Patriarchy In Colonial Virginia

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The collapse of the consensus era of American scholarship in the 1960s and the rise of cultural historians in the subsequent decades began a revitalized interest in early America’s legal system. The 1970s also marked the end of the intellectual historian’s dominance. The works of “giants” such as Bernard Bailyn and Edmund Morgan were gateways into the present era of the historical field. These authors, and many like them, took advantage of scores of new data and sources being uncovered from seventeenth century Virginia, to question many aspects of traditional scholarship. Bailyn, in “Politics and Social Structure in Virginia,” breaks with the norm of existing scholarship by examining Virginia’s seventeenth century political system from a non-institutional…show more content…
Any pressure, group, or effect of that system was simply a byproduct of that coercion. This debate was an aberration during the period. Many historians of colonial Virginia distanced their work from institutional and political history, especially from a purely institutional methodology. Instead, they chose to focus on subjects previously relegated to second class status. As a result of this trend, the debate over the intent, implementation, and effectiveness of Virginia’s early legal system lost momentum. Without academic interest, this sub-field stalled by the late 1980s. Therefore, the topic missed out on the re-evaluation from a new generation of historians willing to incorporate interdisciplinary methods to their…show more content…
Another good example of a direct contest to the conventional historiography of colonial Virginia using these new techniques is in the findings of an archaeologist working along the James River. In “Drought as a Factor in the Jamestown Colony, 1607-1612,” Dennis B. Blanton analyzes the Nottoway-Blackwater baldcypress tree ring record and determines that the worst seven-year drought in the Chesapeake region during the last 700 years occurred between 1606 and 1612. This study helps to corroborate the written accounts of early settlers’, who frequently complained about the poor quality of water, leading to many
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