I realize that all this might seem strange to American readers. Am I not diluting the uniqueness of the U.S., the world\’s only propositional state, by lumping it in with the rest of the Anglosphere? Wasn\’t the republic founded in a violent rejection of the British Empire? Didn\’t Paul Revere rouse a nation with his cry of \”the British are coming\”?
Actually, no. That would have been a remarkably odd thing to yell at a Massachusetts population that had never considered itself anything other than British (what the plucky Boston silversmith actually shouted was \”The regulars are coming out!\”). The American Founders were arguing not for the rejection but for the assertion of what they took to be their birthright as Englishmen. They were revolutionaries in the 18th-century sense of the word, whereby a revolution was understood to be a complete turn of the wheel: a setting upright of that which had been placed on its head.