Virginia's American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic,

Virginia's American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic, 1776-1840 ❮Ebook❯ ➩ Virginia's American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic, 1776-1840 ➪ Author Kevin R.C. Gutzman – Virginia's American Revolution follows the Virginia revolutionaries from their decision for independence on May 15 1776 through the following 60 yearswhen the last of them finally passed from the scen Virginia's American Revolution follows the Virginia revolutionaries from Revolution: From Kindle Ï their decision for independence on May through the following yearswhen the last of them finally passed from the scene To their surprise the decision to break with Great Britain entailed reconsideration of virtually all of their major political and social institutions from the established church their aristocratic state government and feudal land tenures to slavery and their federal relations with the other American states Some of these issues such as the Virginia's American PDF/EPUB ² place of the Church of England in the newly republican Virginia received uick resolutions; others such as the nature of the relationship between the elite and other men were not so easily decided All of them were considered against the backdrop of Virginia's decline from preeminence in the Revolution and early Republic to the position of just another state in the age of Jackson By following.

  • Paperback
  • 235 pages
  • Virginia's American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic, 1776-1840
  • Kevin R.C. Gutzman
  • English
  • 23 May 2015
  • 9780739121320

About the Author: Kevin R.C. Gutzman

Kevin R C Gutzman is the New York Revolution: From Kindle Ï Times best selling author of four books Professor of History at Western Connecticut State University Gutzman holds a bachelor’s degree a master of public affairs degree and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin as well as an MA and a PhD in American history from the University of Virginia Happy to be a former attorney Gutzman devotes his int.

10 thoughts on “Virginia's American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic, 1776-1840

  1. Kent Kent says:

    In most ways this was an excellent and much needed book It covers ground almost completely overlooked by what Peter Onuf calls in his blurb on the back cover the conventional nationalist bias in Revolutionary historiography being an examination of state level deliberations in Virginia on the troubled matter of defining state federal relations in the wake of a rather ambiguous constitutional text Gutzman starts with the pre Revolutionary politics leading to the break with Great Britain demonstrating how Virginians identified themselves above all as Virginians and only secondarily as members of a larger corporate structure It was a truism for nearly all her leading men that Virginia was our country and their relations to the Crown were examined exclusively in terms of what effect membership would have on Virginia This commitment came to the forefront again in the debate over ratification Henry and George Mason most prominently sounded the alarm of consolidation pointing out the ambiguous and blurring effects of the Federalist checks and balances system on the line of demarcation between state and federal authority Eventually ratification was secured but only on the guarantee from Federalists that the states were to remain sovereign compacting parties and that all powers not delegated were retained by the statesThis guarantee was almost instantly challenged by the promulgation of the Alien and Sedition acts under Federalist president John Adams Jefferson and even Madison the sometimes Federalist sometimes Republican authored denunciations of the acts and the Virginia assembly approved a Report that re surveyed the states rights ground staked out in Virginia's ratification agreement of 1788 Further battles against consolidationist tendencies were to follow especially between the Virginia courts and the Supreme Court which under Marshall claimed authority to overturn decisions that came solely within state jurisdiction Martin v Hunter's Lessee and McCulloch v Maryland were the two major flashpointsIn light of our modern day progressivists' claims that states rights was a novel doctrine first concocted by John Calhoun for the sole purpose of preserving slavery this is a timely book For it should be obvious that North South conflicts arose decades before slavery became a national issue with Virginia in particular holding the states rights line against the Federalists and nationalists and South Carolina inheriting the mantle in the next generation The early conflicts occurred over an enormous variety of issues from free speech and immigration to foreign wars to federal court jurisdiction to internal improvements to sectional tariffs Only after 1830 did slavery became the great issue and even then it was heavily tied to struggles for political supremacy for instance if the North could ban slavery from the territories they could prevent many Southerners from emigrating thus ensuring a northern majority when the territories achieved statehood and congressional representation But these are conclusions only implied by Gutzman's book which is by no means a partisan re hashing of states rights and the War Rather starting with the long neglected truth of early American politics that the state was the chief locus of political identity he proceeds to examine how this commitment played out in Virginia's path from revolution to union to secession As he points out by the ends of their lives many of the great Virginian revolutionary fathers were uestioning whether the achievements of 1776 and 1787 had been after all in vain For independence had set in motion a train of events which the conservative gentry were powerless to halt In short they discovered it was impossible to revolutionize the forms of their state without also undermining the principles those forms were meant to safeguard Absent the king and the Anglican establishment the two great conserving forces of Virginian society an opening was inadvertently created for the twin specters of democracy and consolidation In time these came to challenge the very local integrity in defense of which the Virginians had abolished the British crown and church I wish Gutzman had delved deeper into the connections between crown church and the Virginia doctrine but they were only a stop along the way his history being mainly concerned with their efforts to hold on to state integrity through the consolidating challenges of the Federalists first and later the democratic assaults of the booming western half of the stateOrdinarily I'd give this book at least four stars But I'm afraid it was uite poorly written Terms like aristocrat were left undefined and thus were often used euivocally In some chapters he seemed to indicate that the division between Federalist and Republican followed the social division between aristocrats and populists In other spots the Republicans were treated as the representative old school Virginian gentry On one page he refers to the aristocrats celebrating the Republican Jefferson's presidential victory as a blow to the aristocratic federalists the implication being that these were two warring demographics I suspect Gutzman knew what Gutzman meant but a little precision and perhaps some orientation would have been helpful It was also hard to identify the referent for many of his adjectives; and occasionally he'd come up with a truly ghastly expression as in the following Finally however Jefferson was elected A huge spasm of relief wracked the Virginian body politic and a paroxysm of joy followed p 137 It is needless to point out that a body wracking spasm has not traditionally been associated with feelings of relief and that a paroxysm following hard upon a spasm is suggestive of death bed agonies than celebrationHe also tended to insert loaded terms into fairly uncontroversial narratives These were really unnecessary and heavily detracted from the tone of the book though again some of it may be merely sloppy or owing to a poor understanding of the connotations of a word In one spot rather at random he calls Madison's defense of religious freedom a screed with no accompanying evidence that it deserved such a term In another place he complains that a comment by Madison was redolent with class prejudice and yet he recognizes that social structure was an essential part of the Virginian creed and would not have embarrassed Madison at all If Madison's social commitment was problematic in some way as to deserve this criticism Gutzman failed to clue us in Also Gutzman's repeated use of the word elite almost certainly is intended pejoratively and yet the overall effect of his book is a moderately sympathetic recounting of Virginia's struggle to maintain her old leadership Again all of this loaded terminology is both unnecessary and unconnected to his thesis I'm puzzled what exactly he was trying to do with all that

