The ___ Empire, a Sunni Islamic state, arose in the Turkish areas of Central Asia in the 1300s and ultimately spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa, before its collapse after World War I.
Which powerful French king, known as the Sun King, ruled in the 17th and 18th centuries, reigned for more than 70 years, and strongly believed in the divine right of kings?
During his reign France was the leading European power, and he helped create a centralized state by pacifying the aristocracy by inviting many nobles to live at his palace at Versailles.
Which 17th- and 18th-century Russian czar expanded Russia into a large empire and transformed its medieval sociopolitical system into a more modern and Western science-based one?
Peter the Great
He established the new capital, St. Petersburg (which was temporarily renamed Leningrad in the 20th century).
What was the Enlightenment?
From roughly 1650-1790, the Enlightenment marked the first time a secular world view predominated among leading intellectuals in the Western world.
Previously, Catholics and Protestants had controlled most knowledge and had contended that all true knowledge came from the Church. The "light" of the Enlightenment came from man's own ability to reason outside of the Church.
The Seven Years' War (1756-1763) took place primarily in what country?
Prussia (modern-day Germany and Austria)
With the financial aid of Great Britain, Frederick the Great of Prussia was able to defeat the combined armies of France, Russia, and Sweden.
Which Empress of Russia ruled in the 18th century and reigned for over thirty years?
Catherine the Great
She encouraged the cultural influences of Western Europe and presided over the Russian Enlightenment. Under her rule Russia grew larger and stronger than ever and became one of the great powers of Europe. She is known for her many romantic affairs, many of them with members of her court and government.
What invention displaced rivers and streams as the main power source for British factories?
the steam engine
- Patented by James Watt in 1769, the modern steam engine allowed British textile production to skyrocket, ushering in the Industrial Revolution
- In addition to textile manufacturing, the steam engine had all sorts of other applications ranging from mining to shipping
What type of rock powered the early steam engines?
- Britain possessed an abundance of coal, providing the country with cheap fuel with which to ignite the Industrial Revolution
- Due to coal's dirty nature, rivers, streams, and cities became extremely polluted during the Industrial Revolution, leading countries to enact the first major environmental regulations
Which 18th- and 19th-century American is famous for inventing the cotton gin, one of the major inventions of the Industrial Revolution?
Which American inventor of the 19th century created the single-wire telegraph and co-invented Morse code?
Imperialism is a foreign policy aimed at the permanent control of territories, markets, and raw materials. Countries in the 1500s through early 1900s strove to build empires by conquering and acquiring more colonies.
What was the American Revolution?
The American Revolution describes the virtues of liberty and self-government that inspired American colonists to drive out the British government, and ultimately to form the United States, in the late 1700s. Some key details:
- After 1763, the English government established taxes on the American colonists to pay the cost of the French and Indian War and to fund the British Army forces protecting the colonists
- Irritated that they were being taxed without their consent, the American colonists sent missives to the British government and, when these were refused, broke out into open rebellion
- The Declaration of Independence was submitted to the British government in 1776, causing Britain to declare war
- With the help of the French, the American colonists defeated the British in 1783
What late-1700s European political and philosophical movement, begun in France, was marked by the overthrow of absolute monarchy and experimentation with democratic forms of government?
the French Revolution
Lasting roughly from 1789 to 1799 and inspired by the new government in America, the French Revolution marked the end of the Ancien Régime, the absolute monarchy that had lasted for centuries. It facilitated several important philosophies such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
Who was the last king of France before the French Revolution and was beheaded in 1793?
Although he first accepted a change from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy, he and his family, including his wife Marie Antoinette, eventually tried to flee the country. They were caught and returned to Paris as traitors and prisoners. Marie Antoinette was also sent to the guillotine in 1793.
Which French statesman is generally seen as having led the Reign of Terror (1793-1794), during which 40,000 "enemies of the French Revolution" were executed?
An enormously important figure in the early years of the Revolution, he was executed in 1794 after public opinion of him and his extreme policies shifted.
What is Napoleon Bonaparte best known for?
Napoleon was a French military leader who conquered much of Europe between 1805 and 1811.
- Napoleon sought to promote the ideals of the French Revolution, most notably via the Napoleonic Code, a greatly influential legal code that allowed freedom of religion and forbade privileges based on birth
- His armies were eventually stopped by a combination of British naval power, an ill-advised invasion of Russia, and a guerrilla war in Spain
- Defeated by a six-nation army at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, Napoleon was exiled from Europe
- He was known for being short, at 5 foot 6 inches (which was actually average for the time); today, short people with big egos are said to have a "Napoleonic complex"
What was the title of Arthur Wellesley, a 19th-century British general and statesman who commanded the allied army that defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo?
Duke of Wellington
What Caribbean nation won independence from France in 1804?
- Distracted by the French Revolution and large-scale European wars, the French initially did little to put down the Haitian Revolution, which began as a slave revolt in 1791
- In 1801, Napoleon dispatched troops to retake Haiti
- The French troops captured Haitian leader Toussaint L'Ouverture and sent him to France, but eventually many French troops died of yellow fever
- After losing the Battle of Vertières to the Haitian rebels, the French returned home and Haiti became an independent nation
What 1803 event doubled the land area of the United States?
