Could the French revolution happen without the American revolution?

stevev

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Apr 2017
3,808
Las Vegas, NV USA
This data appears to be confirmed here:



Obviously the male data here since men were far more politically involved in France and Europe during this time than women were.
Well Parisians were educated enough and that's where the revolution was launched. However in England (the data only I saw only applies to England), regardless of exactly when the literacy rate reached 50% for males or for all adults, there was no revolution.

So, basically, France's intervention in the American Revolutionary War exacerbated its debt problems but didn't actually cause these debt problems? If so, that makes sense and this might suggest that with or without French intervention in the ARW, sooner or later France's debt problems would have likely come to the forefront and resulted in some sort of crisis and/or revolution in France. Of course, it also didn't help that the Estates General wasn't called at all for 175 years--specifically from 1614 to 1789.
Yes. The wars of the late 17th and 18th century combined with lavish spending on palaces created an insurmountable debt that forced the King to call the Estates General. Once it got started, the King lost control. He was not strong enough to stem the tide of revolution. However it need not have cost him his head. The Terror was largely caused by one fanatic who lost his own head. As a result, no constitutional monarchy such as in Britain ever developed in France.
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
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Well Parisians were educated enough and that's where the revolution was launched. However in England (the data only I saw only applies to England), regardless of exactly when the literacy rate reached 50% for males or for all adults, there was no revolution.
England previously had a type of revolution in 1649 but the English didn't like the taste of it and thus didn't want more of the same.

Yes. The wars of the late 17th and 18th century combined with lavish spending on palaces created an insurmountable debt that forced the King to call the Estates General. Once it got started, the King lost control. He was not strong enough to stem the tide of revolution. However it need not have cost him his head. The Terror was the largely caused by one fanatic who lost his own head. As a result, no constitutional monarchy such as in Britain ever developed in France.
What really didn't help was Louis XVI's attempt to flee from France in 1791 and then getting caught at Varennes. That gave the French people the impression that he's a traitor and resulted in him getting hanged.
 

Isleifson

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Aug 2013
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Lorraine tudesque
If that were true, Britain should have had a revolution in late Victorian times. As for France, I doubt 50% of the French population over age 7 could read or write in 1789. In any case the American Revolution began when a group of farmers fired on advancing British soldiers. The French Revolution was started by King Louis XVI when he called up the Estates General.

 
Apr 2017
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Lemuria
Yes, but that also includes the factor that Europeans had largely compartementalized things in such a fashion that what went on in the colonies, stayed in the colonies – no real relevance to anything happening in the mother-continent. Colonial space was largely one Great Exception. All kinds of things could happen there without apparent relevance to Europe.

And that could include everything from slavery (not accepted in Europe itself, fine across the oceans), to entire wars not involving European space, to maybe a republic popping up (great way of embarrassing the firkin' Brits mostly).
The French were very much invested in the American revolution. The nobility shot itself in the foot.
 

Larrey

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Sep 2011
6,158
Respect for property ownership, bicameral legislative bodies with an elective President. The French wanted to opt more for a direct democracy which ended up being a mobocracy.
"The French" is an insidious use of the term here. Presumably all "the French" were then perfectly happy with how things turned out by your count then?

Lots of different things were wanted, by lots of various groups, for lots of different reasons. What happened was that the most determinedly radical, and as a consequence violent, ran away with the situation. And then arguably lost control even on those terms. Which is a danger.
 

pugsville

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Oct 2010
10,098
England previously had a type of revolution in 1649 but the English didn't like the taste of it and thus didn't want more of the same.



What really didn't help was Louis XVI's attempt to flee from France in 1791 and then getting caught at Varennes. That gave the French people the impression that he's a traitor and resulted in him getting hanged.
IIRC there was some pretty treasonous letters uncovered that were left behind during the flight, that really put the seal on the King's fate and shown he was playing a double game.
 

pugsville

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Oct 2010
10,098
What did those letters say?
That the King had been dissembling and his co-opertaion with the revolution was mask behind which he plotted and subverted (Mirabeau) wth the aim of destoryeingteh revolution. That his various actions "supporting: the revolution were not genuine.

"In November, proof of Louis XVI's secret dealings with the deceased revolutionary politician, Mirabeau, and of his counterrevolutionary intrigues with foreigners was found in a secret iron chest, the armoire de fer, in the Tuileries"
 
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