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Gordon S. Wood

Radical Possibilities of the American Revolution

Kelsey Lewis

on 12 December 2012

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Transcript of Gordon S. Wood

Gordon S. Wood The Radical Possibilities of the American Revolution Background Changes Revolution Summary Middle Century Groups * The Radicalism of the American Revolution was published in 1991 and The Radical Possibilities of the American Revolution was published in 1992.
* Other works: The American Revolution: A History, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin, and The Creation of the American Republic.
* The focus of his work (historical interest) is on the social change after the Revolution
* He believes that the Revolution was truly revolutionary because it changed America's social structure, which lead to more changes in America's society. * Before the revolution there was no poverty, social discontent, or oppression.
* The growing prosperity of the colonies lead to tension because things that were in place could change.
* Individuals started to break away from families, communities, and patrons.
* By the 1740's the social changes started occurring more rapidly. *Luxury and conspicuous consumption by ordinary people increased
*Rich became Richer
*Aristocratic became more self-conscious
*The poor and landless increased
- Classes did not set themselves apart yet. *By the middle century social changes were being expressed by politics.
*There was a scramble of wealth and power.
*The position for a leader would not remain unchallenged.
*Changes had to be made to stabilize the colonial society. Independence for every man was a radical change in the Revolution. This change affected the social structure of the Americans the most.
* Men became dominant over their wives and children.
*Women's rights were limited.
*Servitude was limited and eventually dissipated by 1800's, but slaves became dominant. Overall, the revolution did not change the class structure of the American society but the social. The Americans became the most democratic, commercially minded, and most modern people in the world due to the Revolution. Also, because of the social change it lead to other changes in the society later in American history.
-Anti Slavery and women's rights movements
-Egalitarian thinking
-Removed aristocracy
-Brought respectability and dominance to ordinary people.
-Altered American culture
-Reconstituted America *Progressive- Believe the primary revolutionary causes were social and economic.
*Neo-Progressive- Believe the revolution was intellectual Historical Actors * Courtiers
* Patriots
* Loyalists
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