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A Comparison of the French and America Revolution

1909 words (8 pages) Essay in History

08/02/20 History Reference this

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Revolution is the overthrowing of one government followed by replacing with it another.[1]It includes the use of power to rebel against a ruling party or in favor of a new organization. Both the American and the French Revolutions aimed at bringing equality and liberty to the people. Both nations were attempting to gain freedom from their rebellion. France had eyed on abolishing the French realm and establish a restored government on which the citizens would live like a society, unlike America which was fighting to attain freedom from taxes and instructions subjected to them by Great Britain.[2]  While both the French and American Revolution in the late eighteenth century were based on economic struggles and enlightenment ideals, the American Revolution was based on independence from British rule and the French Revolution was based on overturning the French Monarchy.

The French and American revolutions had so many similarities as well as differences. One of their similarities included that both nations were against the harsh rule by their kings. Both of them were tired of being oppressed. The American and French rebellion both championed for the desire of a republican government and principles of liberty.[3] Americans fought for freedom from high taxations while the French wanted a better government that could rule them equally. Both nations realized that they needed the power to bring democracy back.

Rising opposition among targeted people at the monarchy and it is associated prominent and nobles is one of the most important likenesses between the French Revolution and the American Revolution.3 Even though they existed in both France and America, at the commencement of each revolt, their dominations on both the people and thrifts of every nation were weakening. For instance, in 1763, Britain was on the very peak of universal supremacy, and her old enemies were apparently under her control. At the same time, however, Britain was politically unsteady and was tentative on the verge of economic failure.[4] The response against the British kingdom by Americans only helped to weaken it further, and although it may have been solid in other parts, the unrelenting resistance demonstrated by actions like the Boston Tea party and other rebellious acts against the crown were taking their peal. The immediate cause of the French Revolution was the near collapse of government finances.5

Both rebellions began and were propelled by the enlightenment period. They were both assumed with the aim of mind-independence. The American Rebellion was not originally tussled for liberation. Independence had become a byproduct of the colonialists to do away with the imbalanced levy of taxes upon them by the British Parliament. On the other side, Frances great thinker Rousseau emphasized the importance of human rights.[5] The words and articles of famous revolution front-runners like Maximilien Robespierre and Jacques Pierre powered the urge for freedom in France. These actions led to independence in both revolutions and were debatably acted to be an enticement for revolution.

Both the two revolutions generated seminal and similar political official papers. The assertion of the rights of human beings and for citizens was embraced in 1789 by the French State Constituent Assembly. The document was conscripted by Marquis de Lafayette which was proposed to be part of the shift from a complete to a constitutional empire. It was to present the concepts of dominance and equality. It also disregarded the idea of citizens being deprived of exceptional rights according to the household heredity of prominence which openly pulled apart the French structure of governing. These declarations also impacted the same in the American Revolution. It was also adopted in 1787 in the USA constitution approximately a similar time to that in France.[6]

The American Rebellion was the first weighty revolution of the time, and it was also the first to be fruitful. The reason for it being successful was that it never started being “rebellious” in nature, but quite conventional. In other word, it was not a revolt against the Regime, but rather contrary to too much government governing them. (American Revolution) The French insurgency was a real rebellion against the Ruler and the government in broad. The French were the ones on the invasive, struggling to attain new liberty beginning with the Invasion of the Bastille.

Both revolutions began similarly, but they had different endings. The American Revolution ended in afresh molded independent administration. The French revolution dethroned its government and executed their king. The French Revolution gave rise to a dictatorship that took years.[7]

The key distinction is the setting of the battle. The American Revolt was initiated by a wider number of the Americans who became sad about the British way of governing. They thought that they earned autonomy from Britain. French’s minority geared the French rebellion since they were sad with the treatment they received. Although related reasons triggered both of the revolutions, they were also fueled by an entirely diverse kind of individuals. One of the rebellions began by all diverse groups of individuals but steered by the rich, and the minority in the nation influenced the other.

Another minor contradiction is that the rebellion of the French was more cruel and bloodstained. The insurgents in the French Revolt would murder any individual that they heard was a supporter of the king. The radicals in the revolt of the Americans at no time slew the British supporters and were never intense to Britains not least they were in a combat. The American Revolution was just meant to be between America and Britain until when the French merged.[8] The French Revolution was between the French minority and their regime. It then progressed to become the French fighting against other dominions in Europe like Prussia and Austria.

