Modern History

Home > Modern History > Glossary > Glossary

Glossary for Modern History stage 6 syllabus

©Board of Studies NSW (2004), Stage 6 syllabus Modern History.

View the Glossary of Key Words (external website) that apply to all HSC subjects.

anarchism an ideology that argues a society can be run without rules or a government and that the abolition of these things will lead to freedom, equality and justice
anti-ecumenism opposed to the doctrines and practice of the ecumenical movement and hence to the unity of the Christian churches
anti-Semitism hostility or hatred towards peoples of Semitic origins but is used to mean anti-Jewish
apartheid a policy of racial segregation, exploitation and oppression developed by white minority South African governments
appeasement policy attributed to European governments in the 1930s that met the expansionist policies of Nazi Germany by offering concessions
autocracy absolute rule or government by one person
Bolshevism an ideology advocating the seizure of power by a revolutionary elite in the name of the proletariat
capitalism an economic system that encourages individuals to make profits through investments and the private ownership of goods, property and the means of production, distribution and exchange
case studies case studies are inquiry-based investigations into key features, issues, individuals, groups, events or concepts in modern history. They are oriented towards the problems and issues of investigating the past. Case studies in the Preliminary course are intended to provide students with opportunities to:
  • study the various ways in which historians perceive, investigate, record and construct the past, the types of questions they ask, the explanations they give and the issues they raise
  • understand, question, analyse and interpret sources.
collectivisation the socialist policy of joining together small farms and other enterprises under group or state ownership
communism theory or system of social organisation promoting shared ownership of property and the means of production by the community as a whole or the state
communalism a theory that a nation should be organised around different regional communities and that a nation is merely a federation of such states. In India these communities are mostly religious.
conservatism opposition to radical change with a tendency to support existing institutions
consumerism an aspect of capitalism that encourages the consumption of goods and services
containment specific US Cold War foreign policy aimed at limiting the spread of communism
decolonisation the process of colonies being freed from imperial rule through their own initiatives or the granting of self-government
democracy society based on the idea of equality where the government is run by the people or their freely elected representatives
détente easing the strained relations between the super powers during the Cold War
evidence the information that tends to prove or disprove a conclusion. It can be used to establish a fact or to support an argument
feminism a doctrine or movement advocating equal rights for women in social and political life
fundamentalism any religious movement that stresses rigid adherence to literal interpretations of its religious texts
globalisation the process of bringing together all of the world's economies for the purposes of trade and a common culture
government intervention where a government involves itself directly and actively in the regulation of economic and business activities
Guomindang nationalist political party in China that became the government from 1927 to 1949
historiography the study of how history is constructed. It involves the critical analysis and evaluation of the reliability of evidence, as well as the way history has been written in the past
ideology a framework of beliefs that guides actions
imperialism where one country possesses, governs or controls other countries beyond its own borders
industrialisation the process of moving towards large-scale mechanised industry, usually accompanied by urbanisation, rather than agriculture, crafts and trading
internationalism the promotion of the belief in global cooperation rather than national rivalry
interpretation a way of understanding and explaining what has happened in the past. The discipline of history acknowledges that there is often more than one view of what has happened in the past
Intifada an uprising conducted by the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories against the state of Israel
isolationism a view in American foreign policy that argues that the best interests of the United States lay in avoiding international entanglements
Konfrontasi foreign policy conducted by the Indonesian government during the 1960s towards Malaysia and Singapore
liberal democracy a form of democracy where majority rule is underpinned by liberal rights such as freedom of speech, assembly and religious beliefs, and the right to private property, privacy and due legal process
liberalism commitment to individual freedoms such as freedom of trade, speech, press, association and religion
Maoism an ideology expounded by Mao Zedong in China that emphasised the revolutionary role of the peasants in achieving communism
Marxism a political and economic theory developed by Karl Marx and Frederick Engles that called for the abolition of private property and emphasised the role of the state in providing work and benefits for all leading eventually to a socialist order and a classless society
militarism the belief that strong armed forces, discipline and obedience will solve political and social problems
modernisation the process of becoming modern, accepting change and modern values
multiculturalism a policy of valuing and maintaining the distinctive identities of all cultural groups within a society
nationalism the promotion of the interests of one's own nation above all others
national sovereignty supreme and independent power or authority that is claimed by a state or cultural or ethnic group
New Order term used to describe the policies of the Suharto government in promoting the values of national unity, modernisation and capitalism in Indonesia
Pancasila the five values that formed the basis of the Indonesian state after independence: faith in one god, humanism, nationalism, representative government and social justice
pan-nationalism nationalism that crosses national borders
perspective a point of view or standpoint from which historical events, problems and issues can be analysed, eg a gender perspective (either masculine or feminine) on the past
Prohibition a policy developed by American governments during the 1920s that made the sale of alcohol illegal
proletariat the working or unpropertied class who rely on the sale of their labour for an income
racism the belief in the superiority of one race of people over others
regionalism movement that developed in Indonesia's provinces emphasising the need for each region to maintain its own identity and independence
revolution sudden and radical change in society; a complete overthrow of an established government or political system
Satyagraha 'truth force' or 'holding on to the truth' - a non-violent method of resistance developed in India by Mahatma Gandhi to ensure political or social change
sectarianism the reinforcement of divisions between religious groups
self-determination the right of each group of people to decide their own identity, culture and political and social systems without reference to the wishes of any other nation
socialism a system where wealth, land and property are owned and controlled by the community as a whole rather than being privately owned
source any written or non-written material that can be used to investigate the past. A source becomes 'evidence' (see above) when it is used to support or refute a position
Stalinism a system of government originating in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin
terrorism the use and threat of violence for political purposes
Third World term used during the Cold War that referred to developing nations that did not identify themselves with either the USA or Soviet blocs
totalitarianism system of government where the state seeks to gain complete control over its citizens and does not recognise or tolerate parties of differing opinion
urbanisation a process, usually accompanied by industrialisation, where people move from traditional life in the countryside to towns and cities
warlordism a system where power is controlled by regional military leaders and the central government has broken down, especially in China 1916-1928
zaibatsu huge economic and industrial organisations formed by a few Japanese families after the Meiji Restoration
Zionism a movement formerly for re-establishing, now for advancing, the Jewish national state of Israel
Go To Top

Neals logo | Copyright | Disclaimer | Contact Us | Help