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Q: French Revolution ( Answered,   10 Comments )
Subject: French Revolution
Category: Relationships and Society > Politics
Asked by: dprk007-ga
List Price: $7.77
Posted: 20 May 2006 15:56 PDT
Expires: 19 Jun 2006 15:56 PDT
Question ID: 730804
BEFORE the French Revolution, what political event in history would
have been most like the French Revolution in terms of intensity,
violence, political causes , and political outcome?

Subject: Re: French Revolution
Answered By: adiloren-ga on 20 May 2006 23:07 PDT
Below I have outlined the three most similar revolutions to the French Revolution.


1642-1653	English Revolution

"Commenced as a civil war between Parliament and King, culminating in
the execution of Charles I and the establishment of a republican

"The betrayal by Charles caused Parliament to debate whether to return
the King to power at all. Those who still supported Charles's place on
the throne tried once more to negotiate with him.

Furious that Parliament continued to countenance Charles as a ruler,
the army marched on Parliament and conducted "Pride's Purge" (named
after the commanding officer of the operation, Thomas Pride) in
December 1648. Troops arrested 45 Members of Parliament (MPs) and kept
146 out of parliament. Only 75 were allowed in, and then only at the
army's bidding. This Rump Parliament was ordered to set up a high
court of justice in order to try Charles I for treason in the name of
the people of England.

The trial reached its foregone conclusion. 59 Commissioners (judges)
found Charles I guilty of high treason, as a "tyrant, traitor,
murderer and public enemy." He was beheaded on a scaffold in front of
the Banqueting House of the Palace of Whitehall on January 30, 1649.
After the Restoration in 1660, the regicides who were still alive and
not living in exile were either executed or sentenced to life

Further Reading:

The English Revolution 1640 by Christopher Hill

**Similarities to the French Revolution:

Both challenged absolute monarchy and promoted a Republican form of
government. Both led to a "reign of terror" where political opponents
were violently executed- including the monarchs themselves.


1688	Glorious Revolution (England)

"The overthrow in England of King James II and establishment of a
Whig-dominated Protestant constitutional monarchy."

"With the passage of the Bill of Rights, it stamped out any final
possibility of a Catholic monarchy, and ended moves towards
monarchical absolutism in the British Isles by circumscribing the
monarch's powers. The King's powers were greatly restricted; he could
no longer suspend laws, levy taxes, or maintain a standing army during
peacetime without Parliament's permission. Since 1689, England, and
later the United Kingdom, has been governed under a system of
constitutional monarchy, which has been uninterrupted. Since then,
Parliament has gained more and more power, and the Crown has
progressively lost it."

**Similarities to the French Revolution:

The Glorious Revolution was not near as violent as the French
Revolution. However, the political ideals were similar. Both were
revolutions against absolute monarchical power and sought to overthrow
a Catholic monarch and instiute a more Republican form of government.


The American Revolution:

"Established independence of the thirteen North American colonies from
Great Britain, creating the republic of the United States of America.
A war of independence in that it created one nation from another, it
was also a revolution in that it overthrew an existing societal and
governmental order: the Colonial government in the Colonies. The
American Revolution heavily influenced the French Revolution that
followed it and lead to the creation of a Constitutional form of
government (see U.S. Constitution) that has been emulated the world
over. As such, the American Revolution has been the most important
revolution in the history of the world and one of the most influential
political events of all time."

Further Reading:

**Similarities to the French Revolution:

Ideologically, the French Revolution was strongly influenced by the
American Revolution and both movements were rooted in the
Enlightenment principles of freedom, equality, and universal rights.

Both revolutions had economic and ideological motivations. Taxes and
socio-economic relations played important roles in both.

The American revolution did not result in a "reign of terror"
primarily because it was a revolutionary war of independence and
resulted in the development of an entirely different nation. However,
the revolution itself was very violent.

Ironically, one of the economic causes of the French Revolution was
discontent over French funding of the American Revolutionary war and
the taxes that were leveled as a result.



The French Revolution has much in common with all of the revolutions
noted above. In terms of political causes, intensity and outcome- the
American Revolution is the most similar. In terms of the type of
violence and the resulting "reign of terror", the English Revolution
is the closest corollary.