The American Revolution mainly concentrated on attaining of independence. Later when they won the battle against the British, they were tied up from their guidelines. America was obliged to call off the battle and abolish the high taxation system which the British government had passed in their parliament. The Americans completed the war by making an avowal of independence that was a sweet approach and a great one to begin a compact society. On the other hand, the French masses also attain the same independence, but they were still under the leadership of a king.

The American Rebellion began from 1775 to 1783 where the colonies became the United States of America and got their independence from Great Britain. On the contrary, the French revolution began at around 1789 to 1799 and was a fight against domination and mismanagement and mistreatment of the people whereas the American Revolution was fueled due to economic and political reasons. All in all both activities that happened during the revolutions in the two nations were just facilitated for change, change that was gained in different ways.

The French Upheaval aimed in changing everything be it the social structure, economy, government or even religion. Whereas the American Revolution wanted only to alter the government structure but leave the social system intact.[9] After the revolution period, Americans remained largely narrow-minded and busy in unraveling internal matters like political war while French below Napoleon leadership spread principles of the French revolution of equality, liberty, and fraternity in entire Europe. France was experiencing financial crises due to costly wars and royal extravagance. The government responded by borrowing. Poor taxation policy contributed to the high debt with most of the monarch’s funds coming from the peasantry. 10Also, the American Revolution remain restrained between Americans and British while the French Revolution spread out beyond France and  Napoleon rule led to French ethics to entire Europe.[10] Therefore, revolutions against autocracy and feudalism increased from corner to corner in Europe while socialism spread receiving popularity among common people.

For most sections, the two rebellions majorly and greatly influenced the societies and people of America and France. After the long war, both countries had to endure the war — the societies involved in both fights headed to a time of much important advancement. Though, the French still had a journey to go after the revolution. Both rebellions were very significant and necessary to the commoners and their equality and liberty. Thus the French revolution and the American Revolution had so many contrariety and similarities as per how they have been discussed above. Though on a higher notch the differences of the two revolutions overweighed their similarities in the methods used and how the revolts occurred.

Bibliography

  • Chisholm, Michael. Britain on the Edge of Europe. Routledge, 2002.
  • Eisler, Riane. “Human rights: Toward an integrated theory for action.” Feminist Issues 7, no. 1 (1987): 25-46.
  • Gershovich, Moshe. French military rule in Morocco: Colonialism and its consequences. Routledge, 2012.
  • Hunt, Lynn. Politics, culture, and class in the French revolution: with a New Preface. Vol. 1. Univ of California Press, 2004.
  • Lenin, Vladimir Ilʹich, and Todd Chretien. State and revolution. Haymarket Books, 2015.
  • Olson, Mancur. “Dictatorship, democracy, and development.” American political science review 87, no. 3 (1993): 567-576.
  • Quijano, Anibal. “Coloniality of power and Eurocentrism in Latin America.” International Sociology 15, no. 2 (2000): 215-232.
  • Seidman, Steven. Contested knowledge: Social theory today. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.
  • Spielvogel, Jackson J. Western Civilization: Volume II: Since 1500. 10th ed. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2018
  • Taine, Hippolyte Adolphe. “The French Revolution. Vol. 1.” Trans. John Durand. New York: H. Holt (1897).
  • Wood, Gordon S. The creation of the American republic, 1776-1787. UNC Press Books, 2011.

[1] Lenin, Vladimir Ilʹich, and Todd Chretien. State and revolution. Haymarket Books, 2015.

[2] Hunt, Lynn. Politics, culture, and class in the French revolution: with a New Preface. Vol. 1. Univ of California Press, 2004.

[3] Olson, Mancur. “Dictatorship, democracy, and development.” American political science review 87, no. 3 (1993): 567-576.

[4] Chisholm, Michael. Britain on the Edge of Europe. Routledge, 2002.

 5Eisler, Riane. “Human rights: Toward an integrated theory for action.” Feminist Issues 7, no. 1 (1987): 25-46.

6 Wood, Gordon S. The creation of the American republic, 1776-1787. UNC Press Books, 2011.

[7] Taine, Hippolyte Adolphe. “The French Revolution. Vol. 1.” Trans. John Durand. New York: H. Holt (1897).

[8] Quijano, Anibal. “Coloniality of power and Eurocentrism in Latin America.” International Sociology 15, no. 2 (2000): 215-232.

[9] Seidman, Steven. Contested knowledge: Social theory today. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.

10 Spielvogel, J. (2018). Western civilization. 10th ed

[10] Gershovich, Moshe. French military rule in Morocco: Colonialism and its consequences. Routledge, 2012.

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