Why do some reject the French Revolution?

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,494
San Antonio, Tx
All revolutions eat their children which is why they should be avoided. Politicians who shout revolution should be made to suffer cruel and unusual punishments.

The so-called American Revolution ended with the wholesale illegitimate slaughter of Native Americans as there was no legal entity such as The Crown to ensure that treaties made with Native American peoples were treaties kept. The complaint that there can be no taxation without representation can be countered with the complaint that the Crown should not be responsible for the defence of colonialists who deliberately broke peace treaties with native Americans so they could grab as much land as possible in the ensuing war fought by British regiments funded by the British taxpayer.

It might be helpful if you were a bit more specific. The largest Indian War in North America - called “King Philip’s War - took place during early colonial times (in the late 1600s) in New England when the United States did not exist. How helpful was the Crown in this dispute? Well, zero would be accurate because they sent no soldiers whatsoever and the colonists had to fight them on their own with local militias. So, the Crown guaranteed nothing to the Indians and nothing to the colonists as well.

The Indians (natives) had figured out, correctly, that the colonists were going to keep expanding their territories indefinitely.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,494
San Antonio, Tx
Looking back a page or two, I have my doubts about comparisons between the French and American Revolutions.
That the French one, after a more promising start, was diverted by a faction into violence and chaos, which derailed the more progressive aims many began with, ( until those better ideas could reappear much later), is undeniable I suppose. However is it not true that something of the kind was far more likely to happen in France than in the US, because they were trying do something far more fundamental and therefore disruptive, and liable to attract hostility from their neighbours?
The US had a successful war of Independence, but in comparison with France was it really a revolution? Did it fundamentally alter political or economic power structures within the country, once the foreign rule was disposed of? The local elites (commercial or landed) stayed in place didn't they, so did slavery?
That's not to criticise the US 'Revolution', it produced a pretty liberal result (for the time), but was not making the radical social and political changes France did, and thus was maybe less likely to arouse the passions and opposition that can lead to the sort of violence that France suffered?
And, looking backwards and forwards, how much of the fundamental and radical social changes survived the French Revolution?
 
Jun 2016
1,843
England, 200 yards from Wales
And, looking backwards and forwards, how much of the fundamental and radical social changes survived the French Revolution?
Certainly some were undone under Napoleon or the restored Bourbons, some were not. However even those that were reversed still survived as ideas, to re-appear later.
Though that is not really the point I was making - I was just suggesting that as a more radical change than was attempted in America the sort of conflict that could lead to violence was more likely to arise.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,717
Sydney
the Americans colonies didn't have a revolution at all , they had a war of independence
their constitution faithfully replicated the British model with an elected king ,
the power of the supreme court was a later evolution and wasn't conceived by the founding father as more than a marginal umpire for federal disputes
the rest remained largely unchanged fro pre-war days
 
Jan 2012
421
South Midlands in Britain
It might be helpful if you were a bit more specific. The largest Indian War in North America - called “King Philip’s War - took place during early colonial times (in the late 1600s) in New England when the United States did not exist. How helpful was the Crown in this dispute? Well, zero would be accurate because they sent no soldiers whatsoever and the colonists had to fight them on their own with local militias. So, the Crown guaranteed nothing to the Indians and nothing to the colonists as well.

The Indians (natives) had figured out, correctly, that the colonists were going to keep expanding their territories indefinitely.
How could The Crown send any soldiers at that time? It would take the better part of six months to organise a column in those days and then it had to get to the Americas. Anyway I wasn't talking about the seventeenth century. I was referencing the American Revolution which was in the late eighteenth century.

A major Native American rising was under Pontiac in the 1760s. At the time George Washington who saw himself as a talented soldier did not get involved because he was pursuing his own agenda of building a real-estate empire based on land stolen from the natives, but the irritation of The Crown at his activities in that period drove him into the arms of the First Continental Congress. The Native Americans supported the British against the colonialist rebels causing Washington to undermine the Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy by detaching the Oneidas and the Tuscaroras and alienating the same from the Mohawks, the Senecas and Onondagas. This caused a civil war among the Iroquois.

Then in 1791 General St Clair was sent by the United States to punish Little Turtle, chief of the Miamis. St Clair was routed and lost 630 men. Custer did not lose as many at Little Big Horn in 1876. Little Turtle chose not to join the later larger Native American rising under Tecumseh.

Not a lot of any of this appears in US history and this is just a snapshot. The argument is that the United States has had a long history of genocide against the Native Americans largely due to treaties being broken. This was because the Republic served as judge, jury and executioner in the conduct of these arrangements and as revolutionaries had no reason or desire for restraint.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,494
San Antonio, Tx
Liberté, égalité, fraternité - Vive le Emperor.

They came close, but ultimately ended up with the Bourbons 2.0. After many acts of state brutality, over a few different revolutions.

Or perhaps Napoleon was more like the Hapsburgs given the expansionist *Empire* and, more importantly, putting his family on the thrones of Europe – how any thinks Napoleon is anything other than yet another absolute monarch is beyond me!
Wonders how we should re-phrase the question, “When did the French Revolution finally succeed?” Whatdate would you assign to it and why.
 
Aug 2009
5,431
Londinium
Wonders how we should re-phrase the question, “When did the French Revolution finally succeed?” Whatdate would you assign to it and why.
Great question!

As a starting point, I just Googled “when did women get the vote in France” as I feel this is a good indication of liberty, equality and fraternity (fraternity in its widest definition of course); unrestricted voting wasn’t until *1965*. Also, Dien Ben Phy was in 1954, so if that can be considered the last outlet of French expansionism then by 1965 all French people could elect their government and the Imperial ambitions were over, well, all nations have imperial ambitions IMO but that’s another thread!

I'd be interested to hear about any other viewpoints though :)
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,583
Wonders how we should re-phrase the question, “When did the French Revolution finally succeed?” Whatdate would you assign to it and why.
When Bismarck, and others, started reforming their states for fear of it. It was always a process.

That's when the reactionaries had lost so comprehensively they no longer exist, they are nowhere in the modern political landscape.

They are so dead and gone, it is now a major task of history of maintaining what they were about in order to maintain an understanding of the French, and subsequent, revolutions around Europe. When they drop out of view in pop-hist versions of these, the understanding of why they went down, and significance thereof gets shot to hell.
 
Aug 2009
5,431
Londinium
When Bismarck, and others, started reforming their states for fear of it. It was always a process.

That's when the reactionaries had lost so comprehensively they no longer exist, they are nowhere in the modern political landscape.

They are so dead and gone, it is now a major task of history of maintaining what they were about in order to maintain an understanding of the French, and subsequent, revolutions around Europe. When they drop out of view in pop-hist versions of these, the understanding of why they went down, and significance thereof gets shot to hell.
For the UK, I think the US revolution had a far greater impact on the British political landscape. While the French revolution terrified the upper classes (to some extent at least), it was the US revolution that really fed into the long history of British/English democratic growth, political thought and philosophy. Perhaps it could be said that the “average Brit” wanted a state closer to post-revolutionary US rather than post revolutionary France. The upper classes of course wanted neither!


The European states really feared was a new revolutionary zeal sweeping up their own population (the German Terror, Spanish Terror etc) or the new Republic expanding their revolution to the neighbours via military means. What they got was a new Empire expanding their borders, so business as usual for Europe I guess!