Skip to main content
Select Source:

Tidewater

TIDEWATER

TIDEWATER is a term commonly used to designate that portion of the Atlantic coastal plain lying east of the points in rivers reached by oceanic tides. This region, the first to be occupied by settlers from the Old World, slowly became an area of comparative wealth. Merchants and shippers in the towns; and planters growing tobacco, rice, indigo, and cotton, dominated the tidewater population. Since the tidewater coastal area is so narrow in New England, the terminology is more applicable elsewhere, particularly to the middle and southern Atlantic regions that were initially British colonies and the later states of the federal Union. First to settle and establish themselves economically, socially, and politically, tidewater region inhabitants secured control of the government. Almost inevitably, they used the machinery of government for their own benefit and in accordance with their own traditions and ideals, and they resisted any efforts to weaken their control. Nonetheless, the later population—composed largely of small farmers who moved out into the Piedmont region—found this governmental domination both unfair and injurious. A serious and long-standing sectional conflict resulted. Sometimes, as in the case of Bacon's Rebellion of 1676 in Virginia, the Paxton riots of 1764 in Pennsylvania, and the Regulator movement of 1768–1771 in North Carolina, the conflict resulted in open warfare. At times, manipulation and compromise kept violence down. Less violence accompanied the separation of West Virginia from the rest of Virginia in 1863 when the western counties, which had remained loyal to the Union, formed their own state. On all occasions, however, the serious conflict in ideals and interest had to be taken into consideration. The political history of the colonies, and later the states, can only be interpreted adequately in the light of this conflict.

The tidewater element of the population maintained control of the government largely by a device of disproportional representation that operated widely from Pennsylvania to Georgia. Another device was restricted suffrage, wherein a heavy property qualification benefited the wealthy of the tidewater region while it disadvantaged the poorer inhabitants of the interior. Using these devices to control the legislatures, the tidewater element pursued policies in regard to the Indians, debts, and taxes that were of most benefit to the tidewater population and therefore often injurious to the up-country population.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Kars, Marjoleine. Breaking Loose Together: The Regulator Rebellion in Pre-Revolutionary North Carolina. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Kolp, John Gilman. Gentlemen and Freeholders: Electoral Politics in Colonial Virginia. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.

Lee, Wayne E. Crowds and Soldiers in Revolutionary North Carolina: The Culture of Violence in Riot and War. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001.

Williams, John Alexander. West Virginia: A History. Morgan-town: West Virginia University Press, 2001.

Alfred P.James/a. e.

See alsoFall Line ; Indigo Culture ; Insurrections, Domestic ; Paxton Boys ; Regulators ; Rice Culture and Trade ; Tobacco Industry ; Sectionalism .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Tidewater." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Tidewater." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tidewater

"Tidewater." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved April 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tidewater

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Tidewater

TIDEWATER


Virginia's Tidewater is in the eastern part of the state and consists of the low-lying region along the Atlantic Ocean which surrounds Chesapeake Bay. The area is roughly 100 miles (160 kilometers) wide and is crisscrossed by rivers and inlets which fill when the tide rises in the Atlantic. Salt marshes and swamps are also prevalent. The area includes the Eastern Shore, the peninsula that extends southward from Maryland and juts out between Chesapeake Bay (on the west) and the Atlantic (on the east). During colonial times an aristocratic culture emerged here that became highly influential in Virginia colonial politics between 1607 and 1710. The interests of the wealthy Eastern Shore families were often in direct opposition to those of the back country settlers. In 1676 these conflicting views resulted in Bacon's Rebellion, which pit frontiersmen headed by back country leader Nathaniel Bacon (164776) against the Virginia militia organized by English Colonial Governor William Berkeley (160677). The rebellion was put down after Bacon died of dysentary. Berkeley, who had always been favorable toward the Tidewater power-bloc, was recalled to England by the king for his action.

See also: Back Country, Virginia

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Tidewater." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Tidewater." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tidewater

"Tidewater." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. . Retrieved April 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tidewater

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

tidewater

tidewater, in U.S. history, that part of the Atlantic coastal plain between the shoreline and the farthest upstream points in rivers reached by oceanic tides. In many cases the fall line is given as the western boundary. The tidewater, with its good harbors readily accessible to the ocean, was settled first by European colonists. Later the Southern tidewater became one of the many regions of large plantations as well as an area of important commercial towns.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"tidewater." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"tidewater." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tidewater

"tidewater." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tidewater

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Tidewater

Tide·wa·ter / ˈtīdˌwôtər; -ˌwätər/ (the Tidewater) coastal regions of eastern Virginia where tidal water flows up the Potomac, Rappahannock, York, James, and smaller rivers. Early 17th-century British settlement was focused here.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Tidewater." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Tidewater." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tidewater-0

"Tidewater." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved April 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tidewater-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

tidewater

tide·wa·ter • n. water brought or affected by tides. ∎  an area that is affected by tides: [as adj.] a large area of tidewater country.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"tidewater." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"tidewater." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tidewater-1

"tidewater." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved April 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tidewater-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

tidewater

tidewateraorta, daughter, exhorter, exporter, extorter, Horta, importer, mortar, porter, quarter, slaughter, snorter, sorter, sporter, supporter, three-quarter, torte, transporter, underwater, water •altar, alter, assaulter, defaulter, falter, Gibraltar, halter, Malta, palter, psalter, salter, vaulter, Walter •flaunter, haunter, saunter, taunter, vaunter •exhauster, Forster •fraudster • granddaughter •stepdaughter • manslaughter •ripsnorter • pole-vaulter • backwater •headquarter • freshwater •breakwater • rainwater • seawater •dishwater • tidewater • Whitewater •saltwater • rosewater • shearwater •firewater •doubter, grouter, outer, pouter, scouter, shouter, spouter, touter •counter, encounter, mounter •jouster, ouster •revcounter •bloater, boater, Botha, Dakota, doter, emoter, floater, gloater, iota, Kota, Minnesota, motor, promoter, quota, rota, rotor, scoter, voter •bolter, coulter (US colter), Volta •boaster, coaster, poster, roaster, toaster •roadster • oldster •bolster, holster, pollster, soulster, upholster •billposter

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"tidewater." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"tidewater." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tidewater

"tidewater." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved April 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/tidewater

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.