Even though monarchs have argued for social benefits, they fail to meet with expectations of commoners. Indeed, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Turbulence in politics and the government led to the development of new philosophies, which ultimately replaced broken ones that favored monarchy. The English Civil War that directly influenced the American Revolution, as well as the French Revolution along with other examples, proves that absolute monarchy inexorably led to the rise of modern democracy.
During the late 18th century, both France and the British colonies in America experienced wars the opened the eyes of nations. The French Revolution and American Revolution drastically changed political thinking. In the French Revolution, monarchism was abandoned and political power was given to the people until the country became out of control, and a military dictatorship was necessary to regain control of France. In the American Revolution, a new nation was formed as the British colonies tore themselves away from the English monarchy. In the end, both France and the new United States of America moved away from absolute rule by a king or queen and wanted to put the political power in the hands of their people.
In the late 18th century, both France and the Thirteen Colonies endured revolutions that resulted in the decline of powerful monarchies, the rise of democracy, and the switch of absolute monarchies to constitutional states and republics. Both France and America became unified under an over-arching ideology and the power of the national state became elevated. Although the embracement of Enlightenment ideals and the suffering from social and economic inequalities caused the revolutions, both areas had contrasting motives that spurred from their idea of a perfect government. The French revolution was provoked by the changing ideology, the oppression felt by society because of taxation, and the need to form a constitutional government instead of an absolute monarchy. First, writers associated with Enlightenment thought—Rousseau and Voltaire—began to influence citizens, who recognized the inherent inequities in the French government systems.
During the period between the 16th and 18th century, there were many rulers that contributed to the rise and fall of the French Monarchy. The ideas of the enlightenment, class struggles, and policies of the king had different effects on the reigns of each king. It is very ironic that after years of fighting for a democracy, the Fench people decide that they want a dictatorship. If I was a ruler during the period of the French Revolution, I would have ruled as an absolutist. I would not expect the people to love me, as Louis XVI did, because this would only show my weakness.
Eventually, when the royal finances were expended in the 1780's, there began a time of greater criticism. This sparked the peasants notion of wanting change. Under the Old Regime in France, the king was the absolute monarch. Louis XIV had centralized power in the royal bureaucracy, the government departments which administered his policies. Together, Louis XIV and the bureaucracy worked to preserve royal authority and to maintain the social structure of the Old Regime.
The Glorious revolution was a changing point in the course of history. It was the first revolution of its kind which led to many more like the American revolution. There were many similarities between the Glorious and American revolution, John Locke played a key role in both revolutions, and Locke’s ideas were mirrored in the Declaration of Independence. The Glorious Revolution took place in England in 1688. They wanted to overthrow King James because people in the English parliament didn’t want to have a dynasty of Catholic monarchs.
In areas of agriculture, manufacturing, and trade, there were great downturns. Also, revolutionary ideas were instilled within the people during the Enlightenment. Together, the financial condition of the government, the economic depression, and the Enlightenment ideas played a pivotal role in causing the French Revolution. In the late 1800s, the condition of the French government was pitiful, and corruption was everywhere. France was already in great debt after spending large sums of money on soldiers and weapons for the French and Indian war.
The royalists and King Charles fought the parliamentarians, but the parliamentarians won. When the parliamentarians won they held the trial of King Charles 1, the exile of his son, Charles II; and the replacement of English monarchy with, at first, the Commonwealth of England (1649–53) and then the Protectorate (1653–59) under Oliver Cromwell's personal rule. The monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship in England ended with the victors consolidating the established Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. Constitutionally, the war established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament's consent, but it was not upheld and a later king tried to rule without parliament again, which brought about the Bloodless revolution. The bloodless revolution was a war between the Catholic King of England and his son in law who was a protestant.
The French Revolution began in 1789 and ended in 1792, though certain people include Napoleon’s reign as part of the revolution, stating it ended in 1804. It was a time of confusion, disorder, and bloodshed. The commoners of France decided that they were being treated unjustly and planned to overthrow their king. The French Revolution was a long and terrible war, which promoted democracy and equality for the people of France and resulted, not only in the death of Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI, but with France becoming a more liberal country. This essay will investigate causes of the French Revolution such as enlightenment ideas, taxation and economical problems, and the political system of the time.
The third estate, especially the peasants, had to provide almost all the country's tax revenue. Many members of the middle class were also worried by their social status. They were among the most important people in French society but were not recognized as such because they belonged to the third estate. "Financial crisis developed because the nation had gone deeply into debt to finance the Seven Years War (1756-1763) and the Revolutionary War (1775-1783)." (Durant, 22) The Parliament of Paris insisted that King Louis XVI could borrow more money or raise taxes only by calling a meeting of the States-General.