Crane Brinton: The American Revolution

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Often times, the definition of a true “revolution” may seem rather skewed. Societies have the tendency to label certain changes as complete revolutions, even though not much among the people may have changed. The historian Crane Brinton believes that a true revolution is one in which there is “an overall restructuring of the political, social, and economic fabric of a society”. The definition that Brinton provides perfectly fits with the story of the American revolution. The American revolution was not something that happened overnight. Many changes took place in a sequence of events that ultimately got America to where it is today. These changes took place both among the colonists themselves, defined as an internal revolution, as well as …show more content…
From the start, elites had control of various aspects of the society, whether it be the government, the religious center, or the economy. The majority of the population, which was made up of lower class men, did not have as much of a role in these various roles. However, this hierarchal structure exhibited in the colonial society began to change around 1730. The Great Awakening lead to a completely new and dynamic way of looking at religion. Between the early 18th century to the early 19th century, the common people began to drift away from the established churches in the colonies, primarily the congregationalist church. This rejection of the established church systems lead people to form their own religious path. People claimed that they had been “reborn” and were now “new lights” looking to pursue their religious freedoms. This idea greatly challenged the religious elites of the time because more and more people were becoming preachers, and people began to see everyone as being “equal in the eyes of God”. This influenced the internal revolution because religion went from something that was once entirely run by an elite group of religious leaders to something that any individual could pursue. Another event that changed the course of the internal revolution was a later change in the social and political parts of society. Starting in Wethersfield, Connecticut around 1740, the hierarchal system of the elites and the common people began to reform. Within the colonial congress, laws passed that permitted an overall greater inclusiveness of the common people into society, and it generally tightened the gap between the two groups. Socially, common people were included more in society, and their status was based on their talents and attributes as opposed to their wealth. In the government, people began to take on certain positions, and there was more

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