A Constitutional Commonwealth

Time Period
16,000 BCE to 1622 CE
Media Type
Business & Industry
Politics & Government
Brent Tarter

On July 13, 2023, historian and author Brent Tarter lead a discussion of his new book, Constitutional History of Virginia, covering more than 300 years of Virginia’s legislative policy, from colony to statehood, revealing its political and legal backstory. In the only modern comprehensive constitutional history of any state, Brent Tarter traces Virginia history from the very beginning in 1606, when James I chartered the Virginia Company to establish a commercial outpost on the Atlantic coast of North America, through the first two decades of the twenty-first century, and the constitutions along the way that evolved and changed as the demographic, economic, political, and cultural characteristics of Virginia changed.

Brent Tarter is a founding editor of the Library of Virginia’s Dictionary of Virginia Biography and a cofounder of the annual Virginia Forum. He is the author of numerous books, including The Grandees of Government: The Origins and Persistence of Undemocratic Politics in Virginia; Daydreams and Nightmares: A Virginia Family Faces Secession and War; Virginians and Their Histories; and Constitutional History of Virginia.

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

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