Google Search Strategy
-"liberal revolutions"
-"republican revolutions"
-"causes of the french revolution"
Subject: Re: French Revolution
From: myoarin-ga on 20 May 2006 16:19 PDT
Perhaps the strife prior to the Magna Carta:

OR the English Civil War, that resulted in the beheading of Charles I
(nice parallel):
Subject: Re: French Revolution
From: elids-ga on 20 May 2006 18:43 PDT
The Roman empire fell with the Barbarian invasions, from these
invasions the Goths occupied Iberia that was previously on the hands
of the Romans, the Goth empire lasted almost 300 years. On 711 Iberia
was invaded by the Moors who defeated the Goths in less than two
years. In ca 840 the last standing Visigoth kingdom started the
?Reconquista?, taking Iberia back from the Moors. This would prove to
be the longest bloodiest war Europe had seen to date, on a percentage
of deaths to population it is still unparalleled in Europe, during
WWII less than 20% of the population died on either side. When it was
all over there were barely a few thousand Moors still in Iberia, they
were ordered to convert to Christianity or leave, most left.

"in terms of intensity, violence, political causes , and political outcome?"

Although extremely lengthy and bloody (to the point of extermination),
had the Moors not been stopped in Iberia, Europe would be Muslim not
Christian. Europe would be similar to the middle east today. Think no
other event has been more influential in European history due to what
it prevented.
Subject: Re: French Revolution
From: frde-ga on 21 May 2006 03:24 PDT

Fairly recently I've heard some revisionist stuff about the Moors in Spain

It sounds as if they were welcomed by the Goths whose civilization had
declined, and rather liked the improved standard of living - the
original invaders were apparently rather cultured - good at medicine,
laws, architecture and algebra.

Later, so it goes, other 'Moors' came in as military backup (fresh
from the desert), they were the equivalent of todays Islamists and
busily defaced sculptures etc produced by the original Moors.
Sometimes ones allies can be a liability.

Curiously Hollywood is slightly aware of this, El Cid had 'Moorish' allies.

Supposedly the Spanish hero Guzman was actually a 'Moor', and I saw a
documentary in which a charming, elderly, Spanish Duchess produced
evidence that her ancestors were actually Moorish Emirs.

The general take was that the original invasion was a bit like the
Norman conquest of Normandy - or more accurately the way the Romans
tended to spread out.

I've also got a suspicion that conversion/re-conversion was not that
difficult, the second wave of Moors were not that congenial.

Another revisionist story that came out recently is that the Roman
invasion of Britain was a public relations stunt for the citizens of
Rome - archeologists found evidence of Roman presence well before AD

One thing that is long forgotton, is that the Middle East was once
highly civilized - at a time that a lot of Europe had reverted to near

The Eastern Roman Empire once considered the Roman senators a bunch of peasants.
(When European Rome fell apart, Constantinople prospered).

History is written from the point of view of the victor, and it is
convenient to be descended from victors :}
Subject: Re: French Revolution
From: myoarin-ga on 21 May 2006 14:26 PDT
I left out the American Revolution because it had little effect on the
way England was governed  - the "political outcome" of the revolution
on the central government.  Of course, self-rule in the new nation was
an at least as major change, but of a different type, I feel, in
comparison with the French Revolution.
Subject: Re: French Revolution
From: elids-ga on 21 May 2006 14:41 PDT
Hi Frde,

No doubt the Moors had a more advanced civilization than the Goths.
However to say that they were welcome in Iberia is incorrect, it flies
on the face of all historical accounts both Muslim and Christian.
Their advance was swift for two main reasons, complacency after close
to 300 years of being undefeated and unchallenged the Visigoths in
Iberia had lost their previous zealousness and preparation for combat.
Two, what used to be a highly mobile, well trained Goth army had
become a sedentary population of farmers that had acquired all of the
traits of the Romans (in doing so they preserved much of the Roman
culture we know today).

?and rather liked the improved standard of living ? that too goes
against recorded history, at least in part. The Christians distrust
the Moors because of their unhealthy daily ritual of bathing.

?El Cid had 'Moorish' allies? it is possible alliances were often made
and betrayed at the drop of a hat. The Romans had the Goths as allies
against the Huns but at the same time the Alans, Vandals, Suaves and
Goths became allies against the Romans.

?Supposedly the Spanish hero Guzman was actually a 'Moor',? thanks to
DNA analysis we now know that 5% of Spain is of Moor ascent.

?conversion/re-conversion was not that difficult,? this is incorrect.
The main reason for Christianity to be able to fight off the Muslim
Moors was that the Moors never imposed their beliefs on the
Christians, in fact they were encouraged to practice it as they saw it
(Christianity) as a real religion, not a pagan belief. However, if
somebody choose to convert to Islam and they attempted to reconvert to
Christianity the penalty was death by stoning, in fact it still is.
There was a recent incident in Pakistan were a Muslim man wanted to
convert to Christianity and was sentenced to death by a Pakistani
court. I believe that Bush?s intervention with the Pakistani?s
authorities saved that man?s life ( I didn?t follow it closely so some
facts there may be slightly off).

