Theme: The American
Revolution was not a radical transformation like the French or Russian revolutions,
but it did produce political innovations and some social change in the direction
of greater equality and democracy.
Theme: Compromise on
a number of important issues was required in order to create the new federal
Constitution. Adopting the new document required great political skill and
involved changing the ratification process defined in the Articles of Confederation,
writing persuasively in support of the stronger central government, and promising
to add amendments to protect individual liberty and states' rights.
Theme: The federal
Constitution represented a moderately conservative reaction against the democratic
and decentralizing effects of the Revolution and the Articles of Confederation.
In effect, it embedded the revolutionary ideals of liberty and popular government
within a strong framework designed to advance national identity and interests
against the dangers of fragmentation and disorder.