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The Story of Virginia

Jefferson, Paine, and Monroe: The American Revolution’s Authentic Revolutionaries

Presenter: 
Dr. John Ferling
Duration: 
(01:00:34)

On June 26, 2018, John Ferling delivered a Banner Lecture, “Jefferson, Paine, and Monroe: The American Revolution’s Authentic Revolutionaries.” He discussed American history and his book, "Apostles of Revolution: Jefferson, Paine, Monroe and the Struggle Against the Old Order in America and Europe."

Some American revolutionaries in 1776 desired little domestic change and some who thought they wanted political and social transformations were quickly frightened by the changes that accompanied the American Revolution. But Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe were real revolutionaries. Not only did they long for changes in the fabric of America that could never be realized while the colonies remained under Britain’s thumb, but they also hoped the American Revolution would inspire revolutions that would sweep Europe free of monarchies and aristocracies and expand the rights of the people. Jefferson, Paine, and Monroe were active in both the American and the French Revolution, activism that brought them face to face with dangers of many kinds. Dr. John Ferling’s lecture explored the careers and relationships of these three Founders, why they became revolutionaries, how their thinking evolved after 1776, and which was the most radical.

John Ferling is Professor Emeritus at the University of West Georgia in metropolitan Atlanta and the author of fourteen books on early American history, including Almost A Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence, Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free, Whirlwind: The American Revolution and the War That Won It, and the recently published Apostles of Revolution: Jefferson, Paine, Monroe and the Struggle Against the Old Order in America and Europe.