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Glossary

Chapter 4: American Life in the Seventeenth Century, 1607-1692

civil war

any conflict between the citizens or inhabitants of the same country.

Corporation

a group or institution granted legal rights to carry on certain specified activities.

Disfranchise

to take away the right to vote.

Fertility

the ability to mate and produce abundant young.

Headright

the right to acquire a certain amount of land granted to the person who finances the passage of a laborer.

Hierarchy

a social group arranged in ranks or classes.

Hinterland

an inland region set back from a port, river, or seacoast.

Jeremiad

a sermon or prophecy recounting wrongdoing, warning of doom, and calling for repentance.

Lynching

the illegal execution of an accused person by mob action, without due process of law.

Menial

fit for servants; humble or low.

middle passage

that portion of a slave ship's journey in which slaves were carried from Africa to the Americas.

Militia

an armed force of citizens called out only in emergencies.

social structure

the basic pattern of the distribution of status and wealth in a society.

Tidewater

the territory adjoining water affected by tides--that is, near the seacoast or coastal rivers.


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