Reply To: Lecture 2: Virginia and the Cavaliers


Good question. Generally, the gentlemen of cavalier society did not want to be seen as money grubbing merchants. They were gentlemen in the old sense, i.e. a landed aristocracy, who did not “participate” in commerce. As for the displays of wealth, yes, land could be used to display wealth and power, but it even went to little things like having ornate capitals on balustrades to demonstrate that they owned the home debt free. Ostentatious displays of wealth were quite common among the cavalier elite.