• Vichy city in central France where a puppet state governed unoccupied France and the French colonies

  • Viet Cong communist rebels in South Vietnam who sought to overthrow South Vietnam's government; received assistance from North Vietnam

  • Vikings Scandinavian peoples whose sailors raided Europe from the 700s through the 1100s

  • vizier chief minister who supervised the business of government in ancient Egypt


  • War of the Austrian Succession series of wars in which various European nations competed for power in Central Europe after the death of Hapsburg emperor Charles VI

  • warlord local military ruler

  • warm-water port port that is free of ice yearround

  • Warsaw Pact mutual-defense alliance between the Soviet Union and seven satellites in Eastern Europe set up in 1955

  • weapons of mass destruction biological, nuclear, or chemical weapons

  • welfare state a country with a market economy but with increased government responsibility for the social and economic needs of its people

  • westernization adoption of western ideas, technology, and culture

  • Wittenberg a city in northern Germany, where Luther drew up his 95 theses

  • women's suffrage right of women to vote

  • World Trade Organization international organization set up to facilitate global trade


  • Yalta Conference meeting between Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin in February 1945 where the three leaders made agreements regarding the end of World War II

  • Yathrib final destination of Muhammad's hijra and the home of the first community of Muslims; later renamed Medina; located in the northwest of present-day Saudi Arabia

  • Yorktown, Virginia location where the British army surrendered in the American Revolution

  • Yuan dynasty Chinese dynasty ruled by the Mongols from 1279 to 1368; best known ruler was Kublai Khan


  • zaibatsu since the late 1800s, powerful banking and industrial families in Japan

  • zemstvos local elected assembly set up in Russia under Alexander II

  • Zen the practice of meditation; a school of Buddhism in Japan

  • zeppelin large gas-filled balloon

  • ziggurat in ancient Mesopotamia, a large, stepped platform thought to have been topped by a temple dedicated to a city's chief god or goddess

  • Zionism a movement devoted to rebuilding a Jewish state in Palestine

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Table of Contents

World History Topic 1 Origins of Civilization (Prehistory–300 B.C.) Topic 2 The Ancient Middle East and Egypt (3200 B.C.–500 B.C.) Topic 3 Ancient India and China (2600 B.C.–A.D. 550) Topic 4 The Americas (Prehistory–A.D. 1570) Topic 5 Ancient Greece (1750 B.C.–133 B.C.) Topic 6 Ancient Rome and the Origins of Christianity (509 B.C.-A.D. 476) Topic 7 Medieval Christian Europe (330–1450) Topic 8 The Muslim World and Africa (730 B.C.-A.D. 1500) Topic 9 Civilizations of Asia (500–1650) Topic 10 The Renaissance and Reformation (1300–1650) Topic 11 New Global Connections (1415–1796) Topic 12 Absolutism and Revolution Topic 13 The Industrial Revolution Topic 14 Nationalism and the Spread of Democracy (1790–1914) Topic 15 The Age of Imperialism (1800–1914) Topic 16 World War I and the Russian Revolution (1914–1924) Topic 17 The World Between the Wars (1910–1939) Topic 18 World War II (1930–1945) Topic 19 The Cold War Era (1945–1991) Topic 20 New Nations Emerge (1945–Present) Topic 21 The World Today (1980-Present) United States Constitution Primary Sources 21st Century Skills Atlas Glossary Index Acknowledgments