The Tidewater Virginian Gentry Of The Nineteenth Century Essay

The Tidewater Virginian Gentry Of The Nineteenth Century Essay

Length: 1587 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


The Tidewater Virginian gentry in the eighteenth century up until the revolution was, in some respects, more English than not—especially in the Tidewater region, where the immigrants coming were mostly of English descent (Dr. Whittenburg, lecture). The gentry tried to mimic English ways, such as dress, furniture and homes, and the wealth portrayed by following the English, perhaps to solidify their own hold at home—a “peasantry” was more likely to follow the system they were used to, with an obvious elite. However, the gentry, in their attempts to emulate the English nobility, actually created a distinct, American lifestyle.
Clothing was one key way in which the gentry of Virginia tried to establish themselves as English. Throughout the colonial time period (founding of Jamestown to the Revolution), the American styles matched the English ones (Amy Stallings, lecture). Indeed, the Americans and the English shared a common goal with the clothing they wore—“they announced wealth, status, and a leisurely lifestyle” (Baumgarten, 64).
While clothing had these similarities, however, there were stark differences. The climate in Tidewater Virginia, for example, affected clothing in the colony—It was hotter there than in England, and so clothing had to differ somewhat in style and material in order for the colonists to be able to adapt. The significance of this? The creation of “a cultural rift between the colony and its parent society (England), ” and a noticeable difference to English travellers to Virginia (Baumgarten, 54).
Clothing was not just changed by any sort of gentry either—George Washington recognized the need to change the regimental uniforms (Baumgarten, 68), basing styles off of the Indians’ clothing for a “far from for...


... middle of paper ...


... were the source of power, and while the Americans attempted to emulate this, they created a whole new culture of their own. Part of this emerged from the fact that the geography, climate, and economy of the colonies were so much different, and so certain things like the material of furniture or clothing had to change. But part of it was also the psychological hold on the gentry—Their position was insecure, and their “conspicuous consumption” (Plantation visits, Dr. Whittenburg) and over confidence (class discussion) was proof of this. The huge materialism of the eighteenth century “helped the gentry to maintain group cohesion” (Breen, 256) on the eve of revolution, and it was this “cohesion” and new culture that finally pushed the gentry to declare themselves as “American” and begin to not only address their grievances to the king, but declare their independence.


Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Woman in the Nineteenth Century, by Margaret Fuller Essay

- Woman in the Nineteenth Century, by Margaret Fuller In her essay, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, Margaret Fuller discusses the state of marriage in America during the 1800‘s. She is a victim of her own knowledge, and is literally considered ugly because of her wisdom. She feels that if certain stereotypes can be broken down, women can have the respect of men intellectually, physically, and emotionally. She explains why some of the inequalities exist in marriages around her. Fuller feels that once women are accepted as equals, men and women will be able achieve a true love not yet known to the people of the world....   [tags: Woman in the Nineteenth Century Margaret Fuller]

Better Essays
1136 words (3.2 pages)

Nineteenth Century Literature Heroines and Conformity Essay

- Nineteenth Century Literature Heroines and Conformity By definition, a heroine is a woman who would typically encompass the qualities of nobility, courage, independence and strength. Nineteenth century English women would have struggled to accomplish any of these particular acts of heroism within their social environment as ultimately, their roles within civilisation saw them becoming a good wives and mothers and before that, obliging and caring daughters. Within this ubiquitous discourse of separate spheres, Kathryn Gleadle suggests that women were ‘encouraged to see themselves as ‘relative creatures', whose path in life was to nurture the family and to provide unstinting support for the h...   [tags: Literature 19th Century]

Free Essays
1654 words (4.7 pages)

The Horror Of Slavery During The Nineteenth Century Essay

- Slavery was first introduced to the English colonies during the seventeenth century in 1619 by the Dutch after the sugar and tobacco crops increased the demand for labor which continued through the nineteenth century. The labor of the southern plantations called for men in their prime, able to work, and as the slave trade came to an end, women were needed to have children to keep ensure a steady supply of slaves. The horror of slavery that is as known today has been mostly centered around the experiences of the adult slaves, but what about the children....   [tags: Slavery, Slavery in the United States]

