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Rebels RisingCities and the American Revolution$
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Benjamin L. Carp

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304022

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304022.001.0001

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CHANGING OUR HABITATION

CHANGING OUR HABITATION

The Revolutionary Movement in Charleston's

Chapter:
(p.143) Chapter 4 CHANGING OUR HABITATION
Source:
Rebels Rising
Author(s):

Benjamin L. Carp (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304022.003.0005

Urban townhouses framed many important aspects of urban life, including consumption, gender and race relations, and paternal authority. The wealthiest Charleston residents sat atop the pyramid of colonial patriarchal society, and they built grand houses that bespoke their mastery and refinement. Wealthy elite masters like Henry Laurens clung to traditional notions of patriarchal regulation to keep their houses and cities in order. These elite city dwellers found it difficult to maintain rigid, patriarchal domination and social control when rioters might pressure their neighbors who supported obnoxious British policies, when slaves might revolt or run away, and when women asserted their decision‐making power. The imperial crisis caused social unrest that gave the urban gentry several reasons to feel less secure about their households. As the revolutionary movement spread, Charlestonians negotiated with one another about the proper arrangement of their households and the appropriate limits of mobilization.

Keywords:   Charleston, households, consumption, refinement, women, slavery, patriarchy, social control, Henry Laurens

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