Absolutism
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Absolutism. Definition: Political system in which autocratic rulers have complete authority over the government and the lives of people in their nations. Theme: Political system. Culture and intellectual life. Conflict.

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Absolutism

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Absolutism

Absolutism

  • Definition: Political system in which autocratic rulers have complete authority over the government and the lives of people in their nations.

  • Theme: Political system. Culture and intellectual life. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: The rise of absolutism spread throughout many early empires. The Indian Mughal empire was ruled by a Akbar the Great.


Divine right

Divine Right

  • Definition: Belief that a ruler’s authority comes directly from God.

  • Theme: Belief system. Political system.

  • Historical Connection: Philip II of Spain believed he was an agent of God. He helped to spread Spanish and Catholic influence throughout the known world.


Limited monarchy

Limited Monarchy

  • Definition: Government in which a legislative body limits the monarch’s powers.

  • Theme: Political system. Change. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: Queen Mary and her husband William had to accept the English Bill of Rights, which placed the Parliament above the monarchy.


Scientific method

Scientific Method

  • Definition: A method of discovering truth based on experimentation and observation rather than on past authorities.

  • Theme: Change. Turning point. Culture and intellectual life.

  • Historical Connection: Philosophers began to develop new theories about how the natural world works. Isaac Newton, for example, discovered the law of gravity.


Natural laws

Natural Laws

  • Definition: According to some philosophers, rules that govern human nature.

  • Theme: Change. Turning point. Culture and intellectual life.

  • Historical Connection: This thinking led to the period in history called the Enlightenment, which placed great emphasis on human reason.


Coup d etat

Coup d’ Etat

  • Definition: A revolt by a small group intended to overthrow a government.

  • Theme: Conflict. Change. Political system.

  • Historical Connection: Napoleon Bonaparte led a successful coup d’ etat in France. Fidel Castro was another leader who led a coup in Cuba.


Conservatism

Conservatism

  • Definition: Set of beliefs held by those who want to preserve traditional ways.

  • Theme: Belief system. Political system.

  • Historical Connection: The Congress of Vienna (1815) was a meeting of European leaders which reestablished some monarchial authority to combat revolutions.


Liberalism

Liberalism

  • Definition: Way of thinking that supports personal freedom, democracy, and freedom.

  • Theme: Political system. Change.

  • Historical Connection: Many individual in Europe wanted to change the government to become more liberal. This philosophy led to many revolts against the government.


Nationalism

Nationalism

  • Definition: a feeling of pride in and devotion to one’s country.

  • Theme: Political system. Culture and intellectual life.

  • Historical Connection: Nations began to unite under a common philosophy that was based on freedom of foreign rule.


Russification

Russification

  • Definition: attempt by Russian rulers to make all groups under Russian rule think, act, and believe as Russians.

  • Theme: Political system. Turning Point. Change.

  • Historical Connection: Russian leaders wanted all people living in Russian territories to act the same. Czar Alexander III persecuted anyone who did not cooperate with Russification.


Oligarchy

Oligarchy

  • Definition: Government in which ruling power belongs to a few people.

  • Theme: Political system.

  • Historical connection: In many countries which had a diverse population oligarchies were set up to make sure all people in the region were equally represented. This was prevalent in many early Latin American nations.


Kaiser

Kaiser

  • Definition: German word meaning “emperor”, used for German kings of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

  • Theme: Political system.

  • Historical Connection: The first person to refer to himself as a Kaiser was William I. The term is derived from Caesar.


Laissez faire

Laissez Faire

  • Definition: Policy allowing business to operate with little or no governmental interference.

  • Theme: Political system. Culture and intellectual life.

  • Historical Connection: This economic philosophy grew out of the Enlightenment period. This also led to policies that were in use during the Industrial revolution.


Socialism

Socialism

  • Definition: System in which the people as a whole rather than private individuals own all the property and operate all the businesses.

  • Theme: Political system. Economic system.

  • Historical Connection: The philosophy of socialism was practiced in the Soviet Union (Russia). Communism is based on the principles of socialism.


Suffrage

Suffrage

  • Definition: The right to vote

  • Theme: Change. Turning point. Conflict. Justice and human rights

  • Historical Connection: During key nationalistic movements, such as India and French Revolution. Citizens began to demand a say in government.


Propaganda

Propaganda

  • Definition: The spreading of ideas to promote a cause or to damage an opposing cause.

  • Theme: Conflict. Nationalism. Imperialism

  • Historical Connection: During times of war, nations use propaganda to raise the spirits of their citizens and to demoralize their opponents.


Sphere of influence

Sphere of Influence

  • Definition: Areas in which an outside power claim exclusive trade privileges.

  • Theme: Imperialism. Nationalism.

  • Historical Connection: During the imperialistic movement in China, European countries divided China into spheres of influence.


Militarism

Militarism

  • Definition: The glorification of military power.

