Essay about The Virginian Revolution

1489 Words 6 Pages
Virginia's way to the American Revolution

Woody Holton. Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

In his book Forced Founders – Indians, Debtors, Slaves and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia Woody Holton tries to give a "… study of some (not all) of the causes (not the effects) of Virginia's Revolution." He argues that the Virginia elite were important as leaders of the Independence movement, but were also powerfully influenced by other forces such as British merchants, Indians, farmers and slaves. Woody Holton argues that the Virginia gentry was influenced by those four groups, and that the gentry was even
…show more content…
The gentry of Virginia was not pleased with this decision, since they invested in the land and were now legally hindered to sell it. Other settlers, like squatters, just settled there, but the gentry had to respect the resolution of their own Privy Council. So they started to petition the Council, but without success. Holton argues that the Indians were able to influence the British government to a certain point not to allow American settlers to settle in the Ohio Valley, because the British simply did not want to spend money for British troops that would eventually have to protect the settlers from Indian assaults. They hoped to prevent a new costly war in America. The problem for the gentry was that …"the Virginia Executive Council had no choice but to void the hundreds of surveys that had been done for Virginia speculators and to put a halt to further surveying. This setback only intensified the speculators' effort to persuade the government to let them have Kentucky and the adjacent region." But the British government did not repeal the act. This caused many of the gentry's members who speculated for land in Kentucky to be displeased and lose a great deal of money. Holton gives numerous examples of gentry members that were affected by these circumstances, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

The tobacco growers are
Open Document