The Radicalism of the American Revolution - Study Guide Part 3, Chapter 18 Summary & Analysis

Gordon S. Wood
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Ordinary Americans grow absorbed in the individual pursuit of money. English travelers are amazed to see Americans sell landed estates to become "businessmen." Wanting to profit from their discoveries, poor inventors resist enlightened calls to limit patents by arguing the public will be enriched even if they enrich themselves. Jefferson's "Revolution of 1800" dismantles the national government, and some Americans look to war as a means of purging Americans of greed and purifying the political atmosphere. The War of 1812 instead aggravates the problem by increasing home manufacturing and concentration on domestic markets. Society deals more honestly with commercialism, and moral hand wringing over it diminishes.

Voluntary associations of all sorts fill the void. Many lack the personal involvement that marks earlier movements and become strictly fiduciary. Many see Christianity as the best way to tie Americans together, and resist the concepts of liberty of...

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This section contains 905 words
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