The American Revolution: A Revolutionary Revolution?

720 Words3 Pages
A Revolutionary Revolution? The American Revolution is an odd form of revolution; that is because it was not particularly revolutionary. Compared to revolutions in France and Russia, it was downright mundane. Unlike in the French and Russian revolutions life in this new American country changed little from life during the colonial period. The social structure, political inner-workings, and ideological identity changed little. One way the US lacked changed was in its social structure. The American Revolution was not a war fought between the upper and lower classes; it was a war between colonies and their mother country. Thus, there was no rearranged social hierarchy. The wealthy stayed wealthy, the poor stayed poor, and the powerful stayed…show more content…
Before the war the colonies practiced self-government. This was usually done with legislatures such as the House of Burgesses in Virginia. In New England, Puritans practiced self-government by employing meetinghouses where citizens could meet and discuss and debate community issues. This changed little after the war. The states were still governed by their existing legislatures. Although the states now had to draft constitutions, they were drafted in a way as to institute little change. The prime examples of this are Connecticut and Rhode Island who only slightly modified their colonial charters. In a way this slight modification represents how America as a whole responded politically to becoming a new nation. Everybody changed as little as possible. This is in stark contrast to other revolutions, where the victorious revolutionaries changed radically the old government and political structure. In keeping with little to no change on a political level, the same political characters existed and they still worked the same way. They still held national conventions like they had done during the…show more content…
Though the revolutionaries were proponents of ideas that were revolutionary and radical at the time, they were not new ideas. Natural rights and the social contract theory had been around since their creation during the European enlightenment. They were the ideas of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, not Jefferson and Franklin. Also during the revolution we see the idea of republican motherhood appear. Republican motherhood is the philosophy that it is a mother’s job to teach her children the principles of republicanism. It may be argued by some that republican motherhood represented a change in a woman’s role in society, but it is quite the contrary. Women had always been in charge of rearing and teaching the children. This was simply a new idea mothers were supposed to teach their children, not a new way of treating
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