Radicalism Of American Revolut


“Radicalism of the American Revolution” By Gordon S. Wood Gordon Wood’s Radicalism of the American Revolution is a book that extensively covers the origin and ideas preceding the American Revolution. Wood’s account of the Revolution goes beyond the history and timeline of the war and offers a new encompassing look inside the social ideology and economic forces of the war. Wood explains in his book that America went through a two-stage progression to break away from the Monarchical rule of the English. He believes the pioneering revolutionaries were rooted in the belief of an American Republic. However, it was the radical acceptance of democracy that was the final step toward independence. ...

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one gets from reading Wood’s book is that republicanism was not a radical concept to the American colonists. Wood believed the American colonists had a deep- rooted concept of Republicanism that existed before revolutionary ideas were conceived. The idea of republicanism could be seen in the colonial belief in independence and self-sacrifice. These principles were the founding forces that led to the beginning of the revolution. Wood would seem to believe that these founding forces Smith pg.2 were not as radical as the transformation to democratic thought. It is here that Wood points out the “uncontrollable” social and economic forces that leads republican thought to the progression of democracy. Wood believes the revolution was meant for the elite (gentlemen) and not for the colonists themselves. It is the colonist self-motivated social and economic interests, which leads to the transformation they had been yearning for. Wood contributes several different social and economic factors ...

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constitution was created or because a few leaders formed a Smith pg.3 national bank, but because ordinary people, hundreds of thousands of them began working harder to make money and ‘get ahead.’”(Wood 325). It is economic factors such as this one that will be the driving force, which bonds Americans together in the early 19th century. Wood builds his argument by supporting his claims with personal accounts as well as using documents of that time period. It is pieces of evidence such as these that gives Wood a particular insight into the revolution. This insight at first glance would be hard to deny. However, Wood’s lack of concrete evidence gives historians a chance to critique his ...

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Added: 2/16/2006 01:18:19 PM
Category: World History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1520
Pages: 6

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