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.
Friedrich Gentz (1764-1832) was a conservative German political writer and theorist.
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) was the sixth President of the United States.
Peter Koslowski is Professor of Philosophy at VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands, where he has taught since 2004. He was Founding Director of the Hanover Institute of Philosophical Research, Hanover, Germany, from 1988 to 2001 and Visiting Scholar-in-Residence with Liberty Fund, Indianapolis, Indiana, from 2002 to 2003. His books include Principles of Ethical Economy
(2002) and The Ethics of Banking. Conclusions from the Financial Crisis
(German edition 2009, English edition forthcoming in 2010).