Forced Founders

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

3.83 (407 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In this provocative reinterpretation of one of the best-known events in American history, Woody Holton shows 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. Forced Founders 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? As Holton's fast-paced narrative unfolds, the old story of patriot versus loyalist becomes decidedly more complex. |Challenging traditional interpretations of the American Revolution, Woody Holton argues that the Virginia gentry were forced to rebel against Britain because of pressures exerted by Indians, farmers, and slaves.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 15.24mm | 385.55g
  • Chapel Hill, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0807847844
  • 9780807847848
  • 747,349

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Challenging traditional interpretations of the American Revolution, Woody Holton argues that the Virginia gentry were forced to rebel against Britain because of pressures exerted by Indians, farmers, and slaves.
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Review quote

Its lively style and wealth of anecdotes will make it an enjoyable read for anyone.

"Journal of American Studies"
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About Woody Holton

Woody Holton is assistant professor of American history at the University of Richmond.
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Rating details

407 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 25% (101)
4 41% (167)
3 27% (111)
2 6% (25)
1 1% (3)
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