Forced Founder: Indians, Debtors, Slaves & The Making Of The American Revolution In Virginia

1905 words - 8 pages

In his book Forced Founder: Indians, Debtors, Slaves & the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia historian Woody Holton answers the question of why the Virginia gentry declared independence and challenges the notion that they sought to join the movement for independence from Britain in a confident act of defiance based on their control of the colony’s affairs, leading the common man into the American Revolution. Holton argues that because the Virginia gentlemen doubted their ability to maintain firm control over the affairs of the colony, it was the actions and the desires of the common man and the dealings with the small farmers, the British merchants, the Indians, and the ...view middle of the document...

Speculators and the gentry’s major complaint concerning both acts of legislature was that by limiting the amount of land that the elites could obtain at a low price and then sell to the non-elites at a higher price, both had a negative impact on their financial standing and was akin to tyranny. The author explores the idea that the Indians in the lands that were denied to the colonials became united, in secret, in their efforts to frustrate British interests at encroachment. Holton surmises that the Indians wanted the British to know that they were banding together in order to cause more fear among them and to increase their standing at the bargaining table and, therefore, adding to the Indians’ influence on the decision of the Virginia gentry to seek Independence in order to gain access to Indian lands. In chapter two, the author argues British trade regulations did more than just affect the gentry. Holton goes to great length in this chapter to describe the negative effect that British trade regulations had on the small tobacco growers that made up the strength of Virginia’s economic base. Because of the price fixing effect that resulted from the British policies, the small growers in Virginia were pushed to the point of bankruptcy. This had a destabilizing effect on the entire colony, which the gentry were forced to deal with, on top of their own financial concerns. Virginians, both from the elite and non elite classes, knew that the only way that they could achieve true economic freedom and maximize their financial gain would be to achieve Independence from English rule.
In the next two chapters of Founding Fathers Holton explores the impact and consequences of the colonial leaderships’ participation in boycotts of British manufactured goods and their hesitancy to export tobacco to the mother country in protest of the restrictive trade policies such as the Townshend Acts. Although the decision to boycott was made by the Virginia gentry in protest of Parliaments perceived disregard for the civil liberties of the colonials, the hardship placed on the non-elites that could not afford to not do business pushed them to the breaking point, financially. The small farmers could not afford to abstain from doing British merchants for the very real fear of losing everything. Though the gentry took steps to alleviate the resulting issue of debt by suspending debtor’s courts, it did not do much to eliminate the fact that small planters were now broke because of the nonexportation edict, the recession, and the collapse of tobacco prices due to bumper crops in the years prior to 1770. The loss of cash from tobacco sales drove the small planters further into debt because they did not have the assets to purchase essential goods from merchants, forcing a deeper dependence on credit-buying out of desperation. The resulting dissent of the small farmers added to the explosive situation that was building in Virginia, further pushing the gentry...

Other Essays Like Forced Founder: Indians, Debtors, Slaves & the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia

The Treatment Of African And Native Slaves

1114 words - 5 pages The Treatment of African and Native Slaves: Through the Accounts of Bartolome de las and Olaudah Equiano Slavery will forever remain a tragically horrific stain in American history not only because of the actual act of enslavement, but the treatment of the salves. Slaves were largely of Native American and African descent. The accounts of Bartolome de las Casas and Olaudah Equiano provide two uniquely different viewpoints on their experience

The Saga Of The Tigua Indians

5106 words - 21 pages remained to this day. The Tigua were immediately forced into labor building a new mission. This indentured servitude went on for some time. In 1751 King Charles V of Spain made a formal land grant to the Tiguas that gave them title to a thirty-six square mile area. . This surrounded their mission with a “Four League Grant”(one league in each direction from the church). This came after being ignored when the other Pueblo Indians received Four League

On How The American Indians Were Removed From Their Land

2314 words - 10 pages the Indians to Christianity. Schools forced the children to act dress and speak like the Americans. The Indians hair was cut shorter and names were changed to fit in with the American way of life. The land that was given to the Indians by the Dawes Act was decreased as time went by and in 1934 the act was completely repealed. This caused severe distress for the Indians and alcoholism, illiteracy, poverty, and suicide rates for the Indians were

The Roles Women Played in the American Revolution

1650 words - 7 pages Roles Women Played in the American Revolution How many historical figures of the American Revolution do you remember studying in school? Women are not readily mentioned in history for the vital roles they played in the Revolutionary War, but women not only fought, they served as spies and camp followers while others kept their family businesses, homes, and family farms going while the men were away fighting. There is very little in the

