Revolutionary Founders: Rebels, Radicals, and Reformers in the Making of the Nation
In twenty-two original essays, leading historians reveal the radical impulses at the founding of the American Republic. Here is a fresh new reading of the American Revolution that gives voice and recognition to a generation of radical thinkers and doers whose revolutionary ideals outstripped those of the Founding Fathers.
While the Founding Fathers advocated a break from Britain and espoused ideals of republican government, none proposed significant changes to the fabric of colonial society. As privileged and propertied white males, they did not seek a revolution in the modern sense; instead, they tried to maintain the underlying social structure and political system that enabled men of wealth to rule. They firmly opposed social equality and feared popular democracy as a form of "levelling."
Yet during this "revolutionary" period some people "did" believe that "liberty" meant "liberty for all" and that "equality" should be applied to political, economic, and religious spheres. Here are the stories of individuals and groups who exemplified the radical ideals of the American Revolution more in keeping with our own values today. This volume helps us to understand the social conflicts unleashed by the struggle for independence, the Revolution's achievements, and the unfinished agenda it left for future generations to confront.
List of Illustrations -- Introduction To Begin the World Over Again / Alfred F. Young, Ray Raphael, Gary B. Nash -- Part I. Revolutions -- 1. Ebenezer Mackintosh: Boston's Captain General of the Liberty Tree / Alfred F. Young -- 2. Blacksmith Timothy Bigelow and the Massachusetts Revolution of 1774 / Ray Raphael -- 3. Samuel Thompson's War: The Career of an American Insurgent / T. H. Breen -- 4. Philadelphia's Radical Caucus That Propelled Pennsylvania to Independence and Democracy / Gary B.Nash -- 5. A World of Paine / Jill Lepore -- 6. Phillis Wheatley: The Poet Who Challenged the American Revolutionaries / David Waldstreicher -- Part II. Wars -- 7. Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings: The Betrayals of Private Joseph Plumb Martin, Continental Soldier / Philip Mead -- 8. The Spirit of Levelling: James Cleveland, Edward Wright, and the Militiamen's Struggle for Equality in Revolutionary Virginia / Michael A. McDonnell -- 9. Mary Perth, Harry Washington, and Moses Wilkinson: Black Methodists Who Escaped from Slavery and Founded a Nation / Cassandra Pybus -- 10. James Ireland, John Leland, John Swearing Jack Waller, and the Baptist Campaign for Religious Freedom in Revolutionary Virginia / Jon Butler -- 11. Declaring Independence and Rebuilding a Nation: Dragging Canoe and the Chickamauga Revolution / Colin G. Calloway -- 12. Forgotten Heroes of the Revolution: Han Yerry and Tyona Doxtader of the Oneida Indian Nation / James Kirby Martin -- Part III. The Promise of the Revolution -- 13. Satan, Smith, Shattuck, and Shays: The People's Leaders in the Massachusetts Regulation of 1786 / Gregory Nobles -- 14. William Findley, David Bradford, and the Pennsylvania Regulation of 1794 / Terry Bouton -- 15. The New Jerusalem: Herman Husband's Egalitarian Alternative to the United States Constitution / Wythe Holt -- 16. Battle Against Patriarchy That Abigail Adams Won / Woody Holton -- 17. America's Mary Wollstonecraft: Judith Sargent Murray's Case for the Equal Rights of Women / Sheila Skemp -- 18. Prince Hall, Richard Allen, and Daniel Coker: Revolutionary Black Founders, Revolutionary Black Communities / Richard S. Newman -- 19. Richard and Judith Randolph, St. George Tucker, George Wythe, Syphax Brown, and Hercules White: Racial Equality and the Snares of Prejudice / Melvin Patrick Ely -- 20. Every Man Should Have Property: Robert Coram and the American Revolution's Legacy of Economic Populism / Seth Cottar -- 21. Thomas Greenleaf: Printers and the Struggle for Democratic Politics and Freedom of the Press / Jeffrey L. Pasley -- 22. The Plough-Jogger: Jedediah Peck and the Democratic Revolution / Alan Taylor -- Afterword / Eric Foner -- Acknowledgments -- Notes -- List of Contributors -- Index.