Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Clifford Brown




American Revolution, French Revolution, radicalism, whiggism, liberalism, reform movement, republicanism, United States of America, Great Britain, United Kingdom, America, Britain, associations, clubs, constitution, constitutional development, George Washington, John Adams, Henry Adams, Sam Adams, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, John Marshall, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Gallatin, George Clinton, Clinton family, Robert Livingston, Benjamin Franklin, Bache, John Swanwick, Alexander Addison, Daniel Shays, Philip Freneau, James Callender, Thomas Paine, Joseph Preistley, Edmund Charles Genet, John Lamb, William Pitt, Pitt the Younger, Edmund Burke, John Reeves, Lord North, George 3, George III, Viscount Palmerston, Baron Greville, Charles Watson, Marquess of Rockingham, Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond, Charles Fox, Earl Grey, Henry Flood, Christopher Wyvill, Thomas Erskine, John Sawbridge, Richard Price, Joseph Priestly, John Cartwright, John Wilkes, Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Paine, William Godwin, Thomas Spence, John Thelwall, Joseph Gerrald, Thomas Hardy, Maurice Margarot, Edward Despard, William Cobbett, economics, taxation, sinking fund, stamp act, London corresponding society, society for constitutional information, rights of man, vindication, democratic societies, republican societies, elections, repression, Whiskey Rebellion, rebellion, agrarian revolt, parliament, congress, parliamentary government, democratic backslide, backslide, authoritarianism, freedoms, press, Ireland


In response to the French Revolution, sections of British and American political society mobilized to curtail the influence of French-inspired radicals and enforce their own power. Between 1789 and 1806, a process of democratic backsliding occurred simultaneously in Britain and America with remarkably similar characteristics. This is notable for the British and American cases, whose political systems famously ensured liberty and tranquility. Elements of both nations remained extremely hostile to the French Revolution beginning with March on Versailles and promoted legislation seeking to directly undermine political opposition. The antipathy towards the Revolution fractured British and American society into conservatives, moderates, and radicals, who came into conflict with one another. The composition of these groups, their political programs, and their conflicts were similar across national boundaries. This era is notable for the quick change away from libertarian government to attempted state suppression and calls to mind modern democratic backsliding due to alleged foreign backed political opposition.



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