The American Revolution Of The Making, Political Practices Of Washington 's Virginia

The American Revolution Of The Making, Political Practices Of Washington 's Virginia

Length: 894 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Sydnor, Charles S. American Revolutionaries in the Making; Political Practices in Washington 's Virginia. New York: Free, 1965. Print.

In American Revolutionaries in the Making, Professor Charles S. Sydnor examines the political structures and processes in Virginia in the latter half of the eighteenth century. His goal is to understand how those structures and processes brought about the large number of highly capable leaders who were important to the formation and leadership of the United States in the revolution and early days of independence. He uses familiar names such as Washington and Jefferson, but also James Madison and John Marshall, veterans of the process, to reveal the path to elected office.
The way elections were conducted in the eighteenth century is much different than they are today. Men would announce their intention to stand for office shortly before the election date, and then gain support through social events and general meetings. On the date of election, as established by the local judge, the candidates would stand in front of the assembled voters and watch as individuals came forward to publicly announce their votes.
Professor Sydnor describes three steps along the pathway to power in colonial and revolutionary Virginia that brought these men to the top.
Justices of the Peace were the first public office held by almost all of these men. This office was quite different from anything in the current age. Each county had from 10 to 30 Justices, who collectively formed the County Court. This court not only heard cases of civil and criminal law but also constituted the primary governing body of the county with executive and legislative as well as judicial powers. Justices were commissioned by the Governor...

... middle of paper ...

...76 on, the House selected Virginia 's governors and representatives to the Continental Congress, Constitutional Convention, and, later, its US senators. Selection for this third career step was based on proven skills in writing, debating and leadership.
The political practices in colonial Virginia are clearly not relevant to today 's world for two reasons: It would be impossible to base elections on first-hand knowledge of the candidates when the population has grown to its present size and, more importantly, it would require severely limiting the voting franchise. However, it is useful to remember that limited democracy and the multi-leveled selection process which used different criteria at each level produced an incredibly talented and effective leadership for both Virginia and the early United States. Can we say as much about today 's candidates for high office?

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Virginia Law And The Virginia Laws Essay

- The late 1600’s was a very hard time if you were not rich and white. The rich southerners had, it seems, control over the wealth and people. They would soon lose control of some slaves, but would regain the control through unrighteous laws known as the Virginia Laws. The Virginia Laws were created in an attempt to not only profit even more from the slaves but to curb rebellion. The laws however, do give insight to the success of rebellious slaves due to the fact that the rich southerners felt the need to establish these laws....   [tags: Slavery, Slavery in the United States]

Strong Essays
977 words (2.8 pages)

History And Present State Of Virginia Essay

- The History and Present State of Virginia was first published in 1705 and it was compromised of four parts: “The History of the First Settlement of Virginia”, “The Natural Productions and Conveniences of the Country”, “The Native Indians, their Religion, Laws, and Customs, in War and Peace” and lastly “The present State of the Country, as to the Polity of the Government, and the Improvements of the Land”. The book first appeared in London and it was three hundred pages of text with fourteen engravings....   [tags: American Revolution, American Revolutionary War]

Strong Essays
2211 words (6.3 pages)

The Political Basis of the American Revolution Essay

- The political basis of the American Revolution relied on three major congresses formed prior and during the revolution. These congresses were the Stamp Act Congress, the First Continental Congress and the Second Continental Congress. The main reason the colonists revolted against the British was in response to the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act was a tax stamp which appeared on every newspaper, legal document, on every customs and shipping document, and on other documents such as tavern licenses and college diplomas....   [tags: Essays on American Revolution]

Strong Essays
1009 words (2.9 pages)

American Colonization By The English, The Colony Of Jamestown, Virginia Essay

- In the early stages of North American colonization by the English, the colony of Jamestown, Virginia was founded in 1607 (Mailer Handout 1 (6)). Soon after the Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded in 1629 (Mailer Handout 2 (1)). These two colonies, although close in the time they were founded, have many differences in aspects of their lives and the way they were settled. The colonies have a different religious system, economic system, political system, and they have a different way of doing things; whether that be pertaining to making money, practicing religion, or electing governors....   [tags: Massachusetts Bay Colony, Massachusetts]

Strong Essays
926 words (2.6 pages)

Discuss American Political Culture? Essay

- Discuss American political culture. The term political culture lately has become part of everyday language in modern societies. In the press, the media, and even in casual conversation, often referring to the political culture is made to explain the attitudes, reactions or even the general behavior of a population that may explain the differences between societies. So political culture can be defined as an inherent product of shared values, beliefs, symbols, norms and customs that are passed down from generation to generation that provides a unique identity to the members of certain communities about the specific ideals environments and subjective perception of the standards operation of any...   [tags: United States Constitution, United States]

Strong Essays
1237 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on The Civil War Of Virginia And New England

- Civil War The first colonies in Virginia and New England were the origin of the different values that caused the civil war to take place. The colonists that resided in Jamestown, Virginia were heavily dependent on foreign aid and the funding provided by investors. On the contrary, the colonists that settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts was almost entirely self sufficient and did not have to rely on the help from foreign nations. While both the colonies originally focused on fishing and farming, the colonists from Jamestown quickly expanded their industries towards lumber, and utilized technologies that were available in their time such as making mills that were water operated....   [tags: United States, American Civil War]

Strong Essays
1265 words (3.6 pages)

Political Transitions in America Essay

- As life began in the new world many people that have traveled wanted to live in a new atmosphere. People sought out wealth, fortune, freedom and wanted to express their ideas and beliefs as they could have not in their own countries. The new world gave these settlers an opportunity to start their new lives and way of life. One aspect of their new lives was how they wanted to be ruled and their political ideas. Political transitions have occurred throughout the beginning of the settlement of the new world from the British colonies to the first president with a central government then the secession of the south and Civil War until Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal....   [tags: American History, Politics and Power]

Strong Essays
2834 words (8.1 pages)

Making Americans Response Essay

- Making Americans Response King should have given Making Americans the more appropriate title, “Constructing American Identity: The National Legacy of Race and Ethnicity.” The work tiptoes across a dangerous, four hundred year old minefield. Tackling American Identity always leads to a discussion of race. It is near futile to avoid. If steps on any of the sensitive mines, carefully concealed under a bushel of political correctness, the scholar must endure criticism and allegations from the various ethno historians that immerged in the 60s and 70s....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Strong Essays
803 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Mining Pollution

- A September 7th 2011 New York Times article with the headline “Pennsylvania Sues Over Coal-Mine Discharges” by Deborah Weisberg sits at an important intersection of mining operations in the US. This intersection is illustrated by a small icon adjacent to the article with the tag “Politics and Policy”. This tag is indicative of the political nature of most environmental issues today. Coal mining, with its immense environmental implications, is still a lucrative economic foundation of many Appalachian states....   [tags: Political Factors, Virginia]

Strong Essays
1119 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on American Colony Lifestyles

- So close yet so far The lifestyle in the three American colonies sections, varied dramatically, the most obvious was the difference between the New England and the Southern colonies. The New England colonies varied in many ways from the southern colonies, the most obvious were the motives for the founders, the political and social beliefs, and economic differences. The New England colonies were much more interested in starting a new way of life for the generations to come, the Southern colonies based lived for the day and the quick dollar....   [tags: American History]

Strong Essays
923 words (2.6 pages)