21-2 - SUMMARY: Chapter 21: THE REVOLUTION IN POLITICS...

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SUMMARY: Chapter 21: THE REVOLUTION IN POLITICS (1775-1815) The course focuses on three aspects of history: 1. Political and Diplomatic history 2. Intellectual and cultural history 3. Economic and Social history Modern world of domestic and international politics begins A. Liberty and Equality: Two ideas fueled the revolutionary period – liberty and equality Liberty: Individual rights Freedom of worship – opposed concept of monarch determining state religion Freedom of speech – an end to censorship Freedom of association – ability to meet when, where and with whom they chose Liberty of Justice – the concept of the Supremacy of Law Limits to freedom – cannot harm another person or deny them their rights New governmental form Popular Sovereignty Representative democracy Self-determination Equality: Theory: All citizen have equal rights and CIVIL LIBERTIES No special privilege by class – no artificial, legal inequality Practice: No equality between men and women – all political rights (to vote, run for office, participate in government) to women limited No economic equality – only in the ‘pursuit’ - a form of equality of opportunity rather than result. 1. The Roots of Liberalism Classical Liberalism – based on Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian belief in sanctity and value of individual human beings. Renaissance humanism – perfectibility of man Reformation – stressed personal responsibility and liberty without anarchy Enlightenment: Dignity and happiness Rationality and progress Greater personal liberty Key thinkers: Montesquieu – separation of powers and checks and balances Locke – popular rejection of tyranny (a government that does not govern according to the contract) 2. The Attraction of Liberalism: Belief in representative institutions Not necessarily a belief in democracy – equated to ‘mob rule’ English parliamentary ‘aristocracy’ set the example of oligarchic and enlightened rule Lacked strong popular support
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Not practical to the everyday needs of the lower classes Long-held traditional practices such as loyalty to the monarch Poor relations between the elite and the commoners over past issues such as enclosure and state monopolies B. The American Revolution, 1775-1789: Thirteen colonies successfully revolted against Great Britain and established a unified government Revolution or War of Independence? Conservative in demands- mostly for protection of English common laws - and resulted in few economic and social changes Liberal in its approach to government and personal liberties 1. The Origins of the Revolution: Economic Causes: Dispute over taxes: Costs of Seven Years’ War –doubled British national debt Re-organization of empire – maintaining large armies in colonies for defense Stamp Act (1765) – (a mild tax compared to
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21-2 - SUMMARY: Chapter 21: THE REVOLUTION IN POLITICS...

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