The Louisiana Purchase
- In 1803, to fund Napoleon's wars, France sold the United States the Louisiana Territory, spanning over 828,000 square miles, for $15 million
- The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States overnight and was one of President Thomas Jefferson's greatest accomplishments
Manifest Destiny was an American belief that the U.S. was entitled to the entire North American landmass between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
Inspired by this belief, the U.S. fought wars against both the Native American tribes and Mexico to assert control over most of North America. By the 1850s, most of the modern United States was under government control.
- Announced by President James Monroe in 1823, the Monroe Doctrine declared that European nations would not be allowed to interfere in the Western Hemisphere
- While the Monroe Doctrine did ensure that most of the Western Hemisphere remained free of direct European control, the growth of U.S. power in the 19th century ensured that the region became part of the American sphere of influence
Which Latin American country was the first to successfully achieve independence from Spain?
In the 1810s and 1820s, Mexico fought a successful war of independence from Spain. Mexico's war for independence was the first of a number of conflicts that saw much of Latin America freed from Spanish control in the ensuing decades.
Which 18th- and 19th-century Venezuelan military and political leader successfully fought the Spanish Empire for the independence of several countries in South America?
He helped lead Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia (named in his honor) to independence. One of the most important politicians in Latin American history, he helped lay the foundation for democracy in much of the region.
Between 1846 and 1848, Mexico fought a war with what power, eventually losing much of its territory?
The United States
Mexico fought the Mexican-American War against the United States. Mexico sued for peace after U.S. forces captured Mexico City. In the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico gave up most of what is today the Western United States.
Which 19th-century German economist, philosopher, and socialist founded Marxism, the fundamental theory of communism that calls for a classless society where all means of production are commonly owned?
Working closely with his friend Friedrich Engels, his two most famous works are Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto. His ideology contributed to the creation of socialist states like the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China in the 20th century.
Who wrote The Communist Manifesto in 1848?
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
- The Communist Manifesto laid out how the capitalist system would be replaced by socialism, through a triumph of the working class
- Marxism has continued to inspire revolutionaries and socialist parties around the world
What were Romanticism and Realism?
Romanticism was a cultural movement from around 1800-1850 that emphasized the ideal classical beauty of nature, art, music, and literature. It was largely a reaction to the impure effects of the Industrial Revolution.
In the 1850s, Realism began as a reaction against Romanticism. Realists attempted to portray subject matter truthfully and accurately, without artificiality, and sought to avoid exotic and supernatural elements.
Between 1839 and 1876, the Ottoman Empire introduced the ___ ___, aimed at modernizing the Ottoman state.
- The Tanzimat Reforms were a series of measures that sought to simplify the Ottoman legal system, import Western educational reforms, establish postal and telegraph systems, and increase religious tolerance for non-Muslims
- The Tanzimat Reforms even went so far as to provide limited public education for women, some of whom began to enter the Ottoman public life
- The changes were limited, however, and the Ottoman Empire continued to suffer serious problems as it declined
Which Queen of the United Kingdom ruled from 1837 until her death in 1901 and whose reign was characterized by the growth and power of the British Empire?
The Victorian Era was a period of great industrial and cultural development within the UK, and is also associated with a certain strict sense of morality.
On July 1, 1867, the federal Dominion of Canada was formed via the ___ ___, with three British colonies forming four provinces of the new dominion.
Which 19th- and 20th-century English nurse founded the world's first secular nursing school in London and is considered the mother of modern nursing?
What was the Scramble for Africa?
The conquest of virtually the entire African continent by European nations in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
- The main players were Britain, France, and Germany, with Belgium and Italy playing a smaller role
- Both the Portuguese and Spanish had existing colonies on the continent
- Although only 10% of Africa had been under European control in 1880, by 1914 only two African states remained independent: Ethiopia and Liberia
What conflict erupted in South Africa in 1899?
The (Second) Boer War
- In 1899, war broke out between British South Africa and the Boer Republics (Transvaal and the Orange Free State, made up of Afrikaner descendants of the original Dutch-speaking settlers of the region)
- British attempts to control the region's rich gold and diamond mines contributed to the outbreak of the conflict
- Boer resistance collapsed when the British began putting Boer civilians into concentration camps where thousands died
- The British emerged victorious in 1902, and the republics were eventually consolidated into the Union of South Africa
Beginning in 1910, a revolution in ___ ousted President Porfirio Díaz.
- For the next 10 years, in what essentially transformed from a revolution to a civil war, Mexico faced chaos as rivals, including Pancho Villa, jockeyed for power
- In 1920, the military seized control, although violence continued until 1929
- The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) ruled the country from 1929 until 2000
What event set off World War I?
On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Slav nationalist with ties to the Serbian secret service, assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, along with his wife Sophie.
Thanks to a complex interwoven set of alliances, this event started a chain reaction that led many countries to declare war against each other, thereby igniting World War I.
What was the significance of the Zimmermann Telegram?
It brought the United States into World War I.
In 1917, the German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann sent a telegram to Mexico seeking to ascertain Mexico's interest in declaring war against the United States.
The United States took intense umbrage to Germany's diplomatic measures, and President Woodrow Wilson declared war shortly thereafter.
What document effectively ended World War I?
