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Was the American Revolution Moderate or Radical - Essay Example

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In the essay “Was the American Revolution Moderate or Radical?” the author discusses the American Revolution, which is sometimes regarded as radical, while some other schools of thought believe the American Revolution to be moderate in nature…
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Was the American Revolution Moderate or Radical
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Republicanism is a type of political ideology wherein the head of state is elected through means such as elections. In a republican state, heads of state are never appointed by heredity. On the other hand, liberalism is the ideology that stresses the importance of individual rights and liberty of individuals. Liberalism integrates concepts such as liberal democracy, fair elections, capitalism, and human rights.
The main difference between liberalism and republicanism is that whereas in liberalism, the exercise of an individual’s free will is given importance, republicanism doesn’t put much emphasis on an individual’s free will. It rather believes in the concept of freedom as per Machiavelli and Aristotle, which is that political powers help to determine the level of freedom for the individuals.
In view of the fact that we have in this chapter only the introduction of Gary Nash’s book, we can consider only his thesis as he outlines it there. What is his thesis?
Gary Nash had already mentioned his thesis in his book ‘Urban Crucible: Social Change, Political Consciousness, and the Origins of the American Revolution’ in 1979. His other book ‘The Unknown American Revolution’ reinstates his thesis that seaport towns were made into vessels of American revolutionary agitation by the colonial urbanites of America. Nash also states that these places served as a hub which helped to increase the political awareness of America’s laboring class.
What are Breen’s thesis and argument? How compelling do you find it? Why or why not?
Breen is of the opinion that the Americans were tied culturally to the British primarily due to their excessive consumption of British goods. Breen also believed that the American Revolution was an effort not only for protecting American freedom but also for British freedom. This is true since, in my view, Breen has been able to successfully highlight the primary cause of the American Revolution.
Where would you situate Breen in the historiography of the Revolution and why?
In the historiography of the American Revolution, Breen would be considered as a Neo Progressive scholar who falls under the Neo Progressive school of thought. The rapid development of research libraries in the 1960s led to a number of scholars to get deeply involved with the American Revolution and interpret it from a new perspective. TH Breen is one such scholar.
Is the thinking of Breen and Nash opposed, complementary, etc. to each other? Explain.
TH Breen and Gary Nash are in fact complementary to each other since both Nash and Breen have helped in emphasizing the importance of common people in the American Revolution.
What is the impact of Breen and/or Nash’s argument on the republican synthesis?
Regarding republican synthesis, Breen has defined it as a ‘Lockean moment’. Moreover, Breen has also debated the republican synthesis’s ascendancy.
What further information would you need or like to have in order to firm up your own mind and position about the nature of the Revolution?
I would like to know more about the impact that the American Revolution had on Britain’s political and economic structure. I would also like to know more about the other participants of the American Revolution such as Spain, France, and the Native Americans. Read More
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