The American And French Revolution Essay

1390 words - 6 pages

During the late 18th century, both France and the British colonies in America experienced wars the opened the eyes of nations. The French Revolution and American Revolution drastically changed political thinking. In the French Revolution, monarchism was abandoned and political power was given to the people until the country became out of control, and a military dictatorship was necessary to regain control of France. In the American Revolution, a new nation was formed as the British colonies tore themselves away from the English monarchy. In the end, both France and the new United States of America moved away from absolute rule by a king or queen and wanted to put the political power in ...view middle of the document...

France’s government also became bankrupt. Starting with King Louis XIV, the monarchy was spending too much without taking in enough money. The money problems finally caught up to France with King Louis XVI and his queen Marie Antoinette. The monarchy lived a lavish lifestyle and did not care about the amount of money that was spent frivolously. Lastly, Enlightenment thinkers influenced the ideas of the people to overthrow the king. Writers like Locke, Rousseau, and Voltaire urged people to question what was always accepted as truth, to question old ideas, and urged people to become active in their government. Consequently, the common people of France wanted a place in their government. Commoners were tired of being dirt poor citizens, while everyone else in France lived a lifestyle of luxury without a care in the world about the lower class citizens.
Unlike the French Revolution, the American Revolution had only one main cause. The British government wanted control of the colonies without giving the colonies representation in parliament. While England was in complete control of the colonies, the colonies did not have any representation in the way they were governed, which caused the colonies to feel oppressed by their government. The English colonies were used to Enlightenment thinking such as having the right to participate in government and having the natural rights of man described by John Locke such as the right to life, liberty, and property. When English did not allow the colonies to partake in parliament, it caused the colonies to fight back because they believed that each citizen had natural rights. One of the main ideas that led up to the American Revolution was “no taxation without representation.” This phrase was used in the colonies as protest because Parliament was imposing taxes on the colonies, and the colonies believed they were unfair taxes since they had no representation in the government system. The parliament passed many laws such as the Stamp Act, which caused colonists to buy stamps from England that were mandated to be placed on many objects such as pieces of paper, playing cards, and calendars. The political leaders in the colonies did not accept parliament controlling the colonies, so the colonists sought their independence from England.
At the beginning of the revolutions, the French and American societies were drastically different, which caused the outcomes to also be different. Although the French people wanted more political power, in the end the government ended up in the hands of an absolute monarch once again. At the beginning of the French Revolution, the French society still followed feudalism. The country was divided into classes without representation in the government for the majority of the population. The people wanted control of the government and for a while the people did run the government, but the power of the people got way out of hand which ultimately had to be stopped. The...

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