The Treaty of Versailles
Signed on June 28, 1919, the treaty ended the fighting between Germany and the Allied Powers. More significantly, it stipulated that Germany should repay heavy financial reparations to the victors of the war. These debts crippled the German economy for the ensuing decades and inspired national angst that facilitated the rise of fascism, and Adolf Hitler, by the 1930s.
What international organization did U.S. President Woodrow Wilson propose to resolve disputes between nations after World War I?
The League of Nations
Ironically, due to Congressional resistance, the United States was the only major nation that never joined the League of Nations. The League later proved ineffectual to prevent the rising militarism of the 1930s, and the outbreak of World War II by 1939. These lessons were later taken seriously when the United Nations charter was drafted in the late 1940s.
The minority of ___ that lived in the Ottoman Empire were largely exterminated in a widespread genocide conducted between 1915 and 1923.
The Armenian Genocide resulted in up to 1.5 million deaths. Armenians were subjected to forced labor and death marches, as well as executions. Other ethnic groups were targeted as well as the Armenians. The Turkish government does not recognize the massacre as a genocide.
Which figure was the first President of Turkey from 1923 to 1938 and had a surname meaning "Father of the Turks"?
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938)
He helped found modern-day Turkey in the 1920s after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, leading the Turkish National Movement in the Turkish War of Independence against the Allies. He then helped establish a secular government and oversaw the modernization of Turkey's schools, political infrastructure, and civil rights system.
Who led the Russian Revolution of 1917 and established the Soviet Union?
A member of the Bolshevik party, he oversaw Soviet industrialization, the implementation of state capitalism, the transfer of land to workers' soviets, and the country's exit from World War I. He served as the chief of government until his death in 1924, whereby he was succeeded by Joseph Stalin, whom he had not trusted.
What event is known as the start of the Great Depression?
The stock market crash of October 1929
After a booming 1920s, the stock market crash inspired a panic that spiraled into a global economic depression until the end of the 1930s. Many countries experienced unemployment of over 25%, and the resulting angst helped some fascist leaders rise to power in Europe throughout the decade.
A nationalist authoritarian regime where the state reigns supreme
Opposed to both Marxism and capitalism, fascism advocates an economic policy of corporatism, where employers and employees form syndicates that are joined together and guided by the government to advance national economic policies and production. The most notable proponents of fascism in the 1930s were Benito Mussolini (Italy) and Adolf Hitler (Germany).
Which Austrian-born German dictator ruled from 1933 until his death in 1945 and was responsible for the Holocaust and World War II?
After fighting in World War I, he joined the German Workers' Party, the predecessor of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, or Nazi Party. He wrote Mein Kampf (My Struggle), which outlined his program for Germany, and established the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship, then began World War II in 1939 by invading Poland. Wishing to create a master race of Aryans, he supervised the systematic murder of 11 million people, including 6 million Jews (the Holocaust).
Who succeeded Lenin as head of the Soviet Union in 1924?
- Following Lenin's death in 1924, there was a brief jockeying for power before Joseph Stalin emerged as the de facto head of the Soviet Union
- His policies of collectivization and industrialization displaced millions and contributed to a famine, and they were followed by the Great Purge, a period of brutal repression against those seen as opponents of the government
- After leading the Soviet Union to victory in World War II, he figured prominently in the Potsdam and Yalta Conferences, then led the USSR in its development as a world power, contributing to the Cold War
In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt announced his Good Neighbor Policy. To whom was the policy directed?
After many decades of direct interventions in Latin American affairs, including the occupation of Haiti and the protectorate placed over Cuba, Roosevelt proclaimed the Good Neighbor Policy in order to minimize the United States' direct presence in Latin America.
In 1936, what general led Nationalist rebels to victory in the Spanish Civil War?
General Francisco Franco
- Supported by the Spanish aristocracy and the clergy, Franco's Nationalist forces had revolted against the control of Spain's Republican government
- The Nationalists were aided by Germany and Italy, while the U.S.S.R. supported the Republicans
- In 1939, Franco's Nationalist forces succeeded in beating the Republicans
- Franco's government lasted until Franco's death in 1975, when a constitutional monarchy was proclaimed
Although strictly in violation of the terms of the Versailles Treaty, in 1933 Hitler's Germany annexed (occupied) ___, an event known as the Anschluss.
The League of Nations, the European powers, and the United States did little to prevent this annexation, except to conduct some mild diplomatic protests. This empowered Hitler to later annex parts of other countries.
Announced during the Nazi Party's 1935 rally in the German city of Nuremberg, the Nuremberg Laws removed the citizenship of all German Jews and prohibited all marriages and sexual intercourse between Jews and Germans.
Hitler's desire for a portion of Czechoslovakia known as the Sudetenland led to what international conference in 1938?
The Munich Conference
At the Munich Conference, Britain and France awarded the Sudetenland to Germany, upon Hitler's promise not to make any further territorial demands. Giving in to Hitler's demands was known as appeasement, a diplomatic policy aimed at avoiding war by making concessions to an aggressor.
On the night of November 9th, 1938, Nazi troops and civilians throughout Germany and Austria launched a coordinated series of attacks on Jews and Jewish businesses known as ___.
