The Rise of Aristocracy in American History November 13 2013

The state of Virginia began its storied history as a charter colony and didn't become a British crown colony until 1624 when the charter holder went bankrupt. The largely fragmented colony began to see success with the arrival of Colonel Richard Lee I in 1639. A society developed, an aristocracy of wealthy landowners formed, and political machinations became a focal point of aristocratic life.

The complex social and political structure in Virginia likely contributed to the colony's significant role in the American Revolution. Revolutionary leaders including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and Richard Henry Lee of the famous Lee family, were of Virginia stock. Virginians were instrumental in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, cementing a place in American history for eternity.

The Birth of Virginia's Aristocracy by James C. Thompson II explores the evolution of Virginian society from a fledgling colony to a powerful commonwealth. The book zeroes in on the political machinations of the Lee family and other Virginian landowners as they play powerful leaders against each other and take sides in British civil disputes. The first installment in the Pocketbook Illustrated Histories series masterfully weaves a tapestry of intrigue, politics, and alliances.

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