Gordon S. Wood The Radicalism Of The American Revolution Analysis

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In The Radicalism of the American Revolution, 233, Gordon S. Wood quotes “Within decades following the Declaration of Independence, the United States became the most egalitarian nation in the history of the world, and it remains so today, regardless of its great disparities of wealth.” Equality is a political doctrine which professes the absolute equality of all men, in all aspects: civil, political, economic, social ... and which tries to realize in the facts. The United States has become the most egalitarian country in the world. However, they encountered many social problems before reaching first place.
Signed July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, the Declaration of Independence of the United States upset the world at the end of the 18th century,
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Wood's book was strongly criticized by Michael Zuckerman who said “Even after he has shrunk America to a country without slaves, women, families, or the South, Wood must still deny a great deal of dissidence and diversity to sustain his thesis.” (Michael Zuckerman, Rhetoric, Reality, and the Revolution: The Genteel Radicalism of Gordon Wood, 698). Michael Zuckerman thinks that Gordon S. Wood does not give enough importance to women and ethnic minorities in American society in the 18th century. The author replied that he had correctly placed the proportions of history in line with those of the eighteenth century, correctly explained that the Revolution was intended to review the status of women and blacks in society and correctly inform the origins of the first emancipation and the abolitionist movement. (Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution, 706). Thus The American Revolution established a first stage of equality between men. Indeed, women, blacks, and other ethnic groups were considered inferior. There was also discrimination against Irish men. The United States advocated a different model than the European model. In fact, they had abolished the aristocracy, but there was always land ownership, and strong inequalities between men. Thus, The American Revolution helped women and blacks in their emancipation by overthrowing…show more content…
Wood states "regardless of its great disparities of wealth" which shows that the equality of money is dissociated from social equality. (Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution, 710). Gordon demonstrates how liberalization of the market has increased equality. Before the Revolution, wealth was based on land ownership, and therefore on social status. Wealth has been liberalized. A kind of new dynamic was created through trade. " Unlike proprietary wealth, this new kind of dynamic, fluid, and evanes- cent property could not create personal authority or identity." “Hence it could not be relied on as a source of independence. (…) property qualifications for participation in public life either as voters or as officeholders lost their relevance and rapidly fell away. ” (Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution, 711). After the Revolution, a new economic model developed: capitalism, which is characterized by freedom of exchange. This means that any citizen, peasant or aristocrat, can buy shares, and trade. A real opportunity for every citizen to get rich. Therefore, The American Declaration of Independence was the passport of freedom for the entire population. Indeed, all the old models have been re-examined, updated. It was a declaration for a project to be defined and for emancipation from the British. The Americans wanted to be independent like the
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