Radicalism and Revolutions Essay example

Radicalism and Revolutions Essay example

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Throughout history, revolutions have started because of new ideas that change thinking and disrupt what has come to be considered normal. During 1700s, the American, French, and Haitian Revolutions were no exception. The Enlightenment ideas that were spreading around this time lead people of these three nations to question their ruling elites, and to begin considering breaking free. Of these three, though, no one revolt can be seen as more radical when compared to the other two. Each was faced with the challenging task of successfully separating from the oppression that had been brought upon them by to powerful empires and monarchies who had lost sight of what the American, French, and Haitian people alike considered important, as well as being some of the first revolts to use radical Enlightenment ideas to justify each of their rebellions. They considered these rebellions their one shot at being able to break free.
During the 1700s, the Enlightenment had brought an increasing amount of new ideas about how the government should be operating in relation to those people of respective communities. It was these Enlightenment thinkers of this time that brought drastic new ideas to light. They were men like Denis Diderot who discussed ideas about “natural law”and questioned the authority allegedly given to the kings by God. He wrote that “[people] have the most sacred natural right to everything that is not disputed by the rest of the species”. Or there was Abbe Raynal, who communicated that “natural liberty is a right granted by nature to every man”. Thinkers like these two men were leaders in the Enlightenment age, who would eventually influence not only people all over Europe but those in colonies like America and Saint-Domingue...


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...d Haitian revolutions all believed that if they didn’t take their opportunity to succeed from their various rulers, they may lose all hope of ever doing so. It was this desperation for freedom, and the act of rebellion alone, that makes the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and Haitian Revolutions radial. They can be seen as some of the first major uprising to not only challenge those in control, but to incorporate Enlightenment ideas as part of their justification.
In short, American colonists, French people, and enslaved Haitians can all be considered equally radical, in respect to their circumstances. They all used some of the most basic ideas of the Enlightenment era to rise up against forceful empires and monarchies that would not delay in punishing them, and they all believed that if they did not take action, the consequences would be detrimental.

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