Enlightenment Ideas Inspired the American and French Revolutions

1504 Words Jul 19th, 2005 7 Pages
The American and French Revolutions were both fundamentally based on the Enlightenment ideas. The main ideas that they followed were by John Locke. His ideas inspired the Americans and the French to have a revolution. In these revolutions, the Americans had success and the French failed. The success that the Americans experienced wad due to the protection of rights they had. These rights are "Life, Liberty and Property." In America a constitution was put together that provided for a stable government and also a representative government. In France failure was caused by chaos, terror, fear and war. The French were unsuccessful because they failed to create a democratic government. In the end they were left with a dictator. …show more content…
But where is the strong arm that will vigorously turn the key that is fatal to traitors? Where is the proud and immovable being, unyielding to any kind of intrigue and corruption, who will tear up the pages of the book written with the blood of the people, and turn it immediately into a death sentence against those who are starving the people?" People with factions are conspirators, traders, enemies and counter revolutionaries. These people associated with factions were executed. This is how The Reign of Terror started. "Under a constitutional régime it is more or less enough to protect individuals against abuses of government. Under a revolutionary régime the government itself is obliged to defend itself against all the factions which threaten it. Revolutionary government gives public protection to good citizens: to the enemies of the people it deals out only death...". France was forcing their people to be free, but by forcing them to be free, they really are not free (Ziegler 226 - 227, Ziegler 234). Robespierre believed that there could not be virtue without terror. Violence is the only way to achieve virtue. "If the driving force of popular government in peacetime is virtue, that of popular government during a revolution is both virtue and terror: virtue, without which terror is

destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is only justice that is
Open Document