Louis Gottschalk And His Causes Of Revolution As A Theory

Louis Gottschalk believes there are several stages of the revolutionary process. For him, the first cause of revolution is demand for change, which is " provocation' if it results in dissatisfaction sufficiently general to create not merely a certain slough of subjective despair but an epidemic desire for action. Such provocation came in the American Revolution" (Gottschalk, 104). The tariff impositions and the general satisfaction with the British treatment of American colonies led to the Revolutionary War. He believes the second cause is the hopefulness of change by the public, which includes a program of reform and leadership. The intellectuals, the revolutionaries, are an important part of the program. Gottschalk points to "the Lockes, the Franklins, the Otises, the Henrys, and the Adamses [as] furnish[ing] programs for the American Revolution" (105). According to this historian, these kinds of people are the ones who stand at the forefront of the revolutionary movement. He is correct, some of the people he has mentioned, plus others such as Jefferson, are the men who will forever be known as the founding fathers of America. As part of their leadership role, these revolutionaries must take the first step and be prepared to "assume leadership for the next" (106) one. These people facilitated the writing of American Constitution, and they are also the ones who strongly believed in fighting the British government for the colonies' independence. The important and the "necessary immediate cause" (107) of the Revolution is the weakness of conservative forces. This one is not as visible in the American Revolution. In fact, according to Crane Brinton, it does not exist. However, one cannot but agree that "in the eyes of most men, the sole justification for a revolution is its success" (Spitzer, 180). The American Revolution was justified by "tyranny and misgovernment" (Edwards, 84). Since there is no doubt that the American Revolution was a success (some would say an ongoing process, but a success as far as establishing a new and satisfying regime), it must be agreed that the American Revolution was warranted and truly a Revolution.