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Encyclopedia > Peculiar institution

The "peculiar institution" was an euphemism for slavery and the economic ramifications of it in the American South. The term aimed to explain away the seeming contradiction of legalized slavery in a country whose Declaration of Independence states that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The term also refers to the reality of legally-recognized slavery conferring a property right over a person, as the term "peculiar" derives from the Latin word "peculium", meaning private property. It was in popular use during the first half of the 19th century, especially in legislative bodies, as the word slavery was deemed "improper," and was actually banned in certain areas. A euphemism is an expression intended by the speaker to be less offensive, disturbing, or troubling to the listener than the word or phrase it replaces, or in the case of doublespeak to make it less troublesome for the speaker. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The U.S. Southern states or the South, also known colloquially as Dixie, constitute a distinctive region covering a large portion of the United States, with its own unique heritage, historical perspective, customs, musical styles, and cuisine. ... U.S. Declaration of Independence The Declaration of Independence is a document in which the Thirteen Colonies declared themselves independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain and explained their justifications for doing so. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...


This phrase is used notably in the speeches and writings of John C. Calhoun, including his Speech on the Reception of Abolition Petitions. John Caldwell Calhoun (March 18, 1782 – March 31, 1850) was a prominent United States Southern politician and political philosopher from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century. ...


In the United States, following the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which overturned laws prohibiting abortion in all 50 states, political opponents of abortion have taken to referring to abortion as the "new peculiar institution"; in an effort to associate the perception, as they see it, of unborn fetuses as property to be disposed of with the 19th century view of slaves as private property; and to discredit the institution of abortion in general by associating it with slavery. Holding Texas laws criminalizing abortion violated womens Fourteenth Amendment right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy. ... The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and is the only part of the judicial branch of the United States federal government explicitly specified in the United States Constitution. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Excite - Search: What Is Peculiar Institution? (303 words)
The "peculiar institution" was a euphemism for slavery and the economic ramifications of it in the American South.
peculiar institution The "peculiar institution" was a euphemism for slavery and the economic ramifications of it in the American South.
Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South by Kenneth M. Stampp for $10.53 at Walmart.com.
Ezra Klein: The Peculiar Institution (1795 words)
The "peculiar institution", by the way, is another term for "slavery".
Laughter is peculiar to men, it is a sign of their rationality.') One could say that Hunter S Thompson has a peculiar writing style (in both senses).
In the phrase 'peculiar institution' it means 'an institution that belongs to us - is peculiar to us (presumably as opposed to the free states of the North and Canada)'.
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