Date of Award

Summer 1986

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Richard A. Rutyna

Committee Member

Peter C. Stewart

Committee Member

Patrick Rollins

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H47 C47


This study sought to determine whether the Revolution had a revolutionary effect on Norfolk as measured by changes in the wealth and occupation of common councilmen, the nature of politics, and the formal structure of the government of the borough. The politics, politicians, and governmental structure of Norfolk twenty years before the Revolution were compared to the politics, politicians, and governmental structure twenty years after the Revolution. The data for the study were drawn from damage claims, newspapers, wills, probate records, tax records, personal papers, travel accounts, petitions submitted to the General Assembly, statutes and ordinances, and other public records. The study found that the war changed the political climate, governmental structure, and personnel who held office in the borough. The men who served after the war held less wealth, reflected a greater number of occupations, and were less well "connected" than the earlier councilmen. The postwar common councilmen were elected rather than appointed. The political climate after the war was not marked by the intense factional rivalries that had existed before the war. However, these changes were not revolutionary. The pattern of Norfolk politics twenty years after the war was still very similar to that which had existed twenty years before the war.


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