In a vitriolic fashion, Freehling, W. (1972) argued that the founding fathers’ vision of a free nation was soon overshadowed by vested interests. In his view, The American Revolutionaries had, in the process of achieving independence from the British Empire, intended to achieve a political revolution, one in which power would not only be in the hands of the people, but also not concentrated in the interests of the lite. In this aspect, Freehling notes, they succeeded in a brilliant fashion, splitting the British Empire, which was by the end of the 18th century the mightiest of the world’s powers even before industrialization accelerated the growth of its empire (in fact, historians contend that the loss of American colonies were what convinced His Majesty’s Government to seek a new landmass across the sea to dump their convicts). In the process of the revolution, the Revolutionary War had culminated with the abolishment of the existing monarchical system of government in what would later become the United States of America. At a time when most democratic revolutions had subsequently descended into anarchy (and later returned to a monarchy, as in the curious case of Napoleon and the French Revolution), the founding fathers had recast the very nature of republican ideology and a democratic structure with the federal Constitution of 1787.
Freehling further contends that, over the next few decades, the ideal of republicanism had come to be regarded as more of an aristocratic conception than a government of the people. This, he argued, undermined their very own ideology, and several of the founding fathers, most prominent of them all being Andrew Jackson, broke away to establish a new political school centered on the concept of egalitarian republicanism.