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conservative movements

On the other hand is a “conservative” revolution: there is a great social upheaval, often accompanied by armed conflict, but the resulting society is not very different from the old society. The American Revolution is called a “conservative” revolution because, unlike most revolutions of its kind, it wasn’t an attempt to make fundamental changes to the society it occurred in. Most of the laws and social institutions remained virtually unchanged. The only major change was the sovereignty of the British Crown, but it wasn’t considered abolished so much as it was considered to be transfered to the United States Government, and modified according to the terms of the Constitution (which itself was strongly influenced by English legal theory). The Common Law (that is to say, the law made by judges) was inherited wholecloth by the American judiciary, though it did eventually evolve as American judges modified it over the next few decades. All-in-all the transfer of power from the British Crown to the American public was designed (with admittedly debatable success) to disturb law and institutional order as little as possible. A comparable revolution to this one would be the Glorious Revolution in the mid-1600s in Great Britain; the English Monarchy remained in tact, but the man on the throne was replaced (and a new Bill of Rights was drafted).

Additionally, the nature of the Revolution made it more “conservative.” It was not a mass movement, but fomented by elites: property owners, lawyers, bankers, etc., who sought to establish a state designed to protect property ownership and prevent drastic, unpredictable changes in the law. It was also a minority movement: only about a third of colonial citizens actually supported the Revolution, the other 2/3 were either indifferent or outright supported British sovereignty.

TL;DR: Despite the bloodshed, not much changed, and it was a revolution by and for the elites, not the masses.2.1k Views · View 3 Upvoters · Answer requested by Jon Budiwijaya

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