The definition of revolution

A Revolution: Changing Societal Structures

A revolution is characterized as a fierce uprising with the primary objective of establishing a new societal structure. The French Revolution and the American Revolution are two prominent uprisings that have occurred around the world. These uprisings' primary goals, according to a thorough analysis, were to promote a regime change and stifle economic injustices in their respective states. However, other causes, such as the fight for equality among the members of society, were behind some of the revolutions.

The Need for a More Democratic Society

First off, the need for a more democratic society is the root cause of the majority of revolutions that have taken place in different countries around the world. Kropotkin claims that the need for democracy is one of the factors that led to the French Revolution (Kropotkin 12). The Americans also expressed their discontent in the way they were being ruled by the Great Britain, which eventually led to the emergence of the American Revolution (Egnal and Ernst 8). Therefore, it is evident that most societies desired to be independent, hence, the reason why they initiated the revolutions.

Economic Injustices: A Catalyst for Revolutions

Consequently, economic injustices were a factor that played a key role in the emergence of the revolutions. In France, the people felt that the then leadership was exploiting them by raising the taxes, hence, prompting them to rebel. On the other hand, the Americans felt that they were being charged hefty taxes without being given a say on how such funds should be spent. As a result, rebellions were deemed as a favorite means of curbing such economic injustices.

Differences in Causes of Revolutions

However, there exist some differences in relation to some of the causes of the revolutions. For instance, unlike in the American Revolution whose main driver was the struggle for democracy, the French Revolution was also caused by the struggle for equality among the community members (Calhoun 216). The community members felt that the clergymen and the ruling class (who were the members of the first and the second class respectively) exploited the others – members of the third estate – by imposing heavy taxes on them. Thus, they resolved to start a rebellion in order to bring an end to this practice.


In a nutshell, there exist some similarities in the cause of the revolutions that have taken place on the globe. For instance, as illustrated above, the main drivers of the French Revolution and the American Revolution were the need for self-independence and bringing an end to economic exploitation. Nevertheless, there are some differences pertaining the causes of the revolutions. Unlike the American Revolution, the struggle for equality among the community members was a major factor behind the emergence of the French Revolution.

Works Cited

Calhoun, Craig. ‘Classical Social Theory and the French Revolution of 1848.’ Sociological theory, vol. 7, no. 2, 2013, pp. 210-225.

Egnal, Marc., & Ernst, Joseph A. ‘An Economic Interpretation of the American Revolution.’ The William and Mary Quarterly. vol. 29, no. 1, 2012, pp. 3-32.

Kropotkin, Petr. ‘The Great French Revolution 1789-1793.’ The Anarchist Library, 2011, Accessed 2 Dec. 2017.

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