October 24, 2010

IT WAS ABOUT LIBERTY, NOT FREEDOM:

Did Americans have less freedom after the Revolution? (Thomas S. Kidd, 10/22/2010, Books & Culture)

In her provocative The Freedoms We Lost: Consent and Resistance in Revolutionary America, Barbara Clark Smith shows that these kinds of crowd actions were integral to the rough, local world of colonial politics, where common folk had the power to both enable and oppose laws. For the Revolution to succeed, then, Patriot élites had to lock arms with the people. But, with the war won, the élites abandoned them.

In this sense, Smith asserts, common Americans had less freedom after the American Revolution than before it.


After the Revolution common Americans were "governed" under the Articles of Confederation. It was the adoption of the Constitution that really brought "freedom" under control.


Posted by Orrin Judd at October 24, 2010 8:24 AM
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