Jeremy Keeshin Précis, Faces of Revolution: Personalities and Themes in the Struggle for American Independence by Bernard Bailyn

The Philadelphia convention did not produce an original document, but a refined second-generation one. It would create a most powerful government with all rights and safeguards to protect those rights. The aggressive results of the 1781 Constitution were made by young minds reforming old ideas in new ways. Revolutionary beliefs had been circulating throughout politics, but were not inevitable. The inevitable part was that a liberal, democratic, and capitalist society would surface in America. The modernization in America was radically different than those of France and Germany. France’s ideas were much more egalitarian, and the struggle was much bloodier. The German attempt did not even come close to succeeding. The American distinction from Britain was vital in creating a modern liberal state. The two systems were drastically different. The British modernization revolved around the removing of the crown. The American modernization came from an active intellectual group. Their independence allowed them to act more freely than was allowed in Britain and started two integral ideas. The first idea is that power is evil and all the written constitutions and separation of powers were measures taken to restrain this evil. Power became more spread out and therefore was more able to be disputed. The second idea is that privilege confines man to certain limits. In the community the privileged Americans felt the needs to liberate people. However, to say that extreme hypocrisy exists when amidst men of equality there is slavery is a shortsighted view of history. These founders were only living in their time and were confined to those limits. The eighteenth century was a brutal age in Britain and America. Slavery existed, because as far as they knew, slavery had always existed. To say that the leaders were for freedom only half-heartedly is skewing the story. Those who were for liberty, although not abolishing slavery, set that act in motion. All the founders, such as Jefferson, ideally wanted a free society, but realized that a major aspect of the society in slavery needed to be eradicated in order to do so. Many did not want slavery, but after weighing the options, the survival of the nation was more important at the time than trying to get rid of slavery. Although freedom from slavery did not exist, the hope was started that it would. As the Founding Fathers were not perfect, their actions could not be. The creation of a political system and the destruction of privilege are two events that are not immediate in action. That is why the ideas of the American Revolution are still in motion and will continue to be until a truly free society is created.