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Slaves were not in such a position, and often lived their entire lives in bondage to cruel masters and terrible conditions. Furthermore, in contrast to immigrants who left their home countries by choice, African slaves were kidnapped from their homes against their will. In these cases, there was indeed a definite hierarchy in the country.
Doerflinger turns the focus to the economy of the country at the time. According to the author, business people at the time were more individually focused on making use of the opportunities offered by the new country than on freeing themselves from England. Indeed, business people did very little to incite revolution. In this way, the paradigm of the economic world was much different from the social.
In terms of hierarchy, it seems not to have been greatly manifested in the American economy. Business people were free to conduct their dealings as they saw fit. They were on equal footing, and needed to depend only upon their business sense and the demand and supply of their products in order to make a success of their labor. The economic sector then was probably the least hierarchical of American systems at the time. The basic lack of drive to incite social change can therefore be ascribed to the freedom of business people to make money in whichever way they chose to do so. Indeed, Doerflinger's description of the various opportunities open to business people indicates that the economic sector was open even to what at the time was regarded as the oppressor, namely England. Hence the paradigms of complete equality seems to have existed in the economic sector long before it did in the other sectors of society. The economic sector might then be said to have pioneered the democracy, equality and opportunity that the country had already become known for at the time.
If the later manifestations of capitalism are considered, it also appears that the economic conditions until 1776 paved the way for the equality that would be an accepted part of society at a much later time. It is therefore ironic that this sector played a very small part in the revolution itself. Instead, it evolved as an ideal of the society of the future.
In summary, the specific manifestation of equality and freedom, and of oppression and opportunity cannot be delineated in simple terms. These concepts as they existed during the Colonial years can also not be described by considering a single set of circumstances or group of people. In conclusion, it is therefore impossible to say that any of these elements did not exist during the society of the time, or that they played no part whatsoever in the Revolution. Indeed, the Revolution was a convergence of the existing paradigms of oppression and freedom, hierarchy and opportunity.
Even the economic sector, if not actively taking part in the Revolution, existed as a springboard for later matters of equality, human rights, and opportunities for all. It is clear that these elements did exist prior to the Revolution, but the Revolution was necessary to establish them in society as a whole, and to help the United States establish itself as a country that offers freedom for all.
Doerflinger, Thomas M. Philadelphia Merchants and the Logic of Moderation, 1760-1775. William and Mary Quarterly. Database: JStor
Fogleman, Aaron S. 1998. From Slaves, Convicts, and Servants to Free Passengers: The Transformation of Immigration in the Era of the American Revolution. The Journal of American History, June, Vol. 85, No.1, pp. 43-76. Database: Jstor
Murrin, John M. 1998. In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Slave, Maybe There was Room Even for Deference. The Journal of American History, June, Vol. 85, No.1, pp. 43-76. Database: JStor
Zuckerman, Michael. 1998. Tocqueville, Turner, and Turds: Four Stories of Manners in Early America. The Journal of American History, June, Vol. 85, No.1, pp. 13-42. Database: Jstor.
Zuckerman, Michael. 1998. Tocqueville, Turner, and Turds: Four Stories of Manners in Early America. The Journal of American History, June, Vol. 85, No.1
Zuckerman, Michael. 1998. pp. 17-18
Zuckerman, Michael. 1998. Tocqueville, Turner, and Turds: Four Stories of Manners in Early America. The Journal of American History, June, Vol. 85, No.1, pp. 30-31.
Fogleman, Aaron S. 1998. From Slaves, Convicts, and Servants to Free Passengers: The Transformation of Immigration in the Era of the American Revolution. The Journal of American History, June, Vol. 85, No.1, p. 43
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