William Henry Drayton & the American Revolution

William Henry Drayton & the American Revolution

William Henry Drayton & the American Revolution

William Henry Drayton & the American Revolution

Excerpt

The adult life of William Henry Drayton covered the momentous years of birth of the United States. Almost the same age as Thomas Jefferson, Drayton was barely in his twenties when the end of the French and Indian War ushered in Great Britain's new colonial policy, a policy which was to lead to the American fight for independence twelve years later.

Throughout world history revolutions have commonly been far more catastrophic than the instigators planned. Ordinarily they have started as reform movements with moderate goals, but they have gotten out of hand. Once there has been defiance of the legitimate authority of government, the wheels of revolution have been difficult to stop. Often the leaders of a rebellion in its early stages have themselves fallen victim to its terror before the fury has been spent. Not so the American Revolution. Although in some sections of British America the typical revolutionary pattern is discernible here, for the most part the movement was ended with those who were leaders at the outset still in power. Nor was there any wholesale expropriation of the propertied class throughout the country.

Revolutions have usually been started by the middle class--not by the proletariat, who have the greatest need for the alleviation of their miserable condition but who have . . .

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