Revolutions Of The French Revolution

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Revolutions are often characterized under two dominant schools of thought, either the structural or the cultural viewpoint. The structural approach favors causes that are of inherent forces in the system of sovereign nations, whilst the cultural view favors individuals actions and ideas as rudimentary to revolution. Skocpol and Trimberger’s essay Revolutions: A Structural Analysis modernizes the ideas of Karl Marx and reconciles them with the modern revolutions that have occurred to form a new viewpoint; the structural school of thought. Consequentially, the French Revolution’s long list of factors and participant’s carry differing levels of weight in either school of thought, yet the structural approach is more pronounced in the summation of them all. As an extension of internal strife, the Haitian Revolution also plays an important role in highlighting this structural overtone of the French Revolution. The duality between the Haitian revolution’s class of slaves and the Third Estate of the French Revolution proper as well as the reactions they both had to international and internal strife are best classified under the structural school of thought. This analysis begins with looking at the logical first aspect of structural analysis; the status of the peasantry. The aspect of structural theory that is most glaringly obvious in both that of the Third Estate and the slave revolt of Saint-Domingue is the status of the peasantry. As noted by Skocpol and Trimberger, revolutions
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