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Urban Dreams, Rural Commonwealth – The Rise of Plantation Society in the Chesapeake - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Urban Dreams, Rural Commonwealth: The Rise of Plantation Society in the Chesapeake

Paul Musselwhite


This book argues that repeated waves of frustrated urban development in the colonial Chesapeake region were critical to framing the political and economic structures of the region’s plantation society. Although the early Chesapeake never boasted major cities, intense debates over the spaces, processes, and consequences of urbanization between imperial officials, English merchants, and colonial factions persisted over two centuries. This was because, rather than being simply the product of deterministic geographic, social, and economic forces, towns and cities were institutional and legal forms ... More

Keywords: Chesapeake, urban corporations, commonwealth, political economy, plantation system, mercantilism, English Empire, Virginia, Maryland

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780226585284
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226585314.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul Musselwhite, author
Dartmouth College