Explain how the foundations of the modern world were laid by the American and French revolution. (250 words)

The American (1776-1783) and French (1789-1799) Revolutions are considered to be the defining events that laid the foundation of the modern world. These two revolutions primarily founded the ideals of modernity- liberty, equality, fraternity etc in the world of today. New markets and trade also evolved because of these events which led to globalization as an universal phenomenon.

Impact of American Revolution:

  • Established the first nation built upon democratic values
  • Impetus to the idea of republicanism and the ideas of the enlightenment
  • The war of independence became a symbol of freedom and inspired freedom movements in other colonies
  • Great loss to Britain which started looking for alternative colonies
  • Led to the abolition of slavery and the growth of mass participation in politics
  • Supported more enlightened attitude towards the family and women rights
  • It was the first major state to have written constitution
  • The slogan of ‘No taxation without representation’, ‘give me liberty or give me death’ inspired movements world over

Impact of French Revolution:

  • Ideologies of liberty, equality and fraternity inspired movements in various countries
  • Impetus to mass politics and plebiscites conducted
  • Abolition of feudalism and the formation of republic
  • The first genuinely democratic constitution was formed (although never came into effect)
  • Impetus to the abolition of slavery and the weakening of European colonial powers
  • Inspired movements against colonialism in colonies around the world

In conclusion, American and French Revolutions have immense role in shaping the world of today. These revolutions abolished the old orthodox system of governance and provided modern ideals for governing nations. The American Revolution established the first nation built upon democratic values and the French Revolution provided an impetus to the people of the world to demand liberty and freedom. The fight for democracy has become the rallying cry of all the remaining colonies of the world. The American and French Revolutions have had a lasting impact on the world and continue to shape the modern world today.

Mind map notes for UPSC
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