When indulging in serious study, I find that I am introduced to a slew of words or terms I did not know. This may be an embarassing exercise, but I’m committed to start logging them here along with their definitions. It’s really about my needing to hammer them into my head and logging them here, where I can refer to them often, helps. I will include new words, phrases, specific terms, etc. Unless otherwise noted, all definitions should be attributed to the following: Oxford Pocket American Dictionary of Current English, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002). I will provide the page number by the term.
Aegis – noun. 1) Protection: a child whose welfare is now under the aegis of the courts. 2) Sponsorship; patronage: a concert held under the aegis of the parents’ association. 3) Guidance, direction, or control: a music program developed under the aegis of the conductor. 4) Greek Mythology The goatskin shield or breastplate of Zeus or Athena. Athena’s shield carried at its center the head of Medusa. Source: aegis. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/aegis (accessed: March 01, 2008).
Age of the Masses – began in the late 1800s
Ahistorical – without concern for history or historical development; indifferent to tradition.
Ahnen – emphathetic intuition
[am-buh-skeyd] noun, verb, -cad⋅ed,
1. an ambush
–verb (used without object)
2. to lie in ambush.
–verb (used with object)
3. to attack from a concealed position; ambush.
1575–85; < MF embuscade, alter. (under influence of OF embuschier) of MF emboscade < OIt imboscata, fem. ptp. of imboscare, v. deriv. with in- of bosco wood, forest < Gmc *bosk- bush
Related forms: am⋅bus⋅cad⋅er, noun 
As used by Joseph L. Harsh in Taken at the Flood…
On this occasion, Jeb Stuart justified his reputation for alert reconnaissance. Almost instantaneously he perceived and reported to Lee the enemy’s rapid withdrawal. He also ordered Hampton to pursue and harass the Federal column retiring from Flint Hill toward the Chain Bridge. Into the hours of darkness, Hampton closely pressed the Federal tail under Sedgwick, lobbing shells into the panicky main body until the heavy casualties suffered by the 1st North Carolina Cavalry in an “ambuscade” laid by the 71st Pennsylvania Infantry bought breathing space for the retreating Federals. Meanwhile, in the center of the line, where Stuart had only Fitz Lee’s tired troopers, the Confederate horsemen pressed more gently and permitted Hooker to withdraw through the county seat virtually unscathed. Heros von Borcke, Stuart’s Prussian chief of staff (see his memoir online here), planted the Confederate colors on the courthouse green, while deliriously happy Southern sympathizers mobbed the troopers, and damsels showered Stuart with kisses. Jeb even found time to visit his friend and “spy” Antonia Ford. 
 ambuscade. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ambuscade (accessed: July 25, 2009).
 Joseph L. Harsh, Taken at the Flood : Robert E. Lee and Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 / [book on-line] (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1999, accessed 25 July 2009), 19; available from Questia, http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=102364729; Internet.
American New History School –
Anachronism – n. 1) The representation of someone as existing or something as happening in other than chronological, proper, or historical order. 2) One that is out of its proper or chronological order, especially a person or practice that belongs to an earlier time: “A new age had plainly dawned, an age that made the institution of a segregated picnic seem an anachronism” (Henry Louis Gates, Jr.) Source: Anachronistic. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Anachronistic (accessed: March 01, 2008).
Anachronistic – adj. pertaining to or containing an anachronism.
Anglophone – n. An English-speaking person, especially one in a country where two or more languages are spoken.
Annales School –
Annaliste – member of the Annales School of historical thought.
Apologia – n. A formal defense or justification.
Arianism – n. The doctrines of Arius, denying that Jesus was of the same substance as God and holding instead that he was only the highest of created beings, viewed as heretical by most Christian churches.
Arminianism – Ar·min·i·an·ism /ɑrˈmɪniəˌnɪzəm/ noun Theology. the doctrinal teachings of Jacobus Arminius or his followers, esp. the doctrine that Christ died for all people and not only for the elect. Compare Calvinism (def. 1).
[Origin: 1610–20; J. Armini(us) + -an + -ism] Source: arminianism. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/arminianism (accessed: April 05, 2008).
