Encyclopedia Virginia: Economy http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/img/EV_Logo_sm.gif Encyclopedia Virginia This is the url http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org The first and ultimate online reference work about the Commonwealth /Colonial_Virginia Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:09:50 EST Colonial Virginia http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Colonial_Virginia The colonial period in Virginia began in 1607 with the landing of the first English settlers at Jamestown and ended in 1776 with the establishment of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Although a thriving Indian society had existed for thousands of years before the English arrived, war with the European settlers and the introduction of new diseases for which the Indians had no resistance spelled disaster for it. The English colonists, meanwhile, just barely survived, suffering through summer droughts and winter starvation. Salvation came to the colony in the form of smoking tobacco, or what King James I called a "vile and stinking custom," when John Rolfe cultivated a variety of tobacco that sold well in England. In 1619, a General Assembly convened, bringing limited self-government to America. That same year brought the first slaves to Virginia. For most of the 1600s, white indentured servants worked the colony's tobacco fields, but by 1705 the Virginia colony had become a slave society. Nearly all power was in the hands of white male landowners, who ran the government and, by law, belonged to the Church of England. Women who married and worked at home were considered "good wives"; those who refused such "proper" roles were considered troublesome. And while Virginia's ruling men did not encourage women to be independent, they nevertheless fought for their own independence, taking full part in the American Revolution (1775–1783).
Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:09:50 EST]]>
/Washington_George_and_Slavery Thu, 27 Jul 2017 14:50:15 EST <![CDATA[Washington, George and Slavery]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Washington_George_and_Slavery George Washington owned enslaved people from age eleven until his death, when his will promised his slaves freedom. His actions and private statements suggest a long evolution in his stance on slavery, based on experience and a possible awakening of conscience. Born in 1732, Washington came of age in a time when large-scale tobacco planting, carried out by enslaved labor, dominated the economy and society of colonial Virginia. Washington made no official public statements on slavery or emancipation as a Virginia legislator, as a military officer, or as president of the United States. As a young man he acted as most of his slaveholding peers did—making full and lawful use of slave labor, buying and selling slaves, and even raffling off a debtor's slaves, including children, to recoup a loan. His marriage brought many slaves under his control, but he did not legally own these "dower" slaves. After the American Revolution (1775–1783) his private statements became more in line with abolitionist goals than with the economic and political positions of his Virginia peers, until he reached the point, around 1789, when his "regret" over slavery grew so strong that he eventually rewrote his will with provisions to free slaves. Washington was the only southern Founding Father to free all his slaves.
Thu, 27 Jul 2017 14:50:15 EST]]>
/Virginia_Company_of_London Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:59:52 EST <![CDATA[Virginia Company of London]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Virginia_Company_of_London The Virginia Company of London was a joint-stock company chartered by King James I in 1606 to establish a colony in North America. Such a venture allowed the Crown to reap the benefits of colonization—natural resources, new markets for English goods, leverage against the Spanish—without bearing the costs. Investors, meanwhile, were protected from catastrophic losses in the event of the project's failure. The company established a settlement at Jamestown in 1607, and over the next eighteen years, the Crown granted the company two new charters, democratizing its governance and reforming its financial model. What began as an enterprise of investors seeking a dividend was funded a decade later almost exclusively by a public lottery. By 1618 the company had found a way to use its most abundant resource—land—to tempt settlers to pay their own passage from England to the colony and then, after arrival, to pay the company a quitrent, or fee, to use the land. Still, the Virginia Company and the colony it oversaw struggled to survive. Disease, mismanagement, Indian attacks, and factionalism in London all took a toll until, in 1623, the Privy Council launched an investigation into the company's finances. A year later, the company's charter was revoked and the king assumed direct control of Virginia.
Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:59:52 EST]]>
/Two_Penny_Acts_1755_1758 Thu, 03 Nov 2016 15:06:52 EST <![CDATA[Two Penny Acts (1755, 1758)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Two_Penny_Acts_1755_1758 The General Assembly adopted the Two Penny Acts of 1755 and 1758 as temporary relief measures in response to the failure of the Virginia colony's tobacco crops. Tobacco was Virginia's principal export, but it also backed the colony's currency, and these crop failures threatened Virginia's system of taxation for support of local and provincial government, including the parishes and clergy of the Church of England. The Two Penny Acts allowed vestries and county courts to collect taxes and pay salaries in money calculated at the usual market price for tobacco rather than in tobacco at windfall rates. Although it reduced their annual salaries, relatively few Virginia clergymen objected to the 1755 act, which expired after ten months. They were less amenable to the second act, however. Reverend Jacob Rowe spoke so vehemently against it that he was forced to apologize to the House of Burgesses. Reverend John Camm, meanwhile, took the protest to London and succeeded in having the act revoked, which set up a conflict between Lieutenant Governor Francis Fauquier and the power of the Crown. When clergymen sued for their back wages, the controversy known as the Parsons' Cause erupted and became a precedent for resistance to English authority.
