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Glossary

Chapter 9: The Confederation and the Constitution, 1776-1790

Abolitionist

an advocate of the end of slavery.

Annex

to make a smaller territory or political unit part of a larger one.

Bill of Rights

a list of fundamental freedoms assumed to be central to society.

Chattel

an article of personal or movable property; hence a term applied to slaves, since they were considered the personal property of their owners.

civil liberties

fundamental individual rights such as freedom of speech and religion, protected by law against interference from the government.

Disestablish

to separate an official state church from its connection with the government.

Emancipation

setting free from servitude or slavery.

Foreclosure

depriving someone of the right to redeem mortgaged property because the legal payments on the loan have not been kept up.

proportional representation

representation in a national legislature based on the population of each state.

Quorum

the minimum number of persons who must be present in a group before it can conduct valid business.

Ratification

the confirmation or validation of an act (such as a constitution) by authoritative approval.

Requisition

a demand for something issued on the basis of public authority.

Territory

in American government, an organized political entity not yet enjoying the full and equal status of a state.

Township

in America, a surveyed territory six miles square; the term also refers to a unit of local government, smaller than a county, that is often based on these survey units.


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