Accommodating revolutions: Virginia's Northern Neck in an by Albert H. Tillson Jr.

By Albert H. Tillson Jr.

Accommodating Revolutions addresses an argument of lengthy status between historians of eighteenth-century the US and Virginia -- the level to which inner clash and/or consensus characterised the society of the innovative period. particularly, it emphasizes the advanced and sometimes self-defeating activities and judgements of dissidents and different non-elite teams. via targeting a small yet major zone, Tillson elucidates the a number of and interrelated assets of clash that beset innovative Virginia, but additionally explains why in spite of everything so little changed.In the Northern Neck -- the six-county component of Virginia's Tidewater mendacity among the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers -- Tillson scrutinizes a prosperous and strong, yet bothered, planter elite, which integrated such widespread males as George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, Landon Carter, and Robert Carter. in the course of the past due eighteenth and early 19th centuries, the Northern Neck gentry faced not just contradictions in cultural beliefs and behavioral styles inside of their very own lives, but in addition the power hostility in their poorer white acquaintances, coming up from a various array of neighborhood fiscal and political matters. those insecurities have been extra intensified through alterations within the approach of African American slavery and via the starting to be function of Scottish retailers and their Virginia brokers within the advertising of Chesapeake tobacco. For a time, the upheavals surrounding the warfare for American Independence and the approximately contemporaneous upward push of shiny, biracial evangelical spiritual routine threatened to extend renowned discontent to the purpose of overwhelming the gentry's political authority and cultural hegemony. yet finally, the present order survived basically intact. partially, this was once as the region's leaders came across how one can restrict and accommodate threatening advancements and styles of swap, mostly by utilizing conventional social and political appeals that had served them good for many years. but partly it was once additionally simply because usual Northern Neckers -- together with many leaders within the activities of wartime and non secular dissidence -- consciously or unconsciously accommodated themselves to either the styles of financial switch reworking their international and to the conventional beliefs of the elite, and therefore have been not able to articulate or settle for another imaginative and prescient for the way forward for the quarter.

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To be sure, merchants could bitterly condemn the extravagance and irresponsibility of their Chesapeake clients. 97 In a letter of October 1771 to his brother, Richard Henry Lee, William described frankly his resentment of the excessive and unreasonable demands of planters who expected unlimited credit, consistently high prices for their tobacco, free shipping for their crops and their English purchases, discounts on the prices of those purchases, and other favors. ” 98 Despite their obvious concern with precise and businesslike procedures, however, merchants regularly adopted the language of friendship in their letters to Virginia clients.

In the closing years of the colonial period, Landon Carter apparently became engaged in an extended quarrel with the major leaders in the Farnham Parish section of Richmond County. At times, political disputes could become intense, and even violent. 62 29 Accom modat i ng R e volu t ions In some cases, political antagonists charged one another with particularly egregious and self-interested misconduct. In a 1779 dispute over the location of the Stafford County courthouse, for example, the opponents of a new location alleged that its advocates had acted at a court session attended by no more than nine of the thirty justices, that they had refused to authorize a survey to determine the county’s geographic center, and that they had defeated by a one-vote margin a motion to delay the decision until a later meeting when more of the justices could attend.

Instead, he would charge a fi xed commission for tobacco sales and a fi xed freight rate for carry ing tobacco to England, and he would advance money to no one. Once the tobacco was sold, he would purchase goods desired by his clients on advantageous terms for cash. Rather than marking up prices, he would deliver the goods at the price he paid, openly charging a modest commission. If planters placed money 43 Accom modat i ng R e volu t ions in his hands in advance, he promised to give a substantial discount on the customs fees that merchants normally had to cover with their own funds before being reimbursed by their clients.

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