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Glossary

Chapter 8: America Secedes from the Empire, 1775-1783

Arsenal

a place for making or storing weapons and ammunition.

Blockade

the isolation of a place by hostile ships or troops.

Confiscate

to seize private property for public use, often as a penalty.

Dictatorship

a form of government characterized by absolute state power and the unlimited authority of the ruler.

Envoy

a messenger or agent sent by a government on official business.

Graft

taking advantage of one's official position to gain money or property by illegal means.

Indictment

a formal written accusation charging someone with a crime.

Isolationist

concerning the belief that a country should take little or no part in foreign affairs, especially through alliances or wars.

Mercenary

a professional soldier who serves in a foreign army for pay.

Militiamen

soldiers who were not members of a regular army but ordinary citizens called out in case of emergencies.

Neutral

a nation or person not taking sides in a war.

Privateer

a private vessel temporarily authorized to capture or plunder enemy ships in wartime.

Rabble

a mass of disorderly and crude common people.

Republic

nation in which supreme power resides in the citizens, who elect representatives to govern them.

Traitor

one who betrays a country by aiding an enemy.


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