The american revolution is a classic subject, in the sense that it has always attracted the best minds among historians; and the body of writings about it are an important part of the heritage of the United States. Among the issues persistently raised are those of the national and the ideological qualities of the separation from Britain. The extent to which the rebellious colonists simply affirmed rights as Englishmen, the extent to which ideas, apart from interests, moved them-those matters troubled scholars who celebrated the bicentennial as they did those who celebrated the centennial.