?History is written from the point of view of the victor? this is
certainly true. Luckily we have the same history written in Arabic by
the Moors, while certain accounts (dates, number of deaths in battles
etc) vary here and there, for the most part the historical records

There are some very interesting books on the matter (free) on


Because of the inclusion of ?most like the French Revolution? in the
original quote the answer could be viewed as correct, but in terms of
?intensity, violence, political causes , and political outcome?? ?The
Reconquista? stands unparalleled.

The American revolution had absolutely nothing in common with the
French revolution. The French revolution was the masses moving
fighting out of hunger, in the rebellion to ?the establishment? that
had caused the famine the monarchy perished. There were many on the
social/political scene that benefitted from it and their views were
imposed on the new order, but the revolution did not happen for
political reasons, it happened because of hunger which incidentally
was caused by the ?little Ice age?. The American revolution was about
people fighting for their freedom from foreign powers, from Washington
to Bolivar it was in part about independence, but mostly about
taxation. This part is woefully incorrect ?one of the economic causes
of the French Revolution was discontent over French funding of the
American Revolutionary war? The French never funded the American
revolution, it was self funded. The Google researcher may have meant
to say ?one of the economic causes of the French Revolution was
discontent over French funding of the US war of independence? but that
is not what he/she said.

Subject: Re: French Revolution
From: frde-ga on 22 May 2006 01:31 PDT

Thanks for the link.

I don't know whether I believe the revisionist version, it is just
something I heard about fairly recently - mainly a TV documentary.

Their version was that Iberia had become depopulated and had been
scrapping with each other, so the Moors (seeking Lebensraum) were not
that unwelcome.

I'm surprized about the bathing bit, the Romans were there long
before, there are some interesting Roman remains near Tarifa (the
southernmost tip of Spain)

I'm really surprized that it is only 5% DNA, from observation in
Southern Spain, I would have expected much more.

From a practical point of view, I find it a bit unlikely that the
majority of the population would have been driven 'back to Africa',
they would have been in Spain for generations - it would be a bit like
the Normans driving the Saxons back to Germany.

Another 'revisionist' thing I heard was that the Jews were expelled
from Spain because they had got on well with the Moors, that ties in
with the Moors letting the Christians alone.

From observation, the Moors that settled Iberia were not at all hard
line, they had no problems with 'images' - to compare them with hard
liners in Pakistan and the sandier bits of the Middle East is a bit

As with most things, it is difficult to know what really happened,
although one can generally be pretty sure that it was not precisely
what is described in the 'official history'.

Probably that's why I quite like to consider 'revisionist' versions ...
Subject: Re: French Revolution
From: elids-ga on 22 May 2006 07:59 PDT
Hi frde,

You can see the branches of the human tree (male lines Philogenetic
Haplogroup Tree) and were they predominate at to see the tree as it stands
today with all the branches within the main branches go to to read studies on the different
branches you can go to
Moors and Jews are of Arabian descent they are both (for the most
part) part of Haplogroup J.  If you go to scroll down to ?Moorish
influence in Iberia? you?ll see a pretty good and simple extract of
the paper I?ll paste the conclusion
?Presuming that

(1) the mixed race North African Moors had between 28.6% and 71% HG25.2;
(2) there was no HG25.2 in Iberia prior to the Moorish invasion; and
(3) the average level of HG25.2 across Iberia today is 2%;

This would imply that about 3-7% of Iberian male lineages are of
Moorish origin, though this is evidently higher in places like the Pas
Which is pretty much what most charts indicate, about 5% of Moorish
ascent. On the same page you find other studies that point to North
African influence on the area, it is possible that, that genetic
influence is what you are observing.

