Glossary


For Nautical Language check out this dictionary by See the Sea.

 

autocratic regimes: A system of government with an absolute ruler, especially a monarch who holds and exercises the powers of government as by inherent right, not subject to restrictions.

 

beam engine: A type of steam engine where a pivoted overhead beam is used to apply the force from a vertical piston to a vertical connecting rod, which connects to a horizontal crank to turn paddle wheels.

 

bow: The forward part of the hull of a ship or boat, the point that is usually most forward when the vessel is underway. Both of the adjectives fore and forward mean towards the bow. The other end of the boat is the stern.

 

Civil Rights Movement: Term that encompasses the strategies, groups, and social movements in the United States whose goals were to end racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans and to secure legal recognition and federal protection of the citizenship rights enumerated in the Constitution and federal law. This article covers the phase of the movement between 1954 and 1968, particularly in the South.

 

Civil War (1861-1865): The war in the U.S. between the North and the South after conflicts over slavery and state’s rights. In 1861 seven slave states in the South seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. The Union was victorious, slavery was abolished, and the Confederacy was dissolved.

 

compound engine: A type of steam engine where steam is expanded in two or more stages, such as triple and quadruple expansion engines. A typical arrangement for a compound engine is that the steam is first expanded in a high-pressure (HP) cylinder, then having given up heat and losing pressure, it exhausts directly into one or more larger-volume low-pressure (LP) cylinders. Multiple-expansion engines employ additional cylinders, of progressively lower pressure, to extract further energy from the steam.

 

Emergency Quota Act (1921): The objective of this act was to temporarily limit the numbers of immigrants to the United States by imposing quotas based on country of birth. Annual allowable quotas for each country of origin were calculated at 3 percent of the total number of foreign-born persons from that country recorded in the 1910 United States Census.

 

emigrant: A person who leaves their own country in order to settle permanently in another.

 

immigrant: A person who comes to a country to take up permanent residence.

 

Industrial Revolution: The totality of the changes in economic and social organization that began about 1760 in England and later in other countries, characterized chiefly by the replacement of hand tools with power-driven machines, as the power loom and the steam engine, and by the concentration of industry in large establishments.

 

Literacy Test Act (1917):  It was the first bill aimed at restricting (as opposed to regulating) immigrants, and marked a turn toward nativism. The law imposed literacy tests on immigrants, created new categories of inadmissible persons, and barred immigration from the Asia-Pacific Zone. It governed immigration policy until amended by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 also known as the McCarran–Walter Act.

 

mast: A tall upright post, spar, or other structure on a ship or boat, in sailing vessels generally carrying a sail or sails.

 

National Origins Act (1924):  A law that severely restricted immigration by establishing a system of national quotas that blatantly discriminated against immigrants from southern and eastern Europe and virtually excluded Asians. The policy stayed in effect until the 1960s.

 

nativism: The policy of protecting the interests of native inhabitants against those of immigrants.

 

Opium War: A war between Great Britain and China that began in 1839 as a conflict over the opium trade and ended in 1842 with the Chinese cession of Hong Kong to the British, the opening of five Chinese ports to foreign merchants, and the grant of other commercial and diplomatic privileges in the Treaty of Nanking.

 

pogroms: An organized massacre, especially of Jews.

 

Russian Revolution (1917): The uprising in Russia in March, 1917, in which the Czarist government collapsed and a provisional government was established. Then a coup d’état took place on November 7, 1917, establishing the Soviet government.

 

sailing vessel: A large ship powered by wind and sails.

 

steamship: A vessel powered by steam.  It can be a large commercial vessel or a small private vessel too, such as a yacht.

 

steerage: In a passenger ship, the part or accommodations allowed to the passengers who traveled at the cheapest rate.

 

stern: The back or aft-most part of a ship or boat, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter rail to the taffrail.

 

Suez Canal: A canal in NE Egypt, cutting across the Isthmus of Suez and connecting the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. 107 miles (172 km) long.

 

World War I (1914-1918): The war fought mainly in Europe and the Middle East, between the Central Powers and the Allies, beginning on July 28, 1914, and ending on November 11, 1918, with the collapse of the Central Powers.