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 progressive period. specifically, it emphasizes the complicated and infrequently 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 resources of clash that beset progressive Virginia, but additionally explains why after all so little changed.In the Northern Neck -- the six-county part of Virginia's Tidewater mendacity among the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers -- Tillson scrutinizes a filthy rich and robust, yet stricken, planter elite, which integrated such well-known males as George Washington, Richard Henry Lee, Landon Carter, and Robert Carter. through 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 continual hostility in their poorer white friends, coming up from a various array of neighborhood fiscal and political matters. those insecurities have been extra intensified through adjustments within the procedure of African American slavery and through the transforming into function of Scottish retailers and their Virginia brokers within the advertising of Chesapeake tobacco. For a time, the upheavals surrounding the struggle for American Independence and the approximately contemporaneous upward thrust of bright, biracial evangelical spiritual activities threatened to extend well known discontent to the purpose of overwhelming the gentry's political authority and cultural hegemony. yet after all, the prevailing order survived basically intact. partly, 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 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 monetary swap remodeling their global and to the conventional 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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Example text

He acknowledged the current low tobacco prices in England, but also noted the news of recent upturns and the present prospects for a small crop. He went on to suggest that if he continued to receive low prices from his correspondents, Messrs. 79 Whatever their denunciations of commerce, many in the Northern Neck gentry understood and sought to exploit the volatility of the tobacco market. Planters recognized the effect of changing circumstances in England. Consequently, they sometimes urged consignment merchants to delay sales pending an anticipated rise in prices, and at other times suggested selling as quickly as possible.

Variations in prices from one neighborhood to another suggest this. 90 Perhaps more important than the actual amount of local consumption was the perception of grain marketing as dominated by local transactions. 91 Presumably, since neighbors often knew one another well and dealt with one another repeatedly, it was harder for Northern Neck planters to develop the levels of suspicion and resentment they could experience in connection with the far-flung tobacco trade. Nevertheless, in the exchange of grain and other local goods and ser vices, Northern Neck planters showed a less than complete acceptance of the market ethic.

Giberne also alluded to another apparent seed exchange, informing Carter that he was sending some chicken corn for Mrs. Beverley in the hope that she would send him some cauliflower. ” A decade earlier, Carter noted a veal loin he was sending to a neighboring plantation. He then summarized the gift s of veal that had passed back and forth between the two households and concluded that they owed him one quarter and one loin. ” In another case the social uncertainty was presumably less pleasant.

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