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Glossary for the Main Subject Group of Examples

An overview of the defined terms:


Arafat, Jasir


Balfour declaration

Ben Gurion, David

Botha, Louis 

Boer (war)

Carter, Jimmy

Caste system  

Contract workers 

Dayan, Moshe



Dreyfus Affair 

Gandhi, Indira 






Herzl, Theodor



General J. Chr. Smuts 


Kissinger, Henry



Marriage laws

Massacre of Amritsar 

Montford reforms

Nasser, Gamal Abd el-



Orange Free State 


Peres, Shimon


Registration law

Rowlett Act 

Ruskin, John 

Sadat, Anwar es-


Schamir, Izhak

Scharon, Ariel





Three Pound Tax


Zulu risings

Weizman, Ezer 

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Ahimsa - Not harming living things. Philosophy of revering all life and refraining from harm to any living thing. Gandhi compared ahimsa to Christian charity to fellow people. In addition to this, Gandhi also developed the definition of this term to also include accepting bad treatment, humiliation and beatings from fellow humans without retaliating. Gandhi also found this principle in the Bible. If someone strikes you across your right cheek, offer him the left cheek too (see also Gandhi's quotes).

Arafat, Jasir - Palestinian statesman. He became chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (1969) and president of the Palestinian Authority (1996). He shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Itzhak Rabin.
[Taken from: Microsoft Encarta 2001]

Ashram - spiritual community: a commune or communal house whose members share spiritual goals and practices.

Balfour-Declaration - declaration issued on November 2, 1917 by Great Britain in favor of a Jewish national home in Palestine.
[Taken from: Microsoft Encarta 2001]

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Ben Gurion, David - (1886-1973), Israeli statesman and the first prime minister of Israel (1948-1953 and 1955-1963), who dedicated his life to establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine and was regarded as the father of his country.
[Taken from: Microsoft Encarta 2001]

Botha, Louis (1862-1919) - South African soldier and politician. Helped form New Republic (1884) in present Natal; elected to Volksraad of South African Republic (1897). Commanded Boer army in Boer War before Ladysmith (1899); defeated British at Colenso, Spioenkop, Vaalkrams; succeeded Joubert as commander in chief (1900). Carried on peace negotiations; became first prime minister of Transvaal (1907); headed Transvaal delegation at union convention (1908-09); first prime minister of Union of South Africa (1910-19); established South African party (1911). Put down Afrikaner revolt against intervention in World War I, and won surrender of German forces in South West Africa (1915); with Jan Smuts attended Paris peace conference as representative of South Africa (1919). (see also history of South Africa).
[Taken from: Lexirom].

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Boers (War) - Descendents of white settlers that arrived in South Africa in 1653 mostly from Holland and Germany. The Boers always regarded themselves as the rightful rulers of South Africa. War broke out with the British between 1899-1902 who had arrived later in South African and also made a claim to the land. Britain wanted to take over the Boer states of Transvaal and Orange Free State because of their rich mineral deposits. The British won the war, but returned self-administration to the states a short time afterwards. Many Boers were large landowners and supported the apartheid regime (see also history of South Africa).

Carter, James Earl (Jimmy) - Jimmy Carter became president of the USA in 1977, pledging to maintain a more accessible administration. Carter helped to bring about a peace treaty (1979) between Israel and Egypt. His success was overshadowed, however, by his inability to secure the release of American hostages, who had been seized during the 1979 Iranian takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. This failure, along with rising inflation, which weakened the U.S. economy, led to his defeat in the 1980 election by Republican candidate Ronald Reagan.
[Taken from: Lexirom]

Dayan, Moshe - 1915-1981. Born in 1915 in the Deganya Kibbuz. Israeli soldier and politician. Founded Haganah militia force (1939); served in British army during World War II; in Israeli army (from 1948); commander on Jerusalem front (1948); chief of staff (1953-58), credited with success of army in Gaza and Sinai in Suez War (1956); member of Knesset (1958-81); minister of agriculture (1959-64); minister of defense (1967, 1969-74), planned and commanded Six-Day War (1967); foreign minister (1977-79). Author of Diary of the Sinai Campaign (1966), Living with the Bible (1978).
[Taken from: Lexirom]

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Dhoti - Indian article of clothing; a simple cloth that is worn similar to a loincloth.

