Democratizing the Old Dominion
Civil War and Reconstruction |
Twentieth Century | Virginia
The American Revolution broke the legal and political ties
between Virginia and Great Britain, and the Virginia Constitution
of 1776 abolished the royal form of government and created a
republic. Ultimate political authority thereafter rested with the
people. Participation in political life through voting and holding
public office remained restricted to the minority of adult white
property-owning men. Political power was concentrated in the House
of Delegates, and the General Assembly elected the governor and
all the judges. Local government continued to be dominated by the
justices of the peace, who were appointed by the governor. Yet
after the Revolution Virginians from many walks of life took a
keen interest in public affairs in the state and in the new
nation, and Virginians helped create the first American political
Virginia was the largest state at
of the Revolution.
Map of the United States in North America.
By Thomas Kitchin Sr. 1783.
Revolution Political Leaders