Sunday, September 1, 2019

Revolutionary History Essay

Between 1765 and 1788, the revolution that established the United States of America transpired. This revolution arose, because the power of the British Parliament to directly impose taxes on the American colonies was disputed by the latter. This revolution resulted in the establishment of a large republic and served to disprove the theory of political thinkers that republicanism could not govern over a country that was large. In this manner the state and federal constitutions that were adopted in the period from 1776 to 1788, represented the foremost political aspirations of that age. Another effect of this permanent republicanism was that monarchies became obsolete over a period of time (American Revolution.The Crystal Reference Encyclopedia. CredoReference). This revolution, which was democratic in nature, established the principle of equal rights in the US. This was due in great measure to the efforts of farmers and artisans. The extent to which these people favored freedom can be estimated from the fact that they took over the reins of government in the states of Pennsylvania and Vermont. Subsequently, in 1777, these states disassociated themselves from New York, in order to implement institutions that were significantly democratic. Moreover, social change was engendered by this revolution, in as much as slavery was transformed into a political and moral issue from what had been a well established reality. In the Northern states slavery became extinct and in northern portion of the South, the number of blacks who were no longer slaves increased dramatically (American Revolution.The Crystal Reference Encyclopedia. CredoReference). The French Revolution demolished the Bourbon monarchy and the ancien rà ©gime. It commenced with an insurrection by the nobility against projected financial reforms in the year 1787. Subsequently, the middle classes participated in this revolt. The National Assembly supplanted the Estates – General and it published the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. After this the working classes of Paris took control of the Bastille in July 1789. In 1791, the royal family was incarcerated for making plans to stage a counter revolution. The nations of Europe became unsettled due to these developments in France and this resulted in the French Revolutionary Wars. In 1793, King Louis XVI was decapitated by means of the guillotine. The existence of various political factions resulted in the Terror, which lasted from 1793 to 1794. During this period, around two hundred thousand people were detained and around fifteen thousand people were put to death (French Revolution. Andromeda Encyclopedic Dictionary of World History. CredoReference). The French Revolution, which started in the 1789, brought to an end the monarchy that had been in existence for a thousand years. After the King had been deposed, the government was controlled by Robespierre and others of his ilk. They executed a large number of people and in this manner unleashed considerable terror. Subsequently, Robespierre was himself executed and control passed to the Directory. This proved to be an incompetent and corrupt body, which permitted Napoleon Bonaparte to seize power in France and ultimately become its Emperor. The French Revolution was officially ended when Napoleon declared himself to be the Emperor of France (French Revolution. The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. Houghton Mifflin). This was a prolonged struggle in Mexico that followed the deposition of Porfirio Dà ­az. He was a dictator who ensured that power was concentrated in the hands of a few and who supported the elite. Leaders like Francisco Madero, Pancho Villa, Pascual Orozco, and Emiliano Zapata collected a large number of supporters. Subsequently, in 1911, Madero was made the president of Mexico. However, his reforms were not executed quickly and this caused both his former allies and foes to oppose him. He was executed by Victoriano Huerta, who became the dictator of Mexico. However, Huerta a drunken despot was overthrown by the machinations of Villa, Carranza and Obregà ³n and Carranza became the president in the year 1914. Since, Villa was not agreeable to this, considerable bloodshed ensued. Carranza ensured that a liberal constitution was written and adopted in 1917. He had Zapata, a popular peasant leader, ambushed and killed. This led to a popular revolt against Carranza, who was killed while attempting to flee Mexico City. The fierce fighting almost came to an end after Obregà ³n came to power. However, a few clashes continued to take place and the revolutionary period ended only in 1934 when Là ¡zaro Cà ¡rdenas came to power (Mexican Revolution. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia). The American Revolution resulted in an independent United States of America, whereas the French Revolution put an end to its own national government. The American Revolution influenced the French people with the ideas of freedom and independence. The visits of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to France in the 1780s uplifted the spirits of the French people with new hopes for independence from tyranny. King Louis XVI supported the American Revolution that commenced in 1776 and encouraged the American colonies in their fight against the British in order to obtain independence. The King, however, failed to anticipate that he was ushering in his own downfall. The effects of both the American Revolution and the French Revolution changed the course of the history in such a way that absolute monarchies were unable to survive in many European countries, which were replaced peacefully with republics and democracies (American Revolution vs. French Revolution). The French Revolution became highly appealing to other nations due to the straightforwardness and universality of its objectives. Many people were inspired and convinced by the concepts of â€Å"Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity† that had been basis of the French Revolution. The only unresolved issues related to the interpretation and application of these concepts to the social and political milieu. This solution to this problem was provided by Karl Marx in his Das Capital, in whose opinion the French Revolution had not been taken to its logical conclusion and was therefore incomplete. His contention was that though freedom had been obtained, workers had been exploited and deprived