During the Revolution, there were social changes that affected several different races, classes and genders. The four groups that the Revolution had an effect on the social changes were: white men, White women, Black Americans, and Native Americas. With the Revolution effecting the white men by “wearing homespun clothing in support of boycotts of British goods (Boyer, “Defining Nationhood”, p. 128). When the Virginia planters organized militia companies in 1775, they wore plain hunting shirts so that they didn’t embarrass the poorest farmer for his clothes so that they could enlist” (Boyer, “Defining Nationhood”, p. 128). While men were out in the war the “women stayed home and managed families, households, farms and businesses on their own” (Boyer, “Defining Nationhood”, P. 129). For the Black Americans, it started to show others that slavery was not a good thing. “The war, nevertheless, presented new opportunities to African-Americans” (Boyer, “Defining Nationhood”, P. 130). “The slaves were even trying to escape as all the confusion that was going on and pose as a freeman” (Boyer, “Defining Nationhood”, p. 130). Even though the Revolution showed new opportunities to the African-Americans it “didn’t end slavery nor brought equality to free blacks, but it did begin a process by which slavery could be extinguished” (Boyer “Defining Nationhood”, p.
Many revolutions have taken place throughout history, ranging from the unremarkable to the truly memorable, such as the French Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution and the American Revolution. Through an examination of the social, cultural, economic and political causes of the American Revolution, an exploration of key arguments both for and against the American Revolution, and an analysis of the social, cultural, economic and political changes brought about by the American Revolution it can be demonstrated unequivocally that the American Revolution was indeed truly revolutionary.
“If we measure the radicalism of revolutions by the degree of social misery or economic deprivation suffered, or by the number of people killed or manor houses burned, then this conventional emphasis on the conservatism of the American Revolution becomes true enough. B...
“The Revolution was the most radical and far reaching event in American history.” This is the premise of Gordon S. Wood’s book The Radicalism of the American Revolution. Within these pages Wood attempts to prove that the American Revolution was radical because it fundamentally changed the social and political structures of colonial America, structures that had always been fused together. Accordingly, he asserts that the separation of these institutions forms the basis of his argument for radicalism.
During the midst of the American Revolution, revolutionary leaders realized that in order to survive, a government must be established. They no longer had reliance on Great Britain. They must develop a government that is not only sustainable, but one that would not resemble the governance of Britain. As a result, a radical ideology called “republicanism” arose. Republicanism would forever be ingrained in the history of America. Republicanism was “a way of life, a core ideology, an uncompromising commitment to liberty and equality.”
In this volume Foner presents his answer to the generational question pondered by historians, about whether or not the American Revolution was really a revolution at all in the true sense of the word. That is a class struggle, aimed at leveling the playing field of democracy in the country, or purely a political quarrel between England and her American colonies. He concludes that the revolution was most assuredly a class struggle of this ilk; one to determine “who would rule at home”, as he quoted from the noted progressive historian Carl Becker in the preface. He asserts ...
Wood’s work to be illuminating, it is not free from shortcoming, Firstly, while he does place focus on certain political and economic factors, some issues and groups need could have been given more attention. With just two paragraphs focusing on slavery and no significant research regarding the lower class, both of which being essential ingredients of the American Revolution. Consequently, he chose to place his crosshairs on the elites and nobles, overlooking the role of the silent and forgotten majority. Secondly, he avoids talking about the reason and circumstances American Revolution end and opts to instead illustrate the extent of effect and benefits the radicalness of the revolution has had on modern American society. Nevertheless, these criticisms hardly touch the great perspectives laid out in this book. Dr. Wood presents American Revolution and more so the concept radicalism from a historical perspective which is as comprehensive as it is insightfully
The problem with society during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was the equality of all persons was few and far between. The bourgeoisie was in control of all the power and the proletariats were basically under their control. It was as if the bourgeoisie “originated out of the old medieval peasant class, in opposition to the medieval titled aristocracy.” [ii] They had taken over everything; the oppressed class lived by their rules and ways of life. Their way of life was not a happy one; family was based upon money instead of love. “Capital developed in the same proportion as the class of laborers developed.” ii Life then seemed simple for those living the life of the bourgeoisie, b...
