French, American, and Haitian Revolutions


What was the origin and fallout of the French, American, and Haitian Revolutions?


Origin of French Revolution

There was no match between the economic and intellectual development of France and its social and political changes. Thus, it became difficult to commensurate social and political influence in the country. Absolute monarchy was consolidated by King Louis XIV (Doyle, 1980). This led to the destruction of the roots of feudalism. The feudal forms that still existed became a burden. The tax was very high on the productive classes and the privileged groups like the nobility and the clergy governed the country. Feudal dues were levied on the peasants and the small landlords which was unacceptable for them. There were food shortages in the country because the agricultural methods were backward and there were barriers related to the internal tariff in the country. Apart from this, the church and absolutism was attacked by the Voltaire. Then, the chaotic state of government finance was a direct origin of the revolution in France.

The fallout of the French Revolution

The French revolution failed in 1799 and got nullified by 1815. But the results of the revolution were far-reaching. The power came in the hands of the bourgeois and the landowning classes. They controlled all the people. The death of Feudalism happened. The Code Napoleon consolidated the entire social and contractual relations in the country (Outram, D., & Schiebinger, 1991). Though France was unified and the power of national state got enhanced but the ancient structures of Europe were torn down by the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. 

Origin of American Revolution

The revolution originated from the conflict that was created due to the growing tensions between the people who lived in the 13vNorth American colonies in the Great Britain and the colonial government that was the representative of the British crown. Skirmishes between British troops and colonial militiamen in Lexington and Concord in April 1775 kicked off the armed conflict, and by the following summer, the rebels were waging a full-scale war for their independence (). In 1778  (Bailyn, 2012). The entry of France happened who were on the colonialist side and with the support of France, the British surrendered at Yorktown. 

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The fallout of the American Revolution

The collapse of France happened and led to the French revolution as the country was heavily burdened with debt. America also had nothing to defend them and they were open to attacks. Most of the people in America were farmers and they did not have any navy or army for themselves. The UK faced continuous humiliations and they wanted to take, America’s trading vessels were raided and high tariffs were imposed on American ships (Wood, 2011). This further deteriorated the condition of the people in America. The economy of America was hurt to the extreme when Britain refused to sell its goods in the country.  

Origin of Haitian Revolution

This began in 1791 and continued till 1804. It took place in the former colony of France and it was an anti-slavery and anti-colonial revolution. The institution of slavery was affected throughout America with this revolution. It originated due to the immense slavery and the ruling of the whites. There was no state that was free from slavery and the non-whites had no rights, authorities or the freedom to live (Geggus, 2001). It was also due to the racism that was spread in many parts of the world. The people had long-held beliefs about the inferiority of blacks that had to be broken somehow. The enslaved people had to be put in the capacity for achieving and maintaining freedom. The people owned the slaves and frightened the people. So, all this led to the Haitian Revolution that aimed to fight for the freedom of people from slaves, destroy the practice of racism and bring down the colonial power. 

The fallout of the Haitian Revolution

This was successful to a great extent in creating a new nation, but dangerous social repercussions were faced by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. People started expressing pride in their Africanism but the people with the light skin were still idolized. The Dominican Republic did not trust the Haitian people and the people developed a psychological complex regarding racism and color (Geggus, 2001). They were not able to identify themselves as human beings; they were still seen as blacks and whites. Western powers started to enter the country and the profits were driven to them when they started establishing their business here. The region also suffered from huge social and political instability. 

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  • Bailyn, B. (2012). The ideological origins of the American Revolution. Harvard University Press.

  • Doyle, W. (1980). Origins of the French revolution (Vol. 24). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Geggus, D. P. (2001). The impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic world. Reaktion Books.

  • Outram, D., & Schiebinger, L. (1991). The body and the French Revolution: sex, class, and political culture.

  • Wood, G. S. (2011). The radicalism of the American Revolution. Vintage.

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