Virginia Joins the Revolution: A Reconsideration

Since this post has pretty much nothing to do with Colvins, you have my permission to turn away. However, if you’re interested….

I’m working on a lengthy Capstone paper (think Graduate course lite) which re-examines Virginia’s entrance into the Revolution.  Here’s my thesis:

Virginia’s entrance into the Revolution has often been miscast as a result of disparate events such as a reaction by embittered investors in land schemes, and Dunmore’s War. True, settlers’ push for land beyond the Proclamation line of 1763 and the Indian reprisals it fomented played significant roles which helped ignite Dunmore’s War. Yet, unto themselves – or even combined – these events do not fully explain Virginia’s joining the independence movement. There were additional compelling factors such as the drive for religion liberty and the weakness of the imperial state. These additional factors, however, are often overlooked but which served as part of a confluence of events which ultimately drove Virginia toward colonial independence from Brittan which newer studies have begun to explore.

This essay proposes to both re-consider the miscast roles played by some events and to include those which were also part of a larger, complex web of events leading Virginia inexorably into the Revolution. By demonstrating that it was several factors – not just one or two –which drew Virginia into the independence movement, a clearer understanding of the road to revolution by one of British North America’s oldest and largest colonies will become more apparent.

This is what you get to deal with as a senior at a Tier One University and sign up for a Capstone course with one of the nation’s top scholars in American Revolutionary military history, Dr. James Kirby Martin.  You get to write lengthy papers. Really lengthy papers. And do research in primary sources which just may completely up-end what you thought you knew.  Would I have it any other way? No. Ah, the joys of being a budding Historian. Who knew thinking could be so thrilling?

Update  5/2/15  The full completed paper is available in downloadable PDF format on my profile here:


About Alex Colvin

Senior, History, minoring in Anthropology, University of Houston. Charter President, Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society, (Webb UH Main 2014-2015) University of Houston. Additional credentials can be found in the CV / Services tab.
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