Radical Was the American Revolution Term Paper

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In the end these early attempts at independent diplomacy, a radical notion in and of itself retained foreign aide from France, despite its early misgivings. This in a time that diplomatic aide to a rebellion would be seen as grounds for a new war the French recognized the Americans as an entity in need of aide and provided 1 Million livres for munitions for the Americans, in secret of course. The Americans then moved forward in hopes to draw actually military assistance from Spain and France. (Middlekauff 398-400) The radical nature of these ideas lays not in the fact that the rebellion deemed themselves in need of foreign aide but in the fact that they believed their colonial/constitutional and temporary government had the right to ask for open foreign aide, as an independent entity, potentially capable of total independence from the rule of the Crown. (400)

The rejection by America of the traditional sense of dependence, through patriarchal systems on a legal and social level coupled with other issues, may also have been said to predispose the nation to an early sense of citizenship for slaves and eventually women. Though fights for equality of human rights were not won easily and without resistance it was still America who led the way in the western world for universal suffrage among women and blacks. I suppose a reasonable argument could be made that the people in this newly formed country had generational memory of what it was like to be dependant and without voice, and therefore were inclined to eventually break with tradition and allow the un-propertied men, women and freed slaves the right to vote. (Wood 178) In one passage in Wood's work, Radicalism of the American Revolution, there is an idea that represents one of the most radical of this newly formed nation, though not quite the later reality of universal suffrage still a radical notion in and of itself;

Jefferson was so keen on this equation of property with citizenship that he proposed in 1776 that the new state of Virginia grant fifty acres of land to every man that did not have that many. Without having property and a will of his own-without having independence -- a man could have no public spirit; and there could be no republic. For as Jefferson put it, "dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition." Ina monarchical world of numerous patron-client relations and multiple degrees of dependency, nothing could be more radical that this attempt to make every man independent. (Wood 179)

It was foundational, that ideas such as this were entertained, even when they were not entirely realized, as they formed the basis for the generation of an independent and radical nation, at the end of a well-fought war.

Works Cited

Middlekauff, Robert The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789, London UK: Oxford Press,…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Middlekauff, Robert The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789, London UK: Oxford Press, 2005

Wood, Gordon S. The Radicalism of the American Revolution, New York: Vintage,

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