general strike

Stoppage of work by a substantial proportion of workers in each of a number of industries in an organized effort to achieve economic or political objectives. The idea of a general strike spanning a variety of industries apparently began in Britain in the early 19th century; it was envisioned as a tactic of collective bargaining or, by more radical thinkers, as an instrument of social revolution. Notable general strikes occurred in Russia during the Revolution of 1905, in Britain in 1926 (carried on by various labour unions in support of striking coal miners), and in France in 1967 (touched off by student demands for educational reform).

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Group of military officers that assists the commander of a division or larger unit by helping to formulate and disseminate policy and by transmitting orders and overseeing their execution. It is distinguished from staffs that consist of technical specialists (e.g., medical, police, communications, and supply officers). It appeared in its modern form in the Prussian army in the early 19th century and in other European countries after 1870. The U.S. Army created a general staff in 1903.

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or family medicine or general practice

Field of medicine that stresses comprehensive primary health care, emphasizing the family unit. Practitioners must be familiar to some degree with medical specialties and, especially in health maintenance organizations, are now often gatekeepers who refer patients to specialists when necessary. Once virtually the only kind of medicine, family practice has been defined as a separate field only since increasing specialization in medicine led to a shortage of practitioners. A 1963 World Health Organization report stressing the need for medical education to focus on the patient as a whole throughout life led to specific programs in family practice.

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Chief law-enforcement officer of a state and legal adviser to the chief executive. The office dates to the Middle Ages but did not assume its modern form until the 16th century. In the U.S., the position dates to the Judiciary Act of 1789. Head of the Department of Justice and a member of the cabinet, the attorney general oversees all the government's law business and acts as the president's legal adviser. Every U.S. state also has an attorney general.

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One of six principal components of the United Nations and the only one in which all UN members are represented. It meets annually or in special sessions. It acts primarily as a deliberative body; it may discuss and make recommendations about any issue within the scope of the UN charter. Its president is elected annually on a rotating basis from five geographic groups of members.

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Former U.S. manufacturer of packaged grocery and meat products. It was incorporated in 1922, having developed from the earlier Postum Cereal Co. founded by C.W. Post. It soon began acquiring other companies and products: Jell-O Co. (1925), Swans Down flour and Minute Tapioca Co. (1926), Log Cabin (1927), Maxwell House and Calumet (1928), Birdseye (1929), Sanka coffee (1932), Gaines dog food (1943), Kool-Aid (1953), Burpee seeds (1970), Oscar Mayer & Co. (1981), and Entenmann's bakery products (1982). In 1985 it was bought by Philip Morris Companies Inc.

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Set of multilateral trade agreements aimed at the abolition of quotas and the reduction of tariff duties among the signing nations. Originally signed by 23 countries at Geneva in 1947, GATT became the most effective instrument in the massive expansion of world trade in the later 20th century. By 1995, when GATT was replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO), 125 nations had signed its agreements, which governed 90percnt of world trade. GATT's most important principle was trade without discrimination, in which member nations opened their markets equally to one another. Once a country and its largest trading partners agreed to reduce a tariff, that tariff cut was automatically extended to all GATT members. GATT also established uniform customs regulations and sought to eliminate import quotas. It sponsored many treaties that reduced tariffs, the last of which, signed in Uruguay in 1994, established the WTO.

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or States General French États-Généraux.

In pre-Revolutionary France, the representative assembly of the three “estates” or orders of the realm: the clergy and the nobility (both privileged minorities) as well as the Third Estate, which represented the majority of the people. Usually summoned by monarchs in times of crisis, the Estates General met at irregular intervals from the 14th century on; it was of limited effectiveness because the monarchy usually dealt with local Estates instead. The last meeting of the Estates General was at the start of the French Revolution in 1789, when the deputies of the Third Estate led in founding the National Assembly.

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Charles Lee (February 6 1732October 2, 1782) was a British soldier turned Virginia planter who was a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War.

Early life

Lee was born in Cheshire, England, the son of General John Lee and Isabella Bunbury (daughter of Sir Henry Bunbury, 3rd Baronet). He was sent to school in Switzerland and became proficient in several languages. He returned to England in 1746 at the age of fourteen to attend grammar school at Bury St Edmunds. That same year his father, then colonel of the 55th Foot (later renumbered the 44th), purchased a commission for Charles as an ensign in the same regiment.

Seven Years' War and after

After completing his schooling, Lee reported for duty with his regiment in Ireland. He purchased a lieutenant's commission in 1751. He was sent with the regiment to America in 1754 for service in the French and Indian War under Major General Edward Braddock. Lieutenant Lee was apparently not with the regiment when it suffered disastrous defeat at the Battle of the Monongahela. During this time in America, he married the daughter of a Mohawk Indian chief. His wife (name unknown) gave birth to twins. Lee was known to the Mohawks as Ounewaterika, or "Boiling Water".

