The Book of Mormon and the American Revolution


The Book of Mormon and the American Revolution

Book Title

Book of Mormon Authorship: New Light on Ancient Origins

Publication Type




Year of Publication




Reynolds, Noel B. (Secondary)




Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University


Provo, UT

Terms of use

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Bibliographic Citation

Bushman, Richard L. "The Book of Mormon and the American Revolution" In Book of Mormon Authorship: New Light on Ancient Origins, Edited by Reynolds, Noel B. 189-211. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1982.


Richard L. Bushman, professor and chairman of the Department of History at the University of Delaware when this was published, was a historian of colonial America. He earned his A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard University, and was recipient of numerous fellowships, including the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Harvard National Scholarship. He has taught at six universities, including Harvard, Brown, and Brigham Young. His publications range from a prize-winning book on colonial America, to historical articles in scholarly journals, to essays on aspects of Mormonism. Bushman has studied political and social order in the Book of Mormon, and in this article he responds to the common accusation that the Book of Mormon is a restatement of provincial political opinions of early nineteenth-century America. Though critics assert that Book of Mormon societies smack of nineteenth-century American Republicanism, Bushman demonstrates that most of the principles associated with the American Revolution and even the Constitution are slighted in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is “strangely distant” from the time and place of its publication. Bushman traces the roots of the Nephite political order to Old World precedents—namely the Hebrew tradition and ancient forms of monarchy.

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