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Unformatted text preview: legislative wing was overseen by a group of royal governors, and ultimately under the absolute rule of the imperial monarch. Such an absolute hierarchy was weakened by the progress of the English Civil War, and by the time of the Glorious Revolution the House of Burgesses enjoyed more autonomy than ever before. During colonial times, the Commonwealth of Virginia was an empire within a larger empire, maintaining claims to various portions of the American continent, and populated by a small cadre of powerful landowners who furthered their economic interests through the use of chattel slavery. Gradually, an established aristocracy entrenched itself in the agriculturally rich Tidewater region. This was the Virginia that Thomas Jefferson was born into....
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- Fall '08