  2. Tyler L. Tyler L. says:

    This is Dr Kevin Gutzman's finest work to date that I have read In the past few years I have come to admire Virginia for so many reasons Their history geography and cultural heritage fascinate me than almost any US state overall I am very grateful that Dr Gutzman wrote this beautiful account of the Old Dominion's story in the founding and early days of our republicI cannot commend this book enough for telling the story through the eyes of the Commonwealth of Virginia and not through the eyes of the American people or prominent Virginia politicians like Washington Jefferson or Madison Students of history are somewhat familiar with Patrick Henry and Edmund Randolph but I loved learning about the unsung heroes of the Revolution Richard Bland and John Taylor of Caroline are two figures who fought passionately for republicanismOne of the main points is that many of the Virginia revolutionaries who lived into the early nineteenth century died wondering if it was worth the effort Virginia's revolution has indeed been largely forgotten as the national government has won the struggle for power and rewrote historySome important facts to remember Virginia was the first colony to declare independence from Great Britain They did so two months before the thirteen colonies did as a whole in July 1776 Colonial Virginia had a system based on self government and declared any law passed by Parliament that intervened in the internal affairs of Virginia to be null and void This is proof of the American ideal that a central government cannot either morally or through legalhistorical precedence impose its will on the sovereign people of a state Any law passed by the federal government that exceeds the powers granted to it by the US Constitution is not legitimate Thomas Jefferson and James Madison depending on the weather would tell us to resist such tyranny If checks and balances fail at the federal level who else but the people of the states can stop them? Virginia's legislature wrote debated and ratified the first written constitution in world history While it was a fine document Gutzman tells us of its many flaws and attempts to amend them in the early years Virginia like the other twelve colonies signed a separate treaty with Great Britain after the Revolutionary War This means that from 1783 to 1787 the states were independent sovereign entities under the Articles of Confederation Virginia's legislature debated for months over the uestion of ratifying the US Constitution in 1788 Overwhelming evidence shows that the Federalists those supporting the US Constitution assured the Republicans Virginia's state representatives that the US Constitution gave the federal government specific and limited powers and that each state would retain their sovereignty because it was a compact between states The states created the federal government as a partner not a masterWhile both sides Federalists who wanted a stronger central government and Virginia republicans who wanted self government state's rights and a limited central authority had their flaws both brought something to the table in the uest for a free society The Federalists ensured that the several colonies would be united against foreign aggression with a stronger central government with military and foreign policy powers The Virginia republicans set an example in their commonwealth with self government and limits on government power Local decisions were made by local representatives Many rights including property rights were protected thanks to limits on majority rule Term limits were set up in Virginia's government and all direct taxes were to be apportioned eually The book ends with Virginia splitting into at first two and then several factions all with special interests It is good that a state constitutional convention was finally held to attempt to remedy some of the flaws of the original 1776 constitution Expansion of suffrage rights and dismantling of the aristocratic Virginia left over from the colonial days were among the positive achievements It is unfortunate that some Virginians wished to replicate much of their system under Great Britain and their reluctance to change got them labeled conservative But conflicts over other issues at the convention did not end well for Virginia Many Virginians eventually abandoned republicanism and put their faith into the increased power of government both state and federal Some Virginians like John Marshall loved federal power from the get go Others like James Madison flip flopped freuently Thomas Jefferson seldom wavered from republicanism while Patrick Henry Richard Bland and John Taylor of Caroline never betrayed republicanismOne last point this book remarkably makes throughout is how so many of these Virginia revolutionaries regardless of their political persuasion had much faith in politics to solve many of society's problems One must wonder what they would say today about the role of government in solving society's problems Even discarding their moral views on the role of government in man's life it would be difficult to believe they would have faith in government today considering its track record during the past century

  3. Sharon Wilbur Sharon Wilbur says:

    There probably isn't a founding father studded experience of the American Revolution than that of Virginia This book takes you through Virginia's experience It goes through the formation of their first colonial self government what they hoped it would be through the formation of the Federal government and its effect on Virginia's governmentI am reminded again and again how different things were from what I expected they were Excellent book

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