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The French and the Russian Revolutions both began under conditions of extreme social stress in their respective nations. France experienced a major grain shortage that coincided with a fiscal crisis that was compounded by their extreme public debt. Tsarist Russia was exhausted by war and facing a major fuel shortage when the first waves of the French Revolution broke in Petrograd. Both revolutions experienced an initial, more moderate phase in their beginnings before becoming more radical. The National Assembly initially created a constitutional monarchy in France, and the provisional government, led by Alexander Kerensky in Russia undertook many reforms, but failed to remove the Russians from World War I. Finally, both revolutions concluded with the rise to power of a leader with essentially dictatorial powers. It should be noted that these comparisons are very broad, as both of these historical events were complex and multifaceted. But overarching similarities in the material conditions that helped spark the revolutions, as well as the general trajectory of each revolution, can be made.
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