By Albert H. Tillson Jr.
Accommodating Revolutions addresses an argument of lengthy status between historians of eighteenth-century the USA and Virginia -- the level to which inner clash and/or consensus characterised the society of the innovative period. particularly, it emphasizes the complicated and infrequently self-defeating activities and judgements of dissidents and different non-elite teams. by means of concentrating on a small yet major zone, Tillson elucidates the a number of and interrelated assets of clash that beset innovative Virginia, but additionally explains why finally so little changed.In the Northern Neck -- the six-county section of Virginia's Tidewater mendacity among the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers -- Tillson scrutinizes a prosperous and robust, yet afflicted, planter elite, which incorporated such well known males as George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, Landon Carter, and Robert Carter. during the past due eighteenth and early 19th centuries, the Northern Neck gentry faced not just contradictions in cultural beliefs and behavioral styles inside their very own lives, but additionally the continual hostility in their poorer white pals, bobbing up from a various array of neighborhood fiscal and political matters. those insecurities have been additional intensified through alterations within the approach of African American slavery and by way of the becoming position of Scottish retailers and their Virginia brokers within the advertising of Chesapeake tobacco. For a time, the upheavals surrounding the battle for American Independence and the approximately contemporaneous upward thrust of shiny, biracial evangelical spiritual routine threatened to extend well known discontent to the purpose of overwhelming the gentry's political authority and cultural hegemony. yet finally, the prevailing order survived primarily intact. partly, this used to be as the region's leaders discovered how one can restrict and accommodate threatening advancements and styles of swap, mostly by using conventional social and political appeals that had served them good for many years. but partially it was once additionally simply because traditional Northern Neckers -- together with many leaders within the pursuits of wartime and spiritual dissidence -- consciously or unconsciously accommodated themselves to either the styles of financial switch reworking their international and to the normal beliefs of the elite, and hence have been not able to articulate or settle for another imaginative and prescient for the way forward for the quarter.
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Additional resources for Accommodating revolutions: Virginia's Northern Neck in an Era of Transformations, 1760-1810
If winning at horse races or in other forms of gambling conferred status, defeat could bring social as well as fi nancial losses. The close attention to detail in Francis Christian’s dancing lessons, and the energy and enthusiasm with which young people approached both lessons and social dancing, corroborate what other observers have suggested: for eighteenth-century Virginians, dancing was 23 Accom modat i ng R e volu t ions not merely congenial but also competitive. Especially for young people seeking to fi nd marriage partners and to establish themselves as adults within gentry society, the pressures in this and other arenas could be intense.
As Lee later recounted it, when he fi rst heard of the impending legislation, in November 1764, he immediately and without reflection sent several letters to England seeking appointment as the distributor of the stamps in Virginia, a position that was expected to be very lucrative. Yet within a few days, Lee alleged, he became convinced that the Stamp Act posed a serious threat to Virginia, and he entered into active opposition to it. Lee, in fact, played a prominent role in that opposition, both inside and especially outside the provincial legislature.
In provincial politics, he was among the leading critics of the influence gained by John Robinson through his positions as assembly speaker and colonial treasurer, and through the improper loans of public funds which he made to many leading Virginia planters. During the Stamp Act controversy in the mid-1760s, he denounced that legislation as part of a conspiracy by corrupt British leaders against American liberty. A few years later, he worried that the Townshend Acts and other relatively mild British measures might be part of an effort to destroy American liberty by a series of gradual steps.
Accommodating revolutions: Virginia's Northern Neck in an Era of Transformations, 1760-1810 by Albert H. Tillson Jr.
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