Asceticism – the practices of the ascetic; rigorous self-denial; extreme abstinence; austerity.
Atheism – n. the theory or belief that God does not exist. (p.42)
Augustinian – adj. 1. Of or relating to Saint Augustine of Hippo or his doctrines. 2. Being or belonging to any of several religious orders following or influenced by the rule of Saint Augustine.
noun 1. A follower of the principles and doctrines of Saint Augustine.
2. A monk or friar belonging to any of the Augustinian orders.
Cant – noun 1. Angular deviation from a vertical or horizontal plane or surface; an inclination or slope. 2. A slanted or oblique surface. 3. A thrust or motion that tilts something. 4. The tilt caused by such a thrust or motion. 5. An outer corner, as of a building.
Castrametation – \Cas`tra*me*ta”tion\, n. [F. castram[‘e]tation, fr. L. castra camp + metari to measure off, fr. meta limit.] (Mil.) The art or act of encamping; the making or laying out of a camp. Source: Castrametation. Dictionary.com. Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary. MICRA, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Castrametation (accessed: March 23, 2008).
While researching the influence of Jomini on the conduct of the American Civil War, I ran across an article by James L. Morrison, Jr., (Professor, History, Emeritus, York College of Pennsylvania) titled, “Educating the Civil War Generals: West Point, 1833 – 1861” which appeared in Military Affairs. He outlines the curriculum for students who would have made up a large part of the war’s leadership. It was heavily skewed toward science and engineering. But the courses on the study of the science of war included the following topics:
order of battle
- castrametation [misspelled in the text as castramentation]
attack and defense, and
the principles of strategy.”[i]
Castrametation caught my eye. Webster provides some insight into the origins of the word.
A Military Dictionary and Gazetteer (first published in 1881 under title: A military and naval encyclopedia and available on Google Books here), puts a slightly different spin on it with the following definition:
“Castrametation. Is the art of laying out camps, and of placing the troops so that the different arms of the service shall afford support to each other in the best manner.”[iii]
I have added as a new word to “the terms” page here.
[i] James L. Morrison, Jr., “Educating the Civil War Generals: West Point, 1833 – 1861,” Military Affairs, Vol. 38, No. 3. (Oct., 1974), pp. 109.
[ii] Castrametation. Dictionary.com. Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary. MICRA, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Castrametation (accessed: March 23, 2008).
[iii] Thomas Wilhelm, Military Art and Science, (L. R. Hamersly & co.: 1881) http://books.google.com/books?id=GHcrAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA95&lpg=PA95&dq=what+is+the+history+of+the+word+castrametation%3F&source=web&ots=vnQF5eKGfo&sig=evmHB_wX1onpWxy-eQ9bsZHkZFc&hl=en (accessed online March 21, 2008).
Collectivist –adj. subscribing to the socialistic doctrine of ownership by the people collectively. noun a person who belongs to the political left. Source: collectivist. Dictionary.com. WordNet® 3.0. Princeton University. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/collectivist (accessed: March 01, 2008).
Conflate – tr. v. 1. To bring together; meld or fuse: “The problems [with the biopic] include . . . dates moved around, lovers deleted, many characters conflated into one” (Ty Burr). 2. To combine (two variant texts, for example) into one whole.
Counterfactual Conditional Concept – [(Robert W. Fogel) in Breisach p. 376)] “…establishes and measures what could have happened in order to understand what did happen.”
Covering Law Theory of History – (Breisach p. 379) hypothetic-deductive model
Cupidity – noun eager or excessive desire, esp. to possess something; greed; avarice.
Deism – n. The belief that God has created the universe but remains apart from it and permits his creation to administer itself through natural laws. Deism thus rejects the supernatural aspects of religion, such as belief in revelation in the Bible, and stresses the importance of ethical conduct. In the eighteenth century, numerous important thinkers held deist beliefs. Source: deism. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/deism (accessed: February 09, 2008).