Thu, 03 Nov 2016 15:06:52 EST]]>
/Paleoindian_Period Wed, 05 Oct 2016 12:04:45 EST <![CDATA[Paleoindian Period (16,000–8000 BC)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Paleoindian_Period The Paleoindian Period (16,000–8000 BC) came toward the end of the Ice Age, a time when the climate warmed and the largest mammals became extinct. Likely having originally migrated from Asia, the first people in Virginia were hunter-gatherers who left behind lithic, or stone, tools, often spearheads. At the Cactus Hill Archaeological Site in Sussex County, these date back to 16,000 BC, or well before the better-known Clovis culture. The so-called Paleoamericans likely banded together in groups of thirty to fifty and located themselves near high-quality stone resources, especially in Dinwiddie and Mecklenburg counties. While keeping a base camp, they may have established smaller settlements for more specialized tasks such as tool-making and hunting. The bands probably lacked central leadership, moved often, and traded with one another. Based on the religious practices of the later Virginia Indians, they likely were animists, investing various natural forces with spiritual power.
Wed, 05 Oct 2016 12:04:45 EST]]>
/Funders Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:28:55 EST <![CDATA[Funders]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Funders Funders were Virginians who during the 1870s and very early 1880s supported paying the full principal of the state's pre–Civil War public debt at the 6 percent annual rate that the Funding Act of 1871 established or who were willing to reduce the interest rate by a small amount if necessary. Some Funders were Democrats, some were Republicans, and many identified themselves with the state's Conservative Party that formed late in the 1860s in opposition to Congressional Reconstruction. The opponents of the Funders were called Readjusters because they wanted to refinance the debt—adjust, or readjust it—to reduce the rate of interest as much as possible and also to reduce, or repudiate, a portion of the principal and thereby lessen the expense of paying the debt. By the end of the 1870s, many of the state's African Americans supported the Readjusters and opposed the Funders.
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:28:55 EST]]>
/Mahone_William_1826-1895 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 14:02:29 EST <![CDATA[Mahone, William (1826–1895)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Mahone_William_1826-1895 William Mahone was a Confederate general, Virginia senator (1863–1865), railroad tycoon, U.S. senator (1881–1887), and leader of the short-lived Readjuster Party. Known by his nickname, "Little Billy," Mahone was, in the words of a contemporary, "short in stature, spare almost to emaciation, with [a] long beard, and keen, restless eyes." He attended the Virginia Military Institute on scholarship, worked as a railroad engineer, and eventually became president of the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad. During the American Civil War (1861–1865), he distinguished himself at the Battle of the Crater (1864), leading a successful counterattack that also involved the massacre of surrendered black troops. After the war, Mahone founded the Atlantic, Mississippi, and Ohio Railroad, which, before it failed, served his business interests in Norfolk and Southside Virginia. In 1881, he was elected to the United States Senate as a member of the Readjuster Party, an unlikely coalition of poor whites and African Americans interested in repudiating a portion of the massive state debt and, in so doing, restoring social services such as free public education. One of the most successful biracial political coalitions in the New South, the Readjusters held power until 1886, when Mahone lost his Senate seat. A gubernatorial bid in 1889 failed, and Mahone died in Washington, D.C., in 1895.
Tue, 19 Jul 2016 14:02:29 EST]]>
/Readjuster_Party_The Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:59:19 EST <![CDATA[Readjuster Party, The]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Readjuster_Party_The The Readjuster Party was the shortest-lived and most radical reforming political party in Virginia's history. Founded in February 1879, it won majorities in both houses of the General Assembly in the legislative election that autumn, and its candidates won all the statewide offices in 1881. The party rose to power because of the debt controversy, which involved disagreements about how to pay almost $34 million in state debt accrued before the American Civil War (1861–1865) on internal-improvement projects. By 1871, that number had risen to $45.6 million. The political faction called Funders resisted any reduction on the state debt lest it hurt Virginia's standing with creditors, while the Readjusters, seeing the debt as threatening important state programs such as public schools, sought to "readjust," or reduce the amount of the principal and the rate of interest. With a coalition of white farmers and working men, Democrats, Republicans, and African Americans, and under the leadership of the railroad executive and former Confederate general William Mahone, the party passed the Riddleberger Act of 1882, which reduced the principal of the debt and the interest owed. The next year, however, the Readjuster Party's candidates lost their legislative majorities, and its candidates for statewide office all lost in 1885, after which the party ceased to function.
Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:59:19 EST]]>
/Debt_Controversy_The_Virginia Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:54:13 EST <![CDATA[Debt Controversy, The Virginia]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Debt_Controversy_The_Virginia The Virginia debt controversy involved disagreements about how to pay almost $34 million in state debt accrued between 1822 and 1861. The money had been spent on the construction of canals, toll roads, and railroads, with the expectation that these would contribute toward Virginia's future economic vitality. After the American Civil War (1861–1865) and the creation of West Virginia, Virginia's economy was in tatters. In 1871, the General Assembly passed what came to be known as the Funding Act, which reduced the state debt, held West Virginia responsible for a third of the principal, and allowed interest-bearing coupons on debt bonds to be receivable for taxes. This caused a shortfall in revenue and conflict with West Virginia. In time, two competing parties rose to prominence. The Funders resisted any reduction on the state debt lest it hurt Virginia's standing with creditors, while the Readjusters, seeing the debt as threatening important state programs such as public schools, sought to "readjust," or lower, the principal. With a biracial political coalition, the Readjuster Party captured control of the General Assembly in 1879 and of the governor's office in 1881. In 1882, the assembly passed the Riddleberger Act, which reduced the principal of the debt and the interest owed. The Funders, having reorganized as Democrats, accepted the plan. With prompting from the U.S. Supreme Court, West Virginia agreed in 1919 to pay its third of the debt. Virginia's share of the debt was paid in 1937.
Tue, 19 Jul 2016 13:54:13 EST]]>
/Davis_Westmoreland_1859-1942 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:37:26 EST <![CDATA[Davis, Westmoreland (1859–1942)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Davis_Westmoreland_1859-1942 Westmoreland Davis was a lawyer and agriculturist who served as governor of Virginia from 1918 to 1922. Born abroad, his family moved to Richmond when he was still young and he attended the Virginia Military Institute and the University of Virginia before studying law in New York. He practiced there until 1903, when he purchased Morven Park, a large estate in Loudoun County. There he studied farming, lobbied on behalf of agricultural groups, and published the Southern Planter magazine from 1912 until his death. Despite lacking experience in electoral politics, Davis won election as governor in 1917, as a Democrat. He presided over the creation of a state highway system and negotiated a truce between union and non-union coal miners in southwestern Virginia. He identified with the Progressive movement and distrusted the Democratic machine run by Thomas Staples Martin, Claude A. Swanson, and, later, Harry F. Byrd Sr. He attempted to break the organization by running against Swanson for the U.S. Senate but lost, and later campaigned against the poll tax which was, in effect, campaigning against the power of the Byrd Organization. Davis died in 1942.
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:37:26 EST]]>
/Poverty_and_Poor_Relief_During_the_Civil_War Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:41:24 EST <![CDATA[Poverty and Poor Relief during the Civil War]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Poverty_and_Poor_Relief_During_the_Civil_War Poverty and poor relief, especially in times of acute food shortages, were major challenges facing Virginia and Confederate authorities during the American Civil War (1861–1865). At first, most Confederates were confident that hunger would not be a problem for their nation. Southern farms and black slaves were expected to produce ample quantities of food while white men fought to secure independence. The reality, however, was quite different. The suffering of soldiers' families and the lower classes in cities resulted in a bread riot in the Confederate capital at Richmond, stimulated desertion from the army, and threatened the entire war effort. Governments at the local, state, and federal level responded with unprecedented efforts to control prices, supply provisions, and ease suffering, and yet neither the Confederate government nor the Virginia state government found a way to take effective action against inflation, speculation, or extortion. Direct relief, free markets, city-sponsored stores, and other innovative measures came into being. Nevertheless, these efforts proved inadequate, and the very idea of being dependent on charity was unsatisfactory to the yeoman class. Consequently, the problems of poverty seriously undermined the war effort in Virginia and throughout the Confederacy.
Tue, 27 Oct 2015 16:41:24 EST]]>
/Confederate_Impressment_During_the_Civil_War Tue, 27 Oct 2015 15:50:39 EST <![CDATA[Impressment during the Civil War, Confederate]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Confederate_Impressment_During_the_Civil_War Impressment was the informal and then, beginning in March 1863, the legislated policy of the Confederate government to seize food, fuel, slaves, and other commodities to support armies in the field during the American Civil War (1861–1865). The tax-in-kind law, passed a month later, allowed the government to impress crops from farmers at a negotiated price. Combined with inflationary prices and plummeting morale following military defeats, impressment sparked vocal protests across the South. Discontent was exacerbated by what was perceived as the government's haphazard enforcement of the law, its setting of below-market prices, and its abuse of labor. As a result, citizens hoarded goods and in some cases even impersonated impressment agents in an effort to steal commodities.
