Transcribed from the 19 September 2015 episode of This is Hell! Radio and printed with permission. Edited for space and readability. Listen to the full interview:
“On the day when the imperial courts were supposed to meet, 4,622 militiamen organized into 37 companies by their respective townships—half the adult male population of an entire sprawling county—showed up. They didn’t want blood. They just wanted to make sure that there was no imperial government. They shut down British authority.”
Chuck Mertz: A nation’s history—especially the stories it tells about its foundation, how the country became one—has defining characteristics that citizens embrace as an understanding of where their homeland has come from…and that in many ways dictate where it’s going.
So what happens when you haven’t been told the whole story? All of us have been told time and time again about the “Spirit of 1776,” without learning that it was really the revolutionary spirit of 1774, two years earlier, that truly sparked the revolution, the war, and the United States of America.
Ray Raphael is co-author of The Spirit of ’74: How the American Revolution Began, with his wife Marie Raphael. Ray, great to have you back on This is Hell!
Ray Raphael: Good to be talking to you again, Chuck.
CM: Always great to have you on. The first question I have for you was raised by a listener:
“The world views the US revolution as hardly innovative, using mostly the same structure the English had, while not granting many more human rights. It was more of a fight against colonialism, a colonialism we would then continue. The French Revolution of 1789 is far more revolutionary.”
So how revolutionary was the American Revolution?
RR: The American Revolution was many things, and I think the listener is lumping everything that happened in that revolution into one bundle. But I’m going to tell you today about a revolution that was absolutely unparalleled, and has not even been equaled since. Continue reading A Different Kind of American Revolution