Venn Diagram Compare and Contrast by wulinqing

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(The following items do not apply to the American Revolution.)
 1. Medieval French society divided into three classes, the Three Estates.
 2. France was heavily indebted for financially supporting the American
    Revolution, as it would weaken France’s European rival, Great Britain,
    because of the wars waged by Louis XIV and spending of royal family.
 3. Increasingly huge deficit, the French government was nearly bankrupt.
 4. Heavy tax burden on the French peasants (= 90 % of the population).
 5. The king had no authority to tax the wealthy (aristocracy and clergy).
 6. Louis XVI had asked the First and Second Estates to accept a tax on
    land, yet the nobility and clergy refused; a financial crisis would follow.
 7. There was deep social inequality manifested in French medieval society.
 8. Deep unhappiness of the French people with the Ancien Regime.
 9. Root cause of revolution: Poverty of French working class and peasants.
10. Immediately before the revolution: Bread riots due to grain shortage.
11. France had a centralist, absolutist government, no separation of powers.
12. The French medieval state represented the interests of the Bourbon
    family, the French royal dynasty, of the nobility and the leading clergy.
13. The French people deeply resented their queen, Marie Antoinette, who
    was a native of neighboring archenemy Austria. She was referred to as
   “Madame Deficit” because of her spending habits. She was a young and
    naïve, yet cynical queen who commented on the starvation of the French
    people by saying: “Let them eat cake!”
14. The catalyst that would trigger off the revolution was popular protest:
    Storming of the Bastille, the Fall of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789.
15. Indecision, procrastination of King Louis XVI (not Louis XIV!).
16. The majority of the French people were in favor of the revolution.
17. Who was the revolutionary subject? The urban workers of Paris (= the
    lower classes) made the French Revolution.
18. The urban workers of Paris initiated the French Revolution; the French
    bourgeoisie, the property-owning middle class, would benefit from it.
19. The new French Parliament, the National Assembly, was founded as a
    revolutionary act against the medieval parliament, the Estates-General.
20. Abolition of the Old Regime (L’Ancien Regime) (= the medieval state).
21. Before you could build a new society, you had to tear down the old one.
22. The two groups that would lose power in the course of the French
    Revolution were the First Estate, the clergy, and the Second Estate, the

23. Reforms were begun immediately, yet could not be sustained.
24. The French Revolution would lead to a state-controlled church as a result
    of the “Civil Constitution of the Clergy”; power and influence would be
    taken away from the French Roman Catholic Church.
25. March of the Parisian women to Versailles to take the king and queen
    prisoner, arrest them and march them back to the French capital.
26. King and queen were accused of high treason, put to trial, and found
27. Public execution of the King and Queen of France.
28. The French Revolution was inspired by the American Revolution.
29. The French Revolution went through several stages.
30. The Reign of Terror: At least 20,000 people were publicly executed as
    “enemies of the revolution”.
31. “The revolution devours its children” – all the leading revolutionaries
    become victims of the terror they had instigated.
32. Coup d’etat (strike against the state) by Napoleon Bonaparte.
33. The Napoleonic Code (= the new laws of Napoleon) replaces the old
    Roman Law.
34. Napoleon introduces lycees, providing equality of opportunity and free
    access to leading positions to members of the lower classes as well.
35. Napoleon seizes and nationalizes all lands formerly owned by the French
    Roman Catholic Church; the French church was disproprieted.
36. First draft army in history: “Levee en masse” (= massive conscription).
37. Soldiers were inspired by and fighting for the idea of nationalism and the
    ideals of the French Revolution.
38. Soldiers who were fighting for an ideal (such as nationalism, or “liberty,
    equality, and brotherhood”) were more successful militarily than
    mercenaries fighting for money
39. The Directory stood for the return to moderation after the French people
    were tired of the endless bloodshed.
40. Cycle of the five stages of the French Revolution:
    1. Absolute monarch (= dictator) – 2. Revolution – 3. Reign of Terror –
    4. Directory (= moderation) – 5. Another dictator (Napoleon Bonaparte).
41. There have been at least eight different French constitutions since 1791.
42. The French Revolution was unsuccessful, as it did not bring about
    political stability; several empires and republics followed one another;
    present-day France is referred to as the “Fifth Republic”.
43. The goal of the French Revolution was to end feudalism and oppression
    by the French monarchy; to that extent the revolution was unsuccessful.

(The following items apply to both French and American Revolution.)

