Which democratic values were created, reinforced, or undermined by the experience of the Revolutionary War, and in what ways?

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For the American Revolutionaries themselves, the war against Britain was understood and framed as a war against tyranny, a viewpoint strongly reflected in the Declaration of Independence. To those that fought the Revolution, government is meant to be beholden to its people, with its legitimacy resting on a civic contract with the governed. With that in mind, the Revolutionary struggle was itself existentially tied to those core sentiments expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

Beyond these core principles, I would say one of the key democratic values that the experience of the Revolutionary War would have fostered was a sense of civic republicanism and civic duty, according to which rights and privileges carry with them obligations, both to one another and to the larger body politic. This is a line of thinking that stretches back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, and would remain present into the modern age. John F. Kennedy's words "ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country" constitute a twentieth-century variation on that same idea.

The generation that fought the Revolution would have understood this notion, given the degree of risk and suffering they would have experienced in fighting an armed revolution to bring the United States into being. The experience of years of armed struggle in the Revolution would have doubtlessly created a shared sense of common identity across the generation that fought it.

At the same time, however, you must also remember the bitter divisions the Revolution created between the Patriots and Loyalists (many of whom would be expelled from the United States). Generally speaking, we tend to associate democracies with pluralistic societies that allow for a wide range of political viewpoints. However, on the subject of the Revolution itself, a "with us or against us" mentality would have been imposed, pruning any dissent on the Revolutionary question.

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