- Kristallnacht, German for "Crystal Night," refers to the broken glass from Jewish store windows, which covered the streets the next morning
- Some 1,000 Jewish synagogues were burned, and 30,000 Jews were arrested and deported to concentration camps
- The event marked a symbolic increase in public opinion against Jews and increased the momentum of deportation to concentration camps
How did the Western European powers react to the Germans' invasion of Poland in September 1939?
France and Great Britain declared war on Germany.
Before the Allies were able to mobilize their forces, Germany's blitzkrieg ("lightning war") approach allowed it to quickly conquer Poland, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and France. By late 1940, almost the entirety of Western Europe was under German control.
Which British author and statesman is best known for serving twice as Prime Minister, most notably during World War II?
He formed an alliance with Franklin D. Roosevelt (USA) and Joseph Stalin (Soviet Union) against Hitler's Germany and came to epitomize British resistance to conquest by the Nazis. Regarded as a great orator and wartime leader, and also won a Nobel Prize in Literature.
Which countries composed the Axis and Allied Powers in World War II?
- The main Axis Powers were Germany, Italy, and Japan
- The main Allied Powers were the U.S., Britain, France, and the USSR
What was the Holocaust?
The Holocaust was the systematic killing of Jews and other "undesirables" under the direction of Hitler's German government, and is estimated to have killed 6 million Jews.
Some 3 million other persons, including gypsies, homosexuals, and communists, are estimated to have lost their lives in concentration camps dedicated to using industrial methods to kill as rapidly as possible.
Which German-born Jewish girl is remembered as one of the most prominent victims of the Holocaust and is best known for her posthumously published work The Diary of a Young Girl?
Her diary documents her experiences hiding from Nazis during the German occupation of the Netherlands. She and her family were discovered in 1944, and she died in 1945 after being sent to a concentration camp.
In late 1937 and early 1938 during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japanese forces raped and/or murdered up to 300,000 Chinese civilians and troops in an event known as the ___ ___ ___.
Rape of Nanking
At the time, Nanking was the capital of the Republic of China. The Second Sino-Japanese War would later become part of the Second World War's Pacific War.
Between February 19 and March 26, 1945, American forces took the island of ___ ___ from Japan in one of World War II's fiercest battles.
Iwo Jima had been a Japanese territory before the War and was the first piece of Japanese territory to fall to Allies. Some 27,000 American casualties resulted from the attack.
What was the final major island to be conquered in the spring of 1945 as part of the War in the Pacific during World War II?
Only 340 miles from Japan, the American military attack on Okinawa was integral to providing an American air base for the eventual nuclear attack on mainland Japan. Constant kamikaze attacks and fierce resistance led to at least 65,000 Allied casualties and 100,000 Japanese casualties.
How did Adolf Hitler die?
In late April 1945, the Soviet Red Army had surrounded Berlin, and Hitler and his commanders finally faced the reality that the war was lost. On April 29, Hitler married Eva Braun and dictated his will to his secretary. On April 30, he and Braun committed suicide: Braun poisoned herself and Hitler shot himself.
What was the Manhattan Project?
The Manhattan Project, under physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and Major General Leslie Groves, was a secret U.S. effort to develop atomic weapons. The first nuclear device was detonated in the New Mexico desert in July 1945.
On which two Japanese cities did American forces drop atomic bombs in August 1945?
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
President Truman ordered the attacks out of concern that attempting to conquer Japan would result in hundreds of thousands more American casualties. To provide an opportunity for mercy, he had requested an immediate Japanese surrender before giving the order to drop the bombs. Some 200,000 Japanese civilians died as a result of the bombings, and Japan surrendered on August 15.
What were VE Day and VJ Day?
VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, was May 8, 1945, which marked Nazi Germany's surrender and the end of WWII in Europe.
VJ Day, or Victory over Japan Day, was August 15, 1945, the date of Japan's surrender, signaling the end of WWII. (In the U.S., VJ Day is September 2, since the surrender document was officially signed on that date.)
In the spring of 1945, while World War II was still going on, representatives from 50 nations met in San Francisco to draft the charter of what international organization?
The United Nations
In October of the same year, the Senate approved America's involvement in the organization. Today, the United Nations is based in New York, and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council are the same countries that led the fight against the Axis Powers: the United States, the Soviet Union (Russia), France, Great Britain, and China.
During the summer of 1945, at the ___ Conference, representatives from the Soviet Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom divided Germany into four roughly equal zones of occupation.
At the Potsdam Conference, the British, French, Americans, and Soviets each agreed to occupy roughly a quarter of Germany. In addition, the parties divided Berlin (which lay within the Soviet Zone) into four quarters, each assigned to one of the four powers.
What did British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declare an "Iron Curtain" in 1945?
Churchill was referring to the Soviet Union's domination of the countries of Eastern Europe. The term Iron Curtain came to represent the ideological and economic divide between the countries of Western Europe and those countries of Eastern Europe under Communist control.
When and how was the State of Israel created?
The independent State of Israel was declared in 1948, sanctioned by the United Nations.
- From 1920 to 1948 the territory of Palestine was ruled by a British mandate. In 1947 the question of Palestine was given to the United Nations
- In late 1947, the UN adopted a resolution to implement a partition plan that would split the territory into two states -- one Jewish state and one Arabic state -- in order to give Jews their own (ancestral) home
- Beyond causing joy in the Jewish community and discontent in the Arab community, this UN resolution brought a civil war, in which the Jews prevailed
- In May 1948, David Ben-Gurion became the first Prime Minister of the country
What organization emerged in 1964 to contest the establishment of the State of Israel?
