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Glossary

Chapter 5: Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution, 1700-1775

Agitators

those who seek to excite or persuade the public on some issue.

Almshouse

a home for the poor, supported by charity or public funds.

Apprentice

a person who works under a master to acquire instruction in a trade or profession.

Elite

the smaller group at the top of a society or institution, usually possessing wealth, power, or special privileges.

Gentry

landowners of substantial property, social standing, and leisure, but not titled nobility.

Mobility

the capacity to pass readily from one social or economic condition to another.

penal code

the body of criminal laws specifying offenses and prescribing punishments.

Revival

in religion, a movement of renewed enthusiasm and commitment, often accompanied by special meetings or evangelical activity.

Sect

a small religious group that has broken away from some larger mainstream church, often claiming superior or exclusive possession of religious truth.

Secular

belonging to the worldly sphere rather than to the specifically sacred or churchly.

Speculation

buying land or anything else in the hope of profiting by an expected rise in price.

Stratification

the visible arrangement of society into a hierarchical pattern, with distinct social groups layered one on top of the other.

tenant farmer

one who rents rather than owns land.

Veto

the executive power to prevent acts passed by the legislature from becoming law.


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