A Planters' Republic: the Search for Economic Independence in Revolutionary Virginia

A Planters' Republic: the Search for Economic Independence in Revolutionary Virginia

By: Bruce A. Ragsdale (author)Hardback

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Confronted by an increasingly restrictive imperial policy and mounting debt with England, Virginians envisioned the development of an independent economy safe from the constraits of parliamentary regulation and the influence of British merchants. Throughout the revolutionary era, from the earliest resistance to imperial policy in the 1760s to the debate on ratification of the Federal Constitution in 1788, Virginians pursued a vision of economic independence that they considered a prerequisite for the liberty, security, and prosperity of their state. That vision reflected a determination to free themselves from the demands of British merchants and the restrictions of the tobacco trade while maintaining the viability of Virginia's plantation systems. Pressed by debt and a declining economy, Virginia planters formed economic associations dedicated to protecting domestic agriculture and promoting local manufactures. Independence, they understood, was as much an economic condition as a political one. In this exciting reinterpretation of Virginia's path to Revolution, Bruce Ragsdale follows one colony's efforts to break economically with England and shows how this grassroots movement to become self-sufficient solidified into the political resistance leading to war.

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About Author

Bruce Ragsdale is chief historian, Federal Judicial History Office at the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C. He formerly served as associate historian of the U.S. House of Representatives and was co-editor of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress (1989). Dr. Ragsdale is author of several works on eighteenth-century Virginia and the history of the U.S. House of Representatives.


Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 The Political Economy of a Tobacco Colony Chapter 3 An Imperial Crisis and the Origins of Commercial Resistance Chapter 4 Nonimportation and the Chesapeake Economy Chapter 5 "A Source of Ignorance and Vice": The Slave Trade and Economic Development in Virginia Chapter 6 Commercial Development and the Credit Crisis of 1772 Chapter 7 The Renewal of Commercial Resistance Chapter 8 Virginia and the Continental Association Chapter 9 Commercial Development in an Independent Virginia Chapter 10 Conclusion Chapter 11 Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 28/01/1996
  • ISBN13: 9780945612407
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 320
  • ID: 9780945612407
  • weight: 454
  • ISBN10: 0945612400

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