Diaspora - (Greek, "scattering"), areas to which religious minorities have been scattered.
[Taken from: Bertelsmann Discovery Lexikon 1997]

Dreyfus Affair - In 1894 an army court-martial condemned to deportation and life imprisonment a Jewish officer, Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935), convicted of espionage for Germany. His family and friends, convinced of his innocence, forced the reopening of the case, and in the late 1890s the impassioned dispute over it split the country. Dreyfus's supporters, chiefly Republicans, held that an injustice had been done and that justice to the individual must take precedence over other considerations. The anti-Dreyfusards charged that the Dreyfusards were discrediting the army and undermining national security. Around them rallied the anti-Republican forces: Monarchists, ultrapatriots, and supporters of the church. Republican deputies united in 1899 to form the Government of Republican Defense. It sought to defuse the case by pardoning Dreyfus and by dismissals and reassignments of compromised army officers, and in 1901 it resumed the attack on the influence of the church. He was released and cleared in 1906.
[Taken from: Lexirom]

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Marrige laws - The marriage law was introduced into South African in 1913. According to the law only those marriages that were Christian and which had been authorized by a South African registrar were valid. Hindu and Muslim marriages from India were no longer recognized. This meant that Indian women lost their status. From now on they were regarded only as lovers. This, in turn, created immigration problems and trouble with residence permits, since women were only allowed to stay in the country provided they were married. In addition to this, the new law meant that they lost their dignity. The children of such marriages also lost their status. The consequence of this meant that they were regarded as illegitimate and, for example, lost their right to inheritance. (See also history of South Africa).

Gandhi, Indira (1917-1984) - 1917-1984. Indian politician. Joined all-India Congress party (1938); m. Feroze Gandhi (1942); served (1947-64) as official hostess for her father Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ( q.v. ); elected president Congress party (1959-60); elected prime minister (1966); instituted major reforms, including strict population control program; supported the Bengalis against West Pakistan (1971); incorporated Sikkim (1974); declared (June 1975) state of emergency and governed by decree; defeated in 1977 elections; imprisoned briefly for abuses while in office; made brilliant comeback as prime minister in 1980 election; met demand for autonomous Sikh state by ordering attack (June 6, 1984) on Golden Temple at Amritsar; assassinated by Sikh extremists among her own bodyguards (see also history of India).
[Taken from: Lexirom] 

General Jan Christian Smuts - advisor to the President of the Boer Republic Transvaal, Paul Krüger. He was the commander-in-chief of the Cape Boers during the Boer War. He later became President of the South African Union on several occasions (see also history of South Africa).

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Gokhale, Krishna Gopal - Member of the Indian National Congress founded in 1885. He was one of the most important political leaders during India's struggle for independence and a friend of Gandhi (see also the life of Gandhi).

Gujarati - a member of a people chiefly of Gujarat speaking the Gujarati language.

HaganaZionist military organization (1920-48). It was organized to combat the attacks of Palestinian Arabs on Jewish settlements, and effectively defended them despite being outlawed by the British authorities and poorly armed. Through World War II its activities were moderate by contrast with more extreme Zionist militias, but it turned to terrorism after the war when the British refused to permit unlimited Jewish immigration to Palestine. In 1947 it clashed openly with British forces and with the forces of the Palestinian Arabs and their allies. With the creation of Israel in 1948, the Hagana became its national army.
[Copyright © 2000 Merriam-Webster, Inc. and Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc]

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Harijan - a member of the outcaste group in India: untouchables

Herzl, Theodor - ö1860-1904. Hungarian Zionist leader. Paris correspondent of Neue Freie Presse, Vienna (1891-95), and its literary editor (from 1896). Wrote Der Judenstaat (1896), influanced by the Dreyfus Affair advocated founding of a Jewish state in Palestine; organized Zionist World Congress, Basel (1897); president, Zionist Organization (1897-1904). Considered founder of organized Zionist movement.
[Taken from: Lexirom]

