Bernard bailyn ideological origins american revolution thesis

Bailyn notes the wide range of sources they invoked to make their arguments, first in opposition to imperial controls from London, then for independence, and finally for the kind of government they wished to erect. The libertarian heresy was there at the beginning, so let no one call it un-American. They permitted their authors to explain not only what they supported as the crisis with Great Britain unfolded, but why they supported it. Once the revolution was accomplished, however, the catchy phrases of 'liberty' and 'personal freedom' expanded into new spheres, and shortly after, there were already heated discussions on abolition. He also expands upon the early colonial belief in 'conspiracies' of corrupt ministers and the extractive colonial bureaucracy as a pretext for freedom. These pamphlets have a large number of references to classical authors Livy, Polybius, Plutarch, Cicero on an ideal Republic, but also to the thought of the Enlightenment Locke, Rousseau. Learn more here Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Pride in the liberty-preserving constitution of Britain was universal in the political literature of the age, and everyone agreed on the moral qualities necessary to preserve a free government. In doing so he began to see connections, common sources, and particularly how the American colonial experience transformed a strand of British libertarian opposition thought into a uniquely American ideology that caused an intellectual revolution as to the basis for sovereignty, rights and representation and consent that led not only The road to the writing of this Pulitzer Prize winning book began when Bailyn was asked to prepare a collection of pamphlets of the American Revolutionary War era. The book is logically organized and lucidly written and I found that even for someone like myself who thought I knew a lot about the founding, who has read Thomas Paine's Common Sense and Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence and Hamilton, Madison and Jay's Federalist Papers there are some surprises. Even Bishop Hoadly might be classified as a dissenter seeing as he denied the possibility of sacerdotal powers and, as well, the entire idea of the Church visible.

They contributed a vivid vocabulary but not the logic or grammar of thought, a universally respected personification but not the source of political and social beliefs. They insisted, at a time when government was felt to be less oppressive than it had been for two hundred years, that it was necessarily — by its very nature — hostile to human liberty and happiness; that, properly, it existed only on the tolerance of the people whose needs it served; and that it could be, and reasonably should be, dismissed — overthrown — if it attempted to exceed its proper jurisdiction.

Bernard bailyn ideological origins american revolution thesis

But if the elements of their thought were ordinary, the emphasis placed upon them and the use made of them were not.

Beardthat the Revolution had been primarily class warfare between competing social classes. Note the dates.

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Nor were these theorists immune to racialist thinking. Pride in the liberty-preserving constitution of Britain was universal in the political literature of the age, and everyone agreed on the moral qualities necessary to preserve a free government.

Bailyn analyzes the content of these popular pamphlets as clues to "the 'great hinterland' of belief" in the English North American colonies, "notions which men often saw little need to explain because they were so obvious.

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Cambridge, Mass. If you want to go deeper into the foundation of American political thought, I'd say this book is invaluable. Plato and Pliny, Sophocles and Cicero, Aristotle and Tacitus, all made their way into the eighteenth century pamphlets. Bailyn analyzes the content of these popular pamphlets as clues to "the 'great hinterland' of belief" in the English North American colonies, "notions which men often saw little need to explain because they were so obvious. Bailyn notes the wide range of sources they invoked to make their arguments, first in opposition to imperial controls from London, then for independence, and finally for the kind of government they wished to erect. Too much power lead to a tyrannical system, and too much liberty leads to anarchy, so the proper balance is between them both. Even Bishop Hoadly might be classified as a dissenter seeing as he denied the possibility of sacerdotal powers and, as well, the entire idea of the Church visible. They permitted their authors to explain not only what they supported as the crisis with Great Britain unfolded, but why they supported it. In the process of reading hundreds of pamphlets published between and , Bailyn detected a pattern of similarities in argument, language, and invocation of certain figures including Cato the Younger and radical Whig heroes Algernon Sidney and John Wilkes. But for someone who has enough interest in American political thought this is illuminating. The book is logically organized and lucidly written and I found that even for someone like myself who thought I knew a lot about the founding, who has read Thomas Paine's Common Sense and Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence and Hamilton, Madison and Jay's Federalist Papers there are some surprises. Textual analysis of pamphlets, which were popular during the pre-revolutionary era. Shelves: nonfiction , usa , history , for-class , politics-and-foreign-policy Contrasts other histories of the American Revolution from Charles Beard onwards which posit that the AR was solely an economic struggle of the landed gentry against taxes.

Cambridge, Mass. To them, the common law embodied that desire, and the Revolutionary crisis came on when Parliament was viewed as violating, rather than upholding, that desire for liberty. Shelves: nonfictionusahistoryfor-classpolitics-and-foreign-policy Contrasts other histories of the American Revolution from Charles Beard onwards which posit that the AR was solely an economic struggle of the landed gentry against taxes.

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Secondly, this line is invoked to reconcile the founding with Catholic ideas about politics, governance and the common good. The Contrasts other histories of the American Revolution from Charles Beard onwards which posit that the AR was solely an economic struggle of the landed gentry against taxes. Too much power lead to a tyrannical system, and too much liberty leads to anarchy, so the proper balance is between them both. It was a bit surprising to learn the British common law tradition had a large part in this political thinking--but particularly surprising was learning the role of relatively obscure opposition Whig writers. Bailyn found that pamphlet writers sounded the same themes in their private writing as in public, and that their expressed fears of "slavery," "corruption," and a "conspiracy" against liberty were genuine. Learn more here Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. Pride in the liberty-preserving constitution of Britain was universal in the political literature of the age, and everyone agreed on the moral qualities necessary to preserve a free government. They permitted their authors to explain not only what they supported as the crisis with Great Britain unfolded, but why they supported it.

The book is logically organized and lucidly written and I found that even for someone like myself who thought I knew a lot about the founding, who has read Thomas Paine's Common Sense and Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence and Hamilton, Madison and Jay's Federalist Papers there are some surprises.

He also expands upon the early colonial belief in 'conspiracies' of corrupt ministers and the extractive colonial bureaucracy as a pretext for freedom.

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The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution