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American and French Revolutions: Comparative and Contrast Analysis

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Have you ever wondered how we came to be as a country? How did we get where we are today? Two major revolutions impacted our history in good and bad ways making us learn from our mistakes and successes; The American Revolution, also known as, “The American war of Independence”, and the French Revolution, also known as, “The Révolution Française”.These two revolutions are very similar and very different in many ways. There are American and French Revolutions comparative and contrast analyses.

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 The French Revolution took place between 1789 and “the late 1790s” whereas, The American Revolution takes place from 1775 through to 1783. For the Americans, they were fighting for their freedom and not to be taxed without permission and representation. The French were mad about being taxed, to begin with, but mostly they were fighting for the rich to be taxed as well. In America when they decided to go to war over this, they sent their militia where they battled in massicussest with British troops. The French had a bunch of upset peasants who went and rioted causing mayhem, charging the King’s castle, and burning the homes of tax collectors. While The French Revolution stayed in a specific part of France, the American revolution went from Massachusetts to New York. A new king arose in France putting an end to the war, and in America, the British eventually surrendered. 

The American Revolution took place due to many disagreements between the British colonies and the British government. When British troops and colonial militia began an armed war, it started as what is known as a civil war (“A war between citizens of the same country”)and became an international conflict, when in 1778, France joined the war on behalf of the colonies. In 1781 the British would surrender and the Americas would have their freedom by1783. This outbreak was because the British were trying to gain more power and chargecolonists with higher taxes. In 1770, something known as “The Boston Massacre” took place. The British military opened fire on many of the colonists because they refused to let the British government take more power, and raise their taxes. This event caused roughly 5 deaths. In the year 1774, a group of spokesmen, went together to explain themselves. They did not ask for independence, they only asked that Britain would not raise tax prices without their knowledge or consent. At that point, Congress had agreed to meet within a few months to reevaluate their askings, but the war and violence had already started by that time. In April 1775, the British troops went from Boston to Concord, where the colonial militia was, and then the official revolutionary war began. In March of 1776, the British evacuated to Canada. President Franklin sent masses of troops down to New York, however, and by August of that year, he was forced to retreat them. In October 1781, The British general claimed he was ill and sent his deputy to surrender the war. The colonists, however, would not see this as a win for another two years as Britain still had stations in charleston and savannah until finally in 1782, they removed their troops and ended the conflict.

The French Revolution was formed by King Louis III leading, and taxes were raised for the poor. In the 18th century, King Louis III was forced to leave France on an account of bankruptcy. Because of this, drought, raised taxes, bread prices, and bad harvesting all put the poor in desperate need and frustrated. They tried “rioting, looting and striking” and none of it helped them. Then in the fall of 1786, the king had taken taxes from the rich and they would no longer have to pay. By summer people began to worry that the military was gonna attack, and rioters stormed the Bastille fortress in an attempt to steal weapons and gunpowder to protect themselves. This act is what is believed to have started the French Revolution. Peasants were to waging war against anyone with power, burning down the homes of tax collectors. In 1793 KingLouis III was killing (beheading) hundreds of people, who committed any crime or treason, and nine months later, he and his wife would both die the same way. When Napoleon came to rise, people with power were no longer allowed to execute whoever they wanted, and when royalists and Jacobins tried to protest. The military, now run by Napoleon, also tried but napoleon silenced them. By November 1799, the revolution had ended. That's the American and French Revolution's comparative and contrast analysis.

Finally, for the most part, the two countries went to war for the same things. Taxes and being treated equally. While their motives, outcomes, and methods were a little different they generally wanted the same thing. They both won and they both successfully made their points.

Works cited

  1. Bailyn, B. (1992). The ideological origins of the American Revolution. Harvard University Press.
  2. Fremont-Barnes, G. (2019). The American Revolutionary War: The War for Independence. Routledge.
  3. Godechot, J. (2016). The Taking of the Bastille: July 14th, 1789. Princeton University Press.
  4. Hibbert, C. (1980). The French Revolution. Penguin Books.
  5. Kramnick, I. (Ed.). (2017). The "Federalist Papers". Hackett Publishing.
  6. Lefebvre, G. (2016). The French Revolution Volume 1: From Its Origins to 1793. Routledge.
  7. Maier, P. (1998). American scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence. Vintage Books.
  8. Palmer, R. R. (1959). The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800 (Vol. 1). Princeton University Press.
  9. Peterson, M. D. (2017). The Price of Redemption: The Spiritual Economy of Puritan New England. Stanford University Press.
  10. Wood, G. S. (2009). The radicalism of the American Revolution. Vintage Books.

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