ERIC Number: ED101049
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1974-Jan-9
Reference Count: N/A
Revolution and the Political Integration of the Enslaved and Disenfranchised.
Wood, Gordon S.
The American Revolution transformed the American colonies into republics, which meant that ordinary people were no longer to be considered "subjects" to be ruled as they were under a monarchy. They were thereafter to be citizens--participants themselves in the ruling process. Because the process of creating of a republican citizenry seemed so simple for us, we have believed it ought to be simple for others. It seems to us to be merely a matter of allowing the people to vote. Because voting is the most obvious means by which the people participate in politics, we have tended to emphasize the right to vote as the necessary and sufficient criterion of democratic politics. But this is a mistake. The suffrage is clearly a prerequiste for democratic politics, but it is hardly all there is to it. It is important for us in our bicentennial celebrations to examine our Revolution and its heritage and to seek to understand the sources of our political practice and values. Only with knowledge of the conditions that underlie the principle of consent in our polity can we confront the world and the future. Voting is in fact only the exposed tip of an incredibly complicated political and social process. How this progress came about and how the people became involved in politics are questions that lie at the heart of the American Revolution. (Author/JM)
Descriptors: Colonial History (United States), Political Power, Power Structure, Racial Discrimination, Racism, Revolution, Revolutionary War (United States), Slavery, Social Attitudes, Social Change, Social Discrimination, Social Integration, Social Structure, United States History, Voting
American Enterprise Inst. for Public Policy Research, 1150 Seventeenth St., N.W., Washington, D. C. 20030 ($1.00)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Enterprise Inst. for Public Policy Research, Washington, DC.