By Albert H. Tillson Jr.
Accommodating Revolutions addresses an issue of lengthy status between historians of eighteenth-century the United States and Virginia -- the level to which inner clash and/or consensus characterised the society of the innovative period. specifically, it emphasizes the advanced and infrequently self-defeating activities and judgements of dissidents and different non-elite teams. by means of concentrating on a small yet major area, 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 element of Virginia's Tidewater mendacity among the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers -- Tillson scrutinizes a prosperous and robust, yet afflicted, planter elite, which integrated such well-known males as George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, Landon Carter, and Robert Carter. in the course of the overdue 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 continual hostility in their poorer white acquaintances, bobbing up from a various array of neighborhood monetary and political matters. those insecurities have been extra intensified via alterations within the method of African American slavery and by means of the starting to be position of Scottish retailers and their Virginia brokers within the advertising and marketing of Chesapeake tobacco. For a time, the upheavals surrounding the battle for American Independence and the approximately contemporaneous upward push of shiny, biracial evangelical non secular pursuits 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 prevailing order survived primarily intact. partially, this was once as the region's leaders chanced on how you can restrict and accommodate threatening advancements and styles of switch, mostly by using conventional social and political appeals that had served them good for many years. but partly it used to be 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 hence have been not able to articulate or settle for an alternate imaginative and prescient for the way forward for the sector.
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Extra info for Accommodating revolutions: Virginia's Northern Neck in an Era of Transformations, 1760-1810
As early as the 1730s, planters and their overseers discussed the buying and selling of corn at fluctuating market prices, largely for local consumption. The growing demand for food in the Caribbean and southern Europe encouraged expanded production, and by the late 1760s one Westmoreland County neighborhood contained at least twenty-three mills. 84 In some cases, purchasers sought competing bids from different prospective suppliers. 86 In operating his large-scale “merchant” flour mill and bakery during the 1770s and 1780s, Robert Carter showed a particularly sophisticated understanding and acceptance of the marketplace.
57 At various times, Northern Neck leaders expressed suspicions that the legislature or other provincial officials were manipulating the government to pursue their own ends at the public’s expense. ” 58 Given these high ideals and deep suspicions, few Northern Neck leaders could escape an awareness of the political shortcomings of their peers and themselves. Writing in the 1770s, Landon Carter recollected that in a legislative election of 1735 he had collaborated with four other leaders to win the seat.
98 Despite their obvious concern with precise and businesslike procedures, however, merchants regularly adopted the language of friendship in their letters to Virginia clients. Echoing the planters, they referred to their correspondents as friends and requested their “assistance” in fi lling their tobacco vessels. 99 In July 1770, Richard Henry Lee gave his brother detailed advice on mercantile correspondence with nearly a dozen planters on the Northern Neck and elsewhere. He urged that William flatter and “ply up” these men and assure them of his friendship in order to win their business.
Accommodating revolutions: Virginia's Northern Neck in an Era of Transformations, 1760-1810 by Albert H. Tillson Jr.