Comparison of Haitian and French Revolutions

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Revolution in the 18th Century: Who Did It Better?
Justin Merkel
October 24, 2011

The French Revolution is said to be one of the greatest revolutions in Western history. Indeed it was one of the first instances in History where the middle class protested against their government and actually won. Not only did they win, but they completely overthrew a monarchy and reformed their entire government. However, a similar revolution was taking place around the same time; this one with perhaps a more noble cause. In Haiti, slaves were also standing up to the leaders of their society and fighting for equal rights. While there are some major similarities and differences among these two revolts, the Haitian Revolution was more enlightened and fought for a more righteous cause.

One way that the Haitian revolution was more enlightened than the French Revolution was in the way that women were treated during and after the revolts. While Haitians put gender aside to fight racial hatred, in France the women were fighting with the men against the upperclass and also simultaneously fighting against their own class for social equality. They weren’t allowed to vote and also weren’t considered citizens. The real kicker in all of this, is that women weren’t even considered to be a prosecuted group of people. For the most part, it was believed that this submissive way of life was just women’s role in society, so there was no need to change it.[1] Ironically, women were the driving force behind the revolution when men started to lose faith. One of the biggest events that led to the success of the French Revolution was the invasion of Versailles where a huge group of people, mainly women, charged the city going after the Queen. They also killed several guards and stole flour from the King’s chamber in the process and marched the royal carriage carrying the King and Queen to Paris so they could see what life was really like outside of their royal city.[2] Even...
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