How revolutionary was the American Revolution?

Essay by perrine785Middle School, 6th gradeA-, February 2007

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First of all, what is a revolution? According to the dictionary it is "a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, especially one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence". But how violent must it be? How much of a social impact should there be? What criteria must the new government possess to be considered a revolutionary regime? These questions can be answered differently depending on the degree that constitutes one's definition of all of these. This essay will therefore be based on my conception of revolutionary. We do know that the American Revolution had revolutionary goals. Even though many remained unachieved, the Revolution did popularize certain radical ideals that inspired a spirit of change in people's minds. I wouldn't call the American Revolution revolutionary because the goals it had were only achieved later and in some cases never.

Politically, the Americans had revolutionary goals: they wanted their independence from England, but they didn't know what sort of government to establish afterwards.

July 4th, 1776 is signed the Declaration of Independence -"we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..." -which wasn't even itself revolutionary since John Locke was the one who firstly wrote it in the 17th century. Anyhow, the colonies were now free and called themselves states, and as states had to create new governments -by 1781 most states had produced written Constitutions that established republican governments. But at the national level, the process of forming a government was less successful: the Americans were uncertain whether they even wanted a real national...