More Than A Radical Revolution Essay

906 words - 4 pages

Gordon Wood’s book, The Radicalism of the American Revolution, creates a new perspective for the ideals of the American Revolution. Wood adds to the idea that the revolution was not simply a conservative mutiny and fight for neutrality, but also a social revolution. Wood was born in November of 1993 and attended Brown University; He won the 1933 Pulitzer Prize for The Radicalism of the American Revolution. In The Radicalism of the American Revolution Wood argues that the revolution actually began in the 1760’s and continue into the early 19th century as the country experienced a social transformation where people changed their habits and united rather that attempting to overthrow each other. He argues that the American Revolution was far beyond conservative. Wood describes how in order for our country to prosper we must do the impossible and separate our government from the citizens of our country. This would be a revolution in itself. Wood quotes that, “… if we measure the radicalism by the amount of social change that actually took place — by transformations in the relationships that bound people to each other — then the American Revolution was not conservative at all; on the contrary, it was as radical and revolutionary as any in history.”
Through the book, we see Wood develop his argument for a social revolution by reiterating the change in America’s form of a monarchy government to a democracy where the people are in charge of the government. Wood points out that in pre-revolutionary society, people’s lives and livelihoods were determined by class, political power, and investment. It is also important to note that in the 18th century social customs were reflected from the dominance of the father family reflecting down from the king, leading to a patriarchal society.
Wood states how the previous monarchial government linked people within each class but not between classes. In that monarchial society, people were ranked based on how they fit in with the wealth of higher-class people and lower class people. Before the complete transition to a democracy, America became a republic for a short while. Because of the strict monarchial classes, a group of people formed to hold society together. This small group became dependent on the trust they had between each other and strong personal relationships. The republicanism that both the previous colonist and the citizens during the revolution share became so strong that the previous monarchial ways were dissolved. This new change leads to Woods overall thesis that the country went through an overall social revolution. Although the vision for the new America was to have a society with high profile women and gentleman who had fundamental commercial concerns, it was ordinary people who became the core of the government and set up a democracy. America became the first...

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