By Albert H. Tillson Jr.
Accommodating Revolutions addresses an issue 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. by means of targeting a small yet major zone, Tillson elucidates the a number of and interrelated assets of clash that beset progressive Virginia, but in addition explains why in any case 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 , 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 their very own lives, but in addition the power hostility in their poorer white pals, bobbing up from a various array of neighborhood financial and political concerns. those insecurities have been extra intensified by means of alterations within the process of African American slavery and through the becoming 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 renowned discontent to the purpose of overwhelming the gentry's political authority and cultural hegemony. yet after all, the present order survived basically intact. partly, this was once as the region's leaders stumbled on how you can restrict and accommodate threatening advancements and styles of switch, principally by using conventional social and political appeals that had served them good for many years. but partially it used to be additionally simply because usual Northern Neckers -- together with many leaders within the hobbies of wartime and spiritual dissidence -- consciously or unconsciously accommodated themselves to either the styles of monetary swap reworking their global and to the normal 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 zone.
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Extra resources for Accommodating revolutions: Virginia's Northern Neck in an Era of Transformations, 1760-1810
Fithian noted that those who socialized to the neglect of their livelihoods suffered a loss of public esteem. ” 42 If Captain Lee’s undue reliance upon the hospitality of others could undermine his personal independence and his reputation, excessive indulgence in conspicuous consumption, indebtedness, and gambling posed far greater threats. Many planters condemned the extravagance of others around them and blamed it for the indebtedness that pervaded their society. 45 Gambling on the Northern Neck came in for still more serious criticism.
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.
30 Races frequently took place at Leedstown, Falmouth, the Richmond court house, and elsewhere, often drawing sizable crowds. On some occasions, owners of horses and other property advertised in advance that they would be sold at specific races. 32 Instead, they turned to the English-style circular track and followed stricter rules that mirrored metropolitan patterns of conduct. 33 By the 1760s, John Mercer, Philip Ludwell Lee, and other Northern Neck planters were selling the breeding ser vices of their male horses.