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Taming Democracy: The People, the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution
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Taming Democracy: The People, the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  33 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Americans are fond of reflecting upon the Founding Fathers, the noble group of men who came together to force out the tyranny of the British and bring democracy to the land. Unfortunately, as Terry Bouton shows in this highly provocative first book, the Revolutionary elite often seemed as determined to squash democracy after the war as they were to support it before.
Hardcover, 332 pages
Published July 12th 2007 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2007)
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The author uses Pennsylvania as the lens through which to examine the causes of the Revolutionary War, the ideals that backed the move for independence, and how those ideals were subsequently limited and contained in the adoption of new state and national constitutions.

In years leading up to the revolution, both the gentry and the common people came to embrace a broad conviction that democracy is everyman’s right and that concentration of wealth was incompatible with democracy in the long run. O
Mike Emett
Although I do not agree with the author's thesis concerning which side practiced 'real democracy', how he viewed the Founders, 'the elites', or his speculations, this does provide a good debate over America's founding and first 20 years after 1776. He does focus on Pennsylvania with allusions to other states, so one might ask: Is Pennsylvania the rule or the exception?

Again, I do not agree with everything, but makes one think and want to research more. Good debates can come from this. Does end i
Anthony Galluzzo

Bouton's book is a powerful, if sometimes overly simplified, attempt to update the progressive school of American history. Bouton underlines the centrality of the plebeian classes in the making of the revolution, even as he argues that so much of what we honor as "great"-- in terms of the "Founding Fathers" and their Constitutional settlement--was intended to counter the people and the rising tide of democracy during the 1780s. This history also restores the Whiskey Rebellion to the place of imp
I admit that I got excited reading this history. With a little distance from it, I can see some critiques, but looking of the political-economy of the second half of the eighteenth century is a powerful tool for understanding the rural unrest and particularly the "whiskey and frie's" rebellion and other Regulator movements and where they came from
Aug 10, 2009 Allison marked it as i-swear-i-ll-finish-it-one-day
I think it's going to be difficult for me to rate/review this book because I've actually had Dr. Bouton as a professor. So when I read this book I hear his voice and see him bouncing around the classroom and doing his accents and making jokes about Gouverneur Morris.
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Taming Democracy: "The People," the Founders, and the Troubled Ending of the American Revolution

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