The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)
Led by Yasir Arafat, the PLO was seen by Israel and the U.S. as a terrorist organization up until the 1990s.
The ___ ___ was the $13 billion U.S. campaign to rebuild Europe after the devastation of World War II.
- Beginning in 1948, it was available to all European countries, but was rejected by the Soviet Union and the Communist states of Eastern Europe
- The Marshall Plan didn't only repair damage, but also aimed to modernize European industrial and business facilities
- As part of the policy of containment, the Marshall Plan allowed the pro-democracy governments of France and Italy to provide an alternative to Communism
What was the Berlin Airlift?
In April 1948, in protest of the introduction of the Deutschmark, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway, road, and canal access to the parts of Berlin under Allied control. This was known as the Berlin Blockade.
In response, the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa began to deliver humanitarian aid cargo by air, a campaign known as the Berlin Airlift. By May 1949, nearly 9,000 tons of supplies had been delivered to Berlin, rendering the ground blockades ineffective and leading the Soviet Union to drop its blockade.
The United States granted independence to the ___ in 1946.
The United States had seized the Philippines from Spain in 1898 and promised the country independence during the 1930s.
Which large Asian country split into two countries, following Britain's departure in 1947?
The dominions of India and Pakistan were established in 1947. The former colony split along religious lines, with Pakistan being mostly Muslim and India being mostly Hindu. Both dominions became republics in the 1950s, with Bangladesh splitting off from Pakistan in 1971.
Which famous nonviolent protester was leader of the movement for Indian independence from Britain and a lifelong activist for many human rights and religious issues?
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
Which communist revolutionary led China from 1949 until his death in 1976 and oversaw the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, a program to purge and weed out all capitalist culture?
A follower of Marxism, he founded the People's Republic of China following the flight of former leader Chiang Kai-shek to Taiwan. He seized control over many aspects of Chinese society, including land, agriculture, and industry; some of his changes were met with opposition and resulted in national tragedies, such as widespread famine. Meanwhile, he is also credited with modernizing China and improving its healthcare and education systems.
Which 20th-century Chinese military and political leader served as ruler of the Republic of China before the Chinese Communist Party's takeover?
In the two decades before the communist takeover, Chiang's Kuomintang, the Chinese Nationalist Party, clashed with Mao's Communist Party of China in the Chinese Civil War, with the two sides uniting temporarily to defeat invading Japanese forces.
Chiang was then overthrown by Mao Zedong's Communist forces in 1949. He fled to Taiwan and established the Republic of China, which exists to this day.
What is NATO, and what was the significance of its formation?
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization
In 1949, in partial response to the Berlin Airlift, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, and several other (European) nations created a mutual defense organization, NATO.
The Soviets responded by creating their own alliance with the Eastern European Communist states, which was known as the Warsaw Pact. The formation of NATO and the Warsaw Pact formalized the Cold War, which would last until 1991. Several former Warsaw Pact countries are now members of NATO.
The Cold War, often dated from 1945 to 1991, was a longstanding state of political and military tension between the Warsaw Pact nations (led by the Soviet Union) and the NATO nations (led by the United States).
Considering that the nations on each side had defense arrangements with many other nations across the globe, there was considerable global anxiety that a World War III could break out at any moment.
In 1951, France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg formed the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which laid the groundwork for the founding of what association?
The European Union (EU)
The Maastricht Treaty, effective in 1993, established the European Union, and the euro was introduced in 2002.
After the Second World War, who took charge of the establishment of democracy in Japan?
General Douglas MacArthur
U.S. General MacArthur initially set up a parliamentary democracy, but retained the Japanese Emperor as a figurehead. The new Japanese constitution limited Japan's army and barred Japan from participation in anything but a defensive war. Japan would, by necessity, rely on the United States for protection.
Which emperor reigned over Japan in World War II?
Emperor Showa (Hirohito)
After the war, he was not prosecuted for war crimes and was forced to give up the claim to divine status. He then became the symbol of Japan's recovery, and when he died in 1989, his nation's economy was the second largest in the world.
How did the Korean War begin?
Near the end of WWII, Korea was split along the 38th parallel, with the USSR occupying the north and the U.S. occupying the south. Two separate governments were established, both claiming to be the legitimate government of all of Korea.
In 1950, the North Koreans, backed by the USSR and China, invaded South Korea. The U.S. led United Nations forces in defense of South Korea. In 1953, the Korean Peninsula was divided between the Communist North and the Democratic South.
In 1954, the United States was a participant in the Geneva Conference regarding the fate of what nation?
The conference was called after the French (occupying Vietnam, or Indochina) were defeated by Vietnamese forces in 1954. Vietnam was divided in two, with the North under the control of Communist forces and the South under the control of American allies.
The United States vowed to stop the spread of communism from the North and began to increase its military activities in Vietnam, which slowly escalated into the Vietnam War.
Which Egyptian colonel and statesman overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan in the Revolution of 1952?
Gamal Abdel Nasser
He was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death in 1970, and promoted socialist reform and modernization. A series of conflicts with Israel, including the 1956 Suez Crisis, occurred during his administration, and his strong emphasis of pan-Arab nationalism made him a hero in the Arab world.
