American and French Revolution
The American and French Revolutions are two of the greatest revolutions that occurred in the mid 1700’s through the late 1700’s. The American Revolution was a huge turning point in American history, and the French Revolution was one of the most important events in the history of the world. The American Revolution started in 1775 and ended in 1783. The French revolution started 1789 and ended 1799.
The American Revolution and the French Revolution were both caused by unfair taxation and by the Enlightenment ideas, but the American Revolution only wanted a small change in society and unlike the French revolution they wanted their whole society to change. The American and French Revolution were both caused by unfair taxation. The American Revolution began when Britain’s king sent colonists over to the new world to colonize in the first 13 original colonies (“American Revolution” Int).
By Britain putting taxes on stamps, tea, sugar, and newspapers began the rebellion of Americans against the British people (“American Revolution” Int). In 1765, the British Parliament made the Stamp Act, which imposed taxes on a wide variety of printed materials (“American Revolution” Int). The American colonists were outraged over the new tax law, and their protests led to the Stamp Act riots. This was one of the things that the American and French Revolution both had in common. Colonials thought the English could not control colonies far away.
People like John Hancock didn’t want to pay taxes on his goods being brought into the docks or sent to England (“American Revolution” Int). The Boston Tea Party in 1773 was the first significant event, but there were also other important and devastating events such as the Townshend Act in 1768 and Boston Massacre in 1770 (“American Revolution” Int). The American and French Revolution were both caused by Enlightenment ideas. Enlightenment ideas applied reason to the human world, not just the natural world. The French Revolution was a major European historical turning point that transformed France from a monarchy to a republic.
A similarity between the two revolutions were that the development of Enlightenment thought led to increasing criticism of absolute monarchy and an interest in republican ideals. In the French Revolution, Enlightenment ideas attacked the power of the king and the church (“French Revolution” Int). There was literature by Voltaire, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau critiqued the monarchy and the Catholic Church and examined democratic forms of government (“French Revolution” Int). Enlightenment writings even played a role in the American Revolution in 1776.
Many of the revolutionary leaders had studied major writings of the Enlightenment such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and the Baron de Montesquieu. The founders gather the concepts of the limited government, the consent of the governed, and separation of powers (“Causes of the American Revolution” Int). The King wanted a small change in the government in the American Revolution unlike in the French Revolution, them wanting their whole society to change. The colonies in the American Revolution had always been ruled by British nobility (“Effects of the Revolutionary” Int).
The newly formed U. S. would need to set up a new national government (“Effects of the Revolutionary War). The citizens of the new country didn’t want the national government to be so large and powerful that it became like the English Parliament with a ruling king and they didn’t want a government that would have high taxes like England had done before the revolution (“Effects of the Revolutionary War” Int). France’s middle class were unsatisfied with having no say in government; the leaders of the revolution were mainly educated professional men; rich, mostly lawyers and doctors.
They wanted a more liberal constitutional form of government like the English had. The economy was really bad due to the main fact of the amount of money spent on wars which eventually made taxes increase; the peasants were not happy about this. Members of the Third Estate started demanding changes in government. They wanted men In the Third Estate who held property to have the same rights as opposed to the men in the First and Second Estate and they also wanted the power of the clergy reduced. Due to the popular opinions and fear of revolution, the King made changes to allow the Third Estate greater power.
By the Treaty of Paris being signed in Paris, France on September 3, 1783 ended the American Revolutionary War, and gave the colonies their independence from Great Britain. The 13 states were now free to join and become the United States. They could now form their own government and make their own laws. The American Revolution and the French Revolution were both caused by unfair taxation and by the Enlightenment ideas, but the American Revolution only wanted a small change in society and unlike the French revolution they wanted their whole society to change.