AP World History
CC Essay French and American Revolution
Both the American and French revolutions were focused on liberty and equality. America was trying to gain freedom from the rules, unfair taxation, War debt, and lack of representation from the British. The French Revolution on the other hand wanted to abolish the French monarchy and create a better government in which people could have more of a say in society, and also had similar causes as the American Revolution. They were similar in their causes because both of them were caused because of unfair taxation, war debt, and lack of representation. However, “The American Revolution involved a colonial uprising against an imperial power, which was considered an independence movement. The French Revolution involved citizens rising up against their own country’s leadership and against their own political and economic system, and in that sense was more of a revolution then the American Revolution” ( Armstrong 230). The outcomes were different because the Americans ended British rule by creating the Declaration of Independence which was a great way to solidify society. The French commoners did gain some freedom, but there was still a king controlling them.
Both of the Revolutions were the same and different in their causes. The American Revolution was about the independence of the country and France was mainly about human rights. A similarity they had for the cause of their revolutions was unfair taxation and also war debt. The Americans suffered from unfair taxation because the British needed to find a way to pay their war debt because they had recently fought a war which was the Seven Years War, but the “British were upset about the costs, and felt that the American colonists did not adequately share in the burden” (Armstrong 228). To pay up for the war debt and include unfair taxation, “Britain’s George Grenville and later Charles Townshend passed very unpopular laws on behalf of the British crown” (Armstrong 228). The laws they passed were the Stamp Act, Tea Act, and the Revenue Act which were intended to raise additional funds for the British Crown. The Stamp Act imposed tax on coinage, every legal document, newspapers, pamphlets, and every other printed material. The colonial elite used fiery political language against the British calling them “parricides” and “tyrants” (Bulliet 548). Another cause for the American Revolution was the lack of representation which also the French didn’t have. The American colonists got really mad when the British passed all the Acts because they felt they weren’t represented in England’s parliament when the laws were passed. Evidence for this would when colonists dumped tea in Boston harbor to protest against the Tea Act. “On April 19, 1775, British troops battled with rebellious colonists in Lexington and Concord, and by the end of that bloody day, nearly 400 Britons and Americans were dead. The War of Independence had begun” (Armstrong 228).
The French Revolution did have some similarities with the American Revolution. They had much war debt, which they used borrowed money to battle in the Seven Years War or the French and Indian War. However, Louis XVI needed to raise the taxes, but he couldn’t because people didn’t want to pay more taxes and also because droughts damaged the French harvests. This however was different from the American Revolution because the French people were tired of the injustices of the aristocracy and the monarchy. A cause different from the American Revolution was the creation of The Estates General. The people were tired of the separation of different social classes. “French society was divided into three estates (something like social classes). The First Estate comprised the clergy. Some were high ranking and wealthy; others were parish priests and quite poor. The Second Estate was made up of the noble families. Finally, the Third Estate...
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