Which country was the first to place an artificial satellite in space, and what was it called?
The Soviet Union launched Sputnik I in 1957.
The launch of Sputnik triggered the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union, as each nation worked to send increasingly sophisticated systems into outer space.
In response to the Soviet launch, Congress established the National Air and Space Agency (NASA), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the National Defense and Education Act, which included massive funding for scientific research at the university level.
In 1959, Communists seized control of ___, only 90 miles from U.S. territory.
Led by Fidel Castro, the Communists deposed Fulgencio Batista, the U.S.-backed president of Cuba. Eisenhower immediately gave the Central Intelligence Agency permission to begin training Cuban dissidents, who would participate in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.
Which 21st- and 20th-century Cuban communist political leader led the 1959 revolution that overthrew the United States-backed dictator of Cuba?
He oversaw Cuba's transformation into a communist state, serving first as prime minister then as president. Due to his alliance with the USSR, the U.S. implemented an economic blockade of Cuba and unsuccessfully invaded the island in 1961.
In 1962, he allowed the Soviets to place nuclear weapons in Cuba, leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis, at the end of which the missiles were removed.
He remains a controversial world figure, regarded by some as an abusive dictator and by others as a champion of socialism and anti-imperialism.
Which Argentine Marxist revolutionary figured prominently in the Cuban Revolution that saw Fidel Castro rise to power?
He later became a guerrilla leader in Latin America, and was eventually captured and killed in Bolivia in 1967. His visage has since become a countercultural symbol of rebellion.
What famous structure did the Soviet Union direct the East German government to erect in November 1961?
The Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was erected to prevent East Germans from escaping into West Germany, where economic opportunities and political liberties abounded. Kennedy responded to this construction by calling up military reserves and positioning tanks in crucial locations.
Neither side called each other's bluff and tensions relaxed. Kennedy would continue to show U.S. solidarity with the people of West Berlin in a speech in that city in 1963. He said, "Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is 'Ich Bin Ein Berliner'" (I am a Berliner).
From 1954 to 1962, what war did France fight in Northern Africa to maintain control of its longtime colony?
the Algerian War
The Algerians ultimately won independence from France, after French president Charles de Gaulle realized that public opinion had turned against the war. This led to a massive wave of Algerian refugees fleeing to France in subsequent years.
By 1962, how many Middle Eastern and North African states were controlled by former colonial powers?
Driven by decolonization during the 1950s and 1960s, Egypt and the other North African countries had become independent. Independence was sometimes achieved peacefully (Jordan) and sometimes with a great degree of violence (Algeria).
What does OPEC stand for?
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
OPEC was founded in 1960 and is predominantly made up of the states of the Middle East. Among other responsibilities, the organization sets targets for the quantity of petroleum extraction and thus has the power to affect the global price of petroleum. Their artificially set high prices were widely blamed for the widespread gasoline shortages in the U.S. during the 1970s.
In 1975, a civil war broke out in ___ between Palestinian refugees and Christians, lasting until 1990 and resulting in more than 100,000 deaths.
- Lebanon had been home to Sunni, Shias, and Maronite Christians, who held power in the government
- However, because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, many Palestinian refugees came to Lebanon and changed the balance of power
- Fighting began in 1975 and continued for 15 years, with many political and religious factions involved
- In 1989, the Taif Agreement, which accommodated the shift to a Muslim majority, helped bring an end to the fighting
As part of the American strategy of ___, U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War (1955-1975) was meant to stop the spread of communism into South Vietnam.
The war was fought in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, and the South Vietnamese capital, Saigon, fell on April 30, 1975, signaling victory for the Soviet- and Chinese-backed North Vietnamese and Viet Cong communist forces.
Which 20th-century Vietnamese revolutionary helped found the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945?
Ho Chi Minh
His forces helped drive out Japanese forces in the 40s and defeat the French in 1954. Although he died during the Vietnam War, he served as an inspiration for the People's Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong fighting for a united, communist Vietnam. Saigon was renamed in his honor.
What was the Tet Offensive?
During a Vietnamese holiday (the Lunar New Year, Tet) in January 1968, the Viet Cong (South Vietnamese communist rebels) and North Vietnamese launched a massive attack and captured Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital.
Although U.S. forces were able to drive their adversaries back and deliver a victory, Walter Cronkite, the most trusted news reporter in America, declared the war lost. This led to a collapse of popular support for the Vietnam War, and an ultimate pullout in 1973.
What nations were known as the "Little Tigers" or "Asian Tigers" in the 1960s and 70s?
South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore
- They were branded as such because they were capitalist countries with strong economies that industrialized quickly in the 1960s and 1970s
- The "Great Tiger" was Japan, which became one of the world's leading economies after World War II
Juan Perón emerged as the leader of what country in 1946?
Along with his charismatic wife Eva ("Evita"), Perón was popular among Argentina's lower class and inspired a wave of popularist sentiment across much of Latin America. Overthrown in a military coup in 1955, Perón was exiled but returned to the presidency in 1973. After his death in 1974, the country was dominated by yet another military dictatorship.
Which Argentine political figure and wife of President Juan Perón became incredibly popular in Argentina for promoting labor rights, founding a charitable foundation, and championing women's suffrage?
