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Historical Glossary

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Gadsden Purchase

On 30 December 1853, James Gadsden obtained Mexican assent for the sale to the US of 29,640 square miles south of the Gila River in Ariz. and N.Mex., at a price of $15,000,000. The US wanted the area as a route for a transcontinental railroad, but northern opposition to this southern route blocked ratification by the Senate until 29 June 1854. The US reduced the price to $10,000,000, which Mexico accepted because its treasury was bankrupt. 

Gadsen Purchase

1853 - After the Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgowas signed, the U.S. realizedthat it had accidentally left portions of the southwestern stage coach routes to California as part of Mexico. James Gadsen, the U.S. Minister to Mexico, was instructed by President Pierce to draw up a treaty that would provide for the
purchase of the territory through which the stage lines ran, along which the U.S. hoped to also eventually build a southern continental railroad. This territory makes up the southern parts of Arizona and New Mexico.

Gag Rule

On 26 May 1836, the House of Representatives resolved (117–68) to table all petitions concerning abolitionism without entering them in its journal or referring them to any committee. It also resolved that Congress had no power to interfere with slavery where it was lawful (182–9) and that it would be inappropriate to interfere with slavery in the District of Columbia (132–45). (The Senate simultaneously adopted this practice, but without a formal vote.) Despite its infringement of First Amendment rights, the Gag Rule was renewed at every session until rescinded on 3 December 1844. 

Gage, Thomas

(b. Firle, Sussex, England, ca. 1721; d. Portland, England, 2 April 1787) In 1740 Gage entered the Royal Army. In the Seven Years' War, he was wounded at Braddock's Defeat and Fort Ticonderoga (1758). He raised a royal regiment of American colonists (the 80th), married a N.J. girl in 1758, and was noted for his pro-American sympathies throughout his career. He directed operations in Pontiac's War and was commander in chief of British forces in North America after 1763, with headquarters at New York City, before returning to England in 1773. He was reappointed commander in chief in America, and made Mass. governor in April 1774. He showed little vigor in suppressing rebellion after Lexington and Concord, was replaced by William Howe in October 1775, and saw no more action. 

Galloway Plan of Union

At the first Continental Congress, Joseph Galloway drafted this constitutional compromise to protect the political rights of the thirteen colonies in the British Empire. He proposed the creation of a Grand Council, to which all colonies would elect delegates every three years, and a governor general, who would be appointed by the crown as its executive representative. The Grand Council could legislate on matters concerning more than one colony, but its ordinances would require Parliament's approval to be lawful (save in wartime); it would likewise possess a veto over any parliamentary statutes concerning North America. Congress rejected the plan of union on 28 September 1774 by a vote of 6–5.