How revolutionary was the American Revolution? Was it revolutionary,
conservative, or perhaps a bit of both?
On the question of whether the American Revolution was revolutionary the answer is Yes
because it led to the transformation of the American society into a nation that was founded on
the radical principles that had been put in place by the revolutionists. The revolution changed
the lives of the Americans and it waste foundation of the freedom that the Americans are
enjoying to date. It transformed the political life, the social life, cultural life as well as the
economic prospects of the country. Of course such revolutions have massive casualties and
bloodshed. Anything that affects the quality of life or leads to the death of the people is
something that should be looked at and addressed in detail. It is therefore important to say
that the American Revolution was revolutionary due to the way it changed the lives of the
people and the way of life in the country and it was also a conservative movement that sought
to preserve the existing social, political, and economic order. The views on whether the
American Revolution was revolutionary or conservative depends on whether one is a
conservative or a revolutionist. From a neutral point of view, it is important to note that it was
both revolutionary and conservative (Reading 3.2).
B) How revolutionary was the U.S. Constitution? Was it revolutionary, conservative,
or perhaps a bit of both?
The constitution of the United States of America was a document that was believed to have
betrayed the revolution. The constitution did not show that all men were created equal and the
fact that they have certain unalienable rights that include the right to life, the liberty to pursue
happiness among the others. The constitutions made some of the people in the United States
of America to appear more important than the others. This was done as to appeal to the states
that still held slaves in an attempt to make them ratify the constitution. The framers tried to
ensure that all the people enjoyed the rights. However, they failed when they allowed the
whites in the United States of America to participate in slave trade and to keep slaves as
opposed to releasing the people who were under slavery to enjoy their lives just like the rest
of the Americans. The constitution clearly state that the power belonged to the governed but
did not really care about the majority of the governed who are the blacks, the native
Americans, women, indentured servants as well as the women in the country. The minority
groups have continued to be oppressed despite the fact that there is a constitution that is
supposed to protect them. The constitution was therefore conservative in nature and could
not live up to the expectations of the American Revolution that was supposed to improve the
lives of all the people in the United States of America (Reading 4.1).
C) Explore the evolving, complicated, and contested manner in which Americans
thought about equality and rights during the Revolutionary era (broadly defined as
the time period that roughly extended from the Stamp Act Declaration through the
ratification of the U.S. Constitution).
The Americans believed that they were now able to improve their lives and rise in prosperity
and freedom. Many of the citizens believed that the political changes would improve their
way of life and that they would have a government that put their needs first and could help
them in dealing with the challenges that they face as they live in the country. The people in
the United States of America believed that that it was now time for them to control their lives
and live in the way that they choose to. It therefore means that they were tired of the
restrictions that had been placed on them. The Americans were facing many challenges at the
moment and it was only good for them to get a good administration that could address the
issues that they face in the society and to provide the necessary solutions to the challenges
that they were facing. In a nutshell the people had many expectations and they thought that
the revolution was the only hope that they had in the process. In the current American society
the constitution is determined to deal with the issues but the country needs more than just a
constitution that is they also need political goodwill among the leaders on how they are
supposed to deal with the problems in the society for the benefit of the people in the society
Reading 3.2: The Declaration of Independence, 1776
Reading 4.1: James Madison, “Deficiencies of the Confederation,” 1787.
Reading 4.3: Patrick Henry, “Shall Liberty or Empire be Sought?” 1788.