Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas D. Knight

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Waite

Third Advisor

Dr. Russell K. Skowronek


In this thesis I examine how the issue of debt contributed to the political tensions between the New England region and the Chesapeake region during the Revolutionary Age. The merging of the two regions’ economies into one federal union caused political divisions, which remained beyond the period of the Early Republic. Examining the cultural attitudes of each region towards debt provides a better understanding of the political problems between these two regions. The integration of the consignment culture of the Southern states with the Puritan ethic of the New England states caused economic difficulties for the young Republic. The research uses the financial lives of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson as a lens with which to examine their respective cultural attitudes towards money and debt.


Copyright 2015 Martha Salazar Cantu. All Rights Reserved.