The Radicalism of the American Revolution - Study Guide Part 1, Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Gordon S. Wood
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Gentlemen treat inferiors and subordinates like children, and all superiors, magistrates and masters are to be honored as "fathers." The household has one head, the patriarch, who provides for the members' wants and deals with the world on everyone's behalf. Intermarriage and inbreeding are commonplace among the gentry, forming close webs in villages, counties and whole colonies. Land is plentiful enough until 1750, allowing fathers to provide for more than their eldest son, who is often bound to care for aged kinfolk, siblings and widows. Adult children often remain dependent well into middle-age. Fathers threaten disinheritance to control them.

As much as half of all colonial Americans are legally unfree. The least free are the African slaves condemned to lifelong, hereditary servitude. Many Europeans cross the Atlantic as "Redemptionists," intending to pay their passage by selling their services. Even genteel parents indenture their adolescent...

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This section contains 410 words
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Buy The Radicalism of the American Revolution Study Guide
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