Did the American Revolution have any effect on society in America?
“Though it occurred more than 200 years ago, the American Revolution’s impact reaches to the present day.”
There is no doubt that the American Revolution changed America tremendously. But did the revolution change anything in society? Although the American Revolution changed America as a whole, it did not significantly change American society at all.
Historians agree that the American Revolution did not significantly change society. Daniel J. Boorstin says that “the Revolution was fought to preserve these freedoms rather than to create new ones.” The freedoms Boorstin is talking about were the economic, political, and religious freedoms that most white males had. Boorstin says that the classes that had no participation in these freedoms, namely black slaves, women, and the very poor, were not much affected by the Revolution. Boorstin argues that the American Revolution was fought not to increase the rights of the citizens, but to preserve the current status quo. Boorstin is not the only historian who believes this, however. Richard L. Bushman also believes that the Revolution had no immediate impact on society. “Social and cultural change growing out of the Revolution was… halting and incomplete.” Bushman states a few pieces of evidence to support this statement. He says that despite continuing controversy, slavery continued to the Civil War. This proves that slavery was one social condition that, although being frowned upon after the successful revolution, was still unchanged and continuing afterwards. Bushman also mentions that women were not able to vote until 1920. Bushman says that this was “another instance of blatant inequality.” Although men got more suffrage due to the Revolution, women were not so lucky. These historians and many others believe that the American Revolution caused no significant changes in society.
Along with historians believing that the Revolution had no effect on the society of young America, there are also some examples of political changes that caused there to be no significant changes in society. The only major change in society was when 80,000 of the more obvious Loyalists fled from the country. Although this changed the structure of society, it generally had no effect on the rest of society because the Tories that did not leave adjusted to the new order and just moved on. A religious change that had no effect on society was the ejection of the Church of England. This expulsion proved to wrought no earthshaking change. The Episcopal Church replaced it with a minimum of jarring. There was no significant change in society even with these political changes.
Political changes had no effect on the society of America after the American Revolution. Historians also agree that there were no significant social changes. The American Revolution had little to no fundamental change in American society.