Glossary of Social Studies Terms

[Note:  This Glossary was compiled by Karen R. Todorov, Social Studies Education Consultant for the Michigan Department of Education.

See Michigan Department of Education “Helping teachers teach and children learn”




Absolute Advantage – exists in the production of a good when one country can produce a good more efficiently than another country.


Absolute Location – the exact position on the globe using addresses, grid coordinates, or the imaginary lines of longitude and latitude


Acid rain – a type of polluted rain, produced when acids from smokestacks combine with water vapor that can harm lakes, forests, and human health


Adapt – to change or tailor something to fit, humans change their environment or their way of doing something to fit their current needs or goals.


Advertising – information provided to encourage the purchase or use of a good, service or idea by emphasizing its positive qualities.


Affirmative Action efforts to recruit or hire members of underrepresented groups, such as women and minorities.


Allegiance devotion or loyalty.


Allocation – the process of choosing which needs will be satisfied and how much of our resources we will use to satisfy them.


Alternative Courses of Action the other choice that could have been made which are inherent in every decision.


Altitude - the height of a thing above sea level or above the earth's surface.


Amendment (to the U.S. Constitution) – changes in, or additions to, a constitution. Proposed by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or at the request of two-thirds of the state legislatures. Ratified by approval of three-fourths of the states.


American Influence on Foreign Countries as the most powerful nation and economy in the world the United States affects the cultures, economies, and politics of nations worldwide. When other nations seek access to and become part of the lucrative U.S. market their own economies, cultures and politics are affected by American culture and values.


American Political System/Presidential System – a system of government in which the legislative and executive branches operate independently of each other and in which power is distributed through a system of checks and balances.


Amnesty - a general pardon granted by a government, especially for political offenses.


Analog – a face clock with hands.


Anarchy - Absence of any form of political authority. A state of lawlessness, confusion, and disorder (usually resulting from a failure of government.)


Ancient history – history of people living from the beginnings of human society through 300 CE


Apartheid – policy of separation of the races enforced by law


Appellate court - a court authorized to hear appeals


Apportionment – the distribution of legislative seats according to population


Arbitration – settlement of a dispute by the decision of a judge, umpire or committee.


Articles of Confederation – The first document created to govern the newly formed government after the American Revolution. It created a “firm league of friendship” among the 13 original states. The states agreed to send delegates to a Confederation Congress. Each state had one vote in Congress.


Artifact – things made by humans, and used by archaeologists and historians to recreate a picture of the past.


Authority – right to control or direct the actions of others, legitimized by law, morality, custom, or consent.




Bar Graph – a means of displaying data using the length of “bars” to represent the values of the data being displayed.


Barter – the direct trading of goods and services between people without the use of money.


Beliefs – opinions about what is considered to be true and trustworthy.


Benefits – something of value, a benefit can be tangible like a gift or money, or intangible like satisfaction.


Bias – an unfair act or policy resulting from prejudice.


Bigotry – intolerance and prejudice; obstinate and unreasoning attachment to one's own belief and opinions, with narrow-minded intolerance of beliefs opposed to them

Biography – a narrative account of a person’s life.


Bill of Rights – first ten amendments to the Constitution ratified in 1791, these amendments limit governmental power and protect basic rights and liberties of individuals.


Biome – a major regional or global biotic community, such as a grassland or desert, characterized chiefly by the dominant forms of plant life and prevailing climate.


Bipartisan - supported by members of two parties, especially two major political parties


Boundary – the limit or extent within which a system exists or functions, including a social group, at state, or physical feature.


Branches of Government – established in the U.S. Constitution to divide the power of government between legislative, executive and judicial branches


Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) – Supreme Court case that declared that “separate-but-equal” educational facilities are inherently unequal and therefore a violation of equal protection of the law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.




Calendar – a table showing the days, weeks, and months of at least one specific year.


Campaign – the overall effort a candidate makes to win votes through speeches, press conferences, and advertising.


Campaigns – activities planned to achieve a certain goal as in electing a candidate or establishing a public policy.


Campaign finance reforms – how money is collected and spent in campaigns for public office is subject to rules. Many groups believe that a major change in those rules is necessary to limit the amount of money that any person or group can donate to a political campaign with the goal being to limit the influence any person or group will have after the election to influence the office holder they helped to elect.

Capital – cash, goods, natural resources, or human skills that are used to produce income.


Capital Equipment – manufactured equipment used in the production of goods and services.


Capital Resources – goods made by people and used to produce other goods and services (also called intermediate goods).


Capitalism – economic system characterized by the following: private property ownership exists; individuals and companies are allowed to compete for their own economic gain; and free market forces determine the prices of goods and services.


Cartel – explicit forms of collusion concerned with product price, output, service, or sales.


Cash – currency and coins


Caucus - A meeting, especially a preliminary meeting, of persons belonging to a party, to nominate candidates for public office, or to select delegates to a nominating convention, or to confer regarding measures of party policy; a political primary meeting.


Census - an official, usually periodic enumeration of a population, often including the collection of related demographic information. As required by the Constitution, the census of the population of the United States takes place every 10 years.


Century – one hundred years.


Certificates of Deposit (CD) - these offer a guaranteed rate of interest for a specified term, usually one year. The institution generally requires that you keep your money in the account until the term ends. The institution may pay a higher rate of interest than for a savings or other account. Typically, the longer the term, the higher the interest


Characteristics – a special quality or feature; whatever distinguishes one person or thing from others.


Checking Accounts – deposits in a checking account give individuals quick, convenient, and immediate access to money in their account. Money is accessed through the writing of a check, which transfers money to the person or business named. Some checking accounts pay interest (NOW accounts), but most do not institutions may impose fees on checking accounts, along with a charge for the checks.


Checks and Balances – constitutional mechanisms that authorize each branch of government to share powers with the other branches and thereby check their activities. For example, the president may veto legislation passed by Congress, the Senate must confirm major executive appointments, and the courts may declare acts of Congress unconstitutional.


Chlorofluorocarbons – a series of hydrocarbons containing both chlorine and fluorine. These have been used as refrigerants, blowing agents, cleaning fluids, solvents, and as

fire extinguishing agents. They have been shown to cause stratospheric ozone depletion and have been banned for many uses.


Choropleth map – maps that display data by using colors or shading to represent distinct categories of qualities or quantities.


