The American Revolution Considered as a Social Movement

The American Revolution Considered as a Social Movement

The American Revolution Considered as a Social Movement

The American Revolution Considered as a Social Movement

Excerpt

In 1925 everybody knew what the American Revolution was: a war for independence, valiantly and successfully fought by the American colonies against the British Crown. A few daring historians had suggested that it was in some sense also a class conflict, although that interpretation sounded too much like Marxism to be accepted by many Americans. But in November, 1925, one of the most distinguished of American historians, J. Franklin Jameson (1859- 1937), editor of the American Historical Review, delivered at Princeton University a series of four lectures that were soon published under the title The American Revolution Considered as a Social Movement. In these lectures Jameson argued for a much broader perspective:

The stream of revolution, once started, could not be confined within narrow banks, but spread abroad upon the land. Many economic desires, many social aspirations were set free by the political struggle, many aspects of colonial society profoundly altered by the forces thus let loose. The relations of social classes to each other, the institution of slavery, the system of land-holding, the course of business, the forms and spirit of the intellectual and religious life, all felt the transforming hand of . . .

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