of property. The benefits that had arisen due to the French Revolution had failed to uplift society as a whole. Karl Marx believed that the emancipation of the society in its totality was possible only if there was a socialist or communist revolution, which would eradicate private property and form a cooperative of producers. During the last stage of this transformation the state would wither away as it would cease to have any purpose. This final stage of Marx’s theory was similar to that of the anarchists of France, Italy, Russia and Spain (The Revolutionary Idea in the Modern World). The French revolution had a profound influence on the subsequent nationalist movements and some of these were the 1821 Greek Independence movement, the endeavour to bring about modernization in Egypt by Muhammed Ali and in the Ottoman Empire by Selim III and Mahmut II. Several social uprisings of the 1968s had also been inspired by the French Revolution. Moreover, the French Revolution affected the thinking of future generations by enabling them to accept change as normal and had a cohesive effect on the masses in process of building the state (Robinson). The Mexican Revolution was a success in the class of anti – state rebellions. It dethroned the Diaz regime and extinguished the caudillismo of Huerta and Carranza. It marked a milestone in the history of popular revolutions and popular sovereignty in under developed nations. This revolution demonstrated that revolutions by native peoples could emerge victorious. It paved the way for the subsequent revolutions against state authorities including both violent and nonviolent rebellion. Most of the Latin American governments adopted the principles raised in the Mexican constitutional principle of no re – eleccion. This constitutional principle had not been subjected to any attempt to amend or repeal it by any of the Mexican leaders, subsequent to the assassination of Alvaro Obregon in 1928 (Mexican Revolution). The principles of the revolution were debated by the political and academic scholars in and out of Mexico. The events, participants and the consequences of the Revolution were documented by many foreign authors. For instance, John Womack had written Zapata and the Mexican Revolution, and Friedrich Katz wrote Life and Times of Pancho Villa. These works narrated a lengthy and well documented report of the events of the Revolution. Moreover, the aftereffects and the events of the Mexican Revolution continue to influence Mexican politics as well as international policies (Mexican Revolution). The first half of the twentieth century was witness to changes in the Mexican government that were similar to that of the French Revolution. Every revolution consists of four stages and in the preliminary stage both Mexico and France faced problems that were reflected in the future. These problems were due to the extant leadership. After this preliminary stage there occurs the second stage consisting of frequent rebellions against the government. Subsequently, the revolution enters the third stage, which is characterized by a great deal of turbulence and can therefore be termed as the crisis stage. There were several instances when bloodshed and chaos prevailed during this crisis stage. The final stage is that of recovery and in this stage the governments consent to implement the plans and measures that would engender changes that would benefit the people. The preliminary stages of the Mexican and French Revolutions were the same. The Mexican president, Porifirio Diaz had been a successful President of Mexico for over three decades. He ruled the country in a manner that was similar to that in which Louis XVI had ruled France. In Mexico power was concentrated in the hands of a few people who had access to the President. The rest of the citizens did not have a voice or the right to vote for the officials they favored. There was no right to expression and there existed sanctions, which were similar to those obtaining in the Ancien Regime in France. These terrible conditions prevailed in the country and wealth was concentrated in the hands of a few. Furthermore, injustice was the order of the day and there was no law and order in either the cities or the countryside (The Mexican Revolution). In addition, there were a number of differences, for instance the French monarchs of the Ancien Regime had been absolutist monarchs and their ruling power had been centralized. President Porifirio Diaz ruled the nation as a dictator and it was often stated that the President had the best intentions for the future of Mexico. He was concerned with establishing a stable government and in order to achieve that objective he ensured that the training program for military and police personnel had been thoroughly changed in such a way that both those forces gained in power and strength. The French Revolution was better known for the problems that the different classes had with each other. The people of the upper class had been distressed due to the fact that they had lost power during the reign of Luis XIV and the people of the middle class were disgruntled due to the fact that some of the members of their class were becoming wealthier but were not permitted to hold noble titles. Workers of the urban areas were convinced that they were being ill treated and this belief lasted throughout the duration of the Revolution. France went to war with England in support of the Americans and this clearly indicated the incompetence of the rule of Louis XIV. The war served to severely deplete France of its resources and the Revolution was in the offing. Louis XIV was not in a position to control the revolution (Wasserman). The similarities of the Mexican Revolution and the French Revolution are further elicited during the crisis stage. There was a civil war in both the countries and in Mexico, there were opposing parties of Obregon and Carranza against Villa and Zapata. In France, there was a constant strife between the citizens throughout the country and particularly in the Vendee. The main objectives of these various groups were fulfilled in these revolutions. The people of Mexico sought equality, rights and a republic government similar to that of the United States. In France, the people wanted a systematic well – structured republic having no monarch. Both Mexico and France were able to achieve their desired goals. However, France was able to attain its objective in the crisis stage, but Mexico had to wait till the end of the