American Revolution vs. French Revolution - Comparison Essay Example

Published: 2022-02-23
American Revolution vs. French Revolution - Comparison Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  French Revolution American revolution
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 881 words
8 min read

Revolution refers to the forceful removal of a government or institutions in an attempt to come up with a new one. Throughout history, many revolutions have been evident, but the most conspicuous ones have been the American and French revolutions. There were motives behind both revolutions. The American Revolution, for example, which began in 1775, took place due to the ardent support for republicanism. The primary reason for that was the exclusion of tax proceeds by the British government. American colonies believed that Britain excluded them from major decisions regarding taxes in the British government. Americans felt oppressed and they resorted to war to protect their rights. By contrast, the motive behind the French Revolution, which began in 1789, was due to the desire of the Bourgeoisie class, whom together with the lower class decided to overthrow the tyrannical monarchy that existed in France. The war marked the beginning of democracy and the end of an aristocratic domain. The paper compares and contrasts the American and French Revolutions regarding context, focus, and achievement.

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First, concerning context, the American Revolution was caused by taxation. Passant (p.21) articulates that the phrase "no taxation without representation" sparked the revolution. The author indicates that there was conflict on whom between the American colonies or the British parliament had the upper hand when it came to power and right to tax. The author adds that both American elites and common people were against the rule of the Britons. On the contrary, the French revolution was started by the need for unity between the middle class and the other people. Kropotkin (p.7) articulates that the political reorganization of states in France was a primary issue. As the author indicates, during the eighteenth century, political power and immense sharing of wealth only belonged to aristocrats and the clergy while those masses of the lower classes were beasts of burden (p.7). In essence, the consciousness of the Bourgeoisie class regarding their rights and a change in the political organization caused the French revolution.

Regarding focus, both American and French Revolutions were focused on liberty and equality. Passant (p.21) affirms that in as much as American revolutionists believed in "no taxation without representation," they shied away from the deeper reality. As he explains, the deeper reality was the fear the elites had of the lower classes (p.21). He declares that the men in authority were rich white men and the founders of the revolutionary were common artisans, farmers, laborious, and slaves who had run away from slavery, soldiers with democratic views, and women who were fighting for equality (p.22). Seemingly, the revolutionists were advocating for changes in both social and political structures. The French revolutionists, on the other hand, felt the need to improve their economic conditions. Kropotkin (p.7) articulates that the middle class people rebelled by advocating for trust in human instinct. They affirmed that corruption by the organizations had decreased man to subjugation, but sure to recover every one of its characteristics when it had reconquered freedom, they had opened up new outlooks to humankind (p.7). Additionally, the rebels broadcasted correspondence among men, without refinement of birth; by requesting from each native, in the case of ruler or worker, compliance to the law, expected to express the will of the country when it has been made by the agents of the general population (p.7). Also, they requested opportunity of agreement between free men, and the nullification of primitive assessments and administrations.

Concerning achievement, towards the end of both the American and French Revolutions, the two achieved their freedom. Passant (p.22) describes the impact of the American Revolution as profound. Using research from Young et al., the author affirms that every radical, rebel, reformer transitioned the American Revolution away from the direction of the traditional founders (p.22). As he explains further, they prolonged the revolution further and deeper than a separation from the British Empire (p.22). Also, he avers that they managed to acquire the freedom of equality (p.22). On the other hand, the effect of the French Revolution was that it unified the powers of the state. Kropotkin (p.585) asserts that not only did the revolution change the government structure but also improved the economic conditions and the education systems in France. The author indicates that after the revolution, France was born as peasants managed to eat well and speak freely.

In summary, both revolutions have their implications and lasting effects. Among its many effects, the most significant one of the American Revolution was that both parties signed the Treaty of Paris. The American colonies managed to secure their independence from Britain. Through the independence, they managed to form their government and formulate their rules. On the other hand, the French Revolution made members of the lower class society to gain access to improved working conditions, urbanization, public health, and economic growth. Overall, the two events were significant in a way that they provide lesson sand guidelines to contemporary governments to avoid the vice of greed, power and limitless ambitions at the expense of other people.

Works Cited

Kropotkin, Petr. "The Great French Revolution 1789-1793." 1909. Accessible at

Passant, John. "Taxation and the American Revolution." Australasian Accounting, Business and Finance Journal, 11(3), 2017, pp. 20-29. doi:10.14453/aabfj.v11i3.3

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