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The What of the Revolutions | The Who of the American Revolution | The Who of the French Revolution | Timeline for the American Revolution | Timeline for the French Revolution | The How and Where of the Revolutions | The Why of the Revolutions | Long and Short Term Outcomes of the Amerian Revolution | Long and Short term outcomes of the French Revolution | Similarities and Differences of the Revolutions | Conclusion | Photos | Credits
The Why of the Revolutions
American and French Revolutions

This page will describe why the French and American Revolutions came about, specifically what the contributing factors are for each revolution.

American Revolution
The American Revolution was a result of many contributing factors.
  • High taxes was a big part of why the revolution started. The colonies were being taxed by Britain to pay for Britain's war expenses. The colonies didn't have any say in how they were taxed, and this was one thing they didn't want to deal with.
  • The major part of this was the colonies saying of "No Taxation Without Representation." The colonies just didn't want to be controlled to where they had no say at all. They wanted their say in how they were ruled and taxing them without representation wasn't the way to go about it.
  • Americans were forced to quarter the British troops, so for many they had the enimies in their home and they couldn't do anything about it. I think that this would anger just about anyone and it angered the colonies. This just added to their list of grievences.
  • There were many circumstances that can be put together for causes like the Stamp Act, Declaratory Act and the Boston Massacre. All of these things made the Patriots more hostile towards the Loyalists.
  • Another thing that contributed to the American Revolution is something so simple as ideas. Enlightenment ideas and the thought of equality and rights for all of the people was a huge impact on the colonies society. The colonies started so that people could live freely and the thought that Britain a country 3,000 miles away was holding these people down, was not a very popular one. Another thing that contributed to the revolution was the ideas of one man named Thomas Paine. He wrote the pamphlet "Common Sense." His pamphlet had great influence on the colonies and it rallied them togther and educated some on what was really going on with Britain.



These are some of the more prominent contributing factors to each of the American and French Revolutions, obviously not all of the factors are listed but a majority of the more influencial ones are.

French Revolution
The French Revolution was also the product of many factors.
  • One big contributing factor to the French Revolution was the low harvest rate. The people of France were angry because the government wasn't able to feed them, and the government wasn't doing very much to change that fact.
  • Another thing that went hand in hand with the low harvest rate was the high taxes. With the increased price for what food there was around and the high taxes that France imposed to pay for wars and the governments un-checked spending many people and families found themselves choosing between food and paying money to their king. This made the people angry, they shouldn't have had to make this decision.
  • The Third Estate of France wasn't being heard in the government, and the Third Estate was comprised of the majority of France's population at the time. This wasn't very good for the government of France and keeping rebellions on the down low. Especially with enlightenment ideas floating around about equality and rights for every human being, unalienable rights that can't be taken away. This is one of the biggest contributing factors to the rebellion of the lower class people of France against their aristocracy.

*10 American Revolution: The Effects
*11 Effects of the French Revolution