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Beneath the Ivory TowerThe Archaeology of Academia$
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Russell K. Skowronek and Kenneth E. Lewis

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034225

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034225.001.0001

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“Post-Revolutionary Degeneracy”

“Post-Revolutionary Degeneracy”

Washington and Lee University’s Landscape of Control

(p.164) 9 “Post-Revolutionary Degeneracy”
Beneath the Ivory Tower


University Press of Florida

In 1776, patriotic fervor was ubiquitous in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. This patriotic enthusiasm apparently possessed a down side: the resistance to British authority was cited by some at the academy to have incited “post-Revolutionary degeneracy” among the students. Despite a written code of conduct, numerous breaches occurred at this and other academies located throughout the thirteen colonies. The reaction of the academic administration to these breaches was reflected in the manipulation of the Liberty Hall Academy landscape. Ultimately, college students were awarded freedom from such scrutiny into their after-class lives, beginning after the mid-nineteenth century. This period was a time of negotiation and boundary experimentation, which is preserved in the landscape and archaeology of today's Washington and Lee University (W&L). The landscape of W&L is distinctive because its landscape of control has been minimally impacted by the school's subsequent endurance and growth.

Keywords:   Shenandoah Valley, patriotism, post-Revolutionary degeneracy, Liberty Hall Academy, archaeology, Washington and Lee University, colonies, Britain, Virginia

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