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From the most basic of realities, the American Revolution brought about socio- political reforms that no longer looked to England for guidance. As a nation that was defined in the parent nation's shadow and constantly saw itself as a part of it, this was a seismic shift in focus. From the social point of view, American identity was rooted in its own sense of self, without needing the parent nation for its definition. This resulted in a new thinking on a social level, with authors like Benjamin Franklin pioneering a new form of Enlightenment thinking that was uniquely American, a social form of egalitarianism where practicality and pragmatism replaced landed title and prestige. This was helped by an increase in literacy, as evidenced in newspapers and concern with constructing political reality. The desire to be free from England was seen in the new government. The drafting of the Articles of Confederation signaled one of the strongest breaks with England in a decentralized government that was more concerned with individual autonomy through states rights and sovereignty more than anything else. Such a spirit of seeking to define itself against England helps to explain how the American Revolution brought about a new level of social and political level of reform and change.
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