American Revolution Notes: Radical or Moderate Essay

1818 Words Oct 8th, 2013 8 Pages
Interpretations of America
The American Revolution: Moderate or Radical?

Some historians argue that the Revolution was solely aimed at achieving the limited goal of independence from Britain.
There was a consensus among the Americans about keeping things as they were once the break from Britain had been accomplished
The Revolution was inevitably viewed as a struggle of liberty versus tyranny between America and Britain.
The Revolution was “radical in its character,” according to Bancroft, because it hastened the advance of human beings toward a millennium of “everlasting peace” and “universal brotherhood.”
The imperial school believed that political and constitutional issues brought on the Revolution.
The Progressive historians
…show more content…
Property no longer meant simply land; it also meant personal wealth “dynamic, fluid, an evanescent… which,” claimed, unlike land “could not create personal authority or identity.” Work, not leisure, suddenly defined Americans, and most important, the Revolution gave Americans a sense of equality and “self-worth.”
This repudiation explains the overdetermined nature of the outraged response to Great Britain’s provocative policies in the years before the Revolution. They [Americans] felt the sting not only of extra taxes and burdens of maintaining the British military presence, but also the humiliation of rejection from participation in an Englishness they believed they shared.
While Breen’s revision returned to an earlier view of the ideological origins of the Revolution, nevertheless he agreed with Bailyn, Wood, and, in a modulated way, Bancroft, that the Revolution had, in the long run, radical results.
R. R. Palmer compared the intellectual and ideological trajectories from the American and French revolutions, finding more political consensus and continuity in the United States despite greater levels of inequality. In France, on the other hand, he contended that there had been less stability and more open conflict over class than in the United States.

Interpretations of America
T. H. Breen

Four new elements in particular influenced

Related Documents