1776 Vs 1789 Essay Research Paper

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1776 Vs 1789 Essay, Research Paper The American and French Revolutions both occurred in the eighteenth century;subverting the existing government and opening the way for capitalism andconstitutionalism. Because of these similarities, the two revolutions are often assumed to beessentially eastern and western versions of each other. However, the two are fundamentallydifferent in their reason, their rise, progress, termination, and in the events that followed,even to the present. The American Revolution was not primarily fought for independence. Independencewas an almost accidental by-product of the Americans? attempt to rebel against and removeunfair taxes levied on them by British Parliament. Through propaganda; sermons, speeches,newspaper articles, and pamphlets; public

opinion was manipulated to convince the colonistsand the world that they had legal and moral right to be separate from Great Britain. The American colonies, because of the nature of colonies, had a strained, equivocalrelationship with Britain to begin with. Britain saw the colonies as a means to an end; tostrengthen their own power, enrich their own nation, and provide additional tax revenue.The colonists therefore did not feel as traitors in rebelling against England. They were adistant colony separating from the mother country. The American colonists were primarily seeking freedom of trade and, because theyfelt it unfair to pay taxes to Britain, were attempting to do away with these taxes throughwhatever means they thought necessary, including revolt. The Americans were

fighting not to create their freedom, but to maintain it. At thetime the Revolution occurred, the American society was freer and less controlled bymonarchy and aristocracy than any nation on earth. They were fighting a fear ofsuppression, rather than actual suppression. They were resisting the force of tyranny beforeit could be applied. The revolt occurred not because of suffering, but out of principle. The French Revolution was fought primarily for the reason of overthrowing theexisting government, and establishing a new one to replace it. It was an altruistic revolutionthat was fought to liberate individuals from crushing imperialism and provide basic humanfreedom. It was a revolt against absolute feudal and monarchial restraint. The spirit of thisrevolution was much more

radical. The entire country was in upheaval, and the intent wasto entirely destroy the ruling class. It was fought out of actual oppression and not just thefear that it might occur. At the time of the French Revolution, society was still based on a system offeudalism dating back centuries. The citizens of France did not experience equality. Thenobility were extremely wealthy and becoming wealthier. The peasants were reduced toextreme poverty in an attempt by the monarch and noblemen to build up greater wealth forthemselves. There was no middle class or working class in France. The suppressed farmerswere overwhelmed with higher and higher taxes and were ready for a revolution withouthaving to be propagandized into it.1 The French Revolution occurred out of a basic need tooverthrow

tyranny. The American Revolutionists found it relatively easier to fight against the Englishgovernment because they did not feel an extreme loyalty to their ?mother country?. First,they were on an entirely different continent and separated by the Atlantic Ocean from theirempire. Second, the American colonists were comprised of immigrants not only from GreatBritain, but from all European nations as well. The colonists of other nationalities, quiteobviously, felt no loyalty whatsoever to King George the Third, Parliament, or Britain.Therefore the colonists did not have to overcome traitorous feelings in their fight forindependence. The French Revolution, conversely, was a matter of the immediate subjects rebellingagainst their government. The oppressed and the oppressors were of