The Origin and Principles of the American Revolution, Compared with the Origin and Principles of the French Revolution.

Author: Friedrich Gentz, translated to English by John Quincy Adams.

Medium: Hi-fidelity Portable Document Format (PDF)
Last Updated: October 25, 2008
Download Size: 263 KB
Suggested Donation: US $1.00

Publisher's Commentary: This essay includes a brief history of the causes and principles of the American revolution. Gentz ably demonstrates the perfect legal propriety of the American revolution, showing that the British parliament had no authority to tax the colonists. The British parliament and crown strove to change the American constitution, and the American colonists strove to protect it. Only when the British government completely dissolved the constitution were the colonists forced to create a new one.

Gentz contrasts this limited legal maneuver with that of the French revolution, which seemed aimlessly bent on sheer destruction, raging against all law and reason. The bloodbath which swept across France eventually rocked all of Europe, and continues to ripple throughout the world.

What does this have to do with "The Cause of the South"? The United States did eventually suffer its own French-style revolution, with Lincoln and the (so-called) Republicans eventually overthrowing the existing constitution by force, instituting an absolute and unaccountable authority in its place, paving the way for creeping Marxism. Gentz provides valuable insight into both of these American revolutions.

Other Editions:

  • Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, Delmar, New York, 1977 (hardcopy facsimile of the 1800 edition).