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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.


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.