How Did The French Revolution Differ From The American Revolution

How did the French Revolution differ from the American Revolution?

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One major difference was the social composition of the respective revolutionaries. In America, the leaders of the revolution tended to be men of property, men who had a stake in the stability of society. Though ultimate sovereignty resided with the British Crown, the colonists still enjoyed a fair degree of autonomy in relation to their own affairs. Over time, the American colonists developed a sophisticated understanding of liberty, one that they came to believe was under serious threat from continued British rule.

The French revolutionaries, on the other hand, tended to come from a social class that had been systematically denied any serious role in government or administration. The vast majority came from the so-called Third Estate, those Frenchmen not part of either the aristocracy or the Church. They were the ones who paid the taxes, yet didn't receive any kind of political representation in return. Grievances over the patently unjust system of taxation were one of the main...

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