Tue, 27 Oct 2015 15:50:39 EST]]>
/Speculation_During_the_Civil_War Tue, 27 Oct 2015 15:32:19 EST <![CDATA[Speculation during the Civil War]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Speculation_During_the_Civil_War Speculation, which involved driving up prices on desperately needed consumer goods, was both rampant and roundly condemned in the Confederacy during the American Civil War (1861–1865). Along with conscription, the so-called Twenty Slave Law, and impressment, speculation helped to undermine support for the war among the less wealthy, in particular. Appalled at soaring prices, Virginians looked for explanations. The Union blockade of the Atlantic coast was partly to blame, and so was the Confederate Congress. Beholden to a states' rights philosophy and suspicious of a strong federal government, lawmakers refused to levy the taxes necessary to finance the war, thus guaranteeing high inflation. The victims of that inflation, however, preferred to point fingers at greedy speculators, or "extortioners." Such individuals certainly existed, but government attempts to regulate or punish them were either not forthcoming or proved to be ineffective. Accusations of speculation, meanwhile, were sometimes accompanied by anti-Semitism, challenges of patriotism, and, in one instance, arson.
Tue, 27 Oct 2015 15:32:19 EST]]>
/_An_ACT_providing_additional_protection_for_the_slave_property_of_citizens_of_this_commonwealth_1856 Mon, 26 Oct 2015 10:34:33 EST <![CDATA["An ACT providing additional protection for the slave property of citizens of this commonwealth" (1856)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_An_ACT_providing_additional_protection_for_the_slave_property_of_citizens_of_this_commonwealth_1856 Mon, 26 Oct 2015 10:34:33 EST]]> /Robinson_John_1705-1766 Mon, 28 Sep 2015 11:21:59 EST <![CDATA[Robinson, John (1705–1766)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Robinson_John_1705-1766 John Robinson, one of the most powerful political leaders in colonial Virginia, served as Speaker of the House of Burgesses and treasurer from 1738 to 1766. His death revealed mismanagement of funds and led to a significant political crisis. Born in Middlesex County, Robinson attended school at the College of William and Mary and may have studied law. He first won election to the House of Burgesses in 1728 and began his long stint as Speaker a decade later. He ran the General Assembly's lower chamber along the lines of a modern floor leader and protected the House's interests against powerful opposition from lieutenant governors, the chief executives during his time. Though highly respected for his political acumen and his strengthening of the House of Burgesses, Robinson took two actions late in his career that hurt his reputation among historians. First, he opposed the Virginia Resolves in 1765, notably accusing Patrick Henry of speaking treasonous words against King George III. Second, he mishandled government funds while treasurer by augmenting his loans to Virginia's indebted elites with old paper money slated for destruction. Though these loans possibly kept the colony's economy from collapsing, a later investigation showed that the treasury accounts were more than £100,000 in arrears. Robinson's death in 1766 revealed the extent of his debt to the colony, which wasn't fully paid by his estate until 1781.
Mon, 28 Sep 2015 11:21:59 EST]]>
/Glass_Carter_1858-1946 Thu, 20 Aug 2015 08:46:03 EST <![CDATA[Glass, Carter (1858–1946)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Glass_Carter_1858-1946 Carter Glass, a Democrat, served in the Senate of Virginia (1899–1902), as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1901–1902, and in the U.S. House of Representatives (1902–1918) and the U.S. Senate (1920–1946). He also served as secretary of the treasury (1918–1920) in the administration of President Woodrow Wilson. Often referred to as the father of the Federal Reserve banking system, he authored the Glass-Steagall Act of 1932—co-sponsored by Representative Henry B. Steagall, of Alabama—and the Banking Act of 1933. Born in Lynchburg, Glass left school early to work as a newspaper reporter. By 1888, he owned the Lynchburg News and later bought another Lynchburg paper, edited by his father, and consolidated the two. Small in stature but always outspoken, Glass educated himself in finance after being appointed to the House Banking and Currency Committee, carefully reconciling many competing interests into a workable Federal Reserve bill. In the U.S. Senate, he set aside a distaste for machine politics in return for, among other things, support in a run for president; he twice sought but never won the nomination. During the Great Depression, he joined Senator Harry F. Byrd Sr. in opposing President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. At the start of World War II (1939–1945), however, he supported the president's efforts to prepare the nation for possible entry into the war. Glass died in office in 1946.
