Since a can hardly be a flexible approach to consensus, the American Revolution had to be written off as a mere localized "conservative" resistance to the British government. On the American Revolution, their works include: Boorstin, Thus, by the end of the 1950s, American historians were further away than ever from appreciating the fact that the American revolution was truly revolutionary.Furthermore, by deprecating the revolutionary nature of the American Revolution, the Consensus school could isolate it from the indisputably radical French Revolution and other modern upheavals, and continue to denounce the latter as ideological and socially disruptive while seeming to embrace the founding heritage of America. They did not perceive that it was largely animated by a passionately held and radical libertarian ideology that integrated the moral, political, and economic reasons for rebelling against the British imperial regime.
On the left, the Marxian historian Herbert Aptheker also advanced this position.
He chided the 1930s Progressives for their opposition to the revolution as a minority class movement in Weaving together a scintillating tapestry of trans-Atlantic history, Palmer vindicated the radicalism of the American Revolution.
For they added the important economic dimension—the struggles over the British attempt to impose taxes, mercantile restrictions, and a monopoly over the importation of tea into the colonies. Inspired by the overall work on American history of Charles A.
Beard, the Progressives also posed a contrast to the constitutional or philosophic American motivations asserted by the older historians: namely, economic motivation and class interests.
It replaced the view held by Progressives and Imperialists alike that the revolution was a minority action imposed on a reluctant public.
Particularly important in developing this position was the judicious work by John Richard Alden, still the best one volume book on the revolutionary war period.In short, the American leaders, in particular the wealthy merchants, struggled on behalf of their economic interests, against British restrictions and tax levies.Believing in the inevitability of class conflict, and seeing only the merchants as driven by their economic interests toward rebellion, the Progressives then had to explain two things: the continuing recourse to ideas and ideology by the American leaders, and the adoption of this ideology by the mass of the public.But while the assertion of the natural rights of man could far better stir the passions than mere legal and constitutional differences, there was still a vital missing link: for how many colonists indeed sat down to read the abstract philosophy of John Locke?The "Progressive" historians, dominant in the later 1920s and the 1930s, added another, and exciting dimension to the analysis of the causes of the American Revolution.The major works of the "Imperial" school are Lawrence H. It is impossible to read the letters, or the published writings of the leaders, as well as of the American public, and doubt the passionate sincerity with which they held their revolutionary ideas.Furthermore, the Progressives overlooked several other important points.But the Consensus historians did make one important contribution.They restored the older idea of the American Revolution as a movement of the great of the American people.And since both ideology and economic interests can cause conflicts, both were discarded as causal factors in the American past.Instead, the Consensus school saw American history as guided not by "doctrinaire" ideas nor by economic interests but rather by a flexible, pragmatic, ad hoc approach to problem-solving.