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Parliamentary device to limit debate; specifically, one of a series of resolutions passed by the U.S. Congress that tabled without discussion petitions regarding slavery (1836–40). It was introduced by proslavery members to postpone consideration of antislavery petitions encouraged by the American Anti-Slavery Society. It was repealed in 1844 due to efforts of John Quincy Adams and others.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on gag rule, visit Britannica.com.
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