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American and French Revolutions

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1. Explain the cause of these changes in each nation, including the conditions that led to both the American and French revolutions and possible reasons for the very different outcomes in the revolutions.

2. Also, looking ahead to the Industrial Age, what would cause Great Britain to eventually follow the path to democracy as well?

3. Further, how did the rise of the American and European democracies, as developing industrial powers, also influence Africa and Asia?

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1. Explain the cause of these changes in each nation, including the conditions that led to both the American and French revolutions and possible reasons for the very different outcomes in the revolutions.

The causes for both revolutions were entrenched in the desire for the common man to gain control over their own lives and destiny. In both countries, the monarch had ruled supreme for centuries, and the common people wanted to attain the autonomy to do what they wanted for their own lives while spending money and resources for themselves. In France, the monarch was more pronounced because the monarchy was within the actual country and people were desperately starving for food, resources, and any semblance of a life. This culminated with the disastrous rule of a king and queen who were too far removed from the suffering of the common man that the peasants decided to rise against the monarchy along with revolutionists. This revolution was bloody and unfulfilled in the end as the very same revolutionists that rose against power, began to exhibit the same displays of abuse of power of those who they overthrew. This was the difference between the American and French Revolutions as in France; the tyrannical regime was ingrained within the ...

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American and French Revolutions

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French and Indian war (174-63) was otherwise known as the Seven Years War was fought between Britain and France for the control of North America. Even though, the British were not able to get much support from the colonies, the colonists fought with them. When the British government tried to tax colonist for the payment of the war, there started friction. British had crushed the powerful Pontiac rebellion. The British parliament passed the Proclamation of 1763 preventing the colonists from settling down in Native American territories. The angry colonists ignored the order and moved towards their goal. Navigation Act of 1764, Sugar Act, currency Act, and especially the Stamp Act created great protest against the British. The colonists protested against taxation without representation. The British parliament was forced to repeal the stamp act, but they had passed the Declaratory Act. Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770 wounded the feelings of the colonists and later it added as a fuel to the American Revolution. On December 16, 1773, when the British ships were in the Boston harbor, the colonists disguised as Native Americans, dumped the cargo of tea into the harbor. The British government became enraged and closed the Boston harbor until the colonists paid for the damages. In January 1774, the British government passed the Intolerable Acts or Coercive Acts. The colonists came together in Philadelphia for the First Continental Congress in 1774. They petitioned the British government to establish cordial relations with them and at the same time continued to boycott the British goods. As a last resort for peace, the colonists submitted the Olive Branch Petition to King George III. The king rejected the petition and the time was ripe for starting the Revolution. The colonists formed the Continental Army under George Washington. On July 2, 1776 Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence. Eventhough there were continued tensions between British and the colonists, the time was not ripe for starting a rebellion ten years back. The colonists were not ready physically and mentally to start the rebellion.
One of the greatest problems faced by the newly born nation after the Independence was the absence of a centralized government. The government under the Articles of Confederation was very weak. The constitutional convention met in Philadelphia in 1787 to set up a new constitution. A tripartite system of government was formed with legislature, executive and Judiciary.

There was much interplay between British and the colonists before the revolution.
Some of them were following:

French and Indian War - French and Indian war (174-63) was otherwise known as the Seven Years War was a world war. It was fought between Britain and France for the control of North America. Even though the British were not able to get much support from the colonies, the colonists fought with them. The war ended on February 10, 1763 with the Treaty Paris. France had lost almost all its territories in North America. The cost of the war was so high that Britain tried to get money from the colonist to pay for the war. This action of the British government resulted in the spiral of events which later led to the Revolutionary War.

Pontiac Rebellion - British crushed the powerful Pontiac rebellion. In order to please the Native Americans, the British parliament passed the Proclamation of 1763 preventing the colonists from settling down in Native American territories. The angry colonists ignored the order and moved towards their goal.

Taxes - After the French and Indian war, the British government passed several acts and tried to tax them. Some of the acts were Navigation Act of 1764, Sugar Act and currency Act. The Stamp Act made the colonists to pay for the printed materials. The colonists protested against taxation without representation. The British parliament was forced to repeal the stamp act, but they had passed the Declaratory Act.

Boston Massacre - On March 5, 1770 a mob clashed with the British soldiers resulting in the death of five people. The incident created a deep wound in the hearts of the colonists.

Boston Tea Party - The British Parliament passed the Tea Act in 1773 to save the financially troubled British East India Company. The British East India Company was given a trade monopoly on tea, but it was opposed by the colonists. On December 16, 1773, when the British ships were in the Boston harbor, the colonists disguised as Native Americans dumped the cargo of tea into the harbor. The British government became enraged and closed the Boston harbor until the colonists paid for the damages.

Intolerable Acts - In January 1774, the British government passed the Intolerable Acts or Coercive Acts. The British Parliament also passed the Quebec Act which gave more rights to the French Canadian Catholics.

First Continental Congress - The colonists came together in Philadelphia for the First Continental Congress in 1774. They petitioned the British government to establish cordial relations and at the same time continued to boycott the British goods.

Second Continental Congress - As a last resort to establish peace with the British, the colonists submitted the Olive Branch Petition to King George III. The king rejected the petition and the condition was set for starting the Revolution. The colonists chose George Washington as the commander-in-chief of the militias and the continental army was formed to fight against the British. On July 2, 1776 Thomas Jefferson drafted the document, the Declaration of Independence. Eventhough there were continued tensions between British and the colonists, the time was not ripe for starting a rebellion ten years back. The colonists were not ready physically and mentally to start the rebellion.

One of the greatest problems faced by the new born nation was the absence of a centralized government. The first attempt to set up a national government began with the Articles of confederation. The government under the Articles was weak in nature. Each state acted as separate nation and the states enjoyed more powers than the center. When the national government was found weak under the Articles of confederation, it seems that the nation was about to break up. The political leaders decided to form a new constitution and the change the framework of present government. The constitutional convention met in Philadelphia in 1787 and set up a new constitution. A tripartite system of government was formed with legislature, executive and Judiciary.

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