July 4 is separated from Bastille Day by a week and a half on the calendar but by eons in political culture. The interim is an appropriate interval for reflection on why exactly the two events were so different. One reason is arguably that America is precisely not what one might be led to believe from exclusive emphasis on the Declaration of Independence: a simply creedal nation bound solely by political belief. The creation of a new people connected by creed alone rather than shared tradition and history would, like the French Revolution, have been a radical event. As Willmoore Kendall would remind us, the American Revolution is better understood as a restorative or conserving one.