A Democratic Revolution

At the end of the Revolutionary War, in the 1780s, some people, most notably the Tories, wanted power to remain in the hands of the aristocracy; they believed that all men meant all gentlemen. Many Tories feared that "the Revolution would lead to a democratic upheaval" and these fears were not "without foundation" (Miller, 500). Some Americans certainly "regarded the principles of the Declaration of Independence as presaging a new social and political order" (500). The democratic features of the Revolution included a call for 'no taxation without representation' at home, denouncing certain titles such as 'His Excellency,' resentment against profiteers, demands for "all institutions to be subjected to the test of reason" (501) and other aspects.

One of the democratic features of the new country was the almost equal pay provided to the soldiers. This egalitarianism was defended by the New Englanders and attacked by the Southerners. The best example of democracy was the violent upheaval that swept away the Quaker oligarchy in Pennsylvania (503). The final draft of the Constitution is a great example of democracy all in itself. It made America safe for democracy. After the Peace of Paris, Americans finally put away their arms and "vigorously sought to apply the ideals for which they had fought to conditions at home" (505).