Determinism – n. Philos. the doctrine that all events, including human action, are determined by causes regarded as external to the will. (p. 212)
Diachronic – adj. Of or concerned with phenomena, such as linguistic features, as they change through time. Source: Diachronic. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Diachronic (accessed: March 01, 2008).
Diachronic Studies – analysis of past language systems. See Diachronic above and synchronic studies below. (Breisach, 390).
Didactic – adj. 1. meant to instruct 2. (of a person) tediously pedantic (p. 216)
Discursive –adj. 1. rambling or digressive. 2. Philos. proceeding by argument or reasoning. (opp. INTUITIVE). (p. 222)
They distinguished themselves by behaving with aggressiveness, courage and élan, albeit being at times difficult to restrain.
The good folks at Princeton provide the following definition:
1. a feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause); “they were imbued with a revolutionary ardor”; “he felt a kind of religious zeal” [syn: ardor]
2. distinctive and stylish elegance; “he wooed her with the confident dash of a cavalry officer” [syn: dash]
3. enthusiastic and assured vigor and liveliness; “a performance of great elan and sophistication”
The origins of the word élan are provided from Online Etymology Dictionary as follows:
1877, from Fr. élan, from élancer “to rush, dart,” from O.Fr. elancer, from e- “out” + lancer “to throw a lance,” from L.L. lanceare, from L. lancea “lance.”
elan. Dictionary.com. WordNet® 3.0. Princeton University. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/elan (accessed: June 08, 2008).
elan. Dictionary.com. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/elan (accessed: June 08, 2008).
Epistemological – adjective for the noun Epistemology which means, the theory of knowledge, esp. with regard to its methods and validation. (p. 262)
Fetishism – n. 1. Worship of or belief in magical fetishes. 2. Excessive attachment or regard. 3. The displacement of sexual arousal or gratification to a fetish. Source: fetishism. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fetishism (accessed: February 09, 2008).
Erenic – adj. see Irenic
Ethicism – n. a doctrine that ethics and ethical ideas are valid and important; “his ethicism often led him to moralize”
Filio-pietistic – adj. Of or relating to an often immoderate reverence for forebears or tradition. Source: filiopietistic. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/filiopietistic (accessed: February 24, 2008).
Fons et origo – Latin. source and origin.
Hagiography– noun. The writing and critical study of the lives of the saints; hagiology.
Historical Presentism – reading the present into the past. [See post by same name here.]
Historicism – n. 1. a theory that history is determined by immutable laws and not by human agency. 2. a theory that all cultural phenomena are historically determined and that historians must study each period without imposing any personal or absolute value system. 3. a profound or excessive respect for historical institutions, as laws or traditions. 4. a search for laws of historical evolution that would explain and predict historical phenomena. Source: historicist. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/historicist (accessed: February 10, 2008).
Historicist – n., adj. (see historicism above)
Humanism historique – a humanism which acknowledged the mpact of large-scale forces on human life while respecting the role of the individual. Source: Breisach, 391.
Idiographic – relating to or dealing with the concrete, individual, or unique (compare to nomothetic). Source: idiographic. Dictionary.com. Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/idiographic (accessed: February 10, 2008).
Inculcate tr verb 1. To impress (something) upon the mind of another by frequent instruction or repetition; instill: inculcating sound principles. 2. To teach (others) by frequent instruction or repetition; indoctrinate: inculcate the young with a sense of duty. Source: inculcation. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/inculcation (accessed: March 09, 2008).
Immanent – adj. (p. 391) 1. indwelling; inherent. 2. (of the Supreme Being) permanently pervading the universe (opp TRANSCENDENT)
Indeterminism – n. Philos. 1. the doctrine that human actions, though influenced somewhat by preexisting psychological and other conditions, are not entirely governed by them but retain a certain freedom and spontaneity. 2. the theory that the will is to some extent independent of the strength of motives, or may itself modify their strength in choice.
Source: indeterminism. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/indeterminism (accessed: February 09, 2008).
Invigilate – verb 1. to keep watch. 2. British. to keep watch over students at an examination.
Irenic – adj Promoting peace; conciliatory.
Jesuitical – adm having qualities characteristic of Jesuits or Jesuitism; “Jesuitical education”
Marmoreal – adj. Resembling marble, as in smoothness, whiteness, or hardness.
Marx History Theory –
Metaphysical – adj. and n. (p. 497) 1. of or relating to metaphysics, 2. based on abstract general reasoning, 3. excessively subtle or theoretical, 4. incorporeal; supernational, 5. visionary, 6. (of poetry, esp. in the 17th c. in England) characterized by subtlety of thought and complex imagery.
Micro-history – the history of the structure of everyday life (Breisach, 392) (See Braudel)
Monotheism – n. the doctrine that this is only one God. (p. 512)
New Economic History – movement to make economic history a science in the natural science manner
New History –
Nomothetic – adj. relating to, involving, or dealing with abstract, general, or universal statements or laws (compare to idiographic). Source: nomothetic. Dictionary.com. Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nomothetic (accessed: February 10, 2008).
Nihilism – n. Philosophy 1. An extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence. 2. A doctrine holding that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. 3. Rejection of all distinctions in moral or religious value and a willingness to repudiate all previous theories of morality or religious belief. 4. The belief that destruction of existing political or social institutions is necessary for future improvement.
also Nihilism A diffuse, revolutionary movement of mid 19th-century Russia that scorned authority and tradition and believed in reason, materialism, and radical change in society and government through terrorism and assassination.
Psychiatry A delusion, experienced in some mental disorders, that the world or one’s mind, body, or self does not exist. Source: nihilistically. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nihilistically (accessed: March 09, 2008).
Ontological – adj. 1. Of or relating to ontology. 2. Of or relating to essence or the nature of being. 3. Of or relating to the argument for the existence of God holding that the existence of the concept of God entails the existence of God. Source: ontological. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ontological (accessed: March 09, 2008).
Ordnance – “cannon, artillery,” a clipped form of ordinance (q.v.) which was attested from 1390 in the sense of “military materials, provisions of war;” a sense now obsolete but which led to those of “engines for discharging missiles” (c.1430) and “branch of the military concerned with stores and materials” (1485). The shorter word was established in these distinct senses by 17c. Ordnance survey (1833), official survey of Great Britain and Ireland, was undertaken by the government under the direction of the Master-General of the Ordnance (a natural choice, because gunners have to be skilled at surveying ranges and distances). Source: “ordnance.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 10 May. 2008. .
Organicism – or·gan·i·cism (ôr-gān’ĭ-sĭz’əm) noun 1. The concept that society or the universe is analogous to a biological organism, as in development or organization. 2. The doctrine that the total organization of an organism, rather than the functioning of individual organs, is the principal or exclusive determinant of every life process. Source: organicism. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/organicism (accessed: April 05, 2008).
Paneconomic Historiography –
Pedantic – adj. 1. ostentatious in one’s learning. 2. overly concerned with minute details or formalisms, esp. in teaching.
Pelagian – noun 1. a follower of Pelagius, who denied original sin and believed in freedom of the will. – adj 2. of or pertaining to Pelagius or Pelagianism.
Pillorying – n. pl. pil·lo·ries
A wooden framework on a post, with holes for the head and hands, in which offenders were formerly locked to be exposed to public scorn as punishment.
tr.v. pil·lo·ried, pil·lo·ry·ing, pil·lo·ries
To expose to ridicule and abuse.
To put in a pillory as punishment.
Polytheism – n. the belief in or worship of more than one god. (p. 610)
Positivism – a philosophy developed by Auguste Comte that “demanded that all knowledge be based on directly observed phenomina and that all scientific endeavors aim at finding the general laws governing phenomena. Since only sensory experience counted, the whole structure of idealist philosophy collapsed; god, ideas, uniqueness, Ahnen (emphathetic intuition), and all. Only the positivist approach could yield knowledge reliable enough as a guide for the reshaping of human life; hence observing searching for regularities, generalizing from research results, and forming laws must be the tasks of all scientific disciplines.” Source: Historiography: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Ernst Breisach, (The University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 2007). 274. An empirical approach to explanation.
prima facie – noun 1. at first appearance; at first view, before investigation. 2. plain or clear; self-evident; obvious. Source: prima facie. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/prima facie (accessed: March 09, 2008).
