Shira Lurie: “Liberty Poles and the Two American Revolutions”

“In the 1790s, two political parties emerged, each with its own view of what the American Revolution had been fought for and what it had achieved. The Federalists, those who supported the Washington and Adams administrations, believed that the Revolution had established representative government and majority rule as the backbones of popular sovereignty. Americans would no longer suffer taxation without representation, as they now had a government of their own choosing. In contrast, the Republicans, the emergent opposition party, held that the Revolution had been about popular resistance to tyrannical legislation. To them, the Revolution had secured for citizens the ability to regulate government conduct through crowd action.”