revolution to achieve its desired goal. Thus these nations resemble each other to the extent of attaining their aims. The aftereffects of the Mexican Revolution and the French Revolution continue to influence the people even today. The Mexican Constitution, which was written in the year 1917, has remained unchanged till today. The Mexican Revolution can be considered as a revolution that had taken place in a developing nation and it has served as an inspiration to revolutions in the third world. The French Revolution left its mark due to the Declaration of the Rights of Man, which protects the fundamental rights of the citizens and these rights are still in vogue in France. The chief difference between these two revolutions was that Mexico was able to retain its republican government after the revolution, while France went into a dictatorship and then a monarchal form of government after the end of the revolution. At present, Mexico is a constitutional republic supported by its Constitution. Mexico has a president and a legislative branch and a governmental system that is stable. In contrast, the constitution of France was changed several times and the governmental system of France has a president and a parliament. In this aspect it resembles the system of governance of the United States. The fundamental aim of the French Revolution was the formation of a constitutional monarch similar to that of England. The main similarities between these two revolutions were that they both had an objective that was fought for and duly achieved. The French Revolution, the American Revolution and the Mexican Revolution were fought in order to attain freedom and justice. The United States sought freedom from the British rule, while France fought for dethroning a government under which the rich people tyrannized the poor and in order to obtain freedom from monarchal ruling. In Mexico, people sought freedom from the Diaz’s Oligarchy. However, a number of differences existed in respect of the causes of these revolutions due to the fact that the leaders subscribed to different opinions. The French Revolution commenced with a bloody attack on the Bastille, which represented the hated power of the aristocracy. The American Revolution, on the other hand, was conducted in a phased and well regulated manner. The Americans first engaged in negotiations with England and on these negotiations being rejected by the latter, the Americans decided to declare independence from the British. Since, England did not accept this declaration of independence by the colonies, the American Revolution began in right earnest (Nosotro). The Mexican Revolution started with a mass uprising against Diaz, who fled to Spain. However, this was revolution entailed a lot of bloodshed and treachery. The reason for the American, French and Mexican revolutions was that the people sought to obtain freedom from tyranny. These revolutions left a significant influence on history. The United States explored all other avenues, prior to embarking on a war with the British. The French Revolution on the other hand began as a mass movement and created terror and panic due to the large number of executions, moreover, it was characterized by rampaging mobs (Nosotro). In this respect the reign of terror unleashed by Robespierre attained considerable notoriety. The Mexican Revolution was targeted at the elite, who had assigned all the power to themselves. The poor of Mexico wanted land and an escape from poverty. Popular and legendary leaders like Zapata promised to obtain land for the poor peasants. The American Revolution destroyed the attitude of respect for social superiors and constituted authority. American society remained structurally unchanged due to this revolution. All the same, the false belief that disobedience to authority was disobedience to God was dispelled by the revolution. The public increasingly started to believe that rulers should serve the people rather than behave as their masters. This resulted in the establishment of a new social order in which persons with authority were chosen on the basis of merit and not on the basis of prestige, social status or wealth. Moreover, such elected persons would have to comply with the will of the people rather than demand the unquestioning loyalty of the public. The French Revolution served as an inspiration for several other revolutions like those that occurred in South America. It is very important due to the fact that the new ideas regarding freedom that originated in this revolution were disseminated all over Europe. The message that it conveyed to the world was that even in the absence of a well planned strategy, it was possible for a popular uprising to depose the extant authorities. It brought about the establishment of the precedents to democratic institutions, representative governments and constitutions. The Mexican Revolution brought about the transition from a dictatorship to a democratic system that had less foreign control, better living conditions for its citizens, labor reforms and economic and social reforms. The objective of these revolutions was to secure liberty from tyrannical authorities. While the American Revolution resulted in the establishment of United States of America, the French Revolution resulted in the overthrow of the Bourbon monarchy and the Mexican Revolution brought about an end to the Oligarchic rule and engendered far reaching land reforms that improved the living condition of the Mexican peasants. Works Cited American Revolution vs. French Revolution. 1 July 2007 . American Revolution.The Crystal Reference Encyclopedia. CredoReference. 2005. 3 July 2007 . French Revolution. Andromeda Encyclopedic Dictionary of World History. CredoReference. 2001. 3 July 2007 . French Revolution. The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. Houghton Mifflin. 2002. 3 July 2007 . Mexican Revolution. 1 July 2007 . Mexican Revolution. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 2003. 3 July 2007 . Nosotro, Rit. Reasons for the American and French Revolutions. 1 July 2007 . Robinson, David. Muslim Societies in African History . Cambridge University Press. P.84. ISBN 052153366X, 2004. The Mexican Revolution. November 1996. 1 July 2007 . The Revolutionary Idea in the Modern World. 1 July 2007 . Wasserman, Mark. â€Å"Persistent Oligarchs: Elites and Politics in Chihuahua, Mexico, 1910-1940.† Duke University Press, 1993. 68 – 71.   

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