She died of cancer in 1952 at the age of 33. The musical Evita is based on her life.
From 1964 to 1985, ___ was ruled by an authoritarian military dictatorship. It began with a 1964 military coup against the democratically elected government of President João Goulart.
- The military regime laid the foundation for subsequent regimes throughout Latin America
- It opposed communism, promoted nationalism and national security, restricted freedom of speech, and censored media
Who seized control of Chile in 1973?
With the assistance of the United States, Pinochet seized power in Chile in 1973, deposing the country's democratically elected Marxist government. Pinochet was strongly right-wing and kept power through control of Chile's military, which he maintained until the late 20th century.
How did Rhodesian and South African decolonization differ from the experience of other Sub-Saharan British colonies?
In both Rhodesia and South Africa, whites seized power and declared independence from Britain.
Rhodesia later became Zimbabwe once native black African control was reestablished in 1980.
In South Africa, a policy of extreme segregation known as apartheid kept the country separate along racial lines, from 1948-1994.
Who was the African National Congress' most famous leader?
As a member of the African National Congress, which struggled against apartheid, Mandela was arrested and convicted of sabotage in 1962 and sentenced to life imprisonment by the white minority government. Released in 1990, he helped in the establishment of democracy in 1994, and was then elected South Africa's president in the country's first fully representative, all-race democratic election.
The attempted political liberalization of Communist Czechoslovakia between January and August 1968 was known as the ___ ___ .
- Calling for "socialism with a human face," First Secretary Alexander Dubček called for economic and administrative decentralization, greater democratization, and the lifting of restrictions on the press and free speech
- In August, however, the Soviet Union and almost all the Warsaw Pact countries invaded Czechoslovakia; Dubček was deposed and the attempted reforms were cut off
In 1975, 35 nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union, signed the Helsinki Accords. What did the Accords provide?
The Helsinki Accords formally ratified the European territorial boundaries put in place after World War II. The accords set up "watch committees" to conduct surveillance on human rights violations in the countries that had signed the agreement.
Who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1979-90 and the only woman to have held the position?
Nicknamed the Iron Lady and a member of the Conservative Party, she emphasized deregulation and privatization.
Which 20th-century Albanian-born Roman Catholic nun won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work in Calcutta?
Which 20th-century religious and revolutionary leader became Iran's dictator in 1979?
Following the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Khomeini wished to rid Iran of foreign influences, and supported the Iranian militants who took American hostages during the Iran hostage crisis from 1979-81. He died in 1989.
In December 1979, a conflict between Soviet-led Afghan forces and the Mujahideen broke out in ___. It lasted over nine years and was a major crisis of the Cold War.
- With the rise of militant factions and violence, the Afghan government had asked for Soviet troops, and the United Nations protested the USSR's intervention
- The Mujahideen, an alliance of insurgent groups, were supported by the USA, the UK, Saudi Arabia, China, Pakistan, and Iran
- The Soviet-Afghan War resulted in the deaths of up to 1.5 million civilians, and millions fled the country
- The Soviets withdrew in the late 80s, but civil war continued
- Ironically, many U.S.-trained Afghan soldiers later became leaders of al-Qaeda and remain enemies of the United States
In the context of the Warsaw Pact, what was Solidarity?
Solidarity was a Polish trade union that, beginning in the early 1980s, emerged as an anti-bureaucratic rival base of power to Poland's Communist Party.
Headed by Lech Walesa, Solidarity was the first independent trade union in the Soviet bloc, and fielded candidates in the country's first free election in 1989. In 1990, Walesa was elected President of Poland.
Shortly after President Ronald Reagan began his second term, which new Soviet leader came to power in the USSR?
Mikhail S. Gorbachev
In 1986, Gorbachev announced glasnost (greater political freedom) and perestroika (moderate economic freedoms). To achieve these twin goals, Gorbachev had to severely curtail military spending and remove Soviet troops from Afghanistan.
In 1987, President Reagan gave a famous speech stating, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Where was Reagan speaking, and what events ensued?
Reagan's speech galvanized many liberals in the region. Less than three years later, Hungary and Austria disabled their border defenses, allowing many East Germans to escape and setting off a chain of reactions leading to the demolition of the Berlin Wall.
Several of the constituent republics that made up the Soviet Union then began advocating for independence. In March 1990, Lithuania declared independence, followed by Estonia and Latvia. By late 1991, the Soviet Union had dissolved into the Commonwealth of Independent States, comprised of the former Soviet Republics, and Gorbachev had resigned.
What political trend took place in Latin America during the 1980s?
During the 1980s, increased democratization arose in Latin America.
Founded in the early 1980s, ___ is a Shi'a Islamist political party and militant group based in Lebanon.
Supported by Iran and Syria, Hezbollah was mainly formed to offer Lebanese resistance to Israel's invasion of Lebanon, which lasted from 1982 to 2000. Its military might has grown significantly since then, and Hezbollah has considerable political influence in Lebanon.
Which Palestinian Islamic organization was founded in the late 1980s and is designated a terrorist organization by several Western countries, including the U.S.?
Hamas was founded to liberate Palestine and to establish an Islamic state in Israel's place. Over the years the military wing of Hamas has attacked Israelis using both rockets and suicide bombings.
