Enlightenment ideas would help shape politics, economics, and religion in the revolutionary nations. Although both found the importance of individual rights, they took different paths in establishing and operating their respective governments. The economic standpoints of the French would be in contrary with the American economics which roughly associate with enlightenment thinkers such as Adam Smith Strong Essays words 2. During the Revolution many events occurred having a major effect, such as the sugar act, currency act, and the Townshend act.
The French Revolution followed in suit with the American Revolution, because the French were in favor for what the American Revolution was fighting for Most revolutions lead to another, they often occur in sequence. An example of a revolution that led to another is the Seven Years war also known as the French and Indian war. This war or revolution as I like to say led to the American Revolution, which later on led the French Revolution. Strong Essays words 4. It also served the same purpose in France. The Enlightenment promoted the individual or the idea of humanism.
Humanism, which spread across Europe after the creation of the printing press, was a philosophy that no longer focused on theism but human needs. Man was no longer depending on the church for thoughts to make decisions. The idea of fearing their God and church was no longer seen as necessary The American Revolution happened first, around the last half of the 18th century where the Thirteen Colonies became the United States of America, and gained independence from the British Empire.
The French revolution on the other hand, was from until the turn of the century For the French people this was a period of political and social turmoil.
The idea of Enlightenment stuck a large population of the French people and led to many changes in society Though they were closely related chronologically, the two revolutions were interrelated in several other important ways than just time itself. In the late eighteenth century the ideas of liberty and equalities were beginning to flourish throughout the world, especially in Europe and in America p. Part of this was believed to be due to the Enlightenment, for it changed the ways people thought about life. People were seeking equality and individual freedoms Free Essays words 4 pages.
The American Revolution against the British during to and the French Revolution pitting the French people against their own government during to were both very important political and social turnovers. This movement towards the establishment of a constitutional government influenced political thought throughout the world. By closely examining three of the main causes of these revolutions, it is clear that although the two revolutions have their differences, the basis of cause for the revolutions have, overall, much stronger similarities Strong Essays words 3.
At first glance, it seems that the American and French Revolutions had a lot in common.
Compare and Contrast Essay on the American and French Revolutions - Aidan Sterk's Digital Portfolio
After all, both took place around the same time. Both championed the desire for republican government and the principles of liberty. And many Americans promoted the French Revolution, and the Americans were indebted to the French who advanced their revolution, providing both money and material to the cause. In fact, it's common in academia to treat the revolutions as being more alike than different.
However, the historical record reveals that these two revolutions began from different premises and their results were even more divergent than their premises. This essay is devoted to providing a contrast to the American and French Revolutions, with a conclusion that these were two very different events.
If the French Revolution is the benchmark for how revolutions go, then the American Revolution was not a revolution at all. First, consider the American Revolution. It's ironic that the roots of the American Revolution were British. Before the Americans get their Declaration of Independence in , the British led the way with the Magna Carta , the Petition of Right and the English Bill of Rights, documents that reasserted the rights of subjects against the arbitrary rule of kings, like the Stuart tyrants of the seventeenth century.
The most radical act occurred in when otherwise reasonable men dressed up like the natives and dumped British tea into Boston Harbor in the celebrated Boston Tea Party.
Contrasting and Comparing the American and French Revolutions
For all of its mob-like appearances, however, the Boston Tea Party was characteristically uncharacteristic. The decision to dump the tea into the Harbor was not the product of roaming mobs. Rather it was a deliberated act; in fact, the tea was the only victim that night except for a busted lock which Ben Franklin insisted be replaced.
When one man stole some of the tea, he was punished by the colony. Compared to the antics of the French Revolution, the infamous Tea Party in Boston was like the sisters at the convent sneaking into the dorm of the rival convent and shorting their sheets. The French Revolution was one of the most senseless bloodlettings ever to occur in the name of freedom.
But isn't one man's terrorist another man's freedom fighter? The fact is that there are many contrasts that can be made between these two revolutions.
The French Revolution was a conflict rooted in envy with desperate peasants whipped into a frenzy. The Americans, in contrast, did not envy the British; they wanted to be left alone, to chart their own political destiny. In contrast to the American symbol of liberty, the Liberty Bell, we have the French symbol of liberty, the guillotine.
As for the literary contribution, France gave the world a Declaration of Rights, a claim to entitlements, grounded in human reason; the American founding fathers gave their people a Declaration of Independence, a declaration of responsibility, grounded in self-evident truths. We are responsible and ready to stand on our own and take our place among the nations.
They were getting along fairly well without British meddling. They were making their own laws and living by their own wits. The results could not be further apart. Another remarkable contrast is what happened to the leaders of the Revolution. In France, the revolutionaries instigated horrible acts with many of them dying horrible deaths, like Maximilian Robespierre.
As for the American revolutionaries, only one of the original 56 men to sign the Declaration died a violent death and his death had nothing to do with the revolution. In fact, the instigators of the American Revolution fared well as revolutionaries go. Most of them were honored after the Revolution and lived long lives. In fact, every American president up to Abraham Lincoln died a nonviolent death, unless you consider eighteenth century medicine an act of violence, which took George Washington from this world prematurely. Thomas Jefferson, chief author of the Declaration of Independence, was instrumental in founding the modern American party system and was elected twice to the presidency.
But he would live on to become America's fifth president and the architect of one of America's most important foreign policy statements: The Monroe Doctrine. The one American revolutionary that did die a violent death, Alexander Hamilton, died in a duel with Vice-President Aaron Burr, but the duel had nothing to do with the Revolution.
In the hours just prior to the duel, Hamilton confessed to his wife that he would risk dying rather than take the life of Burr, a sworn enemy. And he did take that mortal bullet on the evening of July 11, at Weehawken, New Jersey, vowing to do no violence and departed this life, confessing the Christian religion.
In the Gospels, Jesus said that those that live by the sword, die by the sword. So, if the American revolution was not a revolution of violence, what kind of revolution was it? According to John Adams, it was a revolution of the mind. In an letter to Hezekiah Niles, Adams said,.
Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was affected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution. Some historians like Paul Johnson have attributed the American Revolution, in part, to the Great Awakening, the religious revival of New England that began in Connecticut in As far as Adams was concerned, the American Revolution was a change of mind that affected a positive change for Americans and, yes, for mankind.
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America was actually started by a revolution of the heart started by a revival. Ironically one the preachers responsible traveled from England to preach here, George Whitefield. Also, the writings of Locke and Wise contributed greatly to the thinking of society at the time which formed the Declaration of Independence. Great article.
Comparing and Contrasting the French and American Revolutions
Thanks for posting. I am reading A Tale of Two Cities, and I am noting some disturbing similarities between the dam burst of the French Revolution and the seemingly imminent dam burst of the American cultural revolution. I can empathize with Charles Darnay's amazement at the rapidity and the extent of the cultural shift in his native country.