American Revolution vs. French Revolution
American Revolution vs.
French Revolution From studying and learning about both revolutions, I guess you could say they had their similarities; they both had good intentions did they not? Both the Americans and the French people hungered for a new way of life, change is what they wanted. Change is indeed what they received. The American Revolution, to me, seemed more organized and well handled than the French Revolution. The Americans were tired of being under the British’s control, especially when the British tried forcing the American colonies to pay for the British army’s expenses in defending the colonists during the Seven Year War.The attempt to raise new taxes by the Stamp Act in 1765 led to riots and the law’s rapid appeal. The colonist disagreed with the British beliefs, that a single empire with Parliament as the supreme authority. The colonists were more comfortable with neither the king or Parliament interfering with their internal affairs and that no tax could be levied without the consent of the people or their chosen representatives.
The American colonists felt in 1776 that it was time to separate themselves from the Britain’s control.On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress released a declaration written by Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence, a page of parchment, had started the war for American Independence. The Second Continental Congress then authorized the formation of the Continental Army under George Washington’s command. Washington was the best choice for the job because he had political experience and military experience in the French and Indian War. The French were eager to gain revenge for earlier defeats from the British, so they supplied weapons and money to the American colonies at the beginning of the war.Some French officers even fought along the Americans side against the British.
I think at the time, this was the best alternative for the 13 American colonies. They achieved their independence as the United States of America; put together the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. It seemed to have worked out for them at the time. The main cause of the French Revolution was the differences between the three social classes that existed in France at that time. There was a severe amount of injustice in the tax system.The third estate paid the highest taxes, while the first estate was exempted from paying the French chiefs taxes (taille). The second estate was excused from paying any and all taxes.
The rent for the Third Estate was raised. Consumer prices rose faster than wages, enabling people’s economic ability to pay. Although the third estate made up most of the population of France, it owned less land than the first and second estate. An immediate cause of the French revolution was the near collapse of the government finances.French governmental expenditures continued to grow due to costly wars and royal extravagances. On the verge of complete financial collapse, the government called a meeting of the Estates-General. The Estates disagreed with how the Third Estate wanted to vote, therefore, the Third Estate voted to constitute itself a national assembly and decided to draw up a constitution.
The results to this was finding themselves locked out of the usual meeting place, so they made the Tennis Court Oath that they would continue to meet until they produced a French constitution.These actions by the third estate were said to be the first step into the French Revolution. The king sided with the first and second estate but the common people came together with many uprisings in the summer of 1789, one in particular was the Fall of Bastille, an attack on a royal armory, which had also been a state prison. The National Assembly voted to abolish seigniorial rights as well as the fiscal privileges of nobles, clergy, towns, and provinces.On August 26, 1789, the assembly provided the ideological foundation for its actions and an educational device for the nation by adopting the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. The king refused the decrees on abolition of feudalism and the Declaration of Rights, but after some Parisian women threatened the royal family, King Louis XVI changed his mind. By 1791, the National Assembly completed a new constitution that established a limited constitutional monarchy.
There was still a monarch: king of the French, but he enjoyed few powers not subject to review by the new Legislature Assembly.The Legislature Assembly would sit for two years; consist of 745 representatives chosen by an indirect system of election. The king attempted to flee, but was captured and brought back to Paris. Surrounding countries feared that the French behavior and rebellion would spread to their land, so those leaders planned to force the reestablishment of the monarchy authority in France. This just brought on more fire to the French. The political groups in Paris rose against the king and the Legislature Assembly.They organized a mob attack on the royal palace, took the king captive, and forced the assembly to suspend the monarchy and call for a national convention to decide on the future form of government.
The first step the Convention took was to abolish the monarch and establish republic. They also passed a decree condemning Louis XVI to death. A nation in arms was put together, very quickly. It was a “people’s” war, the entire nation was involved in the war. I’m not even sure where or when the French Revolution ends, its ever-lasting it seems.