Hinduism - Religion that originated in India and is still practiced by most of its inhabitants, as well as by those whose families have migrated from India to other parts of the world (chiefly East Africa, South Africa, Southeast Asia, the East Indies, and England). The word Hindu is derived from the Sanskrit word sindhu ("river," more specifically, the Indus); the Persians in the 5th century bc called the Hindus by that name, identifying them as the people of the land of the Indus. The Hindus' own definitions of their community are "those who believe in the Vedas" ( see Veda ) or "those who follow the way (dharma) of the four classes ( varnas) and stages of life ( ashramas )." Hinduism is a major world religion, not merely by virtue of its many followers (estimated at more than 700 million) but also because of its profound influence on many other religions during its long, unbroken history, beginning about 1500 bc . The corresponding influence of these various religions on Hinduism (it has an extraordinary tendency to absorb foreign elements) has greatly contributed to the religion's syncretism-the wide variety of beliefs and practices that it encompasses. Moreover, the geographic, rather than ideological, basis of the religion (the fact that it consists of whatever all the people of India have believed and done) has given Hinduism the character of a social and doctrinal system that extends to every aspect of human life. The caste system stems from Hinduism.
[Taken from: Lexirom]

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Indigo - Indigo is one of the earliest dyes and was previously very important. It is obtained from indigo plants.

INC (Indian National Congress) - The INC was founded in 1885 to represent the Indian population in the lands occupied by the British. Under the leadership of Gandhi, the INC developed into a mass paty, which has been represented in the Indian parliament almost unbrokenly since Indian independence (see also history of India).

Caste system - The caste system comes from Hinduism and separates the population into four classes: Brahmans/priests, Kshatrigas/warriors, Vaishiy/farmers and merchants and Shudras/laborers. Depending on the state, these four classes are sub-divided into over 1000 castes. Parias, that is, outcasts and untouchables are those who do not belong to a caste. Members of the lower castes were never fully accepted by society and often live in great poverty.

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Kibbuzcooperative village, or communal farm, in Israel, where all property is collectively owned and work is organized on a collective basis. Members contribute by working according to their capacity and in return receive food, clothing, housing, medical services, and other domestic services according to their needs. Dining rooms, kitchens, and stores are central, and schools and children's dormitories are communal. Each village is governed by an elected assembly. Although most kibbutzim are entirely agricultural, some have manufacturing industries. The first kibbutz was founded on the bank of the Jordan River in 1909. This type of community was necessary to the early Jewish immigrants to Palestine. By living and working collectively, they were able to build homes and to begin to irrigate and farm the barren desert land. Each person could contribute individual abilities to the growth of the community. Since many kibbutzim were established along Israel's frontiers after independence in 1948, they became important in the defense of the new nation. Strategically located kibbutzim have been subject to attack from Palestinian forces. Kibbutz members, although a small percentage of the Israeli population, wield much political power.
[Taken from: Lexirom]

Contract worker - Many Indians traveled to South Africa to work as cheap labor. They suffered discrimination at the hands of the Boers or the British. Based on their wealth, the merchants were able to live a relatively comfortable life, while the contract workers suffered intolerable conditions. They were only permitted to remain in South Africa provided they had a work contract. Their contracts, however, were restricted to a set amount of years and the workers had almost no rights. To get out of their contracts, they were required to pay a head tax of three pounds, a sum which none of the workers were able to raise, since their wages were considerably less. They worked mainly in mines and lived in ghettos that were so filthy that is was here that the pest started. They were only slightly better off than slaves.

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Kissinger, Henry - American scholar and Nobel laureate, statesman, secretary of state under Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. Kissinger was born in Furth, Germany, May 23, 1923. He was brought to the U.S. by his parents in 1938, became a citizen five years later, and was educated at Harvard University. From 1943 to 1946 Kissinger served as an enlisted man in the U.S. Army.
[Taken from: Lexirom]

Likud Block - the Likud, a conservative group formed in 1973 by the merger of several organizations, including the Gahal and Free Center parties.
[Taken from: Lexirom]

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Mahatmaa person to be revered for high-mindedness, wisdom, and selflessness. The name was given to Gandhi by the Indian people.