Choice – what someone must make when faced with two or more alternative uses for a resource, also called an economic choice.


Chronological order – arranged in order of time occurrence.


Circle Graph – used to display data that adds up to 100%


Circular Flow – the flow of money from businesses to households and government, from households to businesses and government, and from government to households and business.


Citizen’s responsibilities and conduct – actions expected of citizens in their daily conduct such as upholding the values and principles of the Constitution, obeying the law, voting and participating in the civic life of the community.


Citizenship – status of being a member of a nation, one who owes allegiance to the government and is entitled to its protection and to political rights.


City Council – the equivalent of the legislative branch for a city.


City-state - A self-governing city, often with surrounding lands it governs.


Civil court – the place where disputes between people, or between people and the government are resolved


Civilization – the type of culture and society developed by a particular nation or region or in a particular epoch: The ways in which people organize themselves.


Civil Rights – protections and privileges given to all U.S. citizens by the Constitution and Bill of rights


Climate – the temperature, precipitation, winds, etc. that characterize a region. Long-term trends in weather elements and atmospheric conditions.


Coin – money issued by a government in the form of a metal disk. Colony - A group of emigrants or their descendants who settle in a distant territory but remain subject to or closely associated with the parent country.


Command Economies – an economy in which the government makes the decisions about what, where, how and how much is produced and finally who will get what is produced.


Common Good – involves individual citizens having the commitment and motivation (that they accept as their obligation) to promote the welfare of the community (even if they must sacrifice their own time, personal preferences or money) to work together with other members for the greater benefit of all.


Communism – the final state of social evolution according to Marx, in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed according to need.


Communication – the exchange of thoughts messages and or information.


Community – a group of people living in the same locality and under the same government.


Community Characteristic – a feature that helps to define, describe, or distinguish one community from another.


Comparative advantage – the principle that states that a country benefits from specializing in the production of goods at which it is relatively most efficient.


Comparison – an examination of two or more objects, ideas, locations, concepts, or individuals to discover the similarities and differences.


Compass rose – orientation graphic that indicates the direction north on a map or globe


Competitive Markets – markets with many buyers and sellers where not one person or firm controls prices or the number of products for sale.


Complementary Goods – goods that are jointly consumed. The consumption of one enhances the consumption of the other (examples hot dogs/hotdog buns; left shoe/right shoe; snow skis and snow clothing).


Composite region – a region that shares more than one characteristic or function e.g., Midwest-agricultural region, Midwest-industrial region, urban -industrial regions


Compromise of 1850 – had four parts– first, California was allowed to enter the Union as a free state; second, the rest of the Mexican Cession was divided into the territories of New Mexico and Utah (in each territory, voters would decide the slavery question according to popular sovereignty); third, the slave trade was ended in Washington, D.C., the nation’s capitol (Congress, however, declared that it had no power to ban the slave trade between slave states; fourth, a strict new fugitive slave law was passed.


Conflict – an open clash between two opposing groups, individuals, or nations regarding an ideology or a course of action.


Conflict and cooperation – a recurring theme of social studies that represents the opportunities for people in communities, nations, regions or worldwide to engage in activities in which they openly clash with one another while retaining the capacity at other times to work together towards accomplishing common goals.


Conflicting viewpoint – a position taken by one individual group, or nation, which is in opposition to the position of another individual, group or nation.


Consensus – a point reached in a negotiation where a general agreement of all or most of the people consulted is achieved


Constitution – the system of fundamental laws and principles that prescribes the nature, functions, and limits of a government or another institution. The fundamental law of the United States, framed in 1787, ratified in 1789, and variously amended since then.


Constitutional guarantee – the promises or assurances given to the people of the nation in their written constitution, which cannot be taken away without the due process of law.


Consumer – a customer who buys the products or services a business produces.


Consumer Credit – ability to buy goods or services now and pay later by installment payments.


Consumer Goods – items that are made for final consumption (i.e., not used by business to produce other goods or services)


Consumer Spending – purchase of consumer goods and services.


Contemporary factors – something that belongs to the same time period as the event, which contributes causally to the event, like the present efficiency and abundance in the production of wheat in the United States allows us to sell wheat to other countries who need it.


Continent - one of seven large landmasses on the Earth, which separates the oceans


Core Democratic Values – fundamental beliefs and constitutional principles outlined in the Declaration of independence and/or the United States Constitution and other important writings of the nation such as Supreme Court decisions.


Corporation – an organization of people legally bound together by a charter to conduct some type of business.


Costs – the total money, time and resources associated with a purchase or activity.

Costs of Production – all resources used in producing goods and services, for which their owners receive payment.


Country – a sovereign nation.


County – the largest territorial division of a state.


Coup d’ etat - the sudden overthrow of a government by usually a small group of persons in or previously in positions of authority


Crimes against humanity – actions that are agreed to be so universally abhorrent that they are determined to be unacceptable by all people regardless of culture and for which people seek to have the perpetrators punished on behalf of humanity.


Criminal court – the place where cases are heard for those accused of breaking a law


Criminal procedure – a set of established steps taken when the government is preparing a criminal prosecution to bring a person accused of breaking a law to trial, which includes due process for the accused.


Crusade - Any of the military expeditions undertaken by European Christians in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. Also, a vigorous concerted movement for a cause or against an abuse.


Culture--- the values, beliefs and perceptions of the world that are learned and are shared by members of a community or society, and which they use to interpret experience and to generate behavior, and that are reflected in their own behavior.


Cultural diffusion – the spread of linguistic or cultural practices or innovations (including ideas and beliefs) within a culture or from one culture to another.


Cultural geography – the study of how people use space and interact with their environment.


Cultural stability and change – an important theme in social studies, particularly in geography and history, which addresses how different societies maintain the stability of their culture and how they deal with the inevitable difficulties associated with change as a result of interactions with other cultures or changes in prevailing values.


Cultural Relativism – the idea that each culture’s features should be understood in terms of that culture’s history, environment, values, and views of its people, and that it is ethnocentric or biased, as well as uninformed, to judge another culture by the standards of one’s own culture.

Culture – learned behavior of people, which includes their belief systems and languages, their social relationships, their institutions and organizations, and their material goods (food, clothing, buildings, tools, and machines).


