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Wellspring of LibertyHow Virginia's Religious Dissenters Helped Win the American Revolution and Secured Religious Liberty$
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John A. Ragosta

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388060

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388060.001.0001

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British Plans for Success

British Plans for Success

Chapter:
(p.71) 3 British Plans for Success
Source:
Wellspring of Liberty
Author(s):

John A. Ragosta (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388060.003.0004

While Virginia's establishment was forced to negotiate with its religious dissenters to encourage mobilization, and while Britain had historically been associated with protecting dissenter interests in the late colonial period, Britain did not effectively use religion to encourage loyalty. Lord Dunmore was ineffective in rallying loyalists in Virginia, especially after he supported mobilization of slaves and Indians, and apparently did not understand the serious problem of dissent in Virginia. More generally, British officials, convinced by loyalists that dissenters had played a leading role in fomenting rebellion, planned to win the war and establish the Anglican Church even more fully in America, preventing any serious effort to use British protection of religious dissent to encourage loyalty. Reports that Britain used John Wesley to encourage loyalism among American Methodists are ill‐founded but indicative of the deep concerns of Virginia's establishment.

Keywords:   American Revolution, loyalists, Britain, John Wesley, Carlisle Commission, North Carolina Regulators, Lord Dunmore, Virginia

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