Massacre of Amritsar - Amritsar is a city in the state of Punjab near the boarder to Pakistan. Thousands of Indians gathered in the city's square in 1919 for a peaceful demonstration. The British army sealed off all the entrances to the square and fired indiscriminately into the crowd. The General in charge of the army later admitted that his aim had been to kill all Indians. He was not punished for his actions, but did leave his post following recommendations by the investigating committee. The massacre caused outrage across India.

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Montford Reforms - These reforms from 1918 were aimed at giving the Indians partial responsibility in the government. Delays to implementation of the reforms led to unrest (see also history of India).

Nasser, Gamal Abd el - 1918-1970. Egyptian soldier and politician. Founded secret nationalist society of army officers and led it in overthrowing King Farouk (1952); head of ruling revolutionary council (1952-56); prime minister (1954-56); promulgated constitution (1956); president of Egypt (1956-58); nationalized Suez Canal (1956); formed United Arab Republic (1958; included Syria 1958-61) and was its president (1958-70); built Aswan High Dam on Nile (completed 1968); defeated in war with Israel (1967).
[Taken from: Lexirom]

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Natal - A province in the east of South Africa that was a British Crown colony until 1910. Durban is situated in Natal.

Nehru, Jawaharlal (1889-1964) - A close friend, pupil and fellow fighter with Gandhi. He was President of the INC between 1929 and 1936 and 1947-1964 the first Prime Minster of India (see also history of India).

Orange Free state - South African province; it was founded in 1854 as the second "free Boer republic".

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Paria - Pariahs are those without a caste they are also called the untouchables. They are at the very bottom of Indian society. They are prevented from entering into many parts of Indian public life. For example they are not permitted to draw water from village wells, because the rest of the residents would be fearful of becoming unclean. Gandhi stood up for the untouchables, calling them God's children.

Peres, Shimon - Israeli political leader. Born in Poland, Peres (originally Persky) settled in Palestine with his parents in 1934. A protege of David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, Peres held various government posts before becoming Labor party leader in April 1977. After Labor won a narrow victory in July 1984, Peres became prime minister in a government of national unity; by agreement with the Likud, Peres held the top spot until October 1986 and then served as foreign minister under the Likud leader, Yitzhak Shamir. He was finance minister in a subsequent Likud-Labor government (1988-90) but left office when that coalition collapsed over differences on peace talks with the Palestinians. He continued to lead the Labor party until February 1992, when he lost in a primary to Yitzhak Rabin. After Labor won the general election in June, Peres joined Rabin's cabinet as foreign minister.
[Taken from: Lexirom]

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PLO - Palestine Liberation Organization, political body representing palestinian Arabs in their attemp to reclaim their homland from the state of Isreal 

Structure and Organs.

The PLO was founded at a congress in the Jordanian sector of Jerusalem in May 1964. Formed as an umbrella organization by refugee groups and fedayeen (commando) forces, such as Al Fatah, Al Saiqa, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, it was also joined by professional, labor, and student associations, as well as some individual members; the fedayeen, however, have always dominated it. Dedicated to mobilizing the Palestinian people "to recover their usurped homes," the organization, according to its charter, seeks the replacement of Israel with a secular Palestinian state and has sponsored numerous commando and terrorist acts both inside that country and internationally. It has, however, denied responsibility for such dramatic terrorist raids by Arab fedayeen as the murderous assault in 1972 on Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich.

The functions of the PLO are carried out by three main organs: the Executive Committee, a decision-making body in which the major fedayeen groups are represented; the Central Committee, an advisory body; and the Palestine National Council, which is seen as an assembly of the Palestinian people.


Since 1968 the PLO has been headed by Jasir Arafat Arafat, leader of Al Fatah. At an Arab summit meeting in Rabat, Morocco, in 1974, the organization was recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people," and Arafat subsequently addressed the UN, where the organization has an observer status.

