A Planters' Republic: The Search for Economic Independence in Revolutionary Virginia (Hardback)
  • A Planters' Republic: The Search for Economic Independence in Revolutionary Virginia (Hardback)
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A Planters' Republic: The Search for Economic Independence in Revolutionary Virginia (Hardback)

(author)
£37.95
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 01/04/1996
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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.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780945612407
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Ragsdale provides the first well detailed synthesis of the development of economic dependence on Great Britain in a colony/state of the Upper South. . . . His interpretations are fresh and interesting. Among Ragsdale's major contributions is the explicit connection he makes between economic, political, and social ideas and practices, and his linkage of the process of transformation with race-based chattel slavery. -- Sylvia R. Frey, Tulane University
A Planters' Republic persuasively demonstrates that Washington, Jefferson, Madison and fellow Virginians concieved of liberty in both economic and political terms. This important, gracefully written account of Virginians' uneasy commercial relationship with the mother country enlarges our understanding of the coming of the Revolution in Great Britain's most valued mainland colony. Ragsdale also deftly shows how Virginians' efforts to shape an independent, prosperous state economy after 1776 led ultimately to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. -- Jean B. Lee, University of Wisconsin

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