Two Revolutions: 1776 and 1991

By Everett Carll Ladd. Everett Carll Ladd is executive director of the Roper Center Connecticut. | The Christian Science Monitor, September 6, 1991 | Go to article overview

Two Revolutions: 1776 and 1991


Everett Carll Ladd. Everett Carll Ladd is executive director of the Roper Center Connecticut., The Christian Science Monitor


GREAT achievements such as the collapse of communist totalitarianism in Eastern Europe and now the USSR deserve close examination. If we apply what American philosopher-journalist Herbert Croly called "trained and disciplined intelligence" to understanding how the victory was won, we may encourage further gains in the years ahead.

The vanquishing of Soviet communism resulted in the first instance from the triumph of the ideas of the American Revolution. Now, at the time of their global ascendancy, it's easy to forget how lonely they were when Adams and Washington, Franklin and Jefferson first advanced them on the world stage.

These ideas had a variety of sources: the English tradition of personal liberty; the ideals of the Enlightenment; and the Puritans' unwavering recognition of the fundamental worth and equality of each individual before God. But the combination of these root elements and the addition of the Founders' exceptional leadership were distinctly American.

Even after individualist ideas won out in the former colonies, they were remarkably isolated in the world at large. In "The Old World's New World" (Oxford, 1991), historian C. Vann Woodward reminds us of how much of the European literature on the American experiment viewed it critically. For European tastes, the American Revolution was too much organized to meet the needs and claims of ordinary people. For a century and a half thereafter, the French Revolution, with its state-centered vision of how virtue was to be obtained, occupied the passions of Europe's putative revolutionaries. It would be a long time before the "self-evident truths" that all persons "are created equal ... endowed with certain unalienable rights ... to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness," would become dominant around the world; but their ultimate success underlies the great revolutions of 1989-91.

Credit must go, of course, to the millions of people across Eastern Europe and the USSR whose commitment to individualism and freedom has been greatly enlarged and extended. Some of them engaged in memorable acts, but many others served simply by bringing heightened expectations of their due as individuals. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Two Revolutions: 1776 and 1991
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.