Better Essays
2309 words (6.6 pages)

Market Environment Of The Tidewater Area Essay

- I. Market Environment Being a privately owned business it is key to ensure that the areas around you know that your company exists. In order to do this, the company must be willing to offer their best possible ability, along with their time and dedication. Since, this is an expansion of a business it is critical that all prior business associates within the tidewater area knows about the expansion. Going form home repair and remodeling to hotel restoration and remodeling, means that the business must provide a broader range of services at an affordable price....   [tags: Business, Small business, Hampton Roads]

Better Essays
1040 words (3 pages)

The Nineteenth Century Perception Of Women Essay

- The nineteenth century perception of women was not flattering. During this time period, men were expected to work and provide for their family while women cared for the home. Men were also viewed as naturally superior beings while women were subordinate to men. Nineteenth century people regarded women as weak and childish creatures. In contrast, they saw men as the strong and more intelligent gender. These views of gender pervaded the minds of many nineteenth century people. However, there were some who openly did not agree with the gender inequality present in the nineteenth century....   [tags: Gender, Woman, Feminism, Female]

Better Essays
1653 words (4.7 pages)

Essay on Urban Zones Of The Nineteenth Century

- American towns industrialized all throughout the nineteenth century, irresistible ailments developed as a genuine danger. The presentation of new workers and the development of vast urban zones permitted already confined sicknesses to spread rapidly and contaminate larger populations. As industrialization occurred, towns developed into cities, and people relocated to them. The expanded interest for shoddy lodging by urban vagrants prompted ineffectively assembled homes that poorly accommodated individual cleanliness....   [tags: United States, New York City, Eastern Europe]

Better Essays
1156 words (3.3 pages)

Opera in the Nineteenth Century Essay

- How would feel if you were in the La Scala opera house, listening to a Vincenzo Bellini operas. Would it be warm felt or just would be nice to be there. To know that there is people out there that can sing with the power and flexibility that they can do. Vincenzo Bellini is one of the many opera composers that the nineteenth century had to offer (The National Opera Center America). Bellini like many of the composers in this time was born in Italy. During the nineteenth century, opera stories most of the time was had a theme of passion and romance....   [tags: Romantic era of music]

Better Essays
719 words (2.1 pages)

Slavery During The Nineteenth Century Essays

- During the nineteenth century, there were many enslaved African Americans living in the Deep South. Most were enslaved for life and worked until their death. Suffering from harsh working conditions, lack of well-being, and mistreatment by slaveholders, slaves were not considered to be equal to the “common white man”. At first, in response to the growing economic importance of slavery for the south, it had been justified as a necessity to the United States economy. But over time, in response to growing criticism of the institution, some Southerners were beginning to defend the continuation of slavery as a positive good....   [tags: Slavery, American Civil War]

Better Essays
1178 words (3.4 pages)

The Changes In Medicine In The Nineteenth Century Essay

- The Changes In Medicine In The Nineteenth Century The nineteenth century was one of the most important eras in the history of medicine as many new cures and technologies were discovered. At the beginning, many poor people still lived in houses without proper sanitation, worked in dangerous factories and drank water from polluted rivers. By the end of the century, social conditions had improved, medicine was more complex, treatments were more widely offered and technology was more advanced along with many other improvements....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1560 words (4.5 pages)

Nineteenth Century Insane Asylums Essay example

- Nineteenth Century Insane Asylums No matter where they were, mad houses, or insane asylums, have the same basic features and functions. The views of asylum life changed drastically over the course of the nineteenth century. The growth of the number of mad houses during the nineteenth century is quite remarkable. Before 1810, only a few states had insane asylums. By 1850, most of the Northeastern and Midwestern states' legislatures supported having asylums. As early as 1860, 23 of the 33 existing states had some sort of public institution for the insane....   [tags: Exploratory Research]

Better Essays
869 words (2.5 pages)