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Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 11 years, 10 months ago

9. THE GREAT WAR FOR THE EMPIRE The name given to what is more commonly known as the Seven Years’ War by the historian Lawrence Henry Gipson in his monumental The British Empire before the Revolution (1936–67). Gipson’s point was that what Americans know of as the French and Indian War was part of a worldwide struggle between France and Great Britain for control of vast areas in America and Asia.


10. THE AMERICAN SYSTEM  A scheme designed by Henry Clay in the 1820s. Clay sought to form a coalition of Eastern and Western interests in Congress. In return for Western support of protective tariffs that would benefit Eastern manufacturers, the Easterners would vote for bills providing federal expenditures on roads and canals.


11. THE PECULIAR INSTITUTION  A Southern euphemism for slavery. The term was not intended to be a pejorative; by “peculiar” Southerners meant particular or unique, not odd or queer.


12.  MANIFEST DESTINY  This term, coined by John L. O’Sullivan in 1845 in an article in his United States Magazine and Democratic Review, reflected the expansionist spirit of the era. It was, O’Sullivan wrote, “our manifest [read ‘obvious’] destiny to overspread the continent.”


13. WAVING THE BLOODY SHIRT - This post-Civil War Republican tactic involved reminding Northern voters that the South was made up mostly of Democrats and that many Northern members of that party had been at best lukewarm about resisting secession. The term came into use after the congressman Benjamin F. Butler displayed before his colleagues the bloodstained shirt of a Northerner who had been flogged in Mississippi. The “bloody shirt” was used by Republicans for decades as a way of diverting attention from politically embarrassing contemporary issues. A classic speech in this vein was given by Robert G. Ingersoll in the campaign of 1880: “Every man that lowered our flag was a Democrat. Every man that bred bloodhounds was a Democrat. Every preacher that said that slavery was a divine institution was a Democrat. Recollect it! Every man that shot a Union soldier was a Democrat. Every wound borne by you Union soldiers is a souvenir of a Democrat.”


14.  THE ROBBER BARONS - This name was applied to the ultrarich industrialists of the late nineteenth century, such as the railroad magnates Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jay Gould, and the oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller. It originated in the late 1860s but became a symbol for corporate power and the evils of unrestrained economic freedom , only with the publication of Matthew Josephson’s best seller The Robber Barons, in 1934.

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