from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The act or policy of seizing people or property for public service or use.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The act of seizing for public use; impressing into public service.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The act of seizing for public use, or of impressing into public service; compulsion to serve.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act of impressing; the act of seizing for public use, or of compelling to enter the public service; compulsion to serve: as, the impressment of provisions, or of sailors or nurses.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the act of coercing someone into government service
In this power of impressment is a good part of a ruler's greatness.
Thus recalling the impressment of American citizens by the British prior to the war of 1812.
British custom of procuring sailors for the king's ships by a system of kidnapping, commonly known as impressment, was the cause of the outbreak.
However the British Government might justify in terms the impressment of seamen from American ships, or the delay of atonement for such an insult as that of the Chesapeake, the nation which endured the same, content with reams of argument instead of blow for blow, had sunk beneath contempt as an inferior race, to be cowed and handled without gloves by those who felt themselves the masters.
He sees the Fifth Amendment prohibition on takings as a response to Revolutionary War "impressment" of personal property for military use.
It was her practice to fill up her navy, in part at least, by the "impressment" of her sailor folk, taking them whenever needed, and wherever found -- in her own coast towns, or from the decks of her own mercantile marine.
Michilimackinac and Fort Niagara and Astoria on the Columbia go back to the United States; but of "impressment" and "right of search" and "embargo of neutrals" not a word.
Against such "impressment" our government set up the claim of "sailors 'rights" -- denying the right of
Amend section 5, line 3, by inserting after the word "impressment," the words "under or by virtue of the laws of the State."
Stephens, on the other hand, was adamantly opposed to the Mexican-American War and, while Vice President of the Confederacy, opposed conscription, suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, impressment among other things.
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