“Post-Revolutionary Degeneracy”


in Beneath the Ivory Tower

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034225
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039602 | DOI:
“Post-Revolutionary Degeneracy”

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In 1776, patriotic fervor was ubiquitous in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. This patriotic enthusiasm apparently possessed a down side: the resistance to British authority was cited by some at the academy to have incited “post-Revolutionary degeneracy” among the students. Despite a written code of conduct, numerous breaches occurred at this and other academies located throughout the thirteen colonies. The reaction of the academic administration to these breaches was reflected in the manipulation of the Liberty Hall Academy landscape. Ultimately, college students were awarded freedom from such scrutiny into their after-class lives, beginning after the mid-nineteenth century. This period was a time of negotiation and boundary experimentation, which is preserved in the landscape and archaeology of today's Washington and Lee University (W&L). The landscape of W&L is distinctive because its landscape of control has been minimally impacted by the school's subsequent endurance and growth.

Keywords: Shenandoah Valley; patriotism; post-Revolutionary degeneracy; Liberty Hall Academy; archaeology; Washington and Lee University; colonies; Britain; Virginia

Chapter.  5235 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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