AP World History pd. 9
John Locke believed that people are born with the right to life, liberty, property and the right to choose government. These Enlightenment ideas were the main inspiration to both the French and American Revolutions. The French Revolution was an important revolution in Europe, preceded by the American Revolution. Both these revolution had lasting influences and unique social backgrounds creating tension with each individual revolution.
Social tensions were very different within the two revolutions. The American Revolution was a war against the outside force, Great Britain. The French Revolution was a war within its own country. In the French Revolution, the third estate rebelled within their society against the first and second estate. While in America there was an absence in the class systems. The French class system was differentiated into three separate estates. The first estate included the clergy. The second estate contained the wealthy or aristocrats. The third estate was made up of the rest of the society, the peasants. The legal distinctions lacking in America brought everyone on the same social status with equal rights. In France rights varied between social classes. The top estates had no taxes and many other privileges that were inaccessible to the third estate. Before the American Revolution the British had been so lenient and tolerant to the colonies, that it was a sudden change when they began to be strict with their controls over the colonies. Socially, the French and the American Revolution were unique.
The French and American Revolution had lasting influences throughout history. Both resulted in the creation of important historical documents. The American Revolution made the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution. The French Revolution produced the Constitution of 1791 and the Declaration of the Rights of Man. The American Revolution was the first...
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