History: European/Comparing and Contrasting the effects of the seventeeth century revolution in England, and the eight term paper 3603

History: European term papers
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Through the advancement of a country, it must undergo serious political disagreements in order to decide what is best for the country. Revolutions occur, and the country is improved because of them. The predominantly seventeenth century English revolution and the eighteenth century French Revolution are prime examples of this. However, these two revolutions are very different. The impact the revolutions had on the countries' governments, economy, and institutions of society such as the church differed greatly.

First, the two Revolutions differed due to their governmental issues. In England, James II was the leader. The Anglicans had monopolized the church and state, and by his ordering of religious toleration, he threatened their power. "The laws keeping Dissenters and Catholics from office had given Anglicans a monopoly in local and national government and in the army and navy. James Ii acted as if there were no Test Act, claiming the right to suspend its operation in individual cases, and appointed a good many Catholics to influential and lucrative positions," (P + C, 178). His daughter, Mary took the throne, and once again secured the liberties of England. In France, the government was divided into three separate estates, and your importance varied, depending on which class you belonged to. "The First Estate was clergy, the Second Estate was nobility, and the Third Estate included everyone else- from the wealthiest business and professional classes to the poorest peasantry and city workers," (P + C, 362). The king mistakenly favored the nobility, as no other kings had done, and thus lost the support of the bourgeoisie. The governmental structure in England was a king who tampered with religious power; while in France the king chose the wrong side.

Secondly, the two revolutions differed due their economics. England led a prosperous economic system, which offered strengths in exports. "Coal was mined around Newcastle, and was increasingly used, but was not yet a leading source of wealth," (P + C, 170). The main export was woolens, and weaving was also a common boost to their economy. France had developed and economic system of their own, called the agrarian system. This would prevent all serfdom, and instead allowed a peasant owned a small part of the land they worked on. However, the economy was not as lucrative as that of England's. The poor harvest in 1788 led to the great depression in 1789. "…the rapid growth of trade since the American war had suddenly halted, so that wages fell and unemployment spread while scarcity drove prices up," (P + C, 369). Labor trouble had broken out as well. Overall, the economy of England was far more stable than France's.

Thirdly, the revolutions differed due to social institutions such as the church. In England, the conflicts occurred between the Puritans and Anglicans. Their disagreements reached political and constitutional issues. The Anglicans fought against imperial centralization, while the Puritans believed in provincial liberties. Their religious beliefs affected the government. In France, the population of the clergy had greatly declined, but its influence on the people was still immense. "…the church was deeply involved in the prevailing social system…" (P + C, 363). It owned much of the land, and was the largest landowner. French clergy was not the main cause of the revolution, unlike England.

A revolution's main goals are to accomplish the needs of the people. In different countries, these needs may vary. In England, its religious values affected the revolution. In France, the revolution was mainly about the people versus the nobility. Either way, the two revolutions greatly impacted the government, economy, and institutions of society, such as the church.

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