  • Theme: Conflict. Nationalism

  • Before WWI, the powers of Europe began to develop great armies out of fear and suspicion of each other.


Neutral

Neutral

  • Definition: Not supporting either side.

  • Theme: Conflict

  • Historical Connection: At the beginning of WWI, the US decided to remain neutral and stay out of the affairs of European countries.


Armistice

Armistice

  • Definition: An agreement to end fighting

  • Theme: Political system. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: By the end of WWI, the main countries agreed to end the war.


Reparations

Reparations

  • Definition: Payment for war Damages

  • Theme: Economic system. Turning point.

  • Historical Connection: After WWII, the Treaty of Versailles demanded Germany pay reparations to nations they invaded.


Soviet

Soviet

  • Definition: Council of workers and soldiers set up by Russian revolutionaries in 1917.

  • Theme: Turning point. Political system.

  • Historical Connection: After the Russian Revolution Russia became Known as the Soviet Union. Political system was based on socialistic principles.


Totalitarian state

Totalitarian State

  • Definition: Form of government in which a one-party dictatorship attempts to regulate every aspect of the citizen’s lives.

  • Theme: Political system. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: Most totalitarian states claimed to have the interests of the citizens at heart, but were usually oppressive in nature. The USSR (Russia) was a totalitarian State.


Command economy

Command Economy

  • Definition: Economy in which government officials make all basic economic decisions.

  • Theme: Economic system. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: China’s economic system is based on this principle. This gives the government the opportunity to exploit the nation’s wealth.


Collective

Collective

  • Definition: Large farms owned and operated by workers as a group.

  • Theme: Political system. Economic system.

  • Historical Connection: The Soviet Union initiated this way of producing goods throughout the nation. Certain regions produced goods for distribution throughout USSR.


Civil disobedience

Civil Disobedience

  • Definition: The refusal to obey unjust rules.

  • Theme: Justice and human rights. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: Gandhi was famous for his acts of civil disobedience. He used peaceful demonstrations to change government.


Fascism

Fascism

  • Definition: The rule of a people by a dictatorial government that is nationalistic and imperialistic.

  • Theme: Imperialism. Nationalism. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: Hitler’s regime in Germany was a fascist state. Benito Mussolini was also a fascist leader.


Appeasement

Appeasement

  • Definition: Policy of giving in to an aggressor’s demands in order to keep the peace.

  • Theme: Political system. Change. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: Many nations during WWII gave into Hitler’s demands in order to protect their citizens.


Blitz

Blitz

  • Definition: Massive bombing

  • Theme: Conflict

  • Historical Connection: England suffered great damages due to Germany’s attacks during WWII.


Genocide

Genocide

  • Definition: Attempt to destroy an entire ethnic or religious group.

  • Theme: Justice and human rights. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: Hitler’s regime wanted to eradicate the Jewish population from the world. There was also attempts of genocide in Somalia and Bosnia.


Concentration camp

Concentration Camp

  • Definition: Detention centers instituted by Hitler where Jews and others were starved, shot, and gassed to death.

  • Theme: Justice and Human rights. Conflict. Nationalism.

  • Historical Connection: The most infamous camp was called Auschwitz. It was located in Poland and thousands of men, women, and children were killed.


Iron curtain

Iron Curtain

  • Definition: The imaginary line through Europe that divided the democracies of the West from the communist nations of the East.

  • Theme: Political system. Conflict

  • Historical Connection: Communism in Europe ended in 1988.


Superpower

Superpower

  • Definition: Name after 1945 for both the US and Soviet Union, the two nations that dominated global politics for more than four decades.

  • Theme: Political system. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: This belief caused intense tensions between the nations. Both nations were in a power struggle to claim dominance.


Containment

Containment

  • Definition: Cold War policy that involved limiting communism to areas already under Soviet control.

  • Theme: Political system. Justice and human rights. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: The US were very concerned that other nations would join forces with USSR, causing a weakening of US power.


Apartheid

Apartheid

  • Definition: south African government policy calling for separation of races.

  • Theme: Political system. Justice and human rights. Conflict

  • Historical Connections: Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years because he spoke out against apartheid. When he was released from jail he was elected President.


D tente

Détente

  • Definition: Period in the 1970s during which there was an easing of tensions between the US and Soviet Union.

  • Theme: Turning point. Change.

  • Historical Connection: President Nixon formed a détente with China which helped to form good relations.


Perestroika

Perestroika

  • Definition: Restructuring of the government and the economy in the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-1980s

  • Theme: Political system. Economic system.

  • Historical Connection: This restructuring was a signal to non-communist nations that Soviet power was dwindling.


Glasnost

Glasnost

  • Definition: Period of openness called for in the mid 1980s by Gorbachev in the Soviet union.

  • Theme: Political system. Change.

  • Historical Connection: Soviet leadership began to realize that their hold on Eastern Europe was beginning to deteriorate so they initiated progressive methods to maintain order.