Currency – paper money with a specified value, issued by the government or a central bank.


Currency Exchange – the comparative value of foreign currencies.




Decade – ten years.


Deciduous – type of tree that loses its leaves during portions of the year, usually beginning in the autumn months


Decision – a conclusion or judgment reached after consideration of alternatives.


Decision Matrix – a table comparing possible decisions.


Declaration of Independence – the declaration of the Congress of the Thirteen United States of America, on the 4th of July, 1776, by which they formally declared that these colonies were free and independent States, not subject to the government of Great Britain.


Defining Characteristic – shared patterns of life, which characterize a period of history.


Deflation – a decline in general price levels, often caused by a reduction in the supply of money or credit.


Deforestation – the clearing or destruction of forests, generally for the purposes of timber extraction, agricultural expansion, cattle raising and in drier climates an increase demand for firewood.


Delegated Powers – powers granted to the national government under the Constitution, as enumerated in Articles, II, III, and I


Demagogue - A leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace.


Demand – the desire and ability of individuals to purchase economic goods or services at the market price; along with supply, one of the two key determinants of price.


Democracy – a system of government in which political authority is held by the people; typically feature constitutional governments where the majority rules, a belief in individual liberty and in equal rights for all people, freedom of expression, political freedom, and freedom of choice.

Demography – the study that emphasizes statistics to look at human population distribution, population density, and trends in population


Describe – to tell the who, what, when or where about something


Desegregation - To abolish or eliminate segregation; to open (a school or workplace, for example) to members of all races or ethnic groups, especially by force of law; to become open to members of all races or ethnic groups.


Desert – an area with little precipitation or where evaporation exceeds precipitation and thus includes sparse vegetation


Desertification – a process by which desert-like conditions are created by a loss of plant cover and soil due to human activity and climatic changes in arid and semi-arid regions


Dictator – a ruler with absolute power.


Digital clock – clock, which only uses numbers to tell the time.


Discrimination - treatment based on class or category rather than individual merit.


Disenfranchised - deprived of the rights of citizenship especially the right to vote


Disparities – lack of equality.


Dispute - a disagreement or argument about something important


Distributor – a firm that sells and delivers merchandise to retail stores or acts as an intermediary in business.


Distribution – the delivery of merchandise to retail stores.


Diversity – variety in culture and ethnic background, race and belief is not only permissible but also desirable and beneficial in a pluralistic society.


Doctrine - A principle or body of principles presented for acceptance or belief, as by a religious, political, scientific, or philosophic group; dogma, e.g., Monroe Doctrine


Domestic – of one’s own country; not foreign.

Domestic Economy – activities dealing with the production and distribution of goods and services within ones own country.


Dred Scott v. Sanford: Dred Scott Decision of 1857 - the Supreme Court ruled that Dred Scott could not file a lawsuit because, as a black, he was not a citizen. The justices also agreed that slaves were property. They also ruled that Congress did not have the power to outlaw slavery in any territory.


Due Process of Law – right of every citizen to be protected against arbitrary action by government; the government must use fair procedures to gather information and make decisions in order to protect the rights of individuals and the interests of society.




Earning – activities people engage in to acquire resources. Also, income after taxes is deducted.


Early Inhabitants – people who first lived in a place.


Economic and political connections – the relationship between the government of a state, nation or municipality and its economic system, such as regulation of banking, local ordinances, or worker safety.


Economic Development – actions taken to improve the ability of people to more productively use capital, natural and human resources in the production of goods and services.


Economic Dispute – a disagreement over how resources will be used.


Economic Freedom – the right to acquire, use, transfer and dispose of private property without unreasonable governmental interference; the right to seek employment wherever one pleases; to change employment at will; and to engage in any lawful economic activity.


Economic geography – the study of how people use space and interact with their environment to answer the basic economic questions of production and distribution.


Economic Goals of Government – in the mixed economy of the United States government has six broad goals: economic growth, more and better goods and services produced; full employment, everyone who wants to work should have a job; price stability, stable prices that do not rise dramatically, economic freedom, individuals should be free to make their own economic decisions; fair distribution of wealth, an agreement in principle that it is undesirable for any group to suffer extreme poverty while others enjoy extreme wealth; and economic security, government aid for those who are sick, disabled, or aged.

Economic Growth – the change in the level of economic activity from one year to another.


Economic Incentives – factors that motivate the behavior of households and business, prices, profits, and losses act as incentives for participants to take action in a market economy.


Economic Indicators – the leading indicators include the money supply, stock prices, consumer expectations, commodity (raw materials, farm products) prices, the average work week, new unemployment claims, new building permits, new orders for consumer goods, new orders for capital goods, unfilled orders, and back-logged deliveries.


Economic Institutions, household, government, business, banks, labor unions – an organization founded and united for a specific economic purpose, i.e.; making decisions about the consumption and production of resources.


Economic Measurement – tracking the change in the level of economic activity from one time period to another. Standard economic measurements are the GDP, housing starts, unemployment rates, and the Consumer Price Index.


Economic Roles of Government – in the mixed economy of the United States government has six broad goals: economic growth, more and better goods and services produced; full employment, everyone who wants to work should have a job; price stability, stable prices that do not rise dramatically, economic freedom, individuals should be free to make their own economic decisions; fair distribution of wealth, an agreement in principle that it is undesirable for any group to suffer extreme poverty while others enjoy extreme wealth; and economic security, government aid for those who are sick, disabled, or aged.


Economic System – the way a society organizes the production, consumption, and distribution of goods and services.


Economic Trends –the current general direction of movement of an economic indicator. Trends can track consumer purchases and production, supply and demand, GDP, prices, and interest rates



1. having to do with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

2. the management of the income, supplies, and expenses of household, government, etc.


Ecosystems (ecological system) – a system formed by the interaction of all living organisms (plants, animals, and humans) with each other and with the physical and chemical factors of the environment in which they live.

Electoral college- the group of people selected by each state that elect the president and Vice President of the United States. The number of votes each states receives is determined by the number of representatives they have in Congress (the number of their state’s Representatives plus their two Senators).


Elevation - the height on the earth’s surface above or below sea level


Emigrant - Emigrant and emigration have reference to the country from which the migration is made; the correlative words immigrant and immigration have reference to the country into which the migration is made, the former marking the going out from a country, the latter the coming into it.