Thu, 20 Aug 2015 08:46:03 EST]]>
/John_E_Massey_Debts_and_Taxes_or_Obligations_and_Resources_of_Virginia_1875 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:55:13 EST <![CDATA[Debts and Taxes, or Obligations and Resources of Virginia by John E. Massey (1875)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/John_E_Massey_Debts_and_Taxes_or_Obligations_and_Resources_of_Virginia_1875 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:55:13 EST]]> /_amp_Kemper_s_Address_to_the_Senate_and_House_of_Delegates_amp_December_5_1877 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:50:17 EST <![CDATA[Address to the General Assembly by Governor James L. Kemper (December 5, 1877)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_amp_Kemper_s_Address_to_the_Senate_and_House_of_Delegates_amp_December_5_1877 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:50:17 EST]]> /Funder_Governor_Frederick_William_Mackay_Holliday_s_message_vetoing_the_Barbour_Bill_February_27_1878 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:46:03 EST <![CDATA[Governor Fred W. M. Holliday's message vetoing the Barbour Bill (February 27, 1878)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Funder_Governor_Frederick_William_Mackay_Holliday_s_message_vetoing_the_Barbour_Bill_February_27_1878 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:46:03 EST]]> /Extract_from_Readjuster_Governor_William_Evelyn_Cameron_s_annual_message_to_the_General_Assembly_December_5_1883 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:35:51 EST <![CDATA[Extract from Readjuster Governor William Evelyn Cameron's annual message to the General Assembly (December 5, 1883)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Extract_from_Readjuster_Governor_William_Evelyn_Cameron_s_annual_message_to_the_General_Assembly_December_5_1883 Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:35:51 EST]]> /Dew_Thomas_R_1802-1846 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:41:45 EST <![CDATA[Dew, Thomas R. (1802–1846)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Dew_Thomas_R_1802-1846 Thomas R. Dew spent a decade as president of the College of William and Mary (1836–1846), but is also known for his works supporting slavery and opposing protective tariffs. While a professor of political law at William and Mary, Dew achieved national prominence when he attacked the tariff of 1828. He backed free trade, believing export taxes hindered southern planters at the expense of northern manufacturers. He favored state banks over a national bank, fearing that the latter would provide the government with too much power over the economy. His commentary on Virginia's debate to end slavery in 1831–1832 showed him an ardent supporter of the institution, even opposing gradual emancipation because it would deprive the state of its wealth. Dew also argued that denying suffrage to women was appropriate because devotion to family hindered their capacity to understand politics. William and Mary's board named him its president in 1836. During his administration the college became an important wellspring of southern thought as sectional tension heightened. Dew died of bronchitis in 1846.
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:41:45 EST]]>
/Board_of_Trade Thu, 08 Jan 2015 16:00:38 EST <![CDATA[Board of Trade]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Board_of_Trade The Board of Trade, established in 1696 by William III, was an English advisory board for trade and colonial government. It was preceded by a variety of committees that had been appointed by monarchs and ministers, beginning in 1622, to oversee the American colonies. In the seventeenth century, sustained work on colonial affairs in England was made difficult by political instability relating to the English Civil Wars (1642–1648). But even in the first half of the eighteenth century, after a dedicated Board of Trade was formed and as the colonies were growing larger and more profitable, the board often (after an initial burst of activity) left the colonies alone. As a result, colonial legislative bodies such as the House of Burgesses became more efficient and therefore more self-reliant. In 1748 the Board of Trade's ambitious new president inaugurated a period of increased board interest in colonial activity. In the 1760s and 1770s the Board of Trade's power declined as Parliament, the Privy Council, and the secretary of state for the colonies became more involved in colonial affairs. After the colonies declared independence from Great Britain in 1776, they no longer required the board's oversight.
Thu, 08 Jan 2015 16:00:38 EST]]>
/Late_Woodland_Period_AD_900-1650 Fri, 30 May 2014 14:06:23 EST <![CDATA[Late Woodland Period (AD 900–1650)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Late_Woodland_Period_AD_900-1650 Fri, 30 May 2014 14:06:23 EST]]> /Gift_Exchange_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Fri, 30 May 2014 13:47:21 EST <![CDATA[Gift Exchange in Early Virginia Indian Society]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Gift_Exchange_in_Early_Virginia_Indian_Society Algonquian-speaking Virginia Indians during the Late Woodland Period (AD 900–1650) practiced a gift-exchange economy. All Indians were required to give, accept, and, at a later date, reciprocate; failure to do so could lead to punishments of varying kinds. Rather than value the goods being exchanged, Indians valued the relationships of the people exchanging, with participants in the economy collecting personal debts rather than material wealth. In fact, goods were not owned but continuously passed from gift-giver to receiver. This system contrasted sharply with the commodity-exchange system with which Europeans were familiar, and each culture's unfamiliarity with the other's economy led to tensions and even violence. In 1571, a baptized Virginia Indian named Don Luís led a party that killed a group of Jesuit missionaries, an act of violence that can be best explained as a response to a violation of gift-exchange protocol. The Jesuits had declined to offer gifts to Don Luís's people while trading with neighboring groups, an act of humiliation that led to their deaths. At Roanoke, the Indians allowed such slights to pass, instead manipulating the English colonists for their own political advantage. At Jamestown, however, English ignorance of the gift exchange unleashed more violence, which was often symbolic. In one case, the mouths of English corpses were stuffed with bread, a repeated gift of sustenance for which the English had failed to reciprocate. The derisive term "Indian giver," the meaning of which has changed over time, has come to represent the frustration that resulted from each group's ignorance of the other's economic system.
