By Albert H. Tillson Jr.
Accommodating Revolutions addresses an issue 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. specifically, it emphasizes the advanced and sometimes self-defeating activities and judgements of dissidents and different non-elite teams. by means of targeting a small yet major quarter, Tillson elucidates the a number of and interrelated assets of clash that beset innovative Virginia, but in addition explains why after all 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 filthy rich and robust, yet bothered, planter elite, which integrated such widespread males as George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, Landon Carter, and Robert Carter. during the overdue 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 in addition the persistent hostility in their poorer white acquaintances, coming up from a various array of neighborhood fiscal and political concerns. those insecurities have been extra intensified by means of alterations within the approach of African American slavery and by means of the growing 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 thrust of vivid, biracial evangelical non secular hobbies threatened to extend well known discontent to the purpose of overwhelming the gentry's political authority and cultural hegemony. yet in spite of everything, the present order survived basically intact. partly, this used to be as the region's leaders chanced on how one can restrict and accommodate threatening advancements and styles of switch, mostly by utilizing 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 activities of wartime and spiritual dissidence -- consciously or unconsciously accommodated themselves to either the styles of financial switch remodeling their international and to the conventional beliefs of the elite, and hence have been not able to articulate or settle for an alternate imaginative and prescient for the way forward for the quarter.
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Extra resources for Accommodating revolutions: Virginia's Northern Neck in an Era of Transformations, 1760-1810
When they dealt with local stores, Northern Neck planters complained of ungenerous prices, especially for customers who bought on credit, and they denounced the storekeepers’ efforts to pressure the unwary into unnecessary purchases and large debts. During the quarrel over the division of their father’s estate, Philip Ludwell Lee criticized his brother William for leaving Virginia to embark on his English mercantile career. Such a dangerous and expensive 33 Accom modat i ng R e volu t ions profession, Philip charged, was making William economical ly dependent upon his Virginia siblings, even as he was “rioting in ease and luxury” in London.
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.
Sellers depicted themselves as doing favors or ser vices or providing “assistance”; would-be buyers stressed their sense of obligation. 92 Indeed, substantial amounts of agricultural commodities, especially fresh produce, were sent from family to family as gifts and expressions of friendship and social obligation. As often as several times a week in the 1790s, Benjamin Grymes of Stafford County sent fresh meat, fish, crabs, fruit, cider, and other things to his uncle, William Fitzhugh, who lived across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg.