Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia

TitleForced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsHolton, Woody
Number of Pages231
PublisherUniversity of North Carolina Press
CityChapel Hill
Abstract

In this reinterpretation of one of the best-known events in American history, the author argues that when Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and other elite Virginians joined their peers from other colonies in declaring independence from Britain, they acted partly in response to grassroots rebellions against their own rule. The Virginia gentry's efforts to shape London's imperial policy were thwarted by British merchants and by a coalition of Indian nations. In 1774, elite Virginians suspended trade with Britain in order to pressure Parliament and, at the same time, to save restive Virginia debtors from a terrible recession. The boycott and the growing imperial conflict led to rebellions by enslaved Virginians, Indians, and tobacco farmers. By the spring of 1776 the gentry believed the only way to regain control of the common people was to take Virginia out of the British Empire. This volume uses the new social history to shed light on a classic political question: why did the owners of vast plantations, viewed by many of their contemporaries as aristocrats, start a revolution?

URLhttps://uncpress.org/book/9780807847848/forced-founders/
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1257358560

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