Emotion – arousal that is interpreted in relation to a situation and results in expressive behavior.


Endowed - provided with/for; in the Declaration of Independence: "...that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights...” i.e. rights are provided to each person by their creator and can neither be given or taken away by a person or the government


English Bill of Rights – a law passed by Parliament in 1689 that forms the foundation of Britain’s unwritten constitution. The bill prohibited the monarchy from suspending laws, levying taxes or maintaining an army in peacetime without consent of Parliament.


Enslaved people – individuals whose liberty has been taken away and are forced to work for others without compensation as property


Entrepreneur – individual who takes the risk of producing a product for a profit


Environment – the natural or human surrounding in which living things interact.


EPA – Environmental Protection Agency


Equality – everyone should get the same treatment regardless of where their parents or grandparents were born, their race or religion, or how much money they have, citizens all have political, social, and economic equality.


Era – a period of time in history.


Ethical consideration – a set of moral standards that is a factor when making decisions or judgments.


Ethics – standards of right and wrong; morals.


Ethnic Group – people who share a common cultural background, including ancestry and language.

Ethnic Cleansing – the removal or extermination of a racial or cultural group.


Ethnography - the systematic description of a particular culture based on

first-hand observation. (The person who does ethnography is called an



Ethnocentrism - looking at the world from the perspective of one's own

culture; the attitude or belief that the ways of one's own culture are the

best or only proper ones. Other ways are therefore judged wrong or immoral,

not simply different.


Ethnicity - one's cultural identity (NOT biological identity).


Evaluate – make judgments about the value of ideas or materials. Exchange – giving one thing in return for some other thing.


Excise tax - A Federal or state tax imposed on the manufacture and distribution of certain non-essential consumer goods.


Executive Branch – carries out and enforces laws to protect individual rights and promote the common good.


Executive Power – power of the president governor or mayor to implement and enforce



Explain- to give reasons for why something happens


Exports – goods or services produced in one nation but sold to buyers in another nation.




Factors of Production – resources used by businesses to produce goods and services; natural resources, human capital, capital and entrepreneurship


Federal – anything pertaining to the national government, but not the state or local government.


Federal Courts - Article III of the Constitution gives the federal courts jurisdiction—the authority to hear and decide a case—only in certain specific areas. These are cases that involve one of the following:  The Constitution, federal laws, admiralty and maritime laws, disputes in which the United States government is involved, controversies between states, controversies between citizens of different states, Disputes involving foreign governments and United States ambassadors, ministers, and consuls serving in foreign countries.

Federal Judiciary – nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court and approximately five hundred judges appointed by the president and approved by the Senate for the federal courts


Federal Reserve System (the Fed) – the central banking system in the United States. It regulates money and banking in the United States.


Federalism – power is shared between two sets of governmental institutions, those of the states and those of the central or federal authorities, as stipulated by the Constitution

Fees - charges for services rendered.


Feudal system - Introduced to England by William I -The Conqueror. In a feudal system the King owned all the land. The King as his personal property kept one quarter, some was given to the church and the rest was rented out. In this system a lord swears allegiance to the king in return for protection. A lord took in serfs who paid homage to him and took the same oath. This system would continue to the lower and lower classes that would work for fiefs or land. The Feudal System lasted in England until the Tudor period.


Filibuster - The use of obstructionist tactics, especially prolonged speechmaking, for the purpose of delaying legislative action.


Fiscal Policy – decisions by the President and Congress, usually relating to taxation and government spending, with the goals of full employment, price stability, and economic growth


Five Themes of Geography

  • Location – includes both absolute and relative. Absolute location: expressed in terms of the latitude and longitude identifies a place’s exact location on the earth.
  • Relative location: describes where a place is in relation to other places.
  • Place - Particular city, village, or area with distinctive physical and human characteristics that distinguishes it from other places.
  • Human Environment/Interaction – How people change their surroundings like clearing land to make farms; and how people adapt to their environment like building homes with insulation and central heating in cold climates.
  • Movement – the moving of people, ideas, information, and products around the world.
  • Region – an area with one or more common characteristics or features, which gives it a measure of homogeneity and makes it different from surrounding areas.


Fluorocarbons – any of various chemically inert compounds containing carbon and fluoride used chiefly as lubricants and refrigerants and in making resins plastics. (see chlorofluorocarbons)


Foreign market - when buyers and sellers from different countries make transactions, directly or via intermediaries.

Foreign policy - when dealing with other nations, the systematic collection of practices, regulations, and rules of procedure and conduct followed by the Federal Government.


Forensic Anthropology – a special field within Physical Anthropology that uses knowledge of the human skeleton to help crimes and other legal issues. Forensic anthropologists, for example, have been working to identify the skeletal traces recovered from the 9-11 disasters.


Forms of Taxation - forms of taxation: taxes are charges imposed by the government on people or property for public purposes. Taxes take different forms like the benefit principle (gasoline taxes for road construction), progressive taxes, regressive taxes, proportional taxes, direct taxes, indirect taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes (levied on a specific item), property taxes estate and gift taxes, tariffs and social security tax.


Free Market Economy – an economy in which individuals decide the economic questions in the market place.


Freedom – being able to act without interference or control by another; right to believe in what you want, right to choose own friends, and have own ideas and opinions, to express own ideas in public, the right for people to meet in groups, the right to have any lawful job or business.


Fundamentalism - Fundamentalism can be broadly defined as a strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles and specific beliefs. Although many, if not most forms of fundamentalism are religious, by no means are all religious people fundamentalists. The adherence to certain beliefs seen in fundamentalism is so strong, that the presentation of evidence that contradicts these beliefs leads to no reassessment of them, on the part of the fundamentalist.




Genocide – the extermination of a cultural or racial group.


Geography - an integrated discipline that brings together the physical and human dimensions of the world in the study of people, place, and environment focusing on the earth’s surface and the processes that shape it, the relationships between people and environments, and the connections between people and places.


Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) – the Supreme Court ruled that in federal and state criminal cases involving serious criminal cases involving serious crimes, the court must appoint a lawyer to represent an accused person who cannot afford one. In 1972 the Supreme Court extended the right to counsel even further. It ruled that an accused person cannot be sent to jail for any offense unless he or she has either been represented by counsel or voluntarily given up that right. This ruling covers all cases that could involve imprisonment, no matter how minor the crime.