In 1970 the PLO fought a short, bloody war with the army of Jordan, where most of the fedayeen were then stationed. Expelled, they settled in Lebanon, where they gradually became a state within the state, contributing to that country's disintegration after 1975. Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 greatly weakened the PLO presence there, intensified the organization's factional splits, and forced the dispersion of some 12,000 PLO members to Syria and other Arab countries. PLO members loyal to Arafat made their headquarters in Tunis; an Israeli bombing raid in October 1985 severely damaged the main buildings. In July 1988, King Hussein of Jordan ceded to the PLO all territorial claims to the Israeli-held West Bank. In November 1988, at a meeting of the Palestine National Council in Algiers, Arafat declared the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. The council also voted to accept UN resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), recognizing the sovereignty of all states in the Middle East, and to use the resolutions, and acknowledgment of the Palestinian right to self-determination, as the basis for an international peace conference. The U.S. agreed in December 1988 to initiate direct "diplomatic dialogue" with the PLO. Relations with the U.S. and the pro-Western Arab states deteriorated in 1991, as Arafat publicly supported Iraq during the Persian Gulf War (q.v.) . In July the Lebanese army, with Syrian backing, forced the PLO to abandon its strongholds in southern Lebanon. In January 1993 Israel repealed its ban on PLO contact by Israelis. On Sept. 26, 1993, Chairman Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed a historic peace agreement calling for mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO. During 1994 Israel turned over responsibility for administering the Gaza Strip and Jericho to the newly founded Palestine National Authority, headed by Arafat.
[Taken from: Lexirom]

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Registration law  - in 1907 a registration law was introduced into South Africa. According to the law, all Indians were required to register themselves with a fingerprint under a description of their person. They were then given a registration certificate that had to be carried with them at all times. Non-cooperation would be met with deportation to India (see also history of India).

Rowlett Act - Named after its inventor Judge Rowlett; an emergency decree was imposed over parts of India according to which people suspected of committing political crimes could be sentenced without trial. Fair trials and constitutional law were no longer in force.

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Ruskin, John (1819-1900) - English writer, art critic, and reformer, a dominant tastemaker among intellectuals of the Victorian period. His book entitled Unto this Last made a deep impression on Gandhi and affected his thinking on the kind of structure society should strive for. He implemented these ideas on his farms and in Ashram. Other actions, too, such as the Spinning Wheel Campain was derived from this thinking.

Sadat, Anwar es (1918-1981) - uhammad Anwar. Also el-Sadat \el-\. Egyptian soldier and statesman. Commissioned in army (1938); active (from c.1938) with Gamal Nasser ( q.v. ) in movement to overthrow British-backed monarchy; imprisoned (1942-44) and later expelled from army for plotting with Germans against British in Egypt. Reinstated in army (1950) and joined Nasser' s Free Officers Committee which ousted (1952) King Farouk; held several prominent posts under Nasser, including (1964-67, 1969-70) vice president. Succeeded Nasser as president of Egypt (1970-81); expelled Soviet advisers and technicians (1972); assumed premiership and became military governor (1973); worked for Arab economic and military solidarity; with Syria instigated Arab-Israeli war of Oct. 1973; made dramatic journey to Jerusalem (Nov. 19-21, 1977), which resulted in peace treaty with Israel (signed March 1979); joint winner with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin of 1978 Nobel peace prize; assassinated.
[Taken from: Lexirom]

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Satyagraha - Philosophy of nonviolent protest, or passive resistance. M. Gandhi introduced it in S. Africa (1906) and, from 1917, developed it in India in the period leading up to independence from Britain. Satyagraha seeks to conquer through submission. It involves refusing to submit to or cooperate with anything perceived as wrong, while adhering to the principle of nonviolence in order to maintain the tranquillity of mind required for insight and understanding. The principle played a significant role in the U.S. civil rights movement led by M. L. King. The best known Satyagraha campaign was the Salt March in 1930 (see also quotes by Gandhi, Satyagraha and Salt March).
[Copyright © 2000 Merriam-Webster, Inc. and Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.]

