Was the American Revolution Conservative?

1246 Words Jan 9th, 2018 5 Pages
(Order A2098864)
During the 1950's the mainstream historical thinking concentrated on the idea that the American Revolution was a conservative movement which did not cause great political or social upheavals. Many looked at the later French Revolution as an example of a more radicalized and revolutionary movement and determined that the American Revolution was tame by comparison. And while it is true that many of the legal and political arguments made by the Americans were based in English legal tradition, much of the spirit of the Revolution came from the ideals of the Enlightenment. It is because of this combination of origins that the American Revolution did not become as violent or chaotic as the one in France. However, it is also because of this combination that the American Revolution started out as a conservative movement to reclaim traditional rights American colonists felt were being usurped, but eventually evolved into a radical social transformation.
During the mid 20th century most historians agreed with Daniel Boorstin when he stated that "the most obvious peculiarity of our American Revolution is that, in the modern European sense of the word, it was hardly a revolution at all"¦On the contrary, ours was one of the few conservative colonial rebellions of modern times." (Spillman, 2010) What Boorstin was referring to was the fact that there was not a great amount of overt political or social change as a result of the…
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