During the 1700s, the Enlightenment had brought an increasing amount of new ideas about how the government should be operating in relation to those people of respective communities. It was these Enlightenment thinkers of this time that brought drastic new ideas to light. They were men like Denis Diderot who discussed ideas about “natural law”and questioned the authority allegedly given to the kings by God. He wrote that “[people] have the most sacred natural right to everything that is not disputed by the rest of the species”. Or there was Abbe Raynal, who communicated that “natural liberty is a right granted by nature to every man”. Thinkers like these two men were leaders in the Enlightenment age, who would eventually influence not only people all over Europe but those in colonies like America and Saint-Domingue...
When one explains his or her ingenious yet, enterprising interpretation, one views the nature of history from a single standpoint: motivation. In The American Revolution: A History, Gordon Wood, the author, explains the complexities and motivations of the people who partook in the American Revolution, and he shows the significance of numerous themes, that emerge during the American Revolution, such as democracy, discontent, tyranny, and independence. Wood’s interpretation, throughout his literary work, shows that the true nature of the American Revolution leads to the development of United State’s current government: a federal republic. Wood, the author, views the treatment of the American Revolution in the early twentieth century as scholastic yet, innovative and views the American Revolution’s true nature as
Gordon Wood’s Radicalism of the American Revolution is a book that extensively covers the origin and ideas preceding the American Revolution. Wood’s account of the Revolution goes beyond the history and timeline of the war and offers a new encompassing look inside the social ideology and economic forces of the war. Wood explains in his book that America went through a two-stage progression to break away from the Monarchical rule of the English. He believes the pioneering revolutionaries were rooted in the belief of an American Republic. However, it was the radical acceptance of democracy that was the final step toward independence. The transformation between becoming a Republic, to ultimately becoming a democracy, is where Wood’s evaluation of the revolution differs from other historians. He contributes such a transformation to the social and economic factors that faced the colonists. While Gordon Wood creates a persuasive argument in his book, he does however neglect to consider other contributing factors of the revolution. It is these neglected factors that provide opportunity for criticism of his book.
In Gordon S. Wood’s The Radicalism of the American Revolution, a new, postmodern take on what the word ‘radicalism’ really means. He focuses on not only the political and social effects of the American Revolution, but also on its lasting contributions to American society. Wood uses a fresh- but still knowledgeable- point of view while making his claims, and uses examples to support these claims. The biggest weakness of the source is that it is a secondary source that was created over two decades after the American Revolution ended, creating a lack of firsthand primary knowledge given in the
The start of the American Revolution, described by Edmund Morgan as, “the shot heard around the world,” was the “Americans’ search for principles” (Bender 63). Although the world’s colonies did not necessarily seek independence much like the Americans, the world’s colonies were nonetheless tired of the “administrative tyranny” being carried out by their colonizers (Bender 75). The American Revolution set a new standard in the colonies, proclaiming that the “rights of Englishmen” should and must be the “rights of man,” which established a new set foundation for the universal rights of man (Bender 63). This revolution spread new ideas of democracy for the colonized world, reshaping people’s expectations on how they should be governed. Bender emphasizes America as challenging “the old, imperial social forms and cultural values” and embracing modern individualism” (Bender 74). Bender shapes the American Revolution as a turning point for national governments. The American Revolution commenced a new trend of pushing out the old and introducing new self-reliant systems of government for the former
The American Revolution marked the divorce of the British Empire and its one of the most valued colonies. Behind the independence that America had fought so hard for, there emerged a diverging society that was eager to embrace new doctrines. The ideals in the revolution that motivated the people to fight for freedom continued to influence American society well beyond the colonial period. For example, the ideas borrowed from John Locke about the natural rights of man was extended in an unsuccessful effort to include women and slaves. The creation of state governments and the search for a national government were the first steps that Americans took to experiment with their own system. Expansion, postwar depression as well as the new distribution of land were all evidence that pointed to the gradual maturing of the economic system. Although America was fast on its way to becoming a strong and powerful nation, the underlying issues brought about by the Revolution remained an important part in the social, political and economical developments that in some instances contradicted revolutionary principles in the period from 1775-1800.