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Schamir, Izhak - Isreali Politician (Cherut), born in 1914 in Ruzinoy, Poland; Lawyer; in Palestine since 1935 in; member of the Jewish underground organizations (Irgun Zvai Leumi, dann Lechi) since 1937; later active in the Israeli secret service; 1977–1980 President of the Knesset; 1980–1983 foreign minister; 1983/84 president of a right-wing coalition; 1984–1986 foreign minister and deputy prime minister, 1986–1992 prime minister again.
[Taken from: Bertelsmann Discovery Lexikon 1997]

Scharon, Ariel - Israeli soldier and right-wing politician. Sharon was born in Kfar Malal. He had a long military career, serving in several positions in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). Sharon headed the commando group known as Unit 101, which was set up in 1953 to conduct reprisal operations against Arab marauders, and was Head of Southern Command from 1970 to 1973. Sharon played a central role in the breakthrough to the west bank of the Suez Canal, as a reserve commander, during the Yom Kippur War (1973). He served as defence adviser to the government from 1975 to 1976. In the national unity government formed jointly by Likud and Labour in 1984, Sharon served as Trade and Industry Minister. Sharon is widely seen as a prominent member of the right within Likud. In September 1999 he became the party's leader, replacing the former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu who resigned after losing the election in May.

[Taken from: Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2001]

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Sikh - Sikhism, major religion of India founded by Guru Nanak in the 15th century. Sikhism has almost 16 million followers, most of whom live in the Indian province of Punjab. Punjab is the historic homeland of Sikhism but it has also spread to other parts of northern India, and a significant diaspora exists in Europe and North America. Sikhism is not an ethnic religion and welcomes converts. Indira Gandhi was killed by a Sikh in 1984, an act that triggered numerous acts of revenge.
[Taken from: Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2001]

Sultanate - a state or country governed by a sultan (Arabic = rule, power). Sultan is the title adopted by the ruler and has been used in the Islamic world since the 11th century.

Three pound tax - Many Indians arrived in South Africa as cheap labor. They were only permitted to remain in South Africa provided they had a work contract. Their contracts, however, were restricted to a set amount of years and the workers had almost no rights. To get out of their contracts, they were required to pay a head tax of three pounds, a sum which none of the workers were able to raise, since their wages were considerably less. The workers, then, were no better off than slaves (see also history of South Africa).

Tolstoi, Lev Nikolajewitsch (1828-1910) - Count. 1828-1910. Russian novelist and moral philosopher. Entered army (1852) and served in the Caucasus and in Crimean War (1854-56), commanding battery at Sevastopol (1855); retired (1856) to his country estate, Yasnaya Polyana; visited France, Switzerland, Germany (1857); published his great novels Voyna i mir ( War and Peace, 1865-69) and Anna Karenina (1875-77). Underwent spiritual transformation (after 1876) which led him to develop a form of Christian anarchism and to devote himself to social reform; recorded his conversion and new beliefs in works such as the autobiographical Ispoved (1882), plays Vlast tmy (1886) and Zhivoy trup (1902), novel Voskreseniye (1899), and esp. in Chto takoye iskusstovo? (1898, What is Art? ). Besides other social and philosophical works, wrote many short stories, as "Dva gusara" (1856), "Smert Ivana Ilicha" (1886), "Kreytserova sonata" (1891), "Otets Sergy" (1911), and "Falshivy kupon" (1911).
[Taken from: Lexirom].

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Transvaal - Founded in 1884 with the amalgamation of several smaller Boer states into a independent Boer republic; rich in minerals such as diamonds, gold, platinum and uranium; capital was Pretoria.

