French American War Essay, Research Paper
Thousands of years ago many people believed in Ptolemy s geocentric theory that the Earth was the center of the universe. But, not until around 1500 was that theory disproved by the heliocentric theory formed from a great astronomer named Copernicus. His theory proved that the sun is the center of the universe and that celestial objects revolution would orbit around the sun and not the Earth. The word revolution in this case meant an orbital motion around a point (superficial definition). But, it is because of the American Revolution and mainly the French Revolution that this word has been significantly altered. Revolutions had been given a new meaning, a meaning of reform, violent, and radical change in one s government.
The French Revolution from 1789-1799 and the American Revolution from 1775-1783 have been two of the most talked about and historical revolutions. These two revolutions expressed a great impact around the world and have brought about great changes in their government. Many believe that these revolutions were very similar in the fact that both countries, France and America (13 colonies), wanted a better way of living and a new form of government. Although they were very much alike in that way as well as in other ways, people do not realize the many contrasts among them. Such differences were their reasons for change, they type of government that ruled over them, and the results of the revolutions.
The French and American Revolutions were both wars fought for a change in government. The most important differences among the two was the reasons for a demanding change. The French wanted equality while the 13 English Colonies wanted independence from British rule. France was basically fighting a war against itself because of its feudalistic division of estates. The third estate, composed of peasants and its middle class (the Bourgeoisie), was very displeased and angered about the advantages of the first estate (absolute monarchy) and second estate (aristocrates/nobles) who ruled over them. The American Revolution on the other hand was a war between the 13 colonies and Britain. The colonist wanted independence from Britain because it passed a set of laws and numerous taxes to control the colonies that was unfair and disliked. This was mainly done to give more revenue to Britain.
The types of governments that ruled over these two revolutions were different. Under France ruled absolute monarchy of Louis XVI. This meant that there was a king/queen/ruler that asserted power over the people. The ruler believed that they were given divine right or the right from God to rule. Also new ideas were developing while problems were arousing from the discontent of the Old/Acien Regime. On the other hand the colonies were controlled by the imperialism of Britain. Britain took over the colonies economy by taking it s natural resources. It dominated in the colonies political affairs giving them great power to govern and tax.
Both wars were similar because the opposing group was given a set of taxes. In the French Revolution the first two estates, being the ruling class, had extra rights such as tax exemption and censorship. They also had great powers of political, economical, military, religious influence and monopoly over status (titles by heritage). They highly taxed the third estate with land, church, and salt tax which the poor paid. In the case of the American Revolution the British taxed the colonies with the Sugar, Quartering and Stamp, Tea and Intolerable Acts. These taxes angered the people leading to revolt and chaos. This taxes lead to events such as the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre.
Both revolutions had important shortages. The Colonist were unprepared for the war. They had little food, money, ammunition, and a small military. The French being a longtime rival of England supplied the Colonist with equipment. This hurt the French economy. As for when the French Revolution occurred, they too had a shortage of food and money. This was due to the money and supplies lost in plenty of wars before the revolution started (e.g.. French/ Indian War, Seven Years War) and also because of their support towards the colonies in the American Revolution. These shortages lead to a riot that took place in Paris where the people broke into and destroyed the Bastille (a prison) to find weapons.
The slogans of these wars were similar because they were based on the concept democracy. The French Revolution s slogans were Rights of Man and of Citizen and Liberty, Equality, Fraternity . These slogans emphasized brotherhood and equality among the people. The American Revolution s slogans were Guaranteed basic rights, including Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness and Taxation without representation . These slogans emphasized not only human rights but the need of consent and approval of the people when taxed (independent democracy).
The ending of the revolutions brought about great change. The Treaty of Paris 1814 ended the war. After the French Revolution, Frances economy fell greatly and became bankrupt because of all the money spent given to the Colonies, the war, and earlier wars before the French Revolution. This results into chaos and newly different form of government in France. The colonies were divided into estates. The good part about the results was that the third estate gain there rights as citizens. They also abolished absolute monarchy, serfdom, feudal tithes/tax, and titles from heredity. These new laws made equal taxes , set equal punishment and gave freedom of region and press to the people. The colonies pretty much had a good ending. They got their independence through the Treaty of Paris 1783 and their economy bloomed. This results in the Industrial Revolution.
Also, the French did not only give aid and money to the Americas but gave them the Statue of Liberty (a woman) which represented freedom and liberty that was adopted from the French s Liberty statue of Marianne .