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The Age of the Democratic RevolutionA Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800$
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R. R. Palmer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161280

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161280.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

The Age of the Democratic Revolution

The Age of the Democratic Revolution

(p.5) Chapter I The Age of the Democratic Revolution
The Age of the Democratic Revolution

R. R. Palmer

Princeton University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book deals with Western Civilization as a whole at a critical moment in its history, or with what has sometimes recently been called the Atlantic Civilization, a term probably closer to reality in the eighteenth century than in the twentieth. The book argues that this whole civilization was swept, in the last four decades of the eighteenth century, by a single revolutionary movement, which manifested itself in different ways and with varying success in different countries, yet in all of them showed similar objectives and principles. This forty-year movement was essentially “democratic,” and these years are in fact the Age of the Democratic Revolution. The “democratic revolution” emphasized the delegation of authority and the removability of officials precisely because neither delegation nor removability were much recognized in actual institutions.

Keywords:   Western civilization, Atlantic civilization, revolutionary movement, democratic revolution

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