bloody shirt

bloody shirt
1. a bloodstained shirt used to incite a mob to vengeance.
2. any symbol used for this purpose.

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▪ United States history
      in U.S. history, the post-Civil War political strategy of appealing to voters by recalling the passions and hardships of the recent war. This technique of “waving the bloody shirt” was most often employed by Radical Republicans (Radical Republican) in their efforts to focus public attention on Reconstruction issues still facing the country. Used in the presidential elections of 1868, 1872, and 1876, the strategy was particularly effective in the North in attracting veterans' votes.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • bloody shirt — noun : the blood stained shirt of a slain man used to incite vengeance for his death; broadly : a symbol used to inflame to anger or to retaliative action used specifically in the United States after the Civil War of any means employed to stir up …   Useful english dictionary

  • bloody shirt — noun Date: 1586 something intended to stir up or revive partisan animosity usually used in the phrase wave the bloody shirt …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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