From Conflict to Culture: A Literary Study of Colonial South Carolina's Economic Societies.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Colonial South Carolinas evolution into a prosperous and dynamic cultural entity was not without considerable struggle. The Fundamental Constitutions as designed by Locke and Shaftesbury created a manorial-plantation system that, while never fully implemented, provided for planter control of the systems of distribution and made few, if any, provisions for a merchant-urban class. This theoretical rift, coupled with the unparalleled growth of the Charles Town urban center, created an economic struggle that manifested itself in social, political, and theological conflicts. While historians, such as Robert Weir, have captured much of the political nature of these controversies, a significant assortment of writing in the period captures much of the cultural and theoretical concerns. These essays, pamphlets, letters, and reports, which I collectively term professional writing, capture the factionalization inherent in the conflicts of the Proprietary period, but most importantly they give the literary historian a true picture of the consensus that emerged in colonial South Carolina about the time of the Revolution of 1719.
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