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The Radicalism of the American Revolution Chapter Summary & Analysis - Part 1, Chapter 2 Summary

Gordon S. Wood
This Study Guide consists of approximately 83 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Radicalism of the American Revolution.
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Part 1, Chapter 2 Summary and Analysis

The ancient social cleavage between the few (gentlemen/ patricians) and the many (commoners/ plebeians) exists in America. In the southern colonies, the aristocracy comprises 4-5% of the population. In the North, it approaches 10%. By birth and fortune, they are expected to govern the rest. By colonial times, gentlemen form a middle rank between nobles and commoners. With the aristocracy not defined and locked by law as in France, England allows social mobility, as noble titles are lost to all but the eldest son.

All men are patently not created equal. Birth and parentage matter greatly, as does wealth; but a rich person devoid of manners, taste, and character is not a gentleman. Gentlemen must be noticed living grandly and free from all material and intellectual want. At mid-century, many revolutionary leaders are stereotyping and deriding the masses' intelligence, outlook, virtue, spirituality, and morality...

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This section contains 494 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Radicalism of the American Revolution Study Guide
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The Radicalism of the American Revolution from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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