The Origin and Principles of the American Revolution is perhaps one of the most important books written on the American Revolution by a European author. It is an original study of the subject by a conservative, objective German observer who acknowledges the legitimacy of the American Revolution, but also asserts at the same time that it was not a revolution but a legitimate transition. In this modern edition by Liberty Fund, Gentz makes a convincing and eloquent case in presenting—and defending— the American Revolution as an event of moderation founded on custom and prescriptive rights. Gentz further defends the colonists by stating they were acting as preservationists of their existing rights. Gentz believed the American Revolution should be understood not as a revolution, but as a secession. The Liberty Fund edition is supplemented by a new introduction and annotations that provide the reader with historical and contextual background to better create a more robust picture of Friedrich Gentz's thought.
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