The American Revolution: A Radical Movement

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The American Revolution is an integral event in modern history. It set the wheels in motion for practically every political and social order we take for granted today. The American Revolution was fundamentally a radical movement because of its democratic ideals, its separation of church and state, and its unifying of the rich and poor through the ideals of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Prior to the revolution, American society reflected its mother country. Gordon Wood writes: “we have often overlooked how dominantly British and traditional the colonists’ culture still was." In his “Testimony Against the Stamp Act”, when asked about American’s greatest source of pride prior to the Revolution, Benjamin Franklin replied, “To indulge …show more content…

addressed this aspect of Colonial society: “And yet there are scarce two of these who do not think the least familiarity with the persons below them a condescension, and, if they were to go up one step further, a …show more content…

Left with the task of forging the first democratic nation in many centuries, the founding fathers delicately pieced together a government inspired by the ideals of the Revolution. On this pubescent time period, Merill Jensen writes: “an attempt was made to write democratic ideals and theories of government into the laws and constitutions of the American states.” The founders made the radical choice to separate church and state. In a draft of his bill establishing religious freedom, Jefferson wrote: “WE the General Assembly of Virginia do enact that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship.” The result of the Revolution was a united push for radical political and social changes that changed history. In his essay, The War for Independence was not a Social Revolution, “Zinn concludes that the American Revolution was really a successful effort to preserve America’s status quo.” Zinn believed that the “contest itself was generally a struggle for office and power between members of an upper class.” These views complement those of Andrew Hacker who concludes, “It was over colonial manufacturing, wild lands and furs, sugar, wine, tea, and currency, all of which mean, simply, the survival or collapse of English mercantile capitalism within the imperial-colonial framework of the mercantilist

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