River Gods and Culture Wars

The Power of the Gentry

| Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

During the 18th century in American colonies such as Virginia, government intervention was at it’s lowest. Aside from basic laws about stealing, murder, and some stranger ones like being required to Church, the government could force you to do very little. Despite, this, one could not call it a time of unprecedented freedom, at least […]

Polite and Powerful Company final

| Friday, August 1st, 2014

During the colonial era, power predominantly was determined based on your social status. This often meant high birth, since it was unlikely for the poor to move that far up the social ladder around that time. Power meant a few different things during this time period, and some of that power translated into social power, […]

Control: A Candid Contemplation of Conspicuous Consumption

| Friday, August 1st, 2014

The First Families of Virginia never attempted to hide their wealth. Far from the biblical picture of modesty, these self-styled Lords would flaunt their wealth in the face of the poorer brethren in social settings, seemingly out of a sense of vanity. However, upon closer examination it can be observed that the Tidewater Gentry used […]

“Power Play”

| Sunday, July 27th, 2014

One minute the colonists are starving at Jamestown the next the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.  A class society came about during the early eighteenth century, with the rich cultivating their cash crops and the middle and lower classes trying their best to get in on the action.  With the […]

Portrait of Gentility: The Intentional “Shaping” of Byrd and Carter

| Sunday, July 27th, 2014

As the seventeenth century came to a close, the Virginia colony underwent a remarkable transformation from a rather uncivilized land dominated by Native American tribes and starving, disease-ridden English settlers to a stratified society emulative of the colonists’ homeland. A robust and powerful upper class built massive homes on expansive estates, enslaving hundreds if not […]

Power: Assertion, Practice, and Resistance

| Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Payton Rose Nicolette Gable History 216 27 July 2014 Power: Assertion, Practice, and Resistance After founding Jamestown, the English contingent in the Chesapeake Bay faced numerous challenges including disease, starvation, and war. Upon tobacco’s diffusion, immigrants crossed the Atlantic in droves. Virginia’s population swelled, turning the once-sparse Jamestown into a unique, burgeoning civilization with numerous […]

Polite and Powerful Society

| Sunday, July 27th, 2014

During the colonial era, power predominantly was obtained based on your social status. This often meant high birth, since it was unlikely for the poor to move that far up the social ladder around that time. Power meant a few different things during this time period, and some of that power translated into social power, […]

William Byrd’s Ego

| Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Callie Folke This week, I learned a lot about the upper class in colonial Virginia, also known as the gentry. One of the things I noticed about a lot of the gentry is the need for power and control. They needed to be on top, in control all the time. They felt the need to […]

The New Culture of the Eighteenth Century

| Sunday, July 27th, 2014

As Virginia plunged into the eighteenth century, it left behind memories of disease, low birth rates, and a colony that was teetering on the edge of failure. The next century offered more hope than the last as colonists began to settle into life in the Americas. As time progressed, Virginian culture became more sophisticated, as […]

Power of the Gentry

| Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Power was everything to a man in eighteenth century Virginia. Power was accumulated through being part of the gentry, the elite First Families of Virginia, and this power was shown by their home surroundings, the life they led, and how much risk they took in order to reinforce their self identity and to send a […]

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