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How did the French Revolution divide Americans?

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billybob1291 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 11, 2008 at 11:52 AM via web

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How did the French Revolution divide Americans?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 11, 2008 at 12:41 PM (Answer #1)

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The French Revolution provided both idealistic and practical problems for Americans. The ideals of the French Revolution had been spawned in part by the American Revolution. The slogan of "liberty, equality and brotherhood" closely resembles America's " life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. So, Americans were very sympathetic towards the French people, who, like the Americans, were fighting to overcome a political system, lead by a king, that paid no attention to their views. However, by supporting the French Revolution too closely, America risked going to war with England and their allies who were terrified that the revolution would spread to their countries. As a new country trying to establish itself, most American political leaders knew another war would bankrupt the country. Consequently, many Americans supported the French Revolution with their hearts, but supported the British with their heads.

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