Weizman, Ezer - Israeli military commander and politician, President of Israel (1993- ). Born in Tel Aviv-Yafo, the nephew of Chaim Weizmann (later Israel’s first president), Weizman was raised in Haifa. He joined the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force in 1942, and served during World War II as a fighter pilot. After the war he returned to the British Empire’s mandated territory of Palestine, and helped form the units that became the Israeli Air Force after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. He again served as a fighter pilot during Israel’s early struggles for survival, and rose through the Israeli Air Force command, serving as Commander-in-Chief from 1958 to 1966. In the Six-Day War of 1967 he was Chief of Operations for the Israeli General Staff, and later Deputy Chief of Staff. In 1969 he retired from active service and entered politics, holding various ministerial posts, including Minister of Transport (1969-1970), Minister of Defence (1977-1980), Minister of Communications (1984-1988), and Minister of Science (1988-1992). In 1992 he retired from politics, and was elected to the largely ceremonial post of President in 1993. He made the presidency a more active institution than hitherto, conducting diplomatic visits to various countries and maintaining close ties with the Israeli public.
[Taken from: Mirosoft Encarta 2001]

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Zionism - modern political movement for reconstituting a Jewish national state in Palestine.

The rise of the Zionist movement in the late 19th cent. was influenced by nationalist currents in Europe, as well as by the secularization of Jewish life in Eastern Europe, which led many assimilated Jewish intellectuals to seek a new basis for a Jewish national life. One such individual was Theodor Herzl, a Viennese journalist who wrote The Jewish State (1896), calling for the formation of a Jewish nation state as a solution to the Diaspora and to anti-Semitism. In 1897 Herzl called the first World Zionist Congress at Basel, which brought together diverse proto-Zionist groups into one movement. The meeting helped found Zionist organizations in most countries with large Jewish populations. The first issue to split the Zionist movement was whether Palestine was essential to a Jewish state. A majority of the delegates to the 1903 congress felt that it was essential and rejected the British offer of a homeland in Uganda. The opposition, the Territorialists led by Israel Zangwill, withdrew on the grounds that an immediate refuge for persecuted Jews was needed. Within the Zionist movement a broad range of perspectives developed, ranging from a synthesis of nationalism with traditional Jewish Orthodoxy (in the Mizrahi movement, founded 1902) to various combinations of Zionism with utopian and Marxist socialism.

After Herzl’s death, the Zionist movement came under the leadership of Chaim Weizmann, who sought to reconcile the “practical” wing of the movement, which sought to further Jewish settlement in Palestine, and its “political” wing, which stressed the establishment of a Jewish state. Weizmann obtained few concessions from the Turkish sultan, who ruled Palestine; however, in 1917, Great Britain, then at war with Turkey, issued the Balfour Declaration, which promised to help establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. Great Britain was given a mandate of Palestine in 1920 by the League of Nations, in part to implement the Balfour Declaration. Jewish colonization vastly increased in the early years of the mandate, but soon the British limited their interpretation of the declaration in the face of Arab pressure. There were disputes in the Zionist movement on how to counter the British position. The right-wing Revisionists, led by Vladimir Jabotinsky, favored large-scale immigration to Palestine to force the creation of a Jewish state. The most conciliatory faction was the General Zionists (representing the original national organizations), who generally remained friendly to Great Britain.

After World War II the Zionist movement intensified its activities. The sufferings of the European Jews at the hands of the Germans demanded the opening of a refuge; the stiffening opposition of the Arabs increased the urgency. At this time the World Zionist Congress was divided, the Revisionists demanding all Palestine and the General Zionists reluctantly accepting the United Nations plan to partition Palestine. After the Jewish state was proclaimed (May 14, 1948), the Zionist movement was forced to reevaluate its goals. Against those who argued that the simple expression of support for Israel was sufficient for affiliation, the movement’s 1968 Jerusalem Program defined the goal of personal migration to Israel as a requirement for membership. However, most Jews in the United States and other Western democracies seemed content to support the Zionist movement as a means of supporting Israel, without any personal commitment to living there. The Zionist movement today facilitates migration to Israel and supports Jewish cultural and educational activities in the diaspora.
[Taken from: The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright © 2001]


Zulu rising - In 1906 there was a rising of the Zulus in Natal, which led to bloody battles with the British. Inidans were deployed as paramedics on the British side.

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SubjectsHuman Rights  I  Democracy  I  Parties  I  Examples  I  Europe  I  Globalisation  I  United Nations  I  Sustainability

Methods:    Teaching Politics    II    Peace Education    II    Methods



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