Transformation of the West

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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. Those who revolted made “[the war into] an ideological war. Partisans of the Revolution differed violently [ideologically] with each other, as did their opponents” (Doc __). These views gave the people an awareness to see the need for change and the strong basis to advocate for it. Through the revolution, the French aspired to do away with the traditional philosophy retained through the practices of the old monarchy. Also, the French rebelled because of the persecution inflicted by the existing government. At the time in France, social equality before the law was non-existent and corrupt government officials were prevalent. Poorer citizens were forced to carry most of the tax burden while the monarchs enjoyed lavish lives. The peasants, consequently, despised the rich and carried out an assault ...

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...estore their rights within it” (Doc ___). Before the revolution, the British government had already adopted a constitutional monarchy and treated its people fairly with the Magna Carta and representation in Parliament. Seeing these injustices enraged the colonies who all wished to receive rights and independence from the monarch. The goal of creating a democratic nation served as motivation for the Revolutionists and the British government became a rough model.
In sum, the French and American Revolutions had many similarities despite the differences in ruling monarchs and circumstances. Both reacted similarly to Enlightenment ideals and had been taxed heavily, creating social and economic imbalances. While the motiving vision for both nations were opposite of each other, these revolutions achieved similar results from the new republic and constitution in the end.
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