nationalism - Fervent belief and loyalty given to the political unit of the nation-state. "Indeed England now had . . . a vibrant sense of nationalism . . ."
primogeniture - The legal principle that the oldest son inherits all family property or land. " . . . laws of primogeniture decreed that only eldest sons were eligible to inherit landed estates."
joint-stock companies - An economic arrangement by which a number of investors pool their capital for investment. "Joint-stock companies provided the financial means."
charter - A legal document granted by a government to some group or agency to implement a stated purpose, and spelling out the attending rights and obligations. "...the Virginia Company of London received a charter from King James I of England...."
census - An official count of population, often also describing other information about the population. "...an official census revealed that only about two thousand Indians remained in Virginia...."
feudal - Concerning the decentralized medieval social system of personal obligations between rulers and ruled. "Absentee proprietor Lord Baltimore hoped that...Maryland... would be the vanguard of a vast feudal domain."
indentured servant - A poor person obligated to a fixed term of labor. "...it depended for labor in its early years mainly on white indentured servants...."
toleration - Originally, religious freedom granted by an established church to a religious minority. "Maryland's new religious statue guaranteed toleration to all Christians."
squatter - A frontier farmer who illegally occupied land owned by others or not yet officially opened for settlement. "The newcomers, who frequently were ‘squatters' without legal right to the soil..."
matriarch - A respected, usually elderly, female head of a household or extended clan. "A single long-house might shelter a woman's family...with the oldest woman being the honored matriarch."
melting pot - Popular term for an ethnically diverse population that is presumed to be "melting" towards some eventual commonality. "The hamlet of Savannah, like Charleston, was a melting-pot community."
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