GIS global information systems – a geographic database that contains information about the distribution of physical and human characteristics of places or areas.


Good character – the moral quality of one’s decisions and behavior that is generally accepted as positive


Goods – objects that can be held or touched that can satisfy people’s wants.


Globalization - Refers to the many ways in which people are being drawn together not only by their own movements but also through the flow of goods/services, capital, and ideas/information. Globalization also includes the impact that increased human interactions have on the natural environment.


Global warming – the theory that Earth’s atmosphere is gradually warming due to the buildup of carbon dioxide in the lower atmosphere caused by human activity such as the burning of coal


Governor – the chief executive of a state government who is elected by the state’s voters.


Government – an institution that determines and enforces a society’s laws. The size and nature of a government varies according to the society it governs.


Government Regulation – a rule, law, statute or ordinance, through which the government monitors the use of wealth or property by individuals, groups or businesses.


Graphic Data – information organized in a pictorial way like a chart, graph or map.


Grasslands – middle-latitude grasslands are located between the temperate forests and desert biomes. Because of a semiarid climate, grasslands usually do not have tree cover except along rivers. Wetter grasslands supporting taller grasses are prairies and drier desert margin grassland regions are called steppes


Greenhouse effect – the warming of the earth caused by the buildup of carbon dioxide in the lower atmosphere, possibly as the result of human industrial activity


Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the total dollar value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year equals the total consumer, investment and government spending, plus the value of exports minus the value of imports.


Gross National Product (GNP) – is calculated by adjusting the GDP to include income accruing to domestic residents as a result of investments abroad minus the income earned in domestic markets accruing to foreigners abroad.




Habitat - a place where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows.


Hills – landform features that may have steep slopes but lower in elevation and characterized by less local relief than a mountain


Households – individual or family units.


Human Capital - the people who perform the work in the production of goods and services and the skills, which they have.


Human Characteristics of Place – things that humans do to change the environment or natural surroundings (e.g., bridges, roads, and buildings). Also the language, culture, food and religions of a place.


Human Environment/Interaction – how people adapt their lives to some environmental conditions; how people protect themselves from cold climates; how people will change their natural environment.


Human Resources – quantity and quality of human effort directed toward producing goods and services (also called labor or human capital).


Human rights - the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.


Hydrologic Cycle - the continuous circulation of water from the oceans, ice sheets, lithosphere, atmosphere, and all living things in the biosphere.




Identify – to recognize and name an object, person, or idea.


Ideas - something, such as a thought or concept, that potentially or actually exists in the mind as a product of mental activity, an opinion, conviction, or principle.


Identify – to name something


Immigration - To enter and settle in a country or region to which one is not native


Imports – goods and services that consumers in one country buy from producers in another country.


Inalienable – (also unalienable) rights that cannot be given or taken away.

Incentives – factors that motivate and influence the behavior of households and businesses; prices, profits, and losses act as incentives for participants to take action in a market economy.


Indentured servitude – a contract between two people where one party agrees to work without any or minimal compensation to pay back money or an opportunity provided by the other


Indigenous - Originating and living or occurring naturally in an area or environment e.g., indigenous plants or the indigenous people of a country


Income Taxes taxes paid by households and business firms on the income they receive.


Indian Removal Act (1830) – Native Americans were forced to sign treaties agreeing to move west of the Mississippi.


Individual choice – decisions made by people acting separately.


Individual Ownership – a business owned and managed by one individual who assumes all risk of loss and gets all the profit.


Individual Rights – fundamental to American constitutional democracy is the belief that individuals have certain basic rights that are not created by government but which government should protect. These are the right to life, liberty, economic freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. It is the purpose of government to protect these rights, and it may not place unfair or unreasonable restraints on their exercise. Many of these rights are enumerated in the Bill of Rights.


Inflation – an increase in the general level of prices people pay for goods and services. A popular measure of inflation is the consumer price index.


Infringement – contrary to or violate; go beyond the proper or usual limits.


Innovation – a newly introduced idea, invention or way of doing things that changes the world.


Institutions - customs, practices, relationships, or behavioral patterns of importance in the life of a community or society: the institutions of marriage and the family. Established organizations or foundations that reflect the culture and beliefs of a people


Integration - The bringing of people of different racial or ethnic groups into unrestricted and equal association


Interdependence – people relying on each other in different places or in the same place for ideas, goods, and services.

International – between or among nations; having to do with the relations between nations.


International Monetary Fund (IMF) – an organization set up to lower trade barriers between countries and to stabilize currencies, often by lending money to developing nations.


International Trade – the exchange of goods and services between or among nations.


Interpretation – an explanation of something that is not immediately obvious.


Investment – purchase of tangible assets, such as machines, factories, or inventories that are used to produce goods and services for the purpose of making a profit.


Investments in Capital Resources – business purchases of new plant and equipment.


Investment in Human Resources – activities that increase the skills and knowledge of workers.


Invisible hand – term used by Adam Smith to describe the natural force that guides free market capitalism through competition for scarce resources.


Islam - A monotheistic religion characterized by the acceptance of the doctrine of submission to God and to Muhammad as the chief and last prophet of God.




Jihad - A Muslim holy war or spiritual struggle against infidels (those who do not believe in the doctrines of the Islamic faith)


Jim Crow Laws – the systematic practice of discriminating against and segregating Black people, especially as practiced in the American South from the end of Reconstruction to the mid 20th century.


Judicial Branch – the Branch of the Federal government responsible for interpreting laws. The Supreme Court heads it. A major responsibility is to protect individual rights and settle conflicts or disputes.


Justice – people should be treated fairly in the distribution of the benefits and burdens of society, the correction of wrongs and injuries, and in the gathering of information and making of decisions.




Key – an explanation of the features, colors, or shading on a map or chart


Kinship - the patterns and rules of relationship among people who are

linked or related to each other through shared descent from common ancestors

or through marriage.




Labor – the physical and mental exertion that human beings put into production activities.


Labor force – those who are working or actively seeking work.


Landform - the shape, form, or nature of a specific physical feature of the earth’s surface; e.g., plain, hill, valley, plateau, bay island


Land use - the range of uses of Earth’s surface made by humans. Uses are classified as urban, rural, agricultural, forested, etc.


