It is now widely accepted without argument that the American Revolution brought forth the dissolution of the established church system and the establishment of religious freedom as tangible results. The role of religion as a theoretical background of the Revolution, however, has not reached any agreement among the scholars. Alan Heimert evaluated the significance of Calvinism as a direct contribution to the Revolution. Bernard Baylin and Gordon S. Wood, on the other hand, put much emphasis upon the influence of Republicanism. Admitting the fact that religion did not directly cause the Revolution, I would like to point out the significance of the Great Awakening which covered the English America with spiritual excitement in 1730's and 40's. The role of religion should be evaluated as a spiritual preparation of the Revolution among the populace. In the beginning of the 18th century, church activities dwindled into a stale condition under the intellectual but un-converted pastors, who had been theologically influenced more or less by Arminianism. There was a schism among the congregation in terms of social strata. On the other hand, in 1730's, Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield among others, in spite of their very different type of character, initiated the revivals, which enhanced believers' direct access to the Divine, voluntary religious meetings and the active participation by the laymen in religious activities. These phenomena caused the transformation of religion in American society, which inevitably entailed the change of society itself. The activities of itinerants in the Great Awakening have also contributed to create new American identity, which surpassed the regional boundary among colonies. Thomas Paine's Common Sense, whose tremendous impact as a trigger of the American Revolution has been pointed out, draws our attention in this context. It is certainly interesting to note that Paine, a deist, quoting widely from the Bible, made it easy and convincing for the populace to accept the appeal of independence and antimonarchical sentiment. The role of the intellectual elites with their ideals of Enlightment, Rationalism and Republicanism was vital to promote the American Revolution. Yet, the American Revolution was widely supported and accomplished by the populace with their simple-minded religious and biblical populism as well.
Since the 19th century the state has been used diachronically as the term signifying the political society. But until the end of the 18th century the term civitas also had been used at least in the academic world. Originally civitas was the word meaning Roman city-state, interchangeable with populus or res publica, and was taken synonym of Greek polis. These city-states were communities of their citizens above all. But koinonia politike and societas civilis were provided with their governmental systems at the same time. On the other hand the new term stato which came to be used in the 15th century Italy originally meant the political power, the power holder or his governing instrument. Jean Bodin tried to make the state include also all the governed, and at the same time, he discriminated the city from the state which came to have sovereignty. Bodin's theory therefore contributed so much to establish the modern absolutist state, which included all estates and various corporations under the sovereign power, but was after all the patrimony of some dynasty. The social contract theory which took many conceptual weapons from the classical terminology constructed the new image of the political society upon the model of the voluntary association. Being provided with the new notion of the nation, French Revolution established the nation state which excluded all corpsintermédiaires, and left the model“one nation, one language, one state”. It is well known that the people called each other with the title citoyen. But even in France the term of civil began to cease to be interchangeable with politique as the code civil exemplified. In Britain The Wealth of Nations presented a system of material reproduction of the society, independent of the governmental power. On the other hand individed Germany the state had been the objective to be achieved. After his vigorous study of British political economy, Hegel presented his system of Sittlichkeit composed of family, civil society and the state. His bürgerliche Gesellschaft could not be self-contained and should be completed by the state. Now Bürger meant only bourgeois, not citoyen, and the new term Staatsbürger came to be inevitable. In the beginning of the 20th century, only half of the global population had their citizenships of some state. Owing to the principle of national self-determination, many new states emerged in Europe after the 1st World War. And the de-colonization after the 2nd World War and the dissolution of Soviet Union brought new states to many men and women. Nearly all global population would have their citizenships in the end of this century. But this universalization of the state would be its nominalization at the same time, not only in the developping countries, but also in the developped ones. The pursuit of their identities of various groups and the borderless condition of the survival of mankind urged us reconsider the self-evidence of the nation state. We had better, I believe, cease applying the concept of the state diachronically and to put it in a historical perspective of ideas.