*Abbreviations under the "Available" column: A = Available // NA = Not Available // R = Previously Registered // WL = Currently on the Wait List

Virginia, 1688-1781: The Golden Age of Colonial Virginia

This course covers the transition of Virginia from an English Colony to an independent nation. The emphasis will be on the growth of the slave-based plantation society and the expansion of the colony from Tidewater to Piedmont and the Southside, and over into the Valley of Virginia. The emergence of Great Britain after the Act of Union (1707) will open the colony to new colonists from Scotland, Ireland, and the German states. By the mid-eighteenth century, Virginia is the largest, most populous, and most prosperous North American colony. We shall pay special attention to the development of distinctly Virginia versions of English political institutions—the county court, parish vestry, and the General Assembly. These changes will lead the Virginia gentry to be both the most ardent admirers of English government and the most determined to preserve those rights in Virginia during the breakdown of the Empire after 1763. This leads to Virginians’ vital role in the War for Independence ending at Yorktown in 1781 and the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

Instructor Bio:

D. Alan Williams is an Associate Professor Emeritus of history at UVA. His BA is from Westminster College; his PhD is from Northwestern. He taught colonial American and Virginia history at UVa from 1957 to 1998.

Recommended Reading:

Morgan, Edmund S. American Slavery, American Freedom, 2003. Selby, John E. The Revolution in Virginia, 1775-1983, 2007. Wallenstein, Peter. Cradle of America: Four Centuries of Virginia History, 2007.

Course Number Instructor Dates Day Time Location Available
B22 D. Alan Williams Nov 1, 8, 15, 29, Dec 6, 13 We 1:00-2:30 p.m. Unity of Charlottesville WL

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