Radicalism And Revolutions Essay

1265 words - 6 pages

Throughout history, revolutions have started because of new ideas that change thinking and disrupt what has come to be considered normal. During 1700s, the American, French, and Haitian Revolutions were no exception. The Enlightenment ideas that were spreading around this time lead people of these three nations to question their ruling elites, and to begin considering breaking free. Of these three, though, no one revolt can be seen as more radical when compared to the other two. Each was faced with the challenging task of successfully separating from the oppression that had been brought upon them by to powerful empires and monarchies who had lost sight of what the American, French, and Haitian people alike considered important, as well as being some of the first revolts to use radical Enlightenment ideas to justify each of their rebellions. They considered these rebellions their one shot at being able to break free.
During the 1700s, the Enlightenment had brought an increasing amount of new ideas about how the government should be operating in relation to those people of respective communities. It was these Enlightenment thinkers of this time that brought drastic new ideas to light. They were men like Denis Diderot who discussed ideas about “natural law”and questioned the authority allegedly given to the kings by God. He wrote that “[people] have the most sacred natural right to everything that is not disputed by the rest of the species”. Or there was Abbe Raynal, who communicated that “natural liberty is a right granted by nature to every man”. Thinkers like these two men were leaders in the Enlightenment age, who would eventually influence not only people all over Europe but those in colonies like America and Saint-Domingue. It would influence them to believe that all people are born with certain human rights that the government could not control or take away and eventually it would lead to the rise of American, French, and Haitian people.
Each of these revolutions were equally extreme when it came to their thinking. Individually and most likely influenced by the Enlightenment ideas mention earlier each of the three revolt wanted to attain the basic rights and liberties that all men are born equal, or more simply they all wanted to acquire their natural rights. Each of the three uprisings state in their constitutions varying ways by which those who rule over them have taken these fundamental rights. In the American Revolution it states, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” While, the French Revolution voiced that the French people would “set forth in solemn declaration the natural, inalienable, and sacred rights of man.” And even the Haitian Declaration claims “It has become necessary, by a last act of national authority to ensure for ever the empire of liberty.” Every single one of the revolutions...

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