Difference Between American Revolution and French Revolution

Main Difference

The main difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution is that the American Revolution was the war between the 13 colonies and the British Empire whereas the French revolution was the war between the people and their government.

American Revolution vs. French Revolution

The American and the French Revolution were the revolutions with the products of Enlightenment ideals. The American Revolution was the war between thirteen colonies and the British Empire. The French Revolution was the war among people and the government.

The reason behind these revolutions was the oppressive or tyrannical rule of absolute monarchs. The people wanted to be free and have the ability to live independently. The American Revolution ended before the start of the French Revolution. The American Revolution and the French Revolution are similar in many ways, yet they are different.

The American Revolution occurred in an area that was an ocean away from its ruling monarchy in Britain. The French Revolution took place within France. It was a clear action directly threatening the French monarchy.

The political climate in France during the French revolution was somehow different than that in America. The reason behind it was that there was not a recent war in America. Whereas, in France, there was a war of Seven Years that nearly devastated the French monarchy.

The American Revolution was based on liberty, equality, and justice. The French Revolution was regulated by inequality of rights, injustice, and supremacy of the upper class. There is also a difference in the location of both the revolutions that affected their intent.

The American revolution was not intended to change Britain’s monarchy. It simply demanded to be free from British rule and to form a new government and a country. French revolution demanded fundamental changes. It intended to replace/change the existing government.

The main causes of the American Revolution were representation and taxation. The biggest cause of the French Revolution was a financial crisis raised by inequality among the underprivileged and aristocrats.

Comparison Chart

American RevolutionFrench Revolution
The war between 13 colonies and the British Empire that aimed at free-living and to be independentA revolution that rejected the monarchy and established a republic in France
War Between
British Empire and 13 coloniesPeople and government
Influence
liberty, equality, justiceSupremacy, inequality of rights
Place of Occurrence
In BritainIn France
Causes
the improper imposition of the tax, lack of representationthe financial crisis, inequality, dominancy of aristocrats
End
In 1783In 1792
Result
Independence of US AmericaLiberty from the monarchy and establishment of a republic

What is the American Revolution?

The American Revolution is a product of Enlightenment ideals. It was the war between thirteen colonies and the British Empire. The reason behind the American Revolution was the oppressive or tyrannical rule of absolute monarchs. The people wanted to be free and have the ability to live independently.

In 1763, the United Kingdom gained the whole French empire in North America after the defeat of France. The Americans moved to North America from the British Empire. The American Revolution was a war between the American Patriots in the thirteen British colonies and Great Britain. This war lasted for ten years, from 1765 to 1783.

The American Revolution occurred in an area that was an ocean away from its ruling monarchy in Britain. The American Revolution was based on liberty, equality, and justice. The need for liberty, equality, and justice was the initiative for this revolution. The American revolution was not intended to change Britain’s monarchy.

It simply demanded to be free from British rule and to form a new government and a country. The revolution started when the American thirteen Colonial Society started a conflict. They rejected the authority of the British government to press taxes on them. A political protest was known as “The Boston Tea Party” was held on December 16, 1773. This political protest was followed by encounters between the soldiers who were sent by the British Crown and thirteen colonies.

The main cause of the American Revolution was that the British government did not realize the unrest and dissatisfaction that developed in its colonies in North America. The British government considered these colonies a possession than an extension of its territory and people. Americans laid a name in history after winning their independence. Their experience guided them in securing liberty by establishing a government on a solid foundation.

What is the French Revolution?

The French Revolution is a great revolution in history. This main achievement of this revolution was the rejection of monarchy and the establishment of a republic in France. It was a revolution with the ideals of enlightenment. It powered the ideas of natural rights, justice, and equality.

The French Revolution was the clear cut war between the people and the government. It was a watershed event in the history of modern European. The French Revolution took place all by itself within France. It was a direct action of threatening the French monarchy. The political climate was different in France than that in America during the French revolution.

The reason behind it was that there was not a recent war in America. Whereas, in France, there was a war of Seven Years that nearly devastated the French monarchy. The French Revolution discouraged the supremacy of the upper class and asked for the equality of rights. It intended to replace/change the existing government.

The biggest cause of the French Revolution was a financial crisis that was raised by the dominancy of aristocrats and the suppression of underprivileged. The French Revolution initiated with an action of the “Storming of the Bastille” on 14th July 1789 and lasted till 1799. The people suffered through so many years of violence and political turmoil during the war.

In simple words, the French Revolution was a period in France where the people discouraged monarchy and took control of the government. The French Revolution began when the revolutionaries stormed a prison named “the Bastille.” It ended when a General named “Napoleon Bonaparte” established the French Consulate by defeating the revolutionary government.

The revolution was the result of the imposition of unnecessary taxes by the government. It resulted in a financial crisis and the years of bad harvests. The French Revolution brought an entire change to the political, social hence the overall structure of France. The French monarchy, feudalism, political power of the Catholic church came to an end.

It brought fresh ideas of liberty and freedom to Europe. It abolished slavery, suppression, and gave rights to women. The revolution came to an end with the rise of Napoleon, but its ideas and reforms remained. The ideas of the french revolution continued to influence Europe and contributed to shaping its modern-day governments.

Key Differences

  1. The American Revolution was the war between 13 colonies and the British Empire, whereas the French Revolution was the war between the people and the government.
  2. The American Revolution took place in a colony which was an ocean away from its ruling monarchy in Britain on the flip side the French Revolution took place itself (directly threatened the French monarchy) within France.
  3. The American Revolution ended after the signing of a peace treaty (Treaty of Paris) by the British King, “George III.” On the flip side, the French Revolution ended when the Republic was proclaimed following the French victory.
  4. The political climate of the American Revolution was different from French Revolution because there was not a recent war in America; on the contrary, there was a war of Seven Years in France that nearly devastated the French monarchy.
  5. The American Revolution was based on liberty, equality, and justice; inversely the French Revolution was regulated by supremacy and equality of rights.
  6. The main causes of the American Revolution were representation and taxation; on the contrary, the main cause of the French Revolution was a financial crisis raised by inequality among the underprivileged and aristocrats.
  7. The American revolution was not intended to change Britain’s monarchy. It only demanded to be free from British rule and to break away to form a new government and a new country while the French revolution demanded the fundamental changes. It intended to change the existing government.
  8. The American Revolution stopped in 1783. Conversely, the French Revolution ceased in September 1792.
  9. American Revolution resulted in the independence of US America; on the contrary, the French Revolution resulted in the establishment of a republic and liberty from the monarchy.

Conclusion

American Revolution and the French revolution were the two big movements in the history that brought about so many changes. Both the revolutions are different from each other based on their location, intentions, demands, and results.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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