Could someone please compare and constrast the French and Russian Revolutions for me?

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#6 draws a number of interesting comparisons, the most interesting of which to me is the way in which power was usurped by a charismatic individual. Certainly economic conditions and social inequalities all had a role to play (read A Tale of Two Cities for a literary take on the...

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#6 draws a number of interesting comparisons, the most interesting of which to me is the way in which power was usurped by a charismatic individual. Certainly economic conditions and social inequalities all had a role to play (read A Tale of Two Cities for a literary take on the poverty of your average Frenchmen), but also a social structure where the upper-class were dependent upon an oppressed lower class for their position is another vital similarity which led to both Revolution's "success" if such a term could be used when the lower classes mobilised themselves.

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Both Revolutions happened because the costs of the rich living high on the hog, if you will, were paid by the poor.  Royalty, the aristocrats, and the Church were all dependent for far too long and far too much on the working poor, and their revolt was predictable.  The flight of the Church and the aristocracy was predictable, as was the depth of the anger and thirst for revenge. 

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I would suggest a thesis statement about how economic conditions played a role in both revolutions would be compelling.  Another thesis statement, depending on your evidence, could be about how each was inappropriately addressed by the ruling monarch.  Finally, a good thesis statement might be that each revolution was initiated by a group that was not able to maintain control and, eventually, was usurped by a charismatic individual (Napoleon and Lenin).

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The French and Russian revolutions were really very similar in their natures.  Both began as a revolution led by the bourgeoisie against a despotic monarchy and degenerated into a bloody regime headed by representatives of the peasantry.  Both revolutions murdered their respective monarchs well after they had ceased to be a threat to the Revolution.  Both had egalitarian and communist elements to  the peasant revolution and both killed thousands of innocent people.  The French revolution resulted in a vacuum that allowed Napoleon Bonaparte to become a dictator and the Russian Revolution allowed Lenin to become dictator.

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