 1. Both revolutions were influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment:
    Enlightenment thinkers spread ideas preparing people for both
    revolutions, advocating radical change of society.
 2. Both the French and the Americans wanted to get rid of an all-powerful
    abusive monarch (Louis XVI; George III); both rebelled against the king
    and established a representative form of government.
 3. In both cases, a period of chaos followed the actual revolution.
 4. Contradiction: Louis XVI, who had helped the Americans establish a
    republican system of government and thus ruined French finances, was
    guillotined in 1793 in the name of the very republican form of
    government that he had helped establish in the New World.
 5. Both revolutions pursued similar ideals : “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of
    happiness” (= private property) vs. “Liberte, egalite, fraternite”
    (= solidarity, making sacrifices for the common good); both promoted
    the spirit of nationalism/patriotism.
 6. Both revolutions emphasized individual rights and were an expression of
    eighteenth century Natural Rights Philosophy.
 7. Internal struggles prior to and during the revolution: Tories/loyalists vs.
    patriots; moderates (Girondists) vs. radicals (Jacobins).
 8. Both have produced a very famous political document: The Declaration
    of Independence and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the
 9. Both documents emphasized the idea that governments must protect the
    rights of the people.
10. Both have produced a written constitution: The United States
    Constitution of 1789; the French Constitution of 1791 (which would not
    last very long).
11. There were social injustices of Ancien Regime and British colonial rule.
12. Economic crisis in Great Britain after the French and Indian War/Seven
   Years’ War (1756 – 1763); economic crisis in France after supporting the
   American Revolution (1776 – 1783).
13. A free society dominated by the property-owning middle class, the
    bourgeoisie, is established; the bourgeoisie is the class that has profited
    most from the revolution.
14. There was major bloodshed in both countries before the revolution
    would succeed.

15. Both revolutions made war inevitable in order to be successful: War of
    Independence, the Revolutionary Wars; both opposed foreign armies
    (from Great Britain, Austria, Prussia).
16. Emigres (aristocrats) went to Great Britain; emigrants (loyalists) went to
17. The revolutions would lead to equal suffrage – but not for women.
18. Women played an active part in both revolutions.
19. A republican system of government was established.
20. A constitutional government and parliamentary system were established.
21. The tax system was a major cause for both revolutions.
22. A citizens’ army was recruited – plus mercenaries from abroad in the
   War of Independence.
23. At that time, revolution seemed to be the only alternative.
24. After the revolution, no return to the old system was possible; the results
   of the revolution were irreversible.
25. Both revolutions established a completely new society.
26. Both revolutions have had dramatic effects outside the country; both
    revolutions have affected the entire world and have changed the course
    of world history.

(The following items do not apply to the French Revolution.)

 1. Unique character of the American Revolution in world history
    (= the first democratic revolution).
 2. American Revolution as a role model in world history:
    “Shot heard around the world“ (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
 3. Determination and perseverance of American leaders: Washington,
    Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Franklin, and others.
 4. Abolition of British colonial rule.
 5. Estimated thirty percent patriots and seventy percent loyalists or
    undecided; originally, the majority of the population was not in favor of
    the American Revolution.
 6. The British had passed many laws alienating the colonialists.
 7. The British wanted the colonies to pay for the French and Indian War/
    Seven Years’ War.
 8. Root cause of the American Revolution: “No taxation without
 9. The catalyst of the American Revolution was the Boston Tea Party.

10. The War of Independence was a long, arduous war with many hardships
    and burdens for the colonists.
11. Result of the American Revolution: first truly democratic government in
    the world.
12. The American Revolution had an impact on the events in France during
    the French Revolution by encouraging members of the middle class, the
    Third Estate, to rebel against King Louis XVI.
13. The United States Constitution (separation of powers, system of checks
    and balances) has remained a role model for the rest of the world up to
    this very day.
14. Different from France with a history of eight constitutions, the American
    Revolution has produced one constitution only, and that constitution
   would remain intact up to this very day.
15. The United States has experienced a democratic type of government that
    has never seriously been challenged for over two hundred years; there
    has never been a real communist or fascist or any other radical threat in
    the United States – and that is unique in world history.
16. Different from European countries, no obstacles from feudal medieval
    societies had to be overcome and torn down before building a new
17. The U. S. Bill of Rights (1791) has protected the rights of the individual.
18. Continental Army; volunteer army of colonists and foreign mercenaries
   (Hessian, Polish, Prussian, and French troops and officers).
19. Success of the American Revolution has led to the spread and victory of
    freedom and democracy worldwide.
20. It was the first society based on freedom and equality of its citizens.
21. It enabled economic growth of a free and capitalistic economy at a scale
    previously unheard of.
22. It meant the conquest of an entire continent from coast to coast.
23. The goal of the American Revolution was independence from colonial
    rule and the establishment of representative government.
24. Different from the French and Russian Revolutions, the American
    Revolution would not result in the formation of any kind of dictatorial
    type of government.
25. The American Revolution was and has been extremely successful up to
    this very day – in America and throughout the world.


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