American Revolution

Start Free Trial

Student Question

Why isn't the American Revolution considered a revolution?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One can argue that the American Revolution was not a revolution because it did not fundamentally change the social or even the political system of the American colonies.

Before the Revolution, the colonies were a fairly egalitarian society that was based on free enterprise and had a fair degree of democracy.  After the Revolution, nothing changed in a qualitative or revolutionary way.  America was still egalitarian, though it was perhaps more so after the Revolution.  It was still based on free enterprise.  America was more democratic after the Revolution, but the change was not huge.  

Essentially, the Revolution (one can argue) caused a change at the top of the American system, substituting American elites for British elites. Meanwhile, the system as a whole was not markedly different from that which existed before the Revolution.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial