Democracy : The People, The Founders, And The Troubled Ending Of The American Revolution

918 Words4 Pages
Taming Democracy: “The People,” the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution is a compelling book written by acclaimed professor and American historian Terry Bouton. Bouton effectively chronicles the tumultuous history of early American democracy during the latter half of the eighteenth century by focusing on Revolutionary Pennsylvania throughout his work. Bouton offers an innovative and controversial perspective to history scholars and amateur historians by arguing that the majority of Pennsylvania’s ordinary white male citizens were disillusioned by the version of democracy that transpired from the American Revolution. Bouton further asserts that the origins of non-elitist disillusionment began in 1776 when Pennsylvania’s revolutionaries waged a successful counter revolution against the state’s non-elites in an effort to control previously supported democratic ideologies, including wealth equality and a self-governing political system. Consequently, the gentry’s decision to radically refashion the Pennsylvania government and increase economic and political control throughout the state ultimately led to social upheaval and insurrections among the ordinary citizen population during the postwar decade. Taming Democracy is organized chronologically and divided into three parts. In Part I, Bouton traces the origins of the American Revolution and the rise of democratic ideologies among Pennsylvania’s socially diverse male population in the 1760s and 1770s.

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