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Author(s): C. L. Mowat
Review by: C. L. Mowat
Source: The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Apr., 1960), pp. 257-259
Published by: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
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I58) There are a numberof proofreadingslips in spelling and dates (Rogers'first rangercommissionwas dated i756.133 on Thu. 534. $7. In a sequel he will describe the "struggle" of these forces between i7gi and i8oo. After the American Revolution and in spite of its influence. perhaps now the injustice may be partiallyredressed. I45 and p. envied his militaryreputation. If Rogers were constantlyin debt. On the whole admirablywritten.Betweenthem they laid him low.this volume has its flaws.Rogers was clearlythe victim of a conspiracywhich historiansever since have compoundedby neglecting him.Yet the volume is swift-paced.109.50. in France. And. CortlandState Collegeof Education Cortland. was only afterCongresshad rejectedhis services.New York DONALD H. not I760). and to turn from parochial or even national researches to the broad. R. He sees in the period from I760 to i79i a unity embodied in the Democratic Revolution. By R.His superior. he borrowedfirst to pay his rangers-and was never fully repaid. affecting even Ireland and halted only-and This content downloaded from 150. 1959. but it took considerable doing. and the researchextensive. synoptic view of history.and Sir William Johnsonfeared his effortsto acquireland and his influence with the Indians. and the Hapsburg Empire during the i760's. (Princeton: and America. STEWART The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe The Challenge. 18 Jun 2015 09:08:09 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and thoroughpreparationand training. whether in Europe or the British colonies in North America. the challenge of democratic ideas to government by privilege. Pp. Professor Palmer descries and describes an "aristocraticresurgence" in the same European countries.but not the oppositionof so many more of Rogers'associates. though he fought for Englandduringthe Revolution. and the indexing is incomplete. scorning the collaborative method.244.GeneralGage. I760-i800: Princeton University Press. This democratic movement is traced in Britain and her American colonies. PALMER.the phrasingoften vivid. Accusationsof treason made againsthim were manifestfabricationsto discredithim. Sweden.superbwoodsmanship.secrecy.(comparep.Amherst'sambivalentattitudetoward him is not elucidated.Johnson's hatredand that of Gage are explained.257 REVIEWSOF BOOKS fromdaring.) In this arresting book Professor Palmer (to borrow from his title) challenges historians by his example to undertake large works singlehanded.

i85) to the Ameri- This content downloaded from 150.133 on Thu. (pp.244. Instead of a brilliant essay we are given a somewhat unwieldy book. using the old suspicions of country against court which produced the county associations. In France this revolte nobilaire was the proximate cause of the Revolution. He is too self-conscious in his unusual task ("occupied more with European than American history. From an enterprise of this scale and boldness complete success is hardly to be expected. i86).109. the true reformers. There is a freshness of view which comes from a novel perspective. Rather. It can be argued that both in Great Britain and in Ireland aristocratic (or oligarchic) government was never seriously challenged in the I76o's and so could experience no "resurgence" in the eighties. It is thus an exaggeration to ascribe "the climax and failure of the early movement for parliamentary reform in England" (p. easier." (p. He has. Professor Palmer's style is clear if undistinguished. between representativeson mission in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War and in France a few years later. 309) We are shown the irresponsibility of the Whigs in opposition before and during the American war: they undermined American respect for the King and for Parliament and fanned American discontent which they had no power or ideas for relieving. he would have produced a much shorter. Mably. in fact. Interesting questions are asked and answered: the comparative tax burdens in the American colonies and several European countries. He is occasionally repetitious and is led into needlessly discursive accounts of Rousseau and Voltaire. Parallels not always observed become clear: between American committees of correspondence and the similar committees of the English county associations of I780. Had he confined himself to this.258 WILLIAM AND MARY QUARTERLY there temporarily-in Poland. Burke. I72-I73) Not all Professor Palmer's parallels will command assent. the comparative numbers of American loyalists and French emigres. Not that it does not have great merits. confused analysis with description. I have been able only to sample this literature" of the American Revolution: p. 18 Jun 2015 09:08:09 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . When the American war went badly this clique temporarily reasserted itself. We are reminded of Burke's essential conservatism long before the French Revolution and springing chiefly from his "adulation of Parliament. and other men whose ideas interest him. His task is not to narrate the various revolutions of the time but to correlate them. It soon parted from the radicals. and Pitt was able to restore the former mixture of oligarchic government and limited royal influence. with an unnecessary (because unpolemical) intrusion of the personal pronoun. George III's intervention in politics challenged the power of a Whig clique and sent some of its members into opposition. Delolme. and more closely reasoned work. Mounier.

" wrote Governor Bernard in 1765. i62) The Americans rebelled. 202) But the government of the American colonies had never been aristocratic: the colonial oligarchies (from which most of the Revolutionary leaders came) were based." (p. as a model for those seeking a better world. When it came to war with Great Britain. as Professor Palmer shows. but against the British attempt to impose a new order in the imperial reorganization after I763. The government. would American democracy have formulated and demonstrated its ideas in time to furnish inspiration to the democratic revolution in Europe? University College of North Wf'ales. and set up America. 302) reads strangely. it dethroned England.133 on Thu. to be perfect States. It furnished a model for putting into effect the ideas of government by consent and the sovereignty of the people. "The People as Constituent Power. Professor Palmer does not claim that the American Revolution grew out of the European movements. MOWAT Bangor This content downloaded from 150.244.. The remark that "with Pitt in office the aristocracy was kept at a distance" (p." Above all. made a concession to the nationalism of the Anglo-Irish gentry. in the making of the state and federal constitutions (as an admirable chapter.. Nor can Grattan's Parliament be represented as the triumph of democracy in Ireland.109. but then allowed the continuing strength of the Protestant "ascendancy" and the influence of Fitzgibbon and Beresford at Dublin Castle to nullify its effect-hardly a case of aristocratic resurgence. .REVIEWS OF BOOKS 259 can Revolution. . but he does. Democracy. (p." shows) it demonstrated that a sovereign people could form a government and put themselves under it. 214) It familiarized the "convention"as a body to frame and ratify a constitution.. In John Adams's preamble to the Massachusetts constitution of I780. on institutions far more democratic (for example in the franchise) than in contemporary Britain. like other American attributes. it anglicized the word "citizen. C. not against an old order as in Europe. Thus the American Revolution "inspired the sense of a new era . L. in a striking chapter. show how pervasive was its inspiration upon Europe.kinship between democratic movements in Europe and America. it was "a struggle between democratic and aristocratic forces. 282) Yet-one last caveat-the American Revolution represents the democratic challenge only in a limited sense. whose influence Professor Boorstin has so convincingly described. This is not to deny a. not otherwise dependent on Great Britain than by having the same King. "In America they claim ." (p. had evolved in response to the American environment. Without this challenge. hard pressed in the war. (p. 18 Jun 2015 09:08:09 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .