Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Carolyn Eastman


This thesis examines how churches and taverns became sites for political discussion and organizing during the Revolutionary era, 1765-1780. Taverns had long served a role in Virginians’ lives by providing places where news was exchanged and discussed, but with the political upheaval between the colonies and Great Britain many of the activities and discussions that took place there became far more politically charged. Analyzing churches and their role within the revolutionary era demonstrates that Virginia’s revolutionary leaders used an institution deeply rooted in their society to further political activism by Virginians and Virginia’s provisional government. But in several ways the Revolution also wrought profound changes with regard to religious liberty and social hierarchy. Through the study of both churches and taverns this study reveals new insights about how these institutions served overlapping and sometimes parallel roles by providing spaces for meetings, discussions, and the exchange of information—as well as new sources of political debate.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Saturday, May 08, 2021