A Conservative Revolution

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A Conservative Revolution Whether the American Revolution should be viewed as a conservative or radical movement is a hotly debated topic among historians, and each side provides a convincing case. Historians who view the movement as radical praise the colonists’ effort to send the British crown’s rule and effective implementation of a democratic government to the extent the world had never seen before. On the other hand, historians who view the American Revolution as a conservative movement note that Americans inherited the freest democratic society in the world, and see the movement as an inevitable breakaway from the British crown. Due to the subtlety of change within the government structure as a result of the preexisting democratic…show more content…
He maintains a strong argument that the Revolution was a democratic movement because even though “in terms of structure [of the government]” there is “little revolutionary to be found,” the “alteration of the balance of power within the structure”7 was a radical change. He states that previous representatives were appointed by the British government or under strict control of political machines. However, while Jensen supports that it was radical that people could vote representatives into power, he seems to overlook the fact that pre-Revolutionary colonists could vote representatives into the lower houses, thus making the post Revolution an extension of this preexisting condition. His argument is further weakened as he gives little mention to the disenfranchised groups of people, stating that there were “other areas where change took place,” such as in women’s right to vote, but “they were just beginnings.”8 While small, isolated efforts were made for disenfranchised groups, no group received nearly as much utility from the Revolution as white males, and many of these groups would have to continue to fight for their rights long into the 20th century, thus proving that the American Revolution did not provide one sharp, violent change for the population, but rather the conservative roots for efforts that would take much longer. Continuing to look at the groups who were
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