Our revolution's watch-words were "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The watch-words of the French Revolution were "liberty, equality, brotherhood." In other words, the Americans understood freedom to be an individual right while the French saw it as a collective right. In order to bring about "equality"and "brotherhood" it is an absolutely necessary requirement to sacrifice individual sovereignty for the "greater good" and that can only be achieved by coercion.
Although Jean-Jacques Rousseau died in 1778, it is his ridiculous romantic ideas of equality that inspired the French Revolution. We can thank Rousseau and the French Revolutionaries for introducing emotionalism and subjectivity.
To this day we are fighting the same battle between the rationalism and objectivity of the American Revolution and the emotionalism and subjectivity of the French Revolution whose modern-day adherents in the West are the Marxists and socialists. Thank Rousseau for communism, Fascism and Nazism and all totalitarianisms because "equality" and "brotherhood" can only be achieved through totalitarianism. As C.S. Lewis wrote in the Screwtape Letters:
Hidden in the heart of this striving for Liberty there was also a deep hatred of personal freedom. That invaluable man Rousseau first revealed it. In his perfect democracy, only the state religion is permitted, slavery is restored, and the individual is told that he has really willed (though he didn't know it) whatever the Government tells him to do. From that starting point, via Hegel (another indispensable propagandist on our side), we easily contrived both the Nazi and the Communist state. Even in England we were pretty successful. I heard the other day that in that country a man could not, without a permit, cut down his own tree with his own axe, make it into planks with his own saw, and use the planks to build a toolshed in his own garden.Lewis wrote the Screwtape Letters in 1942. So, if anyone thinks Britain has suddenly succumbed to "political correctness" and government coercion, think again. The whole of Europe has been in thrall to the French Revolution's hideous ideas of "equality" and state control for 219 years. The only truly free people in the world are Americans. Unfortunately our home-grown commies hate freedom just as much as the Europeans.
The American Revolution will need to be fought for until doomsday. The price of freedom is after all eternal vigilance.