Comparison Of The American Revolution And The French Revolution



During the late 1800's, two great revolutions occurred, the American
Revolution and the French Revolution. These two historical events happened
at the same time, but had a great number differences and very little
similarity. When French Revolution occurred, it turned into a very violent
and bloody event, while the American Revolution was almost nonviolent,
aside from the war.

In 1774, King Louis XVI made a decision that could have prevented the
French Revolution by breathing new life into the French economy: he
appointed Physiocrat Robert Turgot as Controller General of Finance. The
Physiocrats were a small band of followers of the French physician Francois
Quesnay, whose economic ...

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great French statesman and author Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) wrote:
"The basis of their whole economic system may be truly said to lie in the
principle of self-interest. . . . The only function of government according
to this doctrine is to protect life, liberty, and property."10

Embracing the principle of free trade not just as a temporary expedient,
but as a philosophy, Turgot got the king to sign an edict in January 1776
that abolished the monopolies and special privileges of the guilds,
corporations, and trading companies. He then dedicated himself to breaking
down the internal tariffs within France. By limiting government expense, he
was able to cut the budget by 60 million livres and reduce the interest on
the national debt from 8.7 million livres to 3 million livres.

Had Turgot been allowed to pursue his policies of free trade and less
government intervention, France may very well have become Europe's first
"common market" and avoided violent revolution. ...

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no longer being used as a political prison,
and Louis XVI had even made plans to destroy it. That made little
difference to the mob, who were actually looking for weapons.

Promising the guards safe-conduct if they would surrender, the leaders of
the mob broke their word and hacked them to death. It would be the first of
many broken promises. Soon the heads, torsos, and hands of the Bastille's
former guardians were bobbing along the street on pikes. "In all," as
historian Otto Scott put it, "a glorious victory of unarmed citizens over
the forces of tyranny, or so the newspapers and history later said."11 The
French Revolution had begun.

Despite the bloodshed at the Bastille and the ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 11/6/2005 10:33:46 AM
Category: American History
Type: Free Paper
Words: 3027
Pages: 12

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