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Historical Glossary

There are 12 entries in this glossary.
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Quadruple Alliance, Holy Alliance

The Quadruple Alliance was signed by Austria, Britain, Prussia, and Russia in1815. The Holy Alliance signed by all European rulers except the Pope, the king of England, and the sultan of Turkey. It was meant to unite Europe, preserve peace, and spread Christianity.

Quakers

George Fox founded the Society of Friends in England about 1647. Called Quakers because they trembled in the Lord's presence, they premised their beliefs on the Inner Light, eliminated all formal sacraments, had no trained clergy, refused to show deference to any rank of society, insisted on absolute separation of church and state, and would neither swear oaths nor perform military service. They experienced frequent persecution before 1700, including the execution by Mass. of Mary Dyer and four others between 1659 and 1661.
West Jersey and Pennsylvania were founded as Quaker refuges. Although N.J. and Pa. became predominantly non-Quaker after 1700, Quakers (or Friends) dominated the Pa. assembly to 1757 and were the largest voting bloc in the N.J. assembly to 1772. They were the only denomination to enforce abolitionism on members. Quakers made few converts after 1700 and lost many members because of their strict discipline. By 1800 they numbered only 50,000, about 1.2 percent of all whites, and were mainly concentrated in Pa. and N.J.
In 1827 schism split the Quakers into Orthodox and Hicksite factions over the doctrines of Elias Hicks, who exalted the Inner Light above scripture and revealed tradition. The Orthodox party again divided in 1845, when a similar dispute provoked a secession by John Wilbur's followers in a debate over Joseph J. Gurney's efforts to enhance scriptural authority over the Inner Light. The number of Quaker meetings rose from 350 in 1820 to 726 in 1860, and 1,031 in 1900, but membership has stagnated between 100,000 and 130,000 since 1840. Formed in 1917 to aid conscientious objectors, the American Friends Service Committee received the Nobel peace prize in 1947. In 1990 the five Quaker associations had 1,405 meetings and 118,070 members (0.1 percent of all churchgoers).

Quapaw Indians

This Siouan language group occupied eastern Ark. when first contacted by Hernán de Soto in 1541. They migrated northwest along the Arkansas River and eventually accepted reservation status in Ottawa Co., Okla. They engaged in no hostilities against the United States, but CSA officials drove many Quapaw from their lands because they would not give military assistance during the Civil War. The Quapaw declined from perhaps several thousand about 1750 to 476 in 1843 and 174 in 1885, before reviving to 305 (including mixed bloods) by 1909.

Quartering Act (1765)

Applicable only to five colonies where British troops resided in barracks within settled areas rather than frontier posts, this Parliamentary law mandated that the colonies' assemblies buy firewood, candles, vinegar, salt, bedding, eating utensils, and a liquor ration for the troops. Arguing that the law was an unconstitutional imposition of indirect taxation—i.e. Parliament forcing the colonies to tax themselves rather than imposing a tax directly—the N.Y. legislature refused to comply with it and was threatened by the New York Suspending Act. Britain ceased enforcing the act after 1767 and let it expire in 1768.

Quartering Act (1774)

Parliament authorized colonial governors to shelter troops in unoccupied houses, barns, or other empty buildings in localities where no barracks existed, and where the local government had still refused to provide quarters more than 24 hours after the military commander had requested them. This law was one of the Intolerable Acts.

Quebec Act

(22 June 1774)     Parliament created a permanent administrative system for governing the French-Canadian province of Quebec. It created a civil government that lacked a legislature, allowed civil cases and property disputes to be judged without juries according to French legal practice, guaranteed freedom of worship for Catholics, and extended Quebec's boundaries to the Ohio and Mississippi rivers in violation of land claims by the thirteen colonies. The law was considered one of the Intolerable Acts.

Quebec, battles of

(1) On 21 August 1690, William Phips left Boston with 2,200 New England militia to attack Quebec, defended by 2,000 French under the Comte de Frontenac. On 7–8 October, Phips landed 1,200 men, but ran low on ammunition and gave up the siege on 11 October. Phips's losses: 30 killed and wounded, 200 dead from smallpox and shipwreck, 5 artillery pieces abandoned.
(2) On 28 April 1760, François de Levis's 6,910 French troops attacked Quebec (lost to the British on the Plains of Abraham), defeated Colonel James Murray's 3,900 British at Ste Foy, outside the city, and besieged the city. British losses: 259 killed, 823 wounded. French losses: 193 killed, 640 wounded. A British relief convoy broke the siege on 9 May. French failure to take Quebec ensured Britain's conquest of Canada.
(3) On 31 December 1775, General Guy Carleton's 1,800 redcoats and militia defeated Major General Richard Montgomery's 800 Continentals. US losses: 51 killed (including Montgomery), 36 wounded, 387 captured. British losses: 7 killed, 11 wounded. US forces besieged Quebec under Major General John Thomas until driven off by Carleton on 6 May 1776. Eleven thousand British reinforcements chased US troops up the St Lawrence and into New York by June.

Queen Anne's War

When Louis XIV recognized a Catholic claimant to England's Crown rather than Protestant Queen Anne, and schemed to upset Europe's balance of power by uniting France and Spain, he brought on the war of the Spanish Succession, known to Anglo-Americans as Queen Anne's War. On 4 May 1702, England, the Netherlands, and Austria declared war on France and Spain. South Carolinians unsuccessfully besieged St Augustine, Fla., in 1702. From December 1703 to January 1704, a S.C. expedition destroyed the Florida missions. A French–Spanish attack on Charles Town, S.C., met disaster in 1706. After two futile sieges of Pensacola by S.C. militia in 1707, fighting lapsed on the Florida border.
French and Indians harassed New England with many raids, but captured no towns or forts except Deerfield, Mass., in 1704. The colonists launched invasions of Canada via Lake Champlain in 1708 and 1711, but both returned home without engaging the enemy. After unsuccessfully besieging the Canadian garrison at Port Royal in 1704 and 1707, Yankee militia captured the fort on 16 October 1710 and transformed Acadia into the British colony of Nova Scotia. In 1711 a task force with 12,000 troops under Admiral Hovenden Walker gave up an assault on Quebec without firing a shot after 1,000 British drowned in shipwrecks in the St Lawrence River. The treaty of Utrecht ended the war on 11 April 1713.

Queenstown Heights, battle of

On 12–13 October 1812, Major General Isaac Brock's 1,000 British and Canadians defeated Major General Stephen Van Rensselaer's 2,300 N.Y. militia. Brock trapped 1,000 militia after the rest of Van Rensselaer's force refused to cross the Niagara River into Canada, and US Brigadier General Alexander Smyth, camped nearby at Buffalo, would not permit his 1,650 regulars to be commanded by Van Rensselaer, who was a militia officer. US losses: 90 killed, 925 captured. British losses: 14 killed (including Brock), 77 wounded, 21 missing. Brock's victory ended US hopes of occupying Canadian soil in 1812.

Quemoy-Matsu controversy

When the Nationalist Chinese evacuated the mainland in 1949, they kept garrisons offshore on Quemoy and Matsu islands. The islands came under Communist artillery fire after 3 September 1954, but were not covered by the US–Taiwan mutual-defense treaty of 2 December 1954. On 29 January 1955, Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a congressional resolution authorizing US military help in defending the islands, which had been subjected to increasingly heavy attack. Bombardment of the islands had been intermittent, but intensified greatly from 23 August 1958, and in September the US Navy began escorting Taiwanese resuppply vessels to them. Tensions eased on 25 October when the Beijing government announced that it would only shell the islands on alternate days. On 27 June 1962, John F. Kennedy reaffirmed US support for the islands after 600,000 Communist troops were built up on the nearby mainland. Quemoy and Matsu then ceased to be a major flashpoint of the cold war.

quids

his was a small voting bloc of Democrats in Congress after 1805, led by John Randolph of Roanoke. Quid was Latin for “something,” and the group was sometimes called the tertium quids or third things (third party). The quids opposed the political pragmatism of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison; they stood for unwavering adherence to strict constructionism and states' rights.

Quorom

1.  A bench of justices, or such a number of officers or members as is competent by law or constitution to transact business; as a quorum of the house of representatives.  A constitutional quorum was not present.
2.  A special commission of justices.

Webster's 1828

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