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Dominion of Memories Jefferson, Madison and the Decline of Virginia

ISBN-10: 0465003567
ISBN-13: 9780465003563
Edition: N/A
Authors: Susan Dunn
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Description: For a Time the Commonwealth of Virginia led the nation. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Marshall--each came from the state. For thirty-two of the first thirty-six years of the existence of the American republic, a Virginian held the office  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.99
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 3/25/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

For a Time the Commonwealth of Virginia led the nation. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Marshall--each came from the state. For thirty-two of the first thirty-six years of the existence of the American republic, a Virginian held the office of President. And yet by the middle of the nineteenth century, Virginia was little more than a byword for slavery, provincialism, and poverty. What happened? In Dominion of Memories, historian Susan Dunn chronicles the precipitous decline of the nation's most promising state. While the North rapidly industrialized and democratized, Virginia lay captive to a firmly entrenched political elite that turned its back on the accelerating modern world. Two of Virginia's greatest sons, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, both observed and exemplified this divergence. Towards the end of his life, Jefferson became first and foremost a Virginian as he retreated from his earlier cosmopolitism in favor of an agrarian ideal. Madison, on the other hand, rejected this vision and warned Virginians that their burgeoning parochialism would lead ultimately to disunion. This enthralling examination of the competing claims of country and homeland encapsulates in the history of a single state the struggle of an entire nation drifting inexorably towards Civil War.

Susan Dunn is a professor of French literature and the history of ideas at Williams College. She is the author most recently of The Death of Louis XIV: Regicide & the French political Imagination. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Prologue
The Cult of the Soil
The Cankers of Indolence and Slavery
"Let Us Have Our Own Schools"
Roads, Canals, Railroads: Moving in Place
Deluded Citizens Clamoring for Banks
The Case of Virginia v. John Marshall
Another Constitutional Convention
Tariff Wars
Abolitionists and Other Enemies
Epilogue: Jefferson and Virginia, a Hundred Years Later
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

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