Mason and Dixon Line

Mason and Dixon Line
also called  Mason-Dixon Line, 

      originally the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania in the United States. In the pre-Civil War period it was regarded, together with the Ohio River, as the dividing line between slave states south of it and free-soil states north of it. Between 1763 and 1767 the 233-mile (375-kilometre) line was surveyed along the parallel 39°43′ by two Englishmen, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon (Dixon, Jeremiah), to define the long-disputed boundaries of the overlapping land grants of the Penns, proprietors of Pennsylvania, and the Calverts, proprietors of Maryland. Mason and Dixon also surveyed much of the disputed boundary between Maryland and the territory of Delaware, which had been acquired by William Penn. The term “Mason and Dixon Line” was first used in congressional debates leading to the Missouri Compromise (1820). Today the Mason and Dixon Line still serves figuratively as the political and social dividing line between the North and the South.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mason and Dixon Line —   [ meɪsn ænd dɪksn laɪn], die im Auftrag des britischen Kronrates 1763 67 von den britischen Landmessern Charles Mason und Jeremiah Dixon auf circa 39º 43 nördliche Breite festgelegte Grenze zwischen den Kolonien Maryland und Pennsylvania. Die… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Mason and Dixon line — noun the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania; symbolic dividing line between North and South before the American Civil War • Syn: ↑Mason Dixon line, ↑Mason and Dixon s line • Instance Hypernyms: ↑state line, ↑state boundary …   Useful english dictionary

  • Mason and Dixon Line — The boundary line between Pennsylvania on the north and Maryland on the south, celebrated before the extinction of slavery as the line of demarcation between the slave and the free states. It was run by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon,… …   Black's law dictionary

  • Mason and Dixon Line — The boundary line between Pennsylvania on the north and Maryland on the south, celebrated before the extinction of slavery as the line of demarcation between the slave and the free states. It was run by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon,… …   Black's law dictionary

  • Mason and Dixon Line — boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania, also used to describe former demarcation between southern slave and northern free states …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • Mason and Dixon's line — noun the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania; symbolic dividing line between North and South before the American Civil War • Syn: ↑Mason Dixon line, ↑Mason and Dixon line • Instance Hypernyms: ↑state line, ↑state boundary …   Useful english dictionary

  • Mason and Dixon's line — Line Line, n. [OE. line, AS. l[=i]ne cable, hawser, prob. from L. linea a linen thread, string, line, fr. linum flax, thread, linen, cable; but the English word was influenced by F. ligne line, from the same L. word linea. See {Linen}.] 1. A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mason and Dixon Survey Terminal Point — U.S. National Register of Historic Places …   Wikipedia

  • MASON AND DIXON'S LINE —    so called after English engineers who surveyed it 1764 67; is the boundary separating Maryland from Pennsylvania and Delaware; during the Civil War it was inaccurately regarded as dividing the slave holding from the free States, Maryland and… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Mason-Dixon Line — The Mason–Dixon Line (or Mason and Dixon s Line ) is a demarcation line between four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia (then part of Virginia). It was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by …   Wikipedia

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