?From a practical point of view, I find it a bit unlikely that the
majority of the population would have been driven 'back to Africa'?
That is what history tells us and from a practical point of view we
can see from genetic results that in fact this was the case. What is
today 5% in the 1400's would?ve been less than 1% because the growth
in percentages tend to favor the minorities of any population, not to
mention that of the millions of Spaniards that eventually settled in
America among the prerequisites to travel they had to prove that their
blood was free from Jewish or Moorish ancestry. Further enhancing the
percentage growth of the Moorish descendants among the Spaniard

?As with most things, it is difficult to know what really happened,
although one can generally be pretty sure that it was not precisely
what is described in the 'official history'.? While I tend to agree
with you here, we can not ignore the facts. Certainly the victors will
write the accounts of what happen so that they are always the ?good
guys?, although the reasons why something happened may be slanted or
changed to favor the victor of any encounter, the facts of what
happened can not be changed. And if in fact history was (as you
contend) changed to favor the victor, that fact would be reflected
centuries later on the genetic markers of the population. This is not
the case, so in this case at least the historical version must be
Subject: Re: French Revolution
From: frde-ga on 23 May 2006 03:25 PDT

Interesting stuff, I am not up to speed with DNA so I'm uncertain how
to read it. By that I mean interpret it.

My understanding is that DNA is pretty fragile, so getting good
historical samples is pretty unusual. Lead lined coffins and frozen
corpses come to mind.

As such, 'migration' seems to be inferred from the current
distribution, which is a bit tricky as one Alpha bunch might migrate
to pastures new, leaving behind their Betas who in turn got invaded
and pretty much died out - as they would be swamped by another wave.

There is another angle, historically there were rather large armies,
and they tended to have 'camp followers' typically females who were
picked up and discarded along the line. Consequently military
movements had something in common with deliberate migration.

One thing that humans have in common with rabbits, is the ability to
interbreed given any opportunity, which means that a small 'sample' of
males can leave a rather disproportionately impressive footprint.

I'm not saying that this is true, but it is possible that the Moorish
invaders who took over Spain became the dominant race and that their
original home was dominated by another Alpha group.

Digressing, I have a theory that unsuccessful populations are pushed
into colder climes, where they genetically mutate and ferociously
genetically select then invade the warmer South.

It is a matter of interpreting data, I can take three things and spin
a yarn, which makes me suspicious of others with similar abilities.

- most importantly (ego centrically) you've made me think

Incidentally the Indian Mutiny is definitely a contender for the
original poster, it led to the start of an Empire and de-privatisation
of overseas 'interests'.
Subject: Re: French Revolution
From: elids-ga on 23 May 2006 10:51 PDT
Hmm my fault, I should?ve explained it. There are two chromosomes that
get passed from one generation to the next without it being recombined
with those of the other partner. The female X or mtDNA is passed from
mother to daughter, and the male Y-DNA is passed from father to son,
essentially males have a clone Y-DNA of his father?s, and the same is
true for females and the mtDNA from their mother?s. Because of this
the study of Y-DNA is extremely useful in genealogy, since we follow
the same pattern when passing on last names - from father to son-.

However, every so often a ?mistake? occurs in the copying of the Y-DNA
from father to son, this mistake is known as a ?mutation?.
Approximately once every 500 genetic generations (each male is a
genetic generation i/e father and three sons=4 genetic generations) a
mutation occurs, by counting the coincidences and the discrepancies we
can estimate when two males that share the surname must?ve had a
common ancestor, or if they are related at all. Over tens of thousands
of years the male lineages of humanity have acquired distinct markers
due to mutations that should not have existed i/e to molecules that
pair in a manner that is not a ?normal? bonding, we know this
extremely improbable occurrences as SNIPs. These SNIPs separate the
branches of humanity, most Europeans descend from a man that lived
sometime between 12,000 - 18,000 years before present during the last
Ice Age in the Iberian refuge, his descendants are known as members of
Haplogroup R1b, most Jewish and Muslims trace their roots via paternal
line to the middle east, that group is predominantly descended from
another branch of humanity known as J.

So, if we test the males in Iberia that are members of one Haplogroup
or another we can get a pretty good idea of where their ancestors came
from. Those Haplogroups brake down into smaller branches that
represent ever smaller groups of people, so far they have even
discovered some that are ?so far? attributed to a couple of specific
families, but for our purposes we will leave it at Haplogroups. If we
know that only 5 % of Iberia?s population is descended from one of the
branches of J that is predominant among Moors it is safe to say that
they are the descendant of the Moor invaders. The same can be said for
the rest of the population and were their ancestors originated.

I should point out that my comments have all been directed at the male
lineages, I have not yet read-up on the female lineages. Although
unlikely it is possible that the female lines (of Moor ascent) are
more extended in Iberia than the male lines.

?Incidentally the Indian Mutiny...? unfortunately I?m not versed on this subject. 

Subject: Re: French Revolution
From: frde-ga on 24 May 2006 02:50 PDT

Thanks for the further explanation.

I was unsure about the Y chromozone, but remember reading that in
India females tend to be more upwardly 'caste mobile' than males,
which kind of figures.


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