Lee purchased a captain's commission in the 44th in 1756. The following year he took part in an expedition against the French fortress of Louisbourg, and in 1758 he was wounded in a failed assault on Fort Ticonderoga. After recovering, he took part in the capture of Fort Niagara in 1759 and Montreal in 1760. Lee went back to Europe, transferred to the 103rd Foot as a major, and served as a lieutenant colonel in the Portuguese army, fighting against the Spanish invasion of Portugal (1762). He returned to England in 1763 at the end of the Seven Years' War. His regiment was disbanded and he was retired as a major.

In 1765 he fought in Poland, serving as an aide-de-camp under King Stanislaus II. After many adventures he came home to England. Unable to secure promotion in the British Army, in 1769 he returned to Poland and saw more action, and lost two fingers in a duel in which he killed his opponent. Returning to England once again, he found that he was sympathetic to the American colonists in their quarrel with Britain. He moved to the colonies in 1773 and purchased an estate in Virginia, in an area now part of West Virginia, which he named Prato Rio.

American Revolutionary War

When it started to look like war was inevitable, he volunteered his services to the colonies. He expected to be named Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, being the most experienced candidate. On the other hand, he was born in Britain, somewhat eccentric, slovenly in appearance, coarse in language, and perhaps most of all, he wanted to be paid: by joining the rebellion, he forfeited all his properties in England, and wanted to be compensated. Washington, on the other hand, was sober, steady, calm, and best of all, would work without pay, asking only that the Continental Congress should cover his expenses. Washington also was a good political choice: a southern commander to pair with a primarily New England fighting force. Washington received the appointment, and Lee was offered the subordinate rank of Major General. Lee was often considered second in command of the colonial forces, although Artemas Ward, who was not in good health, officially held this position.

Lee also received various other titles: in 1776, he was named Commander of the so-called Canadian Department, although he never got to serve in this capacity. Instead, he was appointed as the first Commander of the Southern Department. He served in this post for six months, until he was recalled to the main army.

Toward the end of 1776, Lee's animosity for Washington began to show. During the retreat from Forts Washington and Lee, he dawdled with his army, and intensified a letter campaign to convince various Congress members that he should replace Washington as Commander-in-Chief. Around this time, Washington was accidentally given and opened a letter from Lee to a Colonel Reed, in which Lee condemned Washington's leadership and abilities, and blamed Washington entirely for the dire straits of the Army. Though he was the victim of the letter, Washington wasn't angry. He was suspicious and disappointed at both Lee and himself, for he (Washington) was a man that took too much responsibility and not enough credit for himself. He sent the letters to Reed and wrote an accompanying letter apologizing for the mistake. Although his army was supposed to join that of Washington's in Pennsylvania, Lee set a very slow pace. On the night of December 12, Lee and a dozen of his guard inexplicably stopped for the night at White's Tavern in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, some three miles from his main army. The next morning, a British patrol of two dozen mounted soldiers found Lee writing letters in his dressing gown, and they captured him. Among the members of the British patrol was Banastre Tarleton. Lee was eventually recouped by the colonial forces in an exchange for General Richard Prescott.

Lee is most notorious for his actions during the Battle of Monmouth. Washington needed a secondary commander to lead the frontal assault. He unwillingly chose to put Lee in charge as he was the eldest of his generals. Washington ordered him to attack the retreating enemy, but instead, Lee ordered a retreat. He retreated directly into Washington and his troops, who were advancing, and Washington dressed him down publicly. Lee responded with "inappropriate language," was arrested, and shortly thereafter court-martialed. Lee was found guilty, and he was relieved of command for a period of one year.

It is not clear that Lee had made a bad strategic decision: he believed himself outnumbered (He was: British commander Sir Henry Clinton had 10,000 troops to Lee's 5,440.), and that a retreat was reasonable. However he disobeyed his orders, and he publicly expressed disrespect to his Commander-in-Chief. Plus, Washington wanted to test the abilities of his troops that were officially trained for the first time in European tactics by Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben, commonly known as Baron von Steuben.

Lee tried to get Congress to overturn the court-martial's verdict, and when this failed, he resorted to open attacks on Washington's character. Lee's popularity plummeted then. The Colonel John Laurens, an aide to Washington, challenged him to a duel, one in which Lee was wounded in his side. He was released from duty on January 10, 1780. He retired to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he died.

Treachery may have been the reason for Lee's retreat at the Battle of Monmouth. While Lee had been held prisoner by the British General Sir William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe in March, 1777, Lee drafted a plan for British military operations against the Americans. At the time, Lee was under a threat of being tried as a deserter from the British Army, because he hadn't resigned his British commission as Lieutenant-Colonel until several days after he accepted an American commission. The plan in Lee's handwriting was found in the Howe family archives in 1857.

Fort Lee, New Jersey, on the New Jersey side of the Hudson river, across the river from Fort Washington, was named for him.


  • Nelson, Paul David. "Lee, Charles". American National Biography.
  • Purcell, L. Edward. Who Was Who in the American Revolution. New York: Facts on File, 1993. ISBN 0-8160-2107-4.

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