Global History Regents Review
Unit 1: The Ancient World
Section 1: Early Peoples and River Civilizations
Nomads – people who moved from place to place, hunting and gathering their food. Paleolithic people were nomads. Their simple social structure consisted of small groups of people who traveled together. Cultural Diffusion – the exchange of ideas, customs, and goods among cultures. Cultural diffusion occurs through trade, warfare, and migration. Neolithic – the New Stone Age in which planting seeds to grow foods and the domestication of animals were discovered. This allowed people to live in permanent settlements. New social classes came about for the chiefs and warriors. New technology, tools, and skills, such as calendars, wheels, metal weapons and tools, and plows. Civilization – characterized by cities, central government, traditional economy, organized religion, social classes, art, architecture, roads, bridges, system of writing, specialized jobs, and other public works. Pharaoh – the Egyptian ruler who was believed to be both a god and a king. When a pharaoh died, he was buried in a majestic pyramid. Pyramids took years to build and required enormous planning and organization. When the mummies of pharaohs were buried in pyramids, they were surrounded by possessions to use in the afterlife. Fertile Crescent – a crescent-shaped region of good farmland created by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers stretches from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean. The lack of natural barriers in the Fertile Crescent allowed frequent migrations and invasions, while the diversity of the people made it difficult to unite them into a single nation. The Fertile Crescent is called “The Cradle of Civilization.” Ziggurats – pyramid-like structures built by the polytheistic Sumerians in the center of their cities. A ziggurat had steps that people could climb to reach the shrine of that particular city’s chief god. Cuneiform – a wedge-shape writing formed by pressing a pen-like instrument in clay. Invented by the Sumerians. Empire – groups of states or territories governed by one ruler. Code of Hammurabi – the set of laws created by one of Babylon’s mightiest rulers. This was the first major collection of laws in history. Although these laws favored higher classes over lower ones, they established standards of justice for all classes. Punishment was harsh, stressing the idea of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Middle Kingdom – name of the Chinese culture, which they believed to be the center of the Earth. Polytheistic – believing in many gods.
Dynasty – ruling family.
Section 2: Classical Civilizations
Mandate of Heaven – a divine approval to rule. Each new dynasty in China would claim the Mandate of Heaven. New dynasties would take over and bring peace, prosperity, new roads and bridges, and protection with them, but after generations go by, it becomes an old dynasty treating and taxing people unfairly while letting the roads and bridges go into disrepair and failing to protect the people. The Chinese later expanded this idea to explain the dynastic cycle, the rise and fall of dynasties. Feudalism – a system in which local lords controlled their own regions but owed military service to a ruler. Over time, feudal lords came to hold the real power. Zhou Dynasty – overthrew the Shang dynasty and claimed the Mandate of Heaven. Under the Zhou kings, The Chinese used the feudal system, expanded trade, circulated for the first time currency, and made books and silk. Qin Dynasty – Shi Huangdi centralized his power after conquering the Zhou by abolishing the feudal states and dividing the country into military districts, standardizing measurements, creating national coins, promoting uniformity in Chinese writing, repairing canals and roads, and building the Great Wall. Han Dynasty – Liu Bang, who took the title Gao Zu, took over China after the Qin dynasty. He reduced taxes and eased the harsh policies of the Qin. It established...
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