Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




M Boyd Coyner, Jr


This dissertation offers the first full-length study of the Richmond Junto and its role in shaping politics in Virginia between 1815 and 1845. The Junto led the Jacksonian movement in Virginia and worked successfully to keep the state allied with the Democratic party of andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren until the early 1840s. The Junto represented an influential force in Virginia politics during this transitional period, and to a certain extent this small group of men, led by Thomas Ritchie, Peter V. Daniel, andrew Stevenson, William H. Roane, and Richard E. Parker, epitomized the state's response to the turbulent events of the era. its actions were expressive of the way in which Virginians chose to come to terms with the changes in American politics and society during the Age of Jackson.;The Junto's course was marked by ambivalence. It sought, for instance, to preserve both the rights of the states and a strong federal Union, and to revive Virginia's influence at the national level without compromising the state's political principles. to achieve these goals, the group consistently articulated a traditional states' rights position, but also moved to adopt the modern features of the second party system. This strategy produced mixed results. The Junto managed to maintain influence in the state for nearly three decades, and Virginia never cast its presidential ballot for a Whig candidate. at the same time, bitter factionalism and violent partisan debate came to characterize Virginia politics in the years after 1832.;The goal of this study is to reveal the pivotal role played by the Richmond Junto in defining and shaping political debate in Jacksonian Virginia. It offers an analysis of the group's political ideology and its methods of operation, as well as a discussion of the Junto's objectives, accomplishments, and failures.



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