Analysis Of Gordon Wood 's The Radicalism Of The American Revolution Essay

Analysis Of Gordon Wood 's The Radicalism Of The American Revolution Essay

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In Gordon Wood’s The Radicalism of the American Revolution, Wood explains how the American Revolution was different than any of the other revolutions that had taken place before. He states that it was unlike any other prior revolution in the way that it changed the “personal and social relationships of people,” (Wood 7). Colonial America had many characteristics of a true pre-modern society and two of them were hierarchical structure and extended families. Hierarchical structure, borrowed from the English, was extremely essential to colonial America. It was so significant that much of their society was based on the order of the social classes. The same also went for extended families. A characteristic of pre-modern societies, extended families made the wheels of colonial America turn smoothly.
One of Wood’s reasons that colonial America was a pre-modern society is because of its hierarchical structure. Throughout the chapter “Hierarchy”, Wood explores this structure and how traditional it was. Wood continuously reminds the readers of the fact that “in some respects colonial society [is] more traditional than that of the mother country,” (Wood 12). Hierarchy was very ingrained into the colonists’ minds and since the colonists were still subjects of the King of England, they followed much of the monarchial structure that was set in England. The monarchial structure is essentially the same as hierarchy, except with one person at the top instead of a group of people. Wood notes that the colonists had no other social system to derive from than England’s, so many similarities between both societies existed. Also, the fact that Americans were fascinated by the King and perhaps more patriotic than the English people became a large part...


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...ng heirs. All three of these practices were borrowed from the English and are also characteristics of a pre-modern society. These societies circled around extended families and households making it essential that everything stayed within them.
Back then England was the most powerful country in the world. All of the colonists came from this country, and henceforth followed many of England’s legal practices as well as traditions. Americans have borrowed much from Britain starting with its courtroom attire to its social positions. There were many similarities between both cultures. Throughout his book, Wood lists several reasons proving why colonial America was pre-modern. Hierarchical structure and extended families were central to many of his arguments. These two reasons make up the base of a pre-modern society. They are intertwined in more ways than one can imagine.

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