Virginia and Maryland in Colonial Times
Examines Gloria L. Main's "Tobacco Colony: Life in Early Maryland, 1650-1720" and Edmund S. Morgan's "American Slavery American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia".
# 67065 | 2,957 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2006 |
Published on Jun 27, 2006 in History (U.S. Colonization of North America) , English (Analysis) , English (Comparison) , African-American Studies (Slavery)
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There are numerous books available for researching the colonial period of American history. Each takes a different aspect or view of early life in the colonies and is supported by vast numbers and types of sources. The two books that are the focus of this paper attempt to illustrate the life and the development of Colonial Virginia and Maryland. The paper shows that both authors use a topical organizational pattern to frame their thoughts. The two writers diverge however when it comes to sources. Main ("Tobacco Colony: Life in Early Maryland, 1650-1720") makes extensive use of inventory and probate records, court proceedings, statutes, governmental documents and previously published works. She also uses an abundance of statistics. The paper shows that Morgan ("American Slavery American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia") relies more on journal articles and books to support his statements. Any statistical evidence he uses is isolated in the appendix where it is less distracting to the reader. Main's focus is toward "human interest" subjects (i.e. clothing styles, house furnishings); Morgan deals with issues and ideas. The paper argues that both books are excellent and present a wealth of information about the colonial era.
From the Paper:"During the depression years, both colonies made attempts to limit tobacco production and stabilize prices. Virginia's assembly proposed several methods to achieve its goals, but without cooperation from the neighboring colonies, success was elusive. Although Morgan recounts limited cooperation between the colonies that resulted in a prohibition on tobacco planting, Main's story is different. She relates that the two colonies never succeeded through cooperation to suppress tobacco production. Main tells of this problem in one short paragraph ; Morgan spends pages detailing the various actions taken by the Virginia Assembly. It appears that Main did not see inter-colonial dealing as important, but Morgan researched the point thoroughly."
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