Fri, 30 May 2014 13:47:21 EST]]>
/_An_act_for_regulating_conveyances_1785 Sat, 17 May 2014 15:09:10 EST <![CDATA["An act for regulating conveyances" (1785)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_An_act_for_regulating_conveyances_1785 Sat, 17 May 2014 15:09:10 EST]]> /Query_XIX_an_excerpt_from_Notes_on_the_State_of_Virginia_by_Thomas_Jefferson_1784 Thu, 06 Feb 2014 12:51:09 EST <![CDATA[Query XIX; an excerpt from Notes on the State of Virginia by Thomas Jefferson (1784)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Query_XIX_an_excerpt_from_Notes_on_the_State_of_Virginia_by_Thomas_Jefferson_1784 Thu, 06 Feb 2014 12:51:09 EST]]> /Branch_James_Read_1828-1869 Thu, 12 Dec 2013 14:19:38 EST <![CDATA[Branch, James Read (1828–1869)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Branch_James_Read_1828-1869 James Read Branch was a Confederate artillery officer and banker who helped reestablish Richmond's struggling economy after the American Civil War (1861–1865). Branch fought in the battles of Malvern Hill, Sharpsburg (Antietam), Fredericksburg, and Plymouth. He resigned from the army in 1865, after he was slow to recover from a severe leg injury. After the war he revived Thomas Branch and Sons, the banking house he had founded with his father and brother, and became active in the Conservative Party, serving on its executive committee. He was nominated to run for a seat in the Senate of Virginia in 1869. Branch and others felt the party needed the support of African American voters to defeat the Radical Republicans. Days before the election a large crowd attending a Conservative Party picnic to attract black voters crushed the bridge on which he stood. Branch fell into the James River and drowned.
Thu, 12 Dec 2013 14:19:38 EST]]>
/Dan_River_Mills Thu, 21 Nov 2013 11:45:54 EST <![CDATA[Dan River Mills]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Dan_River_Mills Dan River Mills in Danville, Virginia, is a historic manufacturer of apparel fabrics and home fashion products such as bedding. Opened in 1882 as the Riverside Cotton Mills, the company grew to become the largest textile firm in the South. The mills were a prime target for union leaders, who reasoned that they could organize textile plants across the region if they could crack the strategically located Dan River Mills. In 1930 and 1951, major strikes occurred at the mills; both ended in defeat for the workers. From the 1970s, employment levels at the Virginia firm fell dramatically as it struggled to compete with cheap imported textiles, competition that eventually brought the historic firm to final dissolution in 2006.
Thu, 21 Nov 2013 11:45:54 EST]]>
/_An_Act_declaring_tenants_of_lands_or_slaves_in_taille_to_hold_the_same_in_fee_simple_1776 Mon, 24 Jun 2013 09:43:13 EST <![CDATA["An Act declaring tenants of lands or slaves in taille to hold the same in fee simple" (1776)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_An_Act_declaring_tenants_of_lands_or_slaves_in_taille_to_hold_the_same_in_fee_simple_1776 Mon, 24 Jun 2013 09:43:13 EST]]> /Account_of_the_Lottery_in_Leicester_by_Rogert_Hawfeilde_June_12_1618 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 13:57:29 EST <![CDATA[Account of the Lottery in Leicester by Rogert Hawfeilde (June 12, 1618)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Account_of_the_Lottery_in_Leicester_by_Rogert_Hawfeilde_June_12_1618 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 13:57:29 EST]]> /Relation_of_Juan_de_la_Carrera_March_1_1600 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 13:50:32 EST <![CDATA[Relation of Juan de la Carrera (March 1, 1600)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Relation_of_Juan_de_la_Carrera_March_1_1600 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 13:50:32 EST]]> /Newes_from_Virginia_The_lost_Flocke_Triumphant_by_Lord_Robert_Rich_1610 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 13:29:03 EST <![CDATA[Newes from Virginia. The lost Flocke Triumphant by Lord Robert Rich (1610)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Newes_from_Virginia_The_lost_Flocke_Triumphant_by_Lord_Robert_Rich_1610 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 13:29:03 EST]]> /A_true_and_sincere_declaration_of_the_purpose_and_ends_of_the_plantation_begun_in_Virginia_by_the_Virginia_Company_of_London_1609 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 12:40:41 EST <![CDATA[A true and sincere declaration of the purpose and ends of the plantation begun in Virginia by the Virginia Company of London (1609)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/A_true_and_sincere_declaration_of_the_purpose_and_ends_of_the_plantation_begun_in_Virginia_by_the_Virginia_Company_of_London_1609 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 12:40:41 EST]]> /Letter_from_the_Council_of_the_Virginia_Company_of_London_to_the_Mayor_and_Aldermen_of_the_City_of_Norwich_December_4_1617 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 11:37:40 EST <![CDATA[Letter from the Council of the Virginia Company of London to the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Norwich (December 4, 1617)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Letter_from_the_Council_of_the_Virginia_Company_of_London_to_the_Mayor_and_Aldermen_of_the_City_of_Norwich_December_4_1617 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 11:37:40 EST]]> /Petition_from_Alderman_Johnson_et_al_to_King_James_I_April_1623 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 09:43:47 EST <![CDATA[Petition from Alderman Johnson, et al., to King James I (April 1623)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Petition_from_Alderman_Johnson_et_al_to_King_James_I_April_1623 Mon, 08 Apr 2013 09:43:47 