Ethnic cleansing

Ethnic Cleansing

  • Definition: policy of forcefully removing or killing people of a certain ethnic group.

  • Theme: Justice and human rights. Political system. Belief system.

  • Historical Connection: Adolph Hitler’s regime in Germany practiced this on the Jews. This racist attitude is still present in today’s world. Somalia and Bosnia are two recent examples.


Refugee

Refugee

  • Definition: Person who flees his or her homeland to seek safety elsewhere.

  • Theme: Justice and human rights. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: Economic instability and labor shortages are two reasons people might flee their homeland, but attempts at ethnic cleansing or violence are usually the reason.


Terrorism

Terrorism

  • Definition: Deliberate use of unpredictable violence, especially against civilians, to gain revenge or achieve political goals.

  • Theme: Political system. Justice and human rights. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: The US suffered one of the worst terrorist attacks in history on September 11, 2001.


Westernization

Westernization

  • Definition: Process of adopting western ways.

  • Theme: Political system. Turning point. Change.

  • Historical Connection: This process began when European powers started to exert power over colonies and indigenous populations.


Overpopulation

Overpopulation

  • Definition: Overabundance of people in a region or country that lacks sufficient resources to adequately provide for them.

  • Theme: Turning point. Conflict. Justice and human rights.

  • Historical Connection: Many nations throughout the world are suffering from overpopulation. India, Asia, and China all are faced with this problem.


Urbanization

Urbanization

  • Definition: Movement of people to cities.

  • Theme: Movement of people and goods. Turning point. Change.

  • Historical Connection: There are many reasons for the shift from rural to urban settlement. Poverty is perhaps the biggest reason, however, health care and education can also be a factor.


Literacy

Literacy

  • Definition: The ability to read and write.

  • Theme: Turning point. Justice and human rights. Cultural & intellectual life.

  • Historical Connection: The Information Revolution has greatly contributed to the improvement in literacy throughout the world. Many nation’s leaders are implementing programs that stress the importance of literacy.


Genetic engineering

Genetic Engineering

  • Definition: Process of changing the chemical codes carried by living things to produce cures for disease and better treatments.

  • Theme: Science and technology. Culture and intellectual life.

  • Historical Connections: In 1997 the first genetic clone, or exact genetic replica of an organism, was announced. There are mixed feelings concerning this topic.


Pollution

Pollution

  • Definition: Contamination of the environment, including air, water, and soil.

  • Theme: Geography. Science and technology.

  • Historical Connection: The Industrial Revolution was as harmful as much as it was instrumental in the development of civilization. Harmful gases and soot from factories and inventions are potentially harmful to the longevity of the planet.


Acid rain

Acid Rain

  • Definition: Toxic mixture that is produced when rain falls through polluted air.

  • Theme: Modern global connections and interactions. Science and technology.

  • Historical Connections: Acid rain is detrimental to forests, lakes and farmland. One nations pollution often times affects the atmosphere of another.


Fossil fuel

Fossil Fuel

  • Definition: Fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas.

  • Theme: Science and technology. Modern global connections an interactions.

  • Historical Connection: The use of these fossil fuels has led to some issues of pollution. Scientists have been trying to devise cleaner methods of producing energy.


Ozone layer

Ozone Layer

  • Definition: Layer of gases high in the atmosphere that protects the Earth from the dangerous ultraviolet rays of the sun.

  • Theme: Geography. Science and technology. Modern global connections and interactions

  • Historical Connection: Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are produced by man made inventions, and are believed to be the main cause for the thinning of the ozone layer. Russia and Japan have both agreed to eliminate the use and production of CFCs.


Greenhouse effect

Greenhouse Effect

  • Definition: process in which the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps heat and causes rising global temperatures.

  • Theme: Geography. Modern global connections and interactions. Science and technology.

  • Historical Connections: Many believe the rise in natural catastrophes are due to global warming. Some scientists argue that left unchecked could significantly reduce the longevity of life on Earth.


Deforestation

Deforestation

  • Definition: Destruction of forests, especially tropical rain forests.

  • Theme: Geography. Science and technology. Modern global connections and interactions.

  • Historical Connections: Some believe that the Earth is losing more than 50 million acres of rain forest each year. Deforestation is usually the result of modern development.


Desertification

Desertification

  • Definition: The changeover of arable lands into desert.

  • Theme: Geography. Change.

  • Historical Connection: Cutting down forests and livestock grazing both contribute to this environmental crisis. The Sahara desert in Africa is spreading approximately 50 miles per year, which is resulting in the rise of famines.


Nuclear proliferation

Nuclear Proliferation

  • Definition: the spread of nuclear power for weapons and energy.

  • Theme: Science and technology. Conflict.

  • Historical Connection: The Cold War saw superpowers, US and Soviet Union stockpile their nuclear arsenal. This led to a heightened sense of unease throughout the world.


The end

The End


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