The American and French Revolution: Similarities and Differences

4254 Words Dec 1st, 2005 18 Pages
The American and French Revolution: Similarities and Differences
During the late 18th century, two great revolutions occurred, the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Between the years of 1775-1783, The American Revolution was fought between the thirteen British colonies in North America and Great Britain, their mother country. Thomas Hutchinson, the royal governor of Massachusetts at the time, sums the reason for war best, saying "‘No middle ground exists between the supreme authority of Parliament and the total dependence of the colonies: it is impossible there should be two independent legislatures in one and the same state'" (Van Tyne 135). The American Revolution was effectively a "conservative" advancement, and was fought
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This barred the bourgeoisie from progressing socially and politically. The semi-feudal system found in France was not only disliked by the bourgeoisie, but it was also resented by peasants and typically any person with an income. By 1789 many French people had become critical of the monarchy, which led to a common bitterness towards royal absolutism among the French people. The people disliked this political theory because it argues that a solitary person should hold all the power in a government. The Frenchmen resented the increasing and irregular taxes, government intrusion in their personal lives, and the maltreatment of religious minorities. An uncontrollable national debt was created due to the huge saddle from the unbalanced system of taxation. On July 14, 1789, the storming of the Bastille immediately became proof that power no longer resided in the King, but in the people, in accordance with the theories developed by their philosophers of the eighteenth century. These great thinkers' philosophies were influenced by the age of Enlightenment. The age of Enlightenment, while occurring simultaneously alongside the pre-war era, played a major role in shaping peoples' negative newfound opinions of their country and their king. The age of Enlightenment is depicted as an increase in the use of reasonableness to institute morals,…