Representative Government

When people elect people to take the place of them in government work.

Representative Money

A money system for which an item has value to be exchanged for another of same value.

Republic

A form of government in which leaders are elected by citizens for representation.

Reservation

Land set aside for the habitation and use of a Native Amerindian people.

Reserved Powers

Powers reserved only to states.

Resolution

A written motion adopted by a deliberative body.

Resource Market

A market in which household exchanges with business and the government.

Response

A reaction of an organism to an activity.

Retail Workers

A person who works in a store.

Retreat

An immediate leaving of military forces following a defeat or preceding a change of position.

Revenue

The money collected by the government from taxation or other sources.

Rhetoric

The study of methods employed to write or speak effectively and persuasively.

Rider

An extra clause added to a legislative bill, often not directly related to the main issue.

Roaring Twenties

During the 1920s, the thought of as being a time of exuberance, hedonism, and prosperity in contrast to the hardship of World War I.

Rococo

A style of architecture and the decorative arts that replaced baroque, characterized by intricate ornamentation that was popular throughout Europe in the early 18th Century.

Roman Law

A body of law made up of legal ideas and systems derived from the Code of Justinian.

Romanticism

A movement that stressed feelings, emotion, and imagination as a source of knowledge.

Rout

A severe and humiliating defeat of an enemy force.

Rule of Law

Principle that every member of society (including rulers) must follow the law.

Rural Society

The countryside is the center of agrarian and traditional life.

Sachem

A chief of a Native American tribe or confederation.

Sack

To destroy a captured town or city and plunder its goods and valuables.

Safeguard

A detachment, guard, or detail posted by a commander for the protection of persons, places, or property of the enemy or a neutral.

Safety Net

Something that provides security against misfortune.

Salient

A part of a front, line, or fortification that projects outward into enemy-held territory or toward the enemy.

Salvo

A concentrated burst of firing or bombing from several different sources during a battle.

Sanctuary

A safe place for people being persecuted.

San-Culottes

Members of the Paris commune that considered themselves as ordinary patriots.

Sanskrit

The ancient language of Hindu scriptures, classical literature and scholarship, as well as the ancestor of most languages of the Indian Subcontinent.

Satellite

A political unit that is dependent upon another more powerful state or nation on its periphery.

Satrap

In Ancient Persia, the governor of a province.

Scalawags

Southerners who supported the Republicans in the South.

Scalping

Cutting off the scalp of an enemy as a trophy.

Scarcity

Conditions of economics that results from limited resources and unlimited wants.

Schism

Separation between two branches of a church.

Scientific Management

A theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows.

Scorched-Earth Policy

A policy of destroying crops or buildings, or of removing anything that might be useful to an advancing enemy in wartime.

Scuttling

To destroy or bring something to an end.

Secede

To make a withdrawal of membership from an organization, state, or alliance.

Secession

The formal act of withdrawal.

Secular

Nonreligious.

Secular Humanism

A world view doctrine that stresses human values without reference to religious dogma.

Secularization

Indifference to or rejection of religion or religious consideration.

Securities

Financial instruments that are sold as a means of borrowing money.

Sedition

Actions or words intended to provoke or incite rebellion against government authority.

Segregation

The separation or isolation of a race, class, or group.

Selective Service

A system for calling up men for drafting into military service.

Self-Determination

Belief that people in a territory should have the ability to choose their own government.

Self-Interests

Impulse that encourages people to fulfill their needs and wants.

Separate-But-Equal

Doctrine that permitted laws separating a group of people as long as equal facilities were provided.

Separation of Powers

The division of power among the three branches of government.

Sepoy

An Indian soldier that protects the British East India Company's interests.

Serf

A peasant legally bound to the land.

Service

Any action or activity that is performed for a fee.

Service Workers

One whose job it is to do something for others for a fee.

Settlement Houses

Institution located in poor neighborhoods that provided numerous community services.

Shah

In Ancient Persia and Iran, the hereditary Islamic monarch.

Shaman

An Amerindian medicine man: the spiritual leader of the tribe.

Share

The smallest unit of ownership and portion of an owner's interest in a business.

Sheikh

The ruler of an Arabic tribe.

Shell

Explosive projectile fired from a large-bore gun such as a field gun or tank gun.

Shogun

A powerful military leader in Japan.

Shortage

Quantity demanded of a good or resource exceeds the quantity supplied.

Siege

An operation in which an army surrounds a city or fortification and cut off all outside access to force surrender.

Sit-In

A form of protest involving the occupying of seats or space of an establishment.

