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Was the American Revolution liberal (yes) or conservative (no) in nature?

Asked by: Ozzyhead
  • The American Revolution sought to preserve the colonial lifestyle.

    According to Merriam-Webster, conservative means ": believing in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society : relating to or supporting political conservatism" and while at first it may seem like the Revolution was a liberal movement, since the beliefs of the Founding Fathers are best classified as "classical liberalism," in context the Revolution did nothing but preserve the colonists' current society. The political, social, and economic conditions of the colonies at the time were based off of Age of Enlightenment thought: republicanism, liberty, and tolerance. When the authoritarian rule of the English crown and Parliament attempted to strengthen its control over the colonies, they became enraged and began to resist British rule. The main figures of the American Revolution were not bringing forth anything new for their country; they were merely conserving the colonial order that had been in place for more than a century. In that sense, the Revolution was actually conservative in that it was resistance against change.

  • I say liberal

    Since liberal is for changing, and conservative is for keeping everything traditional, the American Revolution was liberal in nature. We noticed a problem, and we changed it. So, the revolution, as I can conclude, was absolutely liberal in nature, and was not conservative in nature (sorry for sounding like an idiot and being repetitive. I did not want to use all the required amount of words so I inflated this a little)

  • No as in none of them.

    It can't be described as liberal or conservative. Political Alignments have evolved to the point that nothing from that century was similar to anything we have today. Of course, with the moral-extremism of the time, it'd be closer to conservatism. It just can't be described as conservatism. It was anti-taxes, against gay marriage and strongly religious.

  • Change isn't always liberal

    The American revolution was really both. At the time, it really would have been a Republican movement. (I mean the classical version, not the GOP). It was also liberal in the classic version (almost entirely divorced from modern liberals). Looking at the reasons for the revolt: high taxes, small-ish Government, and constitutional law, it would suggest modern conservatism, but also classic Liberalism. It all depends on whether you are using modern or classic definitions. Regardless, it cannot be compared in any substantial way to modern politics.

  • It was to form a 'more perfect republic'

    The conservative element of the Revolution was to give more flexibility to citizens to work or trade for property, or in other words, bargaining power. Property owners have always had great bargaining power in the face of government. Liberals are opposed to property and believe government is the moral equivalent of a legal guardian tasked with make financial decisions or charitable donations on our behalf. This puts government in the dangerous position of appearing morally superior to its citizens. But as James Madison said in Federalist 51, "But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" After all , it is "us" in government. We do not become morally superior just because we get elected. More often, our moral short comings are revealed.

  • It's difficult to say

    The southern English Patriots were not as orthodox in their social or religious views as the Scots-Irish/northern English Patriots were. It was the Scots-Irish who were Baptists. The southern English were mostly Anglicans, Congregationalists, forming the basis for what is mainline Protestantism today. So yeah it's hard to say. It depended on who you were.

  • It was actually Communist

    The American Revolution was a Communist endeavor. It was Karl Marx's Grandfather who started the whole thing when he went with Benedict Arnold to have tea with the British, however, he refused the British tea because the Brits had no milk, thereby angering the Brits, then promptly tripping over Benedict Arnold, who never forgave America for the whole deal.

  • It was to form a 'more perfect republic'

    The conservative element of the Revolution was to give more flexibility to citizens to work or trade for property, or in other words, bargaining power. Property owners have always had great bargaining power in the face of government. Liberals are opposed to property and believe government is the moral equivalent of a legal guardian tasked with make financial decisions or charitable donations on our behalf. This puts government in the dangerous position of appearing morally superior to its citizens. But as James Madison said in Federalist 51, "But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" After all , it is "us" in government. We do not become morally superior just because we get elected. More often, our moral short comings are revealed.


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miles-pro-libertate says2014-04-20T18:40:28.560
Seriously why did this website put mine in the Yes section when I posted it in the No section I mean come on.
Seido says2014-04-20T19:07:16.847
Uh... This is a pretty complicated question. For back then, it was likely a pretty liberal thing as it had to do with individual rights, among other issues. However, by today's standards, it would likely have been considered to be a conservative or libertarian revolution for the same reasons.
Pfalcon1318 says2014-04-20T20:53:24.417
Classically liberal (aka libertarian)