Essay Exam #1
The leaders of both the American and French Revolutions declared that their goal was to create a new political system based on the principles of liberty and equality. However, the interpretation of those ideas by the American Founding Fathers turned out to be distinctly different from that of the French revolutionaries. How did those different interpretations of the concepts of liberty and equality affect the outcomes and the legacies of both revolutions? Analyze, compare, and contrast. The American Revolution officially began with the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The French Revolution officially began with the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. (http://home.apu.edu/~kbacer/revwar/amvfr.html) Both the American and French Revolutions occurred in the same era and were won by people opposed to the idea of a monarchy, and desired a government based on the ideals of the enlightenment. Liberty is freedom from control, interference, obligation and restriction. It is the power or right of doing, thinking and speaking according to choice. Equality is defined as the state or quality of being equal with correspondence to degree, value, rank, or ability. Liberty and equality are the two concepts the American and French Revolutions were fighting for. The people believed in these two ideals hoping for freedom in the future, the vision of an ideal government stemming directly from the period of the Enlightenment, which tried to emphasize natural rights and equality. Americans and Frenchmen felt the hardships of oppression and rule of the monarchs. The monarchs overseeing both territories were especially fond of harsh economic regimes. These economic and social hardships caused the people to realize a necessary change so that they might live their lives the way they wanted to, and bring power back to the people. Politically, the American and French Revolutions were somewhat different. America had just ended an...
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