Summarize and compare and contrast the English Bill of Rights, the Cahier of the 3rd Estate and Common Sense.

Topics: American Revolution, United States Declaration of Independence, England Pages: 5 (1495 words) Published: December 14, 2004
The English Bill of Rights, the Cahier of the Third Estate of the City of Paris and Common Sense were all written during a time of revolution in their respective countries. Although all three political writings originated in a different country, they each share several important similarities. Each document also addressed specific issues, which the others did not. The English Bill of Rights, the Cahier of the Third Estate of the City of Paris and Common Sense all served as a bridge between their countries' different forms of political structure.

The English Bill of Rights came after the reign of the first two Stuart kings, James I (1603-1625) and his son Charles I (1625-1649). Both kings ran into problems with the House of Commons over religious, economic and other political issues. The birth of James's II son led to the Glorious Revolution of 1688-1689. The revolution resulted in Mary II and her husband, William of Orange of Holland taking the Crown and signing the English Bill of Rights. The English Bill of Rights was signed by Parliament in 1689. The English Bill of Rights placed parliamentary limitations on the authority of the crown, which is still a central part of England's political system.

The Cahier of the Third Estate of the City of Paris resulted after Louis XVI of France could not balance the national budget. In an attempt to correct the budget problem, Louis called the Estates General, France's representative assembly, to convene in the hopes it would establish new taxes that would balance the nation's budget. The convening of the Estates General had a much larger effect on France than Louis had expected. At the assembly, the forty thousand attendants wrote cahier de doleances, which listed local and national issues that needed to be addressed. The cahier of the Third Estate of the city of Paris was a document that contained the grievances of many people including: lawyers, businessmen, upper-middle-class, peasants, artisans, shopkeepers and women. Due to the Estates General, the nobility lost most of their privileges and the king lost most of his power. Later, in 1793, Louis was beheaded as a traitor.

Common Sense was a 35 page political pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1776. During the beginning of the American Revolution, many Americans still hoped that America could reconcile with Great Britain. Paine wrote the pamphlet as a reaction to the Battle of Lexington and Concord in April of 1775. Paine's pamphlet expressed many American's worries concerning Great Britain, as well as the Colonies' hopes to create their own free independent nation. Common Sense encouraged the Second Continental Congress to create the United States of America on July 2, 1776. The pamphlet also contributed to the United States Declaration of Independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776.

There are several major similarities between the three political texts. Each text was written at a time of political revolution within their country and each was written as a reaction to current political hardships. Another major similarity all three texts shared was the importance of freely elected representatives. The timing of the documents as well as the configuration of assemblies plays a large role in the restructuring of their countries.

The English Bill of Rights and the French Cahier of the Third Estate share several important ideals. Both the English and French documents addressed religious matters. The English Bill of Rights stopped the practice of creating courts that try religious cases, while the Cahier of the Third Estate asked for religious toleration. Another major similarity between the English and French documents regarded taxes. The English Bill of Rights declared that there would be no more collecting of taxes without the permission of the Parliament. The Cahier of the Third Estate also stated that the elected officials should only establish the collecting of taxes. The final major similarity between the two...
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