EST]]> /_Instructions_to_George_Yeardley_by_the_Virginia_Company_of_London_November_18_1618 Wed, 20 Mar 2013 09:02:40 EST <![CDATA["Instructions to George Yeardley" by the Virginia Company of London (November 18, 1618)]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/_Instructions_to_George_Yeardley_by_the_Virginia_Company_of_London_November_18_1618 Wed, 20 Mar 2013 09:02:40 EST]]> /Tobacco_in_Colonial_Virginia Tue, 29 Jan 2013 14:14:00 EST <![CDATA[Tobacco in Colonial Virginia]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Tobacco_in_Colonial_Virginia Tobacco was colonial Virginia's most successful cash crop. The tobacco that the first English settlers encountered in Virginia—the Virginia Indians' Nicotiana rustica—tasted dark and bitter to the English palate; it was John Rolfe who in 1612 obtained Spanish seeds, or Nicotiana tabacum, from the Orinoco River valley—seeds that, when planted in the relatively rich bottomland of the James River, produced a milder, yet still dark leaf that soon became the European standard. Over the next 160 years, tobacco production spread from the Tidewater area to the Blue Ridge Mountains, especially dominating the agriculture of the Chesapeake region. Beginning in 1619 the General Assembly put in place requirements for the inspection of tobacco and mandated the creation of port towns and warehouses. This system assisted in the development of major settlements at Norfolk, Alexandria, and Richmond. Tobacco formed the basis of the colony's economy: it was used to purchase the indentured servants and slaves to cultivate it, to pay local taxes and tithes, and to buy manufactured goods from England. Promissory notes payable in tobacco were even used as currency, with the cost of almost every commodity, from servants to wives, given in pounds of tobacco. Large planters usually shipped their tobacco directly to England, where consignment agents sold it in exchange for a cut of the profits, while smaller planters worked with local agents who bought their tobacco and supplied them with manufactured goods. In the mid-seventeenth century, overproduction and shipping disruptions related to a series of British wars caused the price of tobacco to fluctuate wildly. Prices stabilized again in the 1740s and 1750s, but the financial standings of small and large planters alike deteriorated throughout the 1760s and into the 1770s. By the advent of the American Revolution (1775–1783), some planters had switched to growing food crops, particularly wheat; many more began to farm these crops to support the war effort. In the first year of fighting, tobacco production in Virginia dropped to less than 25 percent of its annual prewar output.
Tue, 29 Jan 2013 14:14:00 EST]]>
/Reston_Virginia Thu, 29 Nov 2012 16:06:29 EST <![CDATA[Reston, Virginia]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Reston_Virginia Reston is a community in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area located in western Fairfax County, Virginia. Conceived as an alternative to ailing cities and sprawling suburbs, Reston, along with Columbia, Maryland, was among the first post–World War II "new towns" in the United States. Founded in 1964 by Robert E. Simon Jr., Reston took its name from Simon's initials and represented a kind of urban utopia—a place with swimming pools, community centers, and tennis courts in every neighborhood and no restrictions based on race. Control of the project was taken over first by Gulf Oil—Simon's major lender—and then Mobil, but the community grew steadily. Its 2007 population was approximately 60,000; the town, meanwhile, enjoys a strong economy based on high technology and information.
Thu, 29 Nov 2012 16:06:29 EST]]>
/Progressive_Movement Wed, 19 Sep 2012 16:01:21 EST <![CDATA[Progressive Movement]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Progressive_Movement The Progressive movement in Virginia was a series of efforts by early-twentieth-century residents to correct what they perceived as problems or deficiencies in government, business, and society. Their work was part of a national reform movement that existed from late in the 1890s until the United States entered World War I in 1917. Progressive reform in Virginia had many parallels with its national counterpart, but like the rest of the movement's southern manifestation, it also varied from it in important ways. Nationally, Progressives sought to expand democracy, aid victims of industrialization, bring order and efficiency to government and business, and impose morality. State reformers, by contrast, showed little interest in social uplift or racial justice, or in increasing democracy or furthering workers' rights. Instead, they focused on adjusting government and society in ways that both safeguarded the existing social and racial hierarchy and provided order, stability, and economic progress. In Virginia, the movement's participants were predominately urban white professionals, businessmen, educators, church leaders, and politicians; or their wives and daughters. Although the state's reformers had a variety of aims, they worked primarily on restructuring the electorate; improving public education; modifying cities in ways that made them more healthful, efficient, and orderly; upgrading roads; and enacting prohibition of alcohol. They achieved these and other reforms by successfully lobbying government officials for new laws, oversight agencies, and funding measures. While Virginia's Progressives more often than not worked together on their various causes, like reformers elsewhere in the nation, they also occasionally disagreed about the practicality of specific solutions. Those being reformed—typically poor white and African American residents—opposed many of the movement's efforts but lacked the political power to block them.
