What are the similarities and differences between the Glorious, French, and American revolutions?  

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The Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution were all rebellions against monarchs. However, their motives, causes, and results were all quite different.

The Glorious Revolution was different from the other two because it did not result in any social change. For most people in England, life before...

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The Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution were all rebellions against monarchs. However, their motives, causes, and results were all quite different.

The Glorious Revolution was different from the other two because it did not result in any social change. For most people in England, life before the Glorious Revolution was pretty much the same afterward. It was also fought for religious as well as political reasons. Parliament was run by protestants. King James II was Catholic. This was a period of tense relations between English Protestants and Catholics. Parliament feared that James was going to lead England back into the Catholic fold and that he was going to make secret alliances with the French to accomplish this. There was no such religious struggle as part of the American and French revolutions.

The American Revolution differed because it was fought by colonists in order to shed their political bonds with their home-nation. The motives of the American revolutionaries was to start their own nation, not overthrow a monarch in his own country. Indeed, although it was a huge embarrassment for him, King George III remained on his throne after the American revolution. King Louis XVI of France and King James II of England were not as fortunate after the revolutions in their countries.

The French revolution is unique from the other two because it was mostly driven by the peasantry. French peasants, angry over repeated abuses by the nobility and clergy of their country, rose up against them. In doing so, they greatly changed the fabric of their nation. While the lower classes did play a role in the American Revolution and the Glorious Revolution, they were not the driving force. Instead, those revolutions were headed by people who were already powerful, wealthy, and influential. The French Revolution also resulted in numerous executions and a massive change in the country's society. This was not the case with respect to the other two revolutions.

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A good one hundred years separates the Glorious Revolution (1688–1689) from the French Revolution (which began in 1789), with very different geographic and historical contexts at play; however, there were similarities. Each of the three could be framed as rebellions against monarchical overreach. The Declaration of Independence was founded in the claim that George III had been acting tyrannically towards the colonies, whereas the French Revolution entailed the dismantling of the absolute monarchy, and the Glorious Revolution was a reaction against James II, in response to his pro-Catholic and pro-Absolutist tendencies. In addition, the Glorious Revolution introduced the English Bill of Rights. Later, the United States would install its own Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution), and the French Revolution would introduce the Declaration of the Rights of Man.

Though there were some key similarities, in any respect, I think the differences far exceed any similarities. The American Revolution was primarily a colonial conflict and an independence war against Britain. All three had an element of violence to them (it's difficult not to expect some degree of turmoil), but the intensity of the terror and the sheer extent to which the Revolutionary State was in danger of collapsing—facing as it did the prospects of a Civil War, internal revolts, and the coalition wars against Europe—was largely unique to the French Revolution. In addition, French Republicanism introduced an element of radical egalitarianism that sets it apart from the other two revolutions, and the French Revolution was far more radically ambitious in the way it attempted to rewrite French society: they introduced a new calendar, tried to rationalize the church, amended marriage laws, and more. In addition, you can consider the role of the Parisian crowds in shaping the French Revolution and the radicalized nature of the sans-culottes (who have no equivalents in the other two revolutions). The Glorious Revolution, by comparison, seems far less radical by comparison and more strictly political in its effects.

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All three revolutions were against unpopular monarchs. In the 1688 Glorious Revolution, James II was deposed by William of Orange. During the American Revolution in 1776, the colonists rebelled against George III in the name of establishing self-government. The French people killed Louis XVI during the French Revolution in 1789.  

The Glorious Revolution was aided by the Netherlands, while the American colonists received help from the French. Though many Americans cheered on the French Revolution, it was largely a homegrown revolution with little outside help. The only king executed during the three revolutions was Louis XVI. George III was still a British monarch after the American Revolution though he was no longer in charge of the American colonies. The American Revolution led directly to a war that affected Spain, France, and the Netherlands. Though there was some fighting in Scotland and Ireland, there were no widespread conflicts after the Glorious Revolution. The French Revolution led to the Reign of Terror which led to the deaths of thousands of French nobles and clerics. The chaos of the French Revolution paved the way for the Napoleonic Wars. The American Revolution and the French Revolution directly affected the citizenry of America and France, while the Glorious Revolution affected only the British government.  

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All three revolutions resulted in substantial changes in government and the expansion of freedom for most of the population. But while the American and French Revolutions were direct and violent revolutions in the 18th century, the Glorious Revolution was not as violent and occurred in the 17th century.

The Glorious Revolution was not completely without violence, however; there was significant fighting in Ireland and Scotland against the new Dutch king. Like the American Revolution, the Glorious Revolution involved substantial intervention by a foreign power: In the Glorious Revolution it was the Dutch, who sort of quietly invaded England, while in the American Revolution it was France which supported the American colonists. The French Revolution, on the other hand, was largely just a popular uprising with little outside support. The United States would have helped, probably, but simply wasn't in a condition to do so meaningfully.

There are more direct links between the three: Without the Glorious Revolution, the government of England would have been quite different, and the American Revolution might have gone differently. The same French government that supported the American Revolution was soon embroiled in the French Revolution, and the French Revolution borrowed many of its ideas and motivations from the success of the American Revolution.

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