Differences Between the French and American Revolutions

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Differences Between the French and American Revolutions

By | April 2006
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Differences in the American and French Revolutions
Sometimes a revolution can take place within a country against its own current state of government, other times a revolution can take place externally to rid a country of another country's influence. There are many components that are involved in a revolution taking place. One must consider the causes or reasons of the situation, the events that occur during the revolution and the effects or aftermath that had been created by that revolution. There were major differences between the French and American Revolutions.

The American Revolution started in 1775 and lasted around six years, ending in 1781. When the Great Awakening ended, it left America in one of the best spiritual states the country had ever been in. Keesee puts it this way, "The Great Awakening served a vital role in getting America ready for the American Revolution. It was a breakthrough for personal liberties. The revival stressed not only the equality of men before God but also the equality of all men" (82). The most prominent reason why the American Revolution was fought was for freedom from British rule. Keesee states, that "The question for many Americans became not whether they would submit to taxes but whether they would submit to tyranny" (105). Smuggling was also a main cause of tension that built up over time and led to the American Revolution (Bigelow 46). The smuggling of goods was a common occurrence among Americans. British charged high taxes on items that were imported to the colonies, but smugglers avoided these taxes by bringing in cheaper goods made by countries other than Great Britain (Bigelow 46).

The French Revolution started four years after the American Revolution. It started in 1787 and lasted twelve years, ending in 1792. Before the French Revolution France's government was an absolute monarchy ("Britannica"). Unlike the American Revolution, which was fought over freedom, the French Revolution was fought over power...

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