Who Was The Gilded Age Analysis

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This is a favorite question on Ph.D. comprehensive examinations. In fact, I had one professor on my committee who embraced this approach and asked me a succession of similar questions: How new was the New Deal? How great was the Great Depression? How cold was the Cold War? You get the picture. Some of those kinds of questions strain credulity: “How civil was the Civil War? How gilded was the Gilded Age? How Jacksonian was the age of Jackson? But in the context of the American Revolution this is an important question that historians have been arguing about for generations. The question is whether or not the revolution was conservative in tone and tenor—essentially replacing one ruling stucture in Great Britain with another in America—or…show more content…
But is the story of thousands who took up arms to overthrow what they considered a repressive regime that trounced on their ability to live their lives and make their fortunes. For them, the revolution was about both fundamental social and economic as well as political change. This comes across clearly when reading about the intellectual underpinnings of the era. The Britich colonies in America were a society transforming itself from one of feudal relationships to one predicated on republicanism, democracy, and market-driven capitalism in the middle part of the eighteenth…show more content…
At some level the Sons of Liberty were essentially shock troops waging class warfare. Adams mobilized the poor to take over, and perhaps also manipulating them for other purposes. But always, it was the ideas that drove their efforts; the ideas of equality present in the enlightenment. Ideas and ideals certainly mattered in the context of the American Revolution, and I would contend that they matter in all of world history. Self-interest is very real, but ideas and ideals served as powerful motivations for actions. So how does one answer the question, “How Revolutionary was the American Revolution?” It sure seems pretty radical to me. Source:
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