Latitude – a measure of distance north or south of the equator.


Law – a set of rules, issued and enforced by a government that binds every member of society.


Law of Demand – if supply is held constant, an increase in demand leads to an increased market price, while a decrease in demand leads to a decreased market price.


Law of diminishing returns - a point beyond which the application of additional resources yields less than proportional increases in output.


Law of diminishing marginal utility - the principle that as additional units of a product are consumed during a given time period, the additional satisfaction for the consumer decreases


Law of Supply – if demand is held constant, an increase in supply leads to a decreased price, while a decrease in supply leads to increased price.


Learning - a relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs through experience.


Legal – according to the law; permitted by law; lawful


Legend – an explanatory description to the features on a map or chart


Legislative Branch – passes laws to protect individual rights and promote the common good.


Libertarian party - libertarians believe in complete liberty, free enterprise, and personal responsibility without the constraints of government.

Liberty – includes the freedom to believe what you want, freedom to choose your own friends, and to have your own ideas and opinions, to express your ideas in public, the right for people to meet in groups, and the right to have any lawful job or business.


Life – each citizen has the right to the protection of their life; individuals right to life should be considered inviolable except in certain highly restricted and extreme circumstances, such as the use of deadly force to protect one’s own or others’ lives.


Limited Resources – the condition of there not being enough resources to fulfill all wants and needs.


Line graph – a means of displaying data by connecting lines between dots representing the values of a continuous variable.


Lithosphere – the uppermost portion of the solid Earth, including soil, land, and geologic formations


Location – where something is:

  • Absolute Location – the exact position on the globe using addresses, grid coordinates, or the imaginary lines of longitude and latitude
  • Relative Location - the location of a place or region in relation to other places or regions (e.g., northwest of or downstream from).


Longitude – the position of a point on Earth’s surface expressed as its angular distance, east or west, from the prime meridian to 180°


Loss – the investment lost in a business when its expenses exceed its income


Lumbering – industry involved in cutting timber and selling it.




Major World Processes – population growth, economic development, urbanization, resource use, international trade, global communication, and environmental impact.


Marbury v. Madison (1803) – case in which the Supreme Court held that it had the power of judicial review over acts of Congress.


Market – the place where buyers and sellers come together to make transactions of goods and services.


Market Economy –an economic system based only on the interaction of market forces, such as supply and demand. A true market economy is free of governmental influence, collusion and other external interference, and buyers and sellers making exchanges determine prices

Mediation – to come in to help settle a dispute; be a go between; act in order to bring about an agreement between persons or sides.


Meeting of the Three Worlds – the era of early North American history when the people of North America, Europe, and Africa interact on the North American continent.


Melting pot – Term was coined in the early 1900s by playwright Israel Zangwill in his play The Melting Pot. The term refers to the Zangwill’s theory that immigrants to the United States lose their unique national-ethnic identities upon their arrival in the United States and become “Americans”.


Millennium – one thousand years


Minerals - a naturally occurring, homogeneous inorganic solid substance having a definite chemical composition and characteristic crystalline structure, color, and hardness.


Migration – to move from one place to settle in another.


Miranda Rule – an arresting officer’s requirements to inform criminal suspects of their rights before questioning.


Mixed Economy – an economy that combines elements of the traditional, market, and command economic models.


Model – a set of assumptions and hypotheses that is a simplified description of reality.


Monarchy – a system of government in which the head of state, usually a royal figure (king, queen) is a hereditary position


Monetary Policy – the regulation of the money supply and interest rates by a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve Board in the U.S., in order to control inflation and stabilize currency.


Money – a medium of exchange, a good that can be used to buy other goods and services.


Money Market Deposit Accounts (MMDA) - An MMDA is an interest-bearing account that allows you to write checks. It usually pays a higher rate of interest than a checking or savings account. MMDAs often require a higher minimum balance, and you are limited to only three checks per month. Most institutions impose fees on MMDAs.


Movement – the moving of people, ideas, information and products around the world.


Multicultural – a social or educational theory that encourages interest in many cultures within a society rather than in only a mainstream culture


Muslim also Moslem - A believer in or adherent of Islam




NAFTA – North American Free Trade Agreement – the United States, Canada, and Mexico formed a major trading block in 1992 that removed tariffs and other barriers to the creation of a free trade zone among the three countries.


Narratives – in social studies narratives are stories or tales about events that identify the people involved, describe the setting, and sequences the important events.


Nation – a culturally and politically unified group of people bound together by a strong sense of shared values, institutions and cultural characteristics


National interests - a perspective that puts the well-being of the nation before any other consideration


Nationalism - The belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals.


NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization founded in 1948 to curb communist expansion. There are nineteen member countries of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. They are: Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States.


Natural/Physical Characteristics of Place – a description of “what is there naturally,” the gifts of nature, such as water, minerals, land and timber.


Natural Resources – anything from the natural environment that people use to meet their needs. They are “gifts of nature” that are present without human intervention.


Needs – those things that everyone must have to survive.


Negotiate – to arrange for or bring about through conference, discussion, and compromise.


NGO - a non-governmental organization (NGO) is any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group, which is organized on a local, national or international level. NGOs perform a variety of services and humanitarian functions, bring citizens' concerns to governments, monitor policies and encourage political participation at the community level, e.g. the Red Cross.


Nonrenewable resource – a finite resource that cannot be replaced once it is used e.g., petroleum, minerals


Northwest Ordinance – in 1787 Congress set up a government for the Northwest Territory and outlawed slavery there. It also provided for the vast region to be divided into three to five separate territories in the future.




Ocean - The entire body of salt water that covers more than 70 percent of the earth's surface and is separated by the continents; and whose principal divisions include the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic oceans.


Oligarchy – a government controlled by a small group to serve their own purposes.


OPEC – the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is an international cartel of thirteen nations designed to promote collective pricing of petroleum, unified marketing policies, and regulation of petroleum extraction.


Opportunity Cost – the next best alternative that must be given up when a choice is made. Not all alternatives, just the next best choice.


Ownership – the right to use something and to enjoy its benefits.


Ozone – a gas formed from an interaction between oxygen and sunlight


Ozone Layer – a region in the earth’s upper atmosphere that protects life beneath by filtering out dangerous ultraviolet solar radiation




Parliamentary System – a system of government in which power is concentrated in a legislature. The legislature selects one of its members, usually called a prime minister, as the nations’ principal leader and other legislative members deserve as the leader’s cabinet.


Partisan - A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea


Patriotism – virtuous citizens display a devotion to their country in words and deeds, including devotion to the fundamental values and principles upon which it depends


Per Capita Income – the average income per person.


Personality – relatively stable pattern of behavior and thinking manifested in interactions with self and others.


Personal Virtue – moral excellence, the consistent practice of moral action and the abstinence from immorality and vice


Physical Features – natural characteristics of the earth’s surface such as land forms, climate, winds, and ocean currents.


Physical/natural characteristics of place - the natural environment of a place such as water, minerals, land, and timber.


Pie chart – used to display data that adds up to 100%


Place – a particular city, village, or area with distinctive physical and human characteristics that distinguishes it from other places.


Plains - landform feature characterized by gentle slopes and minimum of local relief


Plateau – landform features characterized by high elevation and gentle upland slopes (e.g., the Grand Canyon area of the United States.


Platform - A formal declaration of the principles on which a group, such as a political party, makes its appeal to the public.


Plank - One of the articles or ideas of a political platform


Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) – the court ruled that segregation was legal so long as facilities for blacks and whites were equal.


Political Freedom – the right to participate freely in the political process choose and remove public officials, to be governed under a rule of law; the right to a free flow of information and ideas, open debate and right of assembly.


Popular sovereignty – the citizens are collectively the sovereign of the state and hold the ultimate authority over public officials and their policies.


Population – the people who inhabit a political entity or region


Population – a group of individuals which interbreed or exchange genes primarily with each other, and thus share traits in common more than with members of other populations. If a population becomes split, as from migration, so that one part no longer interbreeds with the other, gradually each separated group could accumulate changes not shared with the other and would thus develop or evolve into distinctive populations.


Population density – the number of individuals occupying an area derived from dividing the number of people by the area they occupy (e.g., 2,000 people divided by ten square miles – 200 people per square mile).


Populism - A political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against the privileged elite. In U.S. History the populist movement first gains national importance in the presidential election of 1892. Agrarian reform and issues regarding bimetallism are cornerstones of the movement.


Preamble – introduction to a formal document that explains its purpose.


Precedent - A judicial decision that may be used as a standard in subsequent similar cases: a landmark decision that set a legal precedent.


Prejudice - holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions especially pertaining to irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion


Presidential System /American Political System – a system of government in which the legislative and executive branches operate independently of each other and in which power in branches operate independently of each other and in which power is distributed through a system of checks and balances.


Price – the amounts of money that people pay in exchange for a unit of a particular good or service.


Primary Source Documents – original documents that help us learn about past people or events (e.g., letters, diaries, maps, drawings, laws, statutes,).


Primary Sources – any document or artifacts that is direct evidence of historical events including clothing, furniture, homes, recordings, documents and photographs.


Privacy – the state of being free from unsanctioned intrusion.


Private Goods – goods that are privately owned and used to benefit only their owners.


Private Life – concerns the personal life of the individual such as being with family and friends or practicing ones own religious beliefs.


Process – a series of gradual changes bringing about a result.


Processes – the series of changes by which something develops (major world processes are population growth, economic development, urbanization, resource use, international trade, global communication, and environmental impact.)


Producers – people who use resources to make goods and services.


Production – the act of growing, making or manufacturing goods and services.


Productivity – the amount of output per unit of input.


Profit – the positive gain from an investment or business operation after subtracting for.


Propaganda – the systematic spreading of ideas or beliefs reflecting the views and interests of those advocating a doctrine or cause.


Property – that which is legally owned by an individual or entity.


Property taxes – taxes paid by households and businesses on land and buildings.


Public Goods – goods and services that are provided by the government. They are often too expensive or not practical to be obtained by individuals.


Public Policy – decisions and laws that a government makes about an area of public concern to guide the actions of government.


Public policy issue (should questions) – an issue about which reasonable people will disagree. Questions of public policy require individuals in authority to make decisions or create policies that will affect the public lives of all the citizens in a community or nation.


Public Service – service to local, state, or national communities through appointed or elected office.


Pull factors – in migration theory, the social, political, economic, and environmental attractions of new areas that draw people away from their previous location.


Pursuit of Happiness – the right of citizens in the American constitutional democracy to attempt to attain – “to pursue” –happiness in their own way, so long as they do not infringe upon rights of others


Push factors – in migration theory, the social, political, economic and environmental forces that drive people from their previous location to search for new ones.




Race – commonly used to refer to regional human populations assumed to be significantly genetically different from each other, though in the same species. Anthropologists hold that this view ignores the vast amount of genetic diversity within any population and the minimal importance of differences between populations, so that race is used to refer to ethnic group (cultural) differences as though they had a biological basis. Recent DNA research shows that the amount of DNA variation within any population is more than 16 times greater than DNA differences between populations.


Racism – an irrational belief in an advocacy of the superiority of a given group, people, or nation


Reapportionment – the number of representatives in Congress is fixed. The Supreme Court has established that all election districts must be equal or nearly equal in population. States which must make changes as a result of new census figures (situations where new districts are drawn or seats lost---reapportioning) often experience rancorous debate by the political parties. Reapportionment plans can affect the ease with which a party can get its candidates elected.


Rebate - A partial refund following a purchase.


Reciprocity – mutual exchange, especially an exchange of special privileges in regard to trade between two countries


Reconstruction – period after the Civil War when the south was re-built; also, the Federal program to rebuild it.


Referendum - The submission of a proposed public measure or actual statute to a direct popular vote.


Reform – movement to improve unsatisfactory conditions.


Region – an area that shares common characteristics. Regions can be physical regions; land formations and climate; human traits that make up a region such as language, religion history and political boundaries.


Regulation - rules and laws the government makes to control the economy. In laissez-faire economic systems there is no regulation of the economy. In the United States, the government participates in the economy to assure the accomplishment of the economic goals of government.


Relative Location – describes where a place is in relation to other places.


Relative Price – the price of one good or service compared to the prices of others goods and services.


Religion - A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.