Providence – noun. 1. the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth. 2. God, esp. when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence. 3. a manifestation of divine care or direction. 4. provident or prudent management of resources; prudence. 5. foresight; provident care.Religion of Humanity – theory of August ComteSchema – noun 1) a diagram, plan, or scheme. 2) an underlying organizational pattern or structure; conceptual framework. 3) (in Kantian epistemology) a concept, similar to a universal but limited to phenomenal knowledge, by which an object of knowledge or an idea of pure reason may be apprehended. Source: schemata. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/schemata (accessed: March 01, 2008).
Quietism – noun 1. a form of religious mysticism taught by Molinos, a Spanish priest, in the latter part of the 17th century, requiring extinction of the will, withdrawal from worldly interests, and passive meditation on God and divine things; Molinism. 2. some similar form of religious mysticism. 3. mental or bodily repose or passivity. Source: quietism. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/quietism (accessed: March 09, 2008).
Recrudescence – noun a return of something after a period of abatement; “a recrudescence of racism”; “a recrudescence of the symptoms”
Military. to bend or curve back (the flank units of a military force) so that they face generally to the flank rather than the front.
refuse. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/refuse (accessed: August 08, 2009).
It is not surprising that McClellan did not immediately decide to employ his left wing under Franklin to relieve Harpers Ferry. In focusing on Frederick for the past several days, the Federal right had not only advanced quicker and farther, but the left had angled northward toward Frederick. In consequence Burnside was now considerably nearer Harpers Ferry than Franklin. Moreover, McClellan needed to refuse his left flank along the Potomac until he learned the meaning of the rumor that Jackson had recrossed the river at Williamsport. Lincoln may have jumped to the conclusion that the Confederates were retreating, but the possibility of a turning movement could not be dismissed lightly.
1. Joseph L. Harsh, Taken at the Flood : Robert E. Lee and Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 / [book on-line] (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1999, accessed 8 August 2009), 209-210; available from Questia, http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=102364919; Internet.
salient ˈsālyənt; -lēənt n.
1. a piece of land or section of fortification that juts out to form an angle.
2. an outward bulge in a line of military attack or defense. (see example below)
“The salient” at Spottsylvania
Due to the extremely close proximity of the opposing lines between the two forts, sniper fire was heavy and constant in this area. Potter’s division was located in the ravine a little more than one hundred yards from Elliott’s Salient, which itself was situated at an angle in the Rebel line of works, the closest at any part to the Union lines. Observers at the time felt the Union line had penetrated into the interior of the Confederates’ lines in this area after the last battle and was thus occupying a tenuous position. (2)
Schemata – plura for schema
Semiology – noun. the study of signs and symbols; semiotics.
Serial history – mentioned by Breisach (p. 393) but not well explained. References synthesis of multiple approaches. Explore further.
Slavophile – noun. 1. An admirer of Slavic peoples or their culture. 2. A person advocating the supremacy of Slavic culture, especially over western European influences, as in 19th-century Russia.
Source: slavophile. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/slavophile (accessed: February 10, 2008).
Sonorous – adj. 1. having a loud, full, or deep sound. 2 (of a speech, style, etc.) grand. (p. 773)
Structuralism – (Breisach, 390) French philosophical and literary movement. 1) A method of analyzing phenomena, as in anthropology, linguistics, psychology, or literature, chiefly characterized by contrasting the elemental structures of the phenomena in a system of binary opposition. 2) A school that advocates and employs such a method. Source: Structuralism. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Structuralism (accessed: March 01, 2008).
Sublimited War – Term for counterinsurgency in the epoc of the Vietnam conflict.
Synchronic – adj. 1) occurring or existing at the same time or having the same period or phase; “recovery was synchronous with therapy”- Jour.A.M.A.; “a synchronous set of clocks”; “the synchronous action of a bird’s wings in flight”; “synchronous oscillations.” 2) concerned with phenomena (especially language) at a particular period without considering historical antecedents; “synchronic linguistics.” 3) (of taxa) occurring in the same period of geological time. Source: Synchronic. Dictionary.com. WordNet® 3.0. Princeton University. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Synchronic (accessed: March 01, 2008).
