Revolution Of Interest Analysis

893 Words 4 Pages
Revolutions of Interest

Gordon Wood and Gary Nash offered two different claims about the radical ideas of the American Revolution and who had them. Wood proposed the revolution derived from the more elite in society, wealthier land owning white men. It was between Patriots and Courtiers. Courtiers were those who wished to maintain the rule of Great Britain, in order that social position should derive from the King and aristocracy. While Patriots desired talent and merit, along with recognition from the people, should determine the stature of an individual. Nash postulated the real revolution ideas came from those most dissatisfied by the status quo. This “radicalism” took the form of many revolutions which stirred suppressed groups within
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Noting the revolution was about ending dependencies on artificial societal rank, he pointed out slaves had the most “dependent status in a hierarchy of dependencies,” creating moral duty to confront this institution. While this was true, it does not paint the entirety of the picture. The revolution was a bit more nuanced. It was not simply a step toward more freedom for all. In many circumstances the different interests came into to conflict with one another. As white Patriots fought for their liberty, they found themselves on the opposite side of blacks fighting for their own freedom. In Virginia, as Nash noted, John Murray, earl of Dunmore, decided “to arm all my Negroes and receive all others that will come to me whom I shall declare free.” If black slave took up arms and aided in suppressing the Patriots cries for liberty, they would gain their freedom. While the Patriots fought for the cause liberty, they consequently fought for the re-enslavement of many blacks. These goals directly clashed with one another. Very clearly showing that there were two different revolutions occurring, it was not a homogenous struggle for independence, but different ones. One group could be independent without the other being …show more content…
It is very difficult for a man to demand his own liberty, but not the liberty of the person standing next to him. All the arguments put forth for their independence were available to enslaved blacks, embattled Indians, and women. The hypocrisy of denying them rights became ever more apparent. Most blatantly, as Nash pointed out, in the correspondences between John and Abigail Adams. In 1776, Abigail wrote, “[We] will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” Echoing the rhetoric of Patriots against the stamp act. As Americans were subjects of Great Britain, women were unrepresented subjects of their husbands. Her notions of the rights of women were meaningless to him. She was utterly frustrated at his dismissive reply to her demand of laws “upon just and liberal principles.”However, their interests differed. The men striving for liberty from the crown had been the ones imposing their own tyrannical rule on women. Many still used the “rule of thumb” for discipling their wife physically. However, Nash explained that women pushed against this hierarchical structure. For example, Mercy Otis Warren constructed two plays mocking Loyalists, including Governor Thomas Hutchinson, an unprecedented venture into politics for a female. Eventually, they would

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