Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. W. Harrison Daniel

Second Advisor

Dr. John L. Gordon

Third Advisor

Dr. Ernest C. Bolt, Jr.


This thesis explores the political and economic factors in the growth of Fredericksburg, Virginia during the twenty years preceding the Civil War. The town's population growth is examined in relation to occupations, wealth, status, and both the political and economic patterns of living during the period. The impact of the competition with other Virginia towns and the successes and failures of the town as it slowly moved away from being a commercial center toward becoming chiefly concerned with manufacturing is explored. Information on Fredericksburg was obtained primarily from the United States census, public documents, memoirs and newspapers. The data was gathered and computed by the author offering a detailed statistical view of the town during the period.

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