Skirmish

An incident where fighting breaks out briefly between two small groups, sometimes as part of a larger battle.

Slander

Saying something false or malicious that damages somebody's reputation.

Smog

Fog made heavier and darker by smoke and pollutants.

Social Contract

An agreement among individual people in a society or between the people and their government that outlines the rights and duties of each party.

Social Insurance

Government programs designed to help the elderly or ill.

Social Studies

An academic subject devoted to the study of society and including geography, economics, and history.

Socialism

An economic system based on government's ownership of the means of production.

Socialization

The process for providing required skills for functioning successfully in society.

Sociology

The study of the origin, development, and structure of human societies and the behavior of individuals and groups in society.

Soft Money

Money raised by a political party for general purposes.

Sortie

A mission flown by a combat aircraft.

Sovereignty

The supreme and absolute authority within territorial boundaries.

Soviet

A Russian council composed of representatives from workers and soldiers.

Space Race

Competition over the dominance of space exploration capability.

Speakeasy

A place where alcoholic beverages are sold illegally.

Specie

Money in the form of coins.

Speculation

Investing money at great risk with the anticipation that the price will rise.

Sphere of Influence

An area in which a foreign power has been granted exclusive rights and privileges.

Spoils System

Handing out government jobs to supporters.

Stagflation

Persistence inflation combined with stagnant consumer demand and high unemployment.

Staging Area

A place where troops or equipment in transit are assembled or processed.

Stalemate

A condition that exists when neither of two sides is able to make significant gain.

Standard of Living

People's economic well-being as determined by consumed goods.

Standard of Value

A measure of the relative value of various goods or services.

Stare Decisis

Judges are obliged to respect the precedent established by prior decisions.

State

An area forming part of a federal country with its own government and legislature and control over most of its own internal affairs.

States' Rights

The powers and rights not granted by the U.S. Constitution to the federal government and not forbidden to the states by the Constitution.

Static

Motionless and dormant.

Statism

A political thought in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs.

Stimulus

Something that produces a physical reaction in an organism.

Stock

A share of ownership in a corporation.

Stock Market

A system for buying and selling stocks in corporations.

Stockholder

Someone who owns shares in a company.

Stockyard

A large enclosed yard with pens or covered stables where livestock is kept before being sold, slaughtered, or shipped.

Store of Value

A medium of exchange that allows it.

Strait

Narrow stretch of water joining two larger bodies of water.

Strategy

The science of the overall planning and conducting a war or a military campaign.

Stratification

A structured ranking of entire groups of people that perpetuates unequal economic reward and power in society.

Subjection

The bringing of a person or people under the control of another by force.

Subsidiary

A company that is owned and controlled by another company that owns more than half of the subsidiary's stock.

Subsidy

Payment by government to ensure economic activities are maintained.

Subsistence Agriculture

Growing only enough crops and livestock to meet a family's basic needs.

Substitute Good

A product that purchasers used in place of another product.

Suffrage

The right to vote in public elections.

Sultan

The military and political head of state under the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks.

Summit

A meeting of heads of governments.

Sunset Law

Laws requiring period checks on government agencies to see if they are still needed.

Sunshine Law

a law that prohibits closed meetings of public bodies.

Supply

The quantity of a type of goods or services available in a market at a given time.

Supply-Side Economics

Lowering taxes will boost the economy from invested savings.

Supremacy Clause

Laws and treaties passed by Congress shall be the highest in the land.

Surplus

Quantity supplied of a good or resource exceeds the quantity demanded.

Surrealism

Artistic movement that seeks to depict the world of the unconscious.

Symmetrical Warfare

War between two belligerents that have similar military power and resources and differing only in tactics details and execution.

Syndicate

A business group.

Tactics

The science of organizing and maneuvering forces in a battle to achieve a specific objective.

Tank

A large armored combat vehicle with caterpillar treads and a rotating turret.

Tax

Money paid by the citizens used to operate the government.

Tenant Farmer

A farmer who rents a farm, plot, or agricultural land, and pays the owner in cash or with produce.

Tenements

Large residential building in a city, usually of three or more stories and with only basic amenities, where a large number of people live in self-contained rented apartments.

Termination Policy

Bringing Native Americans into mainstream society by withdrawing recognition of Native American groups as legal entities.

Terrain

Land seen in terms of its surface features or physical characteristics.

Terrorism

Violence or the threat of violence carried out for political purposes.

Test Oath

A swearing of allegiance or proof of past allegiance in order to vote or hold public office.

Theocracy

A form of government ruled predominately by religious leaders.