Religious Liberty – there shall be full freedom of conscience for people of all faiths or none. Religious liberty is considered to be a natural inalienable right that must always be beyond the power of the state to confer or remove. Religious liberty includes the right to freely practice any religion or no religion without governmental coercion or control.


Representative Democracy – a system of government in which the people choose political leaders to make policy decisions on their behalf.


Republic - a republic is a sovereign state in which all segments of society are enfranchised and in which the state's power is constitutionally limited. A republic is distinguished from a true democracy in that the republic operates through a representative assembly chosen by the citizenry, while in a democracy the populace

participates directly in governmental affairs.


Resources – all natural, human and man-made aids to the production of goods and services. Also called productive resources.


Rule of Law – principle that every member of a society, even a ruler, must follow the law.


Rural – areas of low population density




Sales Taxes – taxes paid by the consumer on the goods and services people buy.


Savings Accounts – with savings accounts you can make withdrawals, although the number you can make each month may be limited. Savings accounts usually earn interest. Institutions may assess various fees on savings accounts, such as minimum balance fees.


Scale – on maps the relationship or ratio between a linear measurement on a map and the corresponding distance on Earth’s surface. For example, the scale 1:1,000,000 means one unit (mile or kilometer) on the map and represents 1,000,000 similar units on Earth’s surface. Also refers to the size of places or regions being studied.


Scarcity – the condition that occurs because people’s wants and needs are unlimited, while the resources needed to produce goods and services to meet these wants and needs are limited.


Secondary Sources – summaries and interpretations of original artifacts.


Segregation - The policy or practice of separating people of different races, classes, or ethnic groups, as in schools, housing, and public or commercial facilities, especially as a form of discrimination


Separation of Powers – the distribution of political power among the branches of government, giving each branch a particular set of responsibilities.


Services – an intangible act, which satisfies the wants or needs of consumers such as medical advice and education.


Shortages – the situation resulting when the quantity demanded exceeds the quantity supplied of a good, service, or resource.


Site – the specific place where something is located, including its physical setting (e.g., on a floodplain).


Situation – the general location of something in relation to other places or features of a larger region (e.g., in the center of a groups of cities).


Sketch Map – the representation of all or part of the surface location on a flat piece of paper drawn from memory.


Slavery - the institution that supports the holding of human beings as property


Specialization – the situation in which a nation produces a narrower range of goods and services than they consume/specialization in mass production occurs when a worker repeats a single operation over and over.


Socialism – any one of various systems in which the means of producing goods are owned by the community or the government rather than by private individuals with all people sharing in the work and the goods produced.


Social organization - the rule-governed relationships of individuals and

groups within a society that holds it together.


Soil - unconsolidated material found at the surface of Earth, which is divided into layers (or horizons) characterized by the accumulation or loss of organic and inorganic compounds. Soil types and depths vary greatly over Earth’s surface, and are very much influenced by climate, organisms, rock type, local relief, time, and human activity.


Sovereign - the person, body, or state in which independent and supreme authority is vested; such as, in a monarchy, a king, queen, or emperor---in the United States, the people.


Stock Market – a financial market which is organized to buy and sell stocks through exchanges, over-the-counter, and electronically


Subculture - a distinctive set of standards and behavior patterns by

which a group within a larger society operates.


Subsidy – a payment made by government to encourage some activity.


Substitute goods – goods that can be used interchangeably. The consumption of one replaces the need to consume the other.


Supply – the quantities of a good or service that a firm is willing and able to make available for sale at different prices (economic concept of supply and demand).


Surpluses – the situation resulting when the quantity supplied exceeds that quantity demanded of a good, service, or resource.

Synthesize - build a structure or pattern from diverse elements. Put parts together to form a whole, with emphasis on creating a new meaning or structure.




Taking a stand – supporting one side of an issue of public policy


Tariff – tax on foreign goods brought into a country. An official schedule of taxes imposed by a government on imports or exports


Taxes – required payments of money made to governments by households and business firms.


Theory – a set of principle that can be used to make inferences about the world.


Three Basic Economic Questions – 1.) What goods and services will be produced and in what quantities? 2.) How will they be produced? 3.) For whom will they be produced?


Timeline – a graphic means of displaying historical events in chronological order


Tolerance - a disposition to allow freedom of choice and behavior


Totalitarian – country where a single party controls the government and every aspect of the lives of the people


Trade/Exchange – trading goods and services with people for other goods and services or for money. When people exchange voluntarily, they expect to be better off as a result.

Trade-offs – giving up one thing to get something else.


Traditional Economy – an economy in which the three basic questions are answered by custom, or how things have been done in the past. Roles in traditional economies are gender based and often inherited. Barter holds an important position.


Treaty - A formal agreement between two or more states, as in reference to terms of peace or trade.


Trial – the examination before a court of the facts or law in a court case


Trojan Horse - a subversive group that supports the enemy and engages in espionage or sabotage; an enemy in your midst; a large hollow wooden figure of a horse (filled with Greek soldiers) left by the Greeks outside Troy during the Trojan War


Truth – A statement proven to be or accepted as true; in a democracy the principle that the government and citizens should not lie.


Tyrant – one who exercises absolute power without legal authority




Unalienable – (also inalienable) rights that cannot be given or taken away; that cannot be transferred to another


Unemployment – the situation in which people are willing and able to work at current wages but do not have jobs.


Unicameral - a state government with a single legislative chamber


Urban – an area characterized as a city or town where the population density is greater than in the surrounding area and is acknowledged as a major cultural, service, and production location in a region


Urbanization – a process in which there is an increase in the percentage of people living/working in cities and towns




Values - beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something); those things that are considered to be most important by a person or group


Vigilante - One who takes or advocates the taking of law enforcement into one's own hands.


Voluntarism – people who work without monetary compensation to help others in their family, schools, communities, state, nation, and the world.


Voluntary Exchanges – choosing to give one thing in exchange for another without being coerced




Wants – things that people desire.


Watershed - an area of land drained by a river and its tributaries


Weather – atmospheric conditions as regards to temperature, moisture, winds


Wetlands - productive land areas that are flooded for at least part of the year


World Processes – population growth, economic development, urbanization, resource use, international trade, global communication, and environmental impact.


World Trade Organization (WTO) - An international agency which encourages trade between member nations, administers global trade agreements and resolves disputes when they arise. 

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