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Marlborough's America$
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Stephen Saunders Webb

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300178593

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300178593.001.0001

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Alexander Spotswood: Architect of Empire

Alexander Spotswood: Architect of Empire

(p.330) Chapter Twelve Alexander Spotswood: Architect of Empire
Marlborough's America

Stephen Saunders Webb

Yale University Press

Colonel Alexander Spotswood, the royal lieutenant governor of Virginia and architect of empire, was obsessed with both foreign and domestic security. Spotswood's imperial program was hindered by a conflict between the English crown and the colonial elite that dated back to 1676. On June 21, 1710, Spotswood landed in Virginia and spent his first night at Green Spring, considered the greatest mansion in America at the time and the headquarters of the Burwell family. Since 1676, “The Green Spring faction,” American elites allied with London merchants, had resisted every governor general as a military tyrant representing a coercive sovereign and controlled the council, the burgesses, and the church when Spotswood arrived. The clash between Spotswood—the duke of Marlborough's deputy chief of staff for nine campaigns—with a feudal family faction was inevitable. By the end of his twelve-year tenure, Spotswood had restored royal authority and political stability in Virginia.

Keywords:   elites, Alexander Spotswood, Virginia, Green Spring, Burwell family, Green Spring faction, burgesses, royal authority, political stability

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