Tight Money

Raising interest rates to make money harder to borrow and reduce money in circulation.

Tomahawk

A light axe blade with a straight shaft that is used as a hand-to-hand or a thrown weapon.

Torpedo

A cylindrical self-propelled missile that is launched from an aircraft, ship, or submarine and travels underwater to hit its target.

Total Warfare

War that involves the complete mobilization of resources and people; and, indiscriminately include combatants and noncombatants alike.

Totalitarianism

The operation of a centralized government system in which a single party without opposition rules over political, economic, social, and cultural life.

Tour

A period of military duty in a specific place or for a fixed length of time.

Tourism

Travel to benefit from a particular service or activity that is unavailable at home.

Trade Deficit

The difference between the value of a country's import versus its exports.

Trade Union

An organization of workers who practice the same trade or skill.

Tragedy

A serious play with a tragic theme, often involving a heroic struggle and the downfall of the main character.

Transfer Payment

A payment made by government to someone who does not produce goods or service.

Trench

A long excavation, often with the excavated earth banked up in front, used as a defense against enemy fire.

Trench Warfare

War that involves fighting from ditches protected by barbwire.

Trial Jury

A group of peers that decides the fate (the verdict) of the accused.

Trial of Removal

The act of releasing an elected public official from office.

Tribe

A society or division of a society whose members have ancestry, customs, beliefs, and leadership in common.

Tribunal

A body that is appointed to make a judgment or inquiry.

Tributary

Small river or stream that flows into a larger river or stream; a branch of the river.

Tribute

Payment made by one ruler or state to another as a sign of submission.

Trust

A combination of firms or corporations formed by a legal agreement to reduce competition.

Truth

The thing that corresponds to fact or reality.

Turning Movement

A variation of the envelopment in which the attacking force passes around or over the enemy's principal defensive positions to secure objectives deep in the enemy's rear to force the enemy to abandon his position or divert major forces to meet the threat.

Turning Point

An event that marks the beginning of a completely new stage or path in the course of human events.

Tyranny

An oppressive government which exercise absolute and unjust power.

Tyrant

An absolute ruler who exercises power cruelly and unjustly.

Unemployment Insurance

Government programs that provide for people out of work.

Unfunded Mandates

Programs ordered but not paid for by the federal government.

Unicameral

A single-chamber legislature.

Unitary System

A system of government in which authority is centralized in a national government.

Unterseeboots

German submarines.

Urbanization

The process of humans adapting a sedentary lifestyle and permanent settlement with one another.

Urban Renewal

Federal aid for cities to clear slum areas and rebuild.

Urban Society

Cities are the center of political, economic, and social life.

Usury

The act of charging borrowers a higher rate of interest allowed by law.

Utilitarianism

Ethical doctrine that the greatest happiness should be the criterion of the virtue of action.

Utopia

A condition that is destructive to the welfare of a free and open society.

Van Halen

The greatest band that ever took the stage.

Vassal

A man who served a lord in military capacity.

Vernacular

The language of everyday speech in a particular region.

Veto

A rejection of a bill.

Viceroy

A governor who ruled as a representative of a monarch.

Victory Garden

Gardens planted by American citizens during war to raise vegetables for home use.

Vietnamization

The process of making South Vietnamese assume more of the war effort.

Vision Quest

An Amerindian spiritual search to learn by means of a trance or vision the identity of a personal guardian spirit.

Vizier

In some Islamic countries and especially in the former Ottoman Empire, a high-ranking government officer.

Wage

The payment for labor to a worker.

War

Policy of achieving objectives over another country with the use of force.

War Communism

Seizure of banks, industries, grains, and the centralization of state administration.

War on Poverty

Anti-poverty program under Lyndon B. Johnson.

War Party

A group of Amerindian warriors set to fight or attack an enemy.

Ward

An administrative or electoral division of an area such as a city, town, or county.

Wehrmacht

The German armed forces.

Welfare Capitalism

System in which companies enable employees to buy stock, participate in profit sharing, and receive benefits such as medical care.

Welfare State

Government takes responsibility for providing citizens with services.

Wigwam

Native North American hut made by covering a conical or dome-shaped framework of poles with woven rush mats or sheets of bark.

Wisdom

The ability to make sensible decisions and judgments based on reason and experience.

Withdrawal

Retirement of a military force from an area in which it was fighting.

Writ

An official written order issued by the government.

Yellow Journalism

Type of sensational, biased reporting for the sake of attracting readers.

Zoning

Dividing up a place into designated areas for a particular purpose or to be developed in a particular way.