Synchronic Studies – analysis of existing language systems. (Briesach, 390)
Teleology – 1. the doctrine that final causes exist. 2. the study of the evidences of design or purpose in nature. 3. such design or purpose. 4. the belief that purpose and design are a part of or are apparent in nature. 5. (in vitalist philosophy) the doctrine that phenomena are guided not only by mechanical forces but that they also move toward certain goals of self-realization.
n. pl. thal·as·soc·ra·cies
Naval or commercial supremacy on the seas.
[Greek thalassokratiā : thalassa, sea + -kratiā, -cracy.]
tha·las’so·crat’ (thə-lās’ə-krāt’) n.
Here is the context of Atkinson’s usage of thalassocracy.
If desert warfare seized the imagination of American Army commanders, the battleship held similar sway over many a sea dog. Her strategic value had long been eclipsed by nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers. As a tactical weapon she appeared doomed to follow the crossbow and blunderbuss. Yet, for traditionalists, no maritime silhouette better symbolized the Americanthalassocracy: the pugnacious, jutting bow the looming superstructure; the trio of triple-barreled turrets, each heavy as a frigate. When employed as a gun platform, she remained nonpareil, capable of tossing a shell with the heft of an automobile more than twenty miles. In the gulf war, her hour had come round at last. (Atkinson, 259)
n. A company of trained militia in England or America from the 16th to the 18th century.
[Contraction of trained band] Source: trainband. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/trainband (accessed: April 09, 2008).
Reading For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States of America about military activity in America between 1607 – 1689, I ran across the word ”trainbands.” Authors Allan R. Millett and Peter Maslowski suggest that colonists brought with them “religious attitudes, economic views, political thoughts, and military ideals and institutions grounded in English history.”[i] This included all things military and “the colonists’ most revered military institution (the militia) and their most cherished military tradtion (fear of a standing army) both came from England.” [ii]
The adoption of the Elizabethan militia concept in the colonies was crucial to their survival. The basic tactical unit in all the colonies was the company or “trainband.” American Heritage Dictionary defines trainband as follows:
n. A company of trained militia in England or America from the 16th to the 18th century.
[Contraction of trained band]
[Photo credit: http://home.att.net/~Hillgartner/Pages/TillHist.htm
trainband. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/trainband (accessed: April 09, 2008).
[i] Allan R. Millett, Peter Maslowski, For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States of America (New York: The Free Press, 1994), 4.
Transcendentalism – 1. A literary and philosophical movement, associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, asserting the existence of an ideal spiritual reality that transcends the empirical and scientific and is knowable through intuition. 2. The quality or state of being transcendental. Source:
transcendentalist. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/transcendentalist (accessed: February 15, 2008). Russel Nye makes a case in his biography of George Bancroft that trancendentalism predated Emerson and was alive and well in Germany years before. Bancroft studied undered its thought leaders while in university there.
Totalitarian adj 1. characterized by a government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control; “a totalitarian regime crushes all autonomous institutions in its drive to seize the human soul”- Arthur M.Schlesinger, Jr. 2. of or relating to the principles of totalitarianism according to which the state regulates every realm of life; “totalitarian theory and practice”; “operating in a totalistic fashion.” noun 1. an adherent of totalitarian principles or totalitarian government Source: totalitarian. Dictionary.com. WordNet® 3.0. Princeton University. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/totalitarian (accessed: March 09, 2008).
Triune – adj. Being three in one. Used especially of the Christian Trinity. noun. A trinity.
Utilitarianism – noun 1) The belief that the value of a thing or an action is determined by its utility. 2) The ethical theory proposed by Jeremy Bentham and James Mill that all action should be directed toward achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. 3) The quality of being utilitarian: housing of bleak utilitarianism. Source: utilitarianism. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/utilitarianism (accessed: March 09, 2008).
Volksgeist – German word for Enlightenment