Wed, 19 Sep 2012 16:01:21 EST]]>
/Pistole_Fee_Dispute_The Mon, 17 Sep 2012 16:43:25 EST <![CDATA[Pistole Fee Dispute, The]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Pistole_Fee_Dispute_The The pistole fee dispute of 1753–1754 was a political battle between the House of Burgesses and Virginia lieutenant governor Robert Dinwiddie over Dinwiddie's decision to charge a fee of one pistole (approximately 18 shillings) for each land patent to which he attached the colony's seal. Though royal policy gave colonial governors the right to establish officers' fees with the consent of the governor's Council, the practice was not enforced in Virginia, where fees were usually determined by the General Assembly. The controversy over the pistole fee was so heated that Dinwiddie and the House of Burgesses sent representatives to London to argue their cases before the Privy Council. The Privy Council upheld the fee and Dinwiddie's right to establish it, but imposed certain restrictions on the fee to conciliate the House of Burgesses—a compromise that was accepted by the opposing parties but did not address the constitutional issue of whether colonial legislatures had the right to defeat local taxes proposed by the British government. The questions that were raised by opponents of the fee (including Richard Bland and Landon Carter) regarding British authority and the rights of Virginians would resurface in 1765 with the passage of the Stamp Act.
Mon, 17 Sep 2012 16:43:25 EST]]>
/Members_of_the_Virginia_State_Corporation_Commission Mon, 17 Sep 2012 10:23:35 EST <![CDATA[Members of the Virginia State Corporation Commission]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Members_of_the_Virginia_State_Corporation_Commission Mon, 17 Sep 2012 10:23:35 EST]]> /Great_Depression_in_Virginia Fri, 14 Sep 2012 08:22:50 EST <![CDATA[Great Depression in Virginia]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Great_Depression_in_Virginia The Great Depression of the 1930s was the most serious economic crisis in American history. A combination of economic maladies—including overproduction, inequitable distribution of wealth, excessive borrowing and speculation, inappropriate tax and tariff policies, and a shaky banking structure—produced an economic collapse that was announced by the stock market crash of October 1929. Over the next four years, millions of Americans (amounting to 25 percent of the work force) lost their jobs; millions more worked only part-time. Factories closed their doors, homes and farms were foreclosed, and the banking system verged on collapse. Itinerants, soup kitchens, and shantytowns became common features of the urban landscape. In Virginia the economic impact of the Great Depression was less severe than in other parts of the country. While the state suffered industrial reverses, above-normal unemployment, and much hardship, its citizens did not experience, in the same degree, the wholesale misfortune that much of the rest of the nation endured.
Fri, 14 Sep 2012 08:22:50 EST]]>
/Backcountry_Frontier_of_Colonial_Virginia Tue, 31 Jan 2012 16:34:45 EST <![CDATA[Backcountry Frontier of Colonial Virginia]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Backcountry_Frontier_of_Colonial_Virginia The backcountry frontier of colonial Virginia reached westward from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the farthest extent of Virginia settlement in the eighteenth century. By royal charter, the extreme western boundaries of Virginia at this time extended to the Pacific Ocean, but the terms "backcountry" or "back settlements" specifically refer to new settlements in the eastern Appalachian Mountains—most notably in the Shenandoah Valley—that began taking shape in the 1720s. This term was commonly used in the colonial era, when "frontier" referred more specifically to national boundaries. In the 1720s and 1730s, British and colonial authorities encouraged settlement of the backcountry, particularly by non-English Protestant immigrants whose small-farm, non-slave communities might create a buffer against Indian attacks and French expansion while deterring runaway slaves seeking to establish independent colonies in the Appalachians. Due to its social, economic, political, and cultural distinctiveness, the backcountry frontier as a region played a significant role in the eighteenth-century history of Virginia and in the writings of historians about the influence of Virginia's colonial period on the later history of the state and the nation. By the end of the eighteenth century, the backcountry had become a successful model for the development of mixed-farm, market-town settlements on new frontiers as Americans overspread the trans-Appalachian west.
Tue, 31 Jan 2012 16:34:45 EST]]>
/Salutary_Neglect Wed, 18 Jan 2012 17:07:41 EST <![CDATA[Salutary Neglect]]> http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Salutary_Neglect Wed, 18 Jan 2012 17:07:41 EST]]>