Chapter

Customs in Common

Peter J. Marshall

in Remaking the British Atlantic

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199640355
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199640355.003.0015
Customs in Common

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Ardent republicans hoped that the American Revolution would not only lead to self‐government but to a revolution in ideas and manners that would make America independent of British influences. Americans and Britons had, however, too much in common for such a revolution to take quick effect. Both saw themselves as free people, whose rights were guaranteed by the English common law, which, suitably modified, Americans cherished as their own inheritance. Although often exhorted to, Americans were not prepared to renounce English fashions and models of genteel living. Most of the books they read were published in Britain. They sought recognition of their cultural and artistic achievements in Britain. Americans aspired to eminence in scientific learning, but here too they craved British recognition and created learned societies following British models.

Keywords: republicanism; liberty; the common law; culture; fashion; books; science

Chapter.  6349 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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