Annelien de Dijn is an award-winning author and historian. Her research focuses on the history of political thought in Europe and the United States from 1700 to the present, with occasional forays into antiquity and the Renaissance.
Utrecht University – Max Weber Lecture EUI
The Atlantic Revolutions of the late eighteenth century were not just democratic revolutions, as R.R. Palmer would have it; they were also egalitarian revolutions. American, Dutch and French revolutionaries were convinced that their experiment with democratic government could only succeed in societies with a more or less equal distribution of property. Hence, they introduced a host of laws designed to create or maintain greater social equality. While the economic egalitarianism of the Atlantic Revolutions has been more or less forgotten by historians and the broader public, it can plausibly be argued that the Atlantic Revolutions constitute a “usable past” for contemporary egalitarians.