What are reasons the American Revolution was radical?

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While there is much to be said for the previous answer, there are also places where I would take issue with it.  Mainly, it is very hard to agree with the idea that those who won the war were “not landed wealth, established gentry, and did not come from entrenched interests of power.”  If we look at the people who came to power after the Revolution, it is hard to say they were not wealthy members of the gentry.  Washington and Jefferson were wealthy plantation owners.  John Adams was from a prominent family.  Thus, the major leaders who came out of the Revolution were the same people who had been in power (at least among the colonists) before the Revolution.

To talk about the way in which the Revolution was radical, I would turn to Gordon Wood’s The Radicalism of the American Revolution .  Wood argues that the true radicalism of the Revolution came from the idea that it inspired the lower classes.  He says that the leaders of the Revolution expected that they would be the...

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