The social history in the United States of America has influenced the historiography of the American Revolution. The debate on the American Revolution has brought out by Gwenda Morgan, involved an in-depth study of the way historians dealt with the start of the American Revolution. The book examines how historians in different periods understood the causes, events and meaning of the American Revolution. This paper looks at social history influenced the historiography of the American Revolution.
Historiography refers to the study of how writing on historical topics has changed over time. The social history in the United States had a considerable contribution to the historiography of the American Revolution. The domination of the old school in the social history had an influence on the American Revolution historiography. The writers of the American social history, until the 1960s, had an influence on the American historiography. They put emphasis on euro-centric and homogeneity of professional historians. They praised American institutions that existed before the start of the American Revolution. Therefore, the historiography of the American Revolution borrowed from the old school of American writers. The old school considered Native Americans as one non-diverse people, who created obstacles to change. They considered Africans as slaves and gave men an upper hand in the society.
The social influence from the new school group of writers provided the origins of the progressive school of American historians who contributed to the historiography of the American Revolution. They had the belief that industrialization, social class and racism had shattered the American dream. They considered the Marxist history that had a relation with relativism and the progressive era in the United States of America.
The formation of the American constitution before the American Revolution paid attention to the interests of a small, influential group of people who wanted to safeguard their economic interests. They made the constitution an economic document that favored a group of people who controlled the economy before the American Revolution. In the book, the debate of the American Revolution, Morgan adds that neo-Whig and neo-progressive historians contributed to the historiography of the American Revolution by making the federal constitution.
The issue about the social history of the treatment of African-Americans, women and Native Americans also had an influence towards the historiography of the American Revolution. Historians had written on how the African-Americans got treated as slaves while women formed the inferior and minority group in the United States of America before the American Revolution. Women had no say in the key issues that affected the American society. Men took this responsibility. Women only followed what men prescribed for them. Their treatment had the same characteristic as that which slaves experienced.
At that time, Americans had no feeling of nationalism because most Americans had pride being part of the British imperial system. The American Revolution lasted a century, but it had nothing foreordained or preordained. The social history that touched on ill treatment that the blacks, Indians, merchants and debtors experienced contributed to the historiography of the American Revolution. They challenged the authority and protested against the ill treatment that the gentry put them through. In her book, Morgan talked about all these social historical issues that influenced the historiography of the American Revolution
The old and early school of thought together with the history of slaves, merchants, African-Americans and women had a significant influence on American Revolution. These groups formed a strong opposition that led to the American Revolution. The American historiography had a rich influence from all these groups together with other factors, such as lack of nationalism and the making of a one sided constitution that protected the economic interests of the high class.