In Joyce Appleby's Inheriting the Revolution, she discusses the lives of Americans after the American Revolution is over and when their new lives begins. She points out many different aspects of the Americans lives. Appleby shows how the Americans changed and developed over the years by using real autobiographies of some of the people who lived in this time. Her main points of discussion are the Jefferson Republicans, their beliefs and how this led to public politics, slavery changes, and economic changes in the American society following the American Revolution.
One of Appleby's main points in the novel is that Thomas Jefferson and his beliefs were a big impact on political change after the American Revolution. Appleby explains how "Jefferson and his supporters democratized American politics" (27). He talked to the white men about their fears of the Federalists and brought new people into the state and national office. He was different from the federalists because he appealed more to the middle class, rather than the upper. This is important to the years to come because it involved people to get involved in their government instead of being overpowered by the government. Ordinary men were allowed to talk about politics and public business in public places almost everywhere such as Taverns, parlors, commons, and streets (29). Although Jefferson died in 1808, his beliefs led on to future politicians like Henry Clay and Andrew Jackson. These beliefs lead way to a whole new political way of life and the rest of Appleby"s book is based on the foundation of change that Jefferson laid for Americans in the future. .
Because of the new ability of people to discuss politics freely, this new change caused controversy because people did not always agree with one another. Appleby states at one point, "Americans continues to battle over the scope and character of government power" (30).