Commonly Used World History Terms and their Definitions:

Kingdom: Area ruled by an inherited ruler, often a king or queen.

Civilization: A society that has the following characteristics – produces a surplus of food; establishes towns or cities with some form of government; division of labor.

Empire: Form of government in which an individual or a single people rules over many other peoples and their territory.

Society: An abstraction of a collection of relationships between individuals, usually including distinctive cultural, economic, or political properties and vary greatly in complexity and scope.

Dynasty: A succession of people belonging to the same family, who, through various means and forms maintain power, influence or authority over the course of generations.

City-State: An independent, self-governing city that incorporated its surrounding territory, including smaller towns and villages.

Hegemony: Domination, influence, or authority over another, especially by one political group over a society or by one nation over others

Cultural Diffusion: The process of spread of an idea, feature, belief system, custom, or trend from one place to another over time.

Diaspora: The forced migration of a people to another land and the maintaining and influence of the homelands’ culture on the new land.

Push/Pull Migrations: Push factors are unpleasant events that force a people off their land, whereas, pull factors are incentives that cause people to migrate of their own free will.

Historiography: the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources. Evaluating whether a source is authentic and reputable when you cite it.

Syncretism: the combination of different forms of belief or practice. Similar to cultural diffusion, but specific to religiosity.

Cognitive Dissonance: the feeling of discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs. When there is a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors, something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance.

ethnocentrism: characterized by or based on the attitude that one's own group is superior.
Last modified: Tuesday, September 11, 2012, 2:15 PM