In 1990, Saddam Hussein's Iraqi Army invaded what country, igniting the Gulf War?
The Iraqi Army was the world's fourth largest army, and its invasion threatened Saudia Arabia, a key U.S. ally and petroleum supplier. With the full support of the United Nations, the U.S. assembled 35 allies into a military force based in Saudi Arabia. After warning the Iraqis to withdraw, the U.S. led a massive ground war, dubbed Desert Storm, which destroyed the Iraqi military in less than 100 hours. The Iraqis then withdrew from Kuwait.
During a roughly 100-day period from April to July 1994, an estimated 500,000 to 1 million Tutsis (and moderate Hutus) were killed by the Hutu-led government in ___.
Which member of the British Royal Family was Princess of Wales and first wife of Charles (Prince of Wales and heir apparent to Queen Elizabeth II)?
One of the most famous women in the world in the late 20th century, she was well known for her grace, beauty, and charity work. She died in 1997 in a car accident in Paris.
The G-8 (Group of Eight) is an informal association of the world's largest economies, which meet regularly to discuss trade and economics. The G-8 countries are: the United States, Russia, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, France, Italy, and Canada. (Of note is the absence of China.)
What does "WTO" stand for?
WTO stands for the World Trade Organization. Over 100 of the world's countries belong to the WTO, which is dedicated to increasing economic integration and facilitating international trade.
China's notable (and late) entry into the WTO in the year 2001 is largely credited for its explosive growth in the years since then.
In 2002, the nations of the European Union adopted the ___ as a form of common currency.
The European Union (EU), which also consists of some cooperative military and political organizations, adopted the euro in part to facilitate international trade among the nations of Western Europe. Some members of the EU, such as Great Britain and Switzerland, have opted out of the euro.
What prompted the War on Terror, the international campaign to destroy al-Qaeda and other militant extremist groups?
the 9-11 attacks
In October 2001, President Bush dispatched U.S. forces to invade which country?
Bush authorized the invasion of Afghanistan, which had provided the training ground for the 9-11 terrorists. Many of the NATO nations contributed troops and material support to the campaign.
Which Iraqi dictator ruled from 1979 to 2003, and invaded Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990, leading to the Persian Gulf War?
Noted for the brutality of his dictatorship, namely his suppression of Shi'ite Muslims and Kurds, he nationalized Iraqi oil and sought to make his nation the dominant force in the Persian Gulf. In 2003, British and American forces invaded Iraq to depose him and institute a transition to a republic. Under the interim Iraqi government, he was tried and sentenced to death for the killing of Iraqi Shi'ites in 1982; he was executed in 2006.
weapons of mass destruction
The United States used the assertion that Iraq had WMDs to justify a 2003 attack on the country without the United Nation's backing. Other reasons for the decision included the desire to end Saddam Hussein's dictatorship and introduce democracy, and the claim that Hussein was supporting al-Qaeda.
Which Pope of the Catholic Church held the position from 1978 until his death in 2005?
Pope John Paul II
Regarded as one of most influential leaders of the 20th century, he sought to improve the Church's standing with other world religions such as Islam and Judaism.
Which leader of North Korea ruled from 1994 until his death in 2011, and was known for having a cult of personality and a poor human rights record?
He was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-Un, in 2011.
Which Islamic terrorist was the founder of al-Qaeda, the jihadist network that bombed the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 and attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon in the September 11 attacks of 2001?
Osama bin Laden
After a decade of being the major target of the War on Terror, he was killed by American forces in Pakistan in May 2011.
Which Tunisian president assumed control in a bloodless coup d'état in 1987 and ruled until the Tunisian Revolution overthrew him in 2011?
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
His overthrow is largely credited with sparking the Arab Spring -- a democratic movement that has spread to several other Arab nations.
Which leader governed Libya from 1969 to 2011 and was captured and killed in October 2011?
- An Arab nationalist, Colonel Gaddafi pushed Libya toward socialism and championed anti-imperialism, but was also seen as a dictator who oversaw many humans rights abuses
- In 2011, an uprising (with NATO and EU support) broke out and he was captured and executed by rebel militia
Which President of Syria ordered military attacks on Arab Spring protesters in 2011, leading to the Syrian Civil War?
The Assad regime has since been accused of both crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Which former President of Iran (2005-2013) is a controversial international figure known for his hard-line conservative religious views, perceived disregard for human rights, and support of Iran's nuclear program?
Which President of Venezuela held he position from 1999 until his death in 2013 and worked to implement socialist reforms as part of his "Bolivarian Revolution"?
Who is the present queen of Britain, and has reigned since 1952?
During her reign many former British territories have gained independence. Her husband is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and her daughter-in-law was Diana, Princess of Wales.
Who is the head monk in the Gelug branch of Tibetan Buddhism and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989?
The 14th Dalai Lama
The current Dalai Lama, he has held the position since he was 15 in 1950. He is known as a charismatic speaker who advocates for Tibetans and who emphasizes the importance of compassion and its relationship to happiness.
Which politician is currently the President of Russia and has also served as Russia's Prime Minister?
A former officer in the KGB, he is credited with helping to return Russia to political and economic stability. Accused at times of being a dictator, he is a generally popular figure, namely for his adventurous image.