dead hand of the past

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Noun1.dead hand of the past - the oppressive influence of past events or decisions
influence - a power to affect persons or events especially power based on prestige etc; "used her parents' influence to get the job"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Until history ceases to paper over such a void, until it ceases to be an instrument of state policy, until the open wounds of the past are addressed with honesty, the dead hand of the past will retain its hold over Russia's relationship with its neighbors and with itself.
The court said: "We cannot allow the dead hand of the past to stifle the growth of the living present."
In Dickens' novel, the chancery is the dead hand of the past that continues to kill in the present.