Abe Freed the Slaves

529 words - 3 pages of the U.S. Constitution. No president, as Lincoln well knew, could simply pick up a pen and do away with slavery. For one thing, the Constitution would have to be amended. Legally, slaves were the property of other men; that is what slavery means. And under the Constitution, nobody could be deprived of his property without “due process of law”. Congress had no power to pass a law outlawing slavery, and Lincoln acknowledged this in

Assimilation of the Indians Resistance was Futile

512 words - 3 pages several goals set by the reformers in the dismantling of the reservations along with setting up schools for Indian children. The primary goal was the assimilation of the Indian into American society in order to assure their survival. The development of Indian schools was intended to assist in this effort by educating Indian children in American society and culture. Breakup of the tribal organization was intended to help the Indians learn and accept the

The Pueblo Indians

644 words - 3 pages      The Pueblo Indians are the historic descendants of the Anasazi peoples, also known as the “Basket Makers”. The Pueblo people live in several locations in northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico in compact, permanent settlements known as pueblos. Pueblo means village or town in Spanish.      The Pueblos were first encountered by the Spanish in 1539, by the Spanish

The Role of Government in Policy-Making

873 words - 4 pages Human service organizations are governed by a legislative and judiciary system. The judiciary system decides what policy is legal and illegal, and can require the executive or legislative branch to fix it, in some cases the judiciary can impose a remedy. The legislature system shapes public policy by passing laws, and approving budgets. The Maryland Department of Human Resources is the state's social services provider. The Maryland

The Quakers And The American Revolution

1297 words - 6 pages . While the Americans occupied Philadelphia, for example, Patriot mobs ransacked many Quakers' homes. Then in September of 1777 the Patriots arrested twelve Quakers and exiled them to Winchester, Virginia, because of the potential threat they posed to the American position (Goodman, 1967). The harsh repercussions of perceived political loyalties made any position of moderation hard to maintain, and highly suspect. During the Revolution, Americans

Motivation in the Making

704 words - 3 pages Sarah Perkett EDU213 August 2, 2012 James Narlock Motivation in the Making Motivation. J. Ormrod defines motivation as, “something that energizes, directs, and sustains behavior; it gets people moving, points them in a particular direction, and keeps them going”. (Ormrod. 2014). However, motivation is not a characteristic that comes naturally, especially when life events can dictate a positive or negative motivational outcome. In

Comparing The American Revolution And The American Civil War

854 words - 4 pages conclusion, we recognize that both battles are in some ways related due to the means in fighting. Each side thought that they had a right to a certain type of freedom. The Americans in the Revolution went to America for the specific reason to separate from the country or religion that they were being persecuted from. Although in the Civil War, the slaves did not wish to come over to America but were taken out of their homes and forced to work. Their

Related Papers

The Indians Essay

1719 words - 7 pages The Indians where put on plots of land called reservations. The Indian tribes possessed or owned the land but the government had total supervision. There they could not hunt their own food, instead, had to live on government rations. The children could no longer speak in their native tongue and where forced to learn the English language and choose more “Christian” names. These reservations where usually kept away from whites. From 1838 to

American Revolution: The Siege Of Charleston

1636 words - 7 pages The American Revolution: the war for our independence. This revolution opened the door to our liberty, freedom, and basically what America is now. Most Americans have heard the stories of famous battles, important people (George Washington for instance), and everything in between. However, this was only for our side of the American Revolution and a small fraction of people have been told of Britain’s campaign of the revolution. The only thing

The American Revolution Essay

543 words - 3 pages The American Revolution (1775-1783) Have you ever sat and actually wondered how the United States came about? The American Revolution which is also known as the American War of Independence played an important role in the formation, of what we see today as the United States. The American Revolution was a conflict between the thirteen British colonies in North America and their mother country Great Britain. The American

"The Slaves Of Spiegel" By Daniel Pinkwater

368 words - 2 pages planets and stole food. In fact, they liked the Magic Moscow so much they decided to take the whole restaurant back to Spiegel. So they shrank the Magic Moscow, Steve, and Norman. Then the aliens wrapped them in aluminum foil, froze them and took them away on their space cruiser.Steve and Norman didn't mind being taken to Spiegel. It didn't even bother them when they were forced to enter a cooking contest which was being put on to please the leader of