Summary Of Forced Founder's By Woody Holton

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Forced Founder’s, written by Woody Holton, sheds new light on one of the best-known events in American History. Holton challenges the traditional narrative of the great land-owning elite leading the revolutionary war. He does not believe it was one single factor but in fact, a web of influences that pushed Virginia into the war of independence. Holton’s main argument consists of the idea that the Indians, merchants, slaves, and debtors helped propel free Virginians into the independence movement. Virginia’s gentry were joining their peers in declaring independence from Britain in response to grassroots rebellions against their own rule. Holton’s neo-progressive Forced Founders is a fascinating reinterpretation of the coming of the Revolution…show more content…
Holton divides his book into four chronological sections. The first segment of book is entitled “Grievances, 1763-1774”. This is where Holton expands on the history between Land Speculators, Indians, and Privy Council. Holton highlights how natives resisting colonial expansion combined with British officials tactically avoiding another expensive Indian war frustrated Virginia 's many land speculators. Those same Virginians, as tobacco planters and slave-owners, were also deeply upset by imperial trade policy The governments response’s to the burgesses petitions would affect the allegiance to Britain by men like Jefferson and Washington. ‘What worried the states men in the mother country was the likelihood that, if Virginians had occupied Kentucky, Indians would attack them, and the British might have to come and rescue at great cost to the imperial treasury” (5) The 1758 Treaty of Easton, which gave the Indians all the land west of the Appalachian, did not help their cause. Holton alludes to many other instances where the colonists wanted to expand but was consistently overlooked by the imperial government. The Indians caused the British to fear another war. Essentially, Holton makes it seem like the British were more on the side of the Indians then they were for their own colonists. The Virginians took the land by force (Dunmore’s War) because Britain was not going to play apart in negotiating land. The built up anger amongst those land speculators led to them making one of the most important decisions in American history. Because wars generally violate treaties with Britain and the Indians, Virginia needed to declare independence to have the right to do what they pleased. Holton’s opinion opened my eyes.to different views of the American Revolution than was once perceived. I thoroughly enjoy this section and believe it was necessary to include because it showed that the Indians made peace among their nations to try to keep their
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