French Revolution And The American Revolution

Liberté ou mort!- Liberty or death, a popular phrase during the French Revolution, the birth of the western ideals of freedom and liberty for all. The French Revolution was a pivotal period in pre-modern history that caused many changes to the world’s culture, pushing towards modernity. The “freedom fighters” of the French Revolution were fighting to end the rule of their absolutist king, but what actually came from their rebellion was more than what any of them could ever imagine- a transformation political and societal ideas for the entire world. Similar to the American Revolution, one of the major reasons for the rebellion that caused the French Revolution was a raise in taxes. However, unlike in America, not all of France’s social classes, …show more content…
this unrest of the lower classes culminated into the Storming of the Bastille, when crowds of the Parisian middle class attacked the Bastille, a moderately guarded prison, in search of weapons. Aided by rogue soldiers, the crowd managed to get the guards and officials to surrender, and then they proceeded to slaughter the fortress’s commander and his troops and parade their severed heads held on spikes around Paris (Cannistraro 635-636). In the wake of the fall of the Bastille, many citizens started taking up arms and forming militias. One such militia, with the leadership of the Marquis de Lafayette, a respected American Revolution hero who brought ideas of revolution back to France, became the National Guard, which grew into the main military force on the side of the revolution (Cannistraro 635). In addition to commanding the National Guard, Lafayette also wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Man for the National Assembly. The Declaration of the Rights of Man was based on the American Declaration of Independence and entailed many of the same points, including the natural rights every man is entitled to from birth (“Declaration of the Rights of Man”). The fall of the Bastille, the formation of the National Guard, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man were the final sparks to set off the explosion of the revolution across France, which lasted for ten years …show more content…
The French Revolution was also the birth of Liberalism, a political view based on the ideas of liberty and equality. The views of Liberalism echo the first line of the First Article of the Declaration of the Rights of Man, “Men are born free and equal in rights.” (Lafayette 1). Today’s Liberalist views are a bit altered but the main ideas of liberty and equality have stayed the same. These views and ideas of freedom from a monarch and equality in society were radical at the time of the French Revolution and changed the way people thought of how their government should be run. In time, these views became the basis for modern and Western thinking and politics and can be seen in some of the most influential countries in the world, including the United States, England, and France (Cannistraro

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