The American Revolution created a great change in the colonies in the mid to late
1700's. Gordon S. Wood's, The Radicalism of American Revolution explains not only a
change in the government of the colonies, but in society itself. "Such a change marked a
real and radical revolution, a change of society, not just of government." (Wood, 169)
People no longer saw themselves as subjects of the King, but as citizens who played a
large role in the development of our country's society.
Citizens worked harder and longer to make their livings, but they prospered
greatly from the effort put in. Wood states, "These hardworking farmers and mechanics
were extraordinarily fee and well off and had much to lose, and this therefore, naturally
accounts for these people, in particular, accounts for these people being so untied and
steady, everywhere in support of the liberties against British oppression." (Wood, 171)
People suddenly became very enthusiastic about working, and worked longer hours.
People worked hard, for there was much to gain, unlike in England where prosperity was
limited by social class.
These men no longer were held down by patronage to their mother country of
England, but they had the ability to become anything that they wanted. Te chance had
become for the poor to become wealthy, and the wealthy wealthier. In England there was
never any chance to climb the social ladder because of social status, and the many castes
that there were in English society. "Men who had quickly risen to the top were confident
and aggressive, but also vulnerable to challenge, especially sensitive over their liberty
and independence, and unwilling to brook any interference with their status or their
prospects." (Wood, 172) Men who had just the slightest taste of power, wealth, and
independence were unwilling to give...