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Age Of Revolutions

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The time period from 1688 and 1830, known appropriately as the Age of Revolutions, harbored progressive change and political upheaval intertwined across Europe and the New World. Detailing the causes and effects of the Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, the Latin American Revolutions, and the French Revolution, they are all comparable in their push for human rights, freedom from oppression, initial social, political and economic strife and the establishment of progressive new government.

The Glorious Revolution of 1688 was simply a bloodless (discounting minimum related fighting in Ireland and Scotland) change of leadership in post-Elizabethan England, whose significance relies upon the verity that it literally began modern English parliamentary democracy, ensured that an absolute monarch would never again hold absolute power, and resolutely established the frequently contested Protestant faith in England and Her ruling class with the abdication of the preceding Catholic king, James II and his belief in the divine right of succession. Replacing him and his influence was, ironically, his son-in-law and daughter, William and Mary of Orange, already the Protestant partial rulers of the Netherlands. Promptly signing the English Bill of Rights, the dual ascension pair curtailed progression in the direction of monarchial absolutism in the British Isles by circumscribing the monarch's powers; a ruler could no longer suspend laws, levy taxes, or maintain a standing army during peacetime without Parliament's permission. As a direct result of the Glorious Revolution, England, and eventually, the United Kingdom, has since been governed under a system of constitutional monarchy.

Similarly motivated by a desire for independence and freedom of European monarchial leadership was the American Revolution, which, comparable to the resulting French Revolution, was an insurgency of the common populace (embittered with their authoritative and nationalistic mother England whose obligatory tax inflation, mercantilist policies and egotistical governing strategies didn't allow for progressive American growth and personal country development) against a foreboding and controlling government in an effort to alleviate financial, political, and social oppression. Notably setting precedence, however, were, ironically, European Enlightenment ideas and philosophies (as harnessed by revolutionary writers such as Thomas Paine in his popular pamphlet, Common Sense) that not only invigorated and inspired the revolution itself, but also the democratic government that was created after its success, as well as, in a situation similar to the inauguration of the English Bill of Rights directly following the Glorious Revolution, the eventual writing, ratification, and use of an analogous American Constitution and Bill of Rights, declaring omnipotent the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (nearly directly quoted from the writings of John Locke, a European Enlightenment thinker), which principles directly parallel and mirror the Rights of Man, stating an individual's right to liberty, equality, and fraternity, as developed and fought for during the French Revolution.

As inspired by such American freedom-founded achievements, and further influenced by the French Revolution's Rights of Man, several victorious Latin American revolutions occurred amidst chaos in Europe following the rise and fall of Napoleon, effectively distracting the powerful nations from their American holdings and opening the necessary window of opportunity to revolutionaries such as Simon Bolivar and Pierre Toussaint L'Ouverture, desperately passionate to free their country.

Proclaimed a free republic in 1804 following a lengthy three-way class system civil war and slave revolt led by revolutionary L'Ouverture, Haiti, previously the epitome of French mercantilist policy (similar to that which drove American colonists to rebel against England), became the first independent nation of Latin America and went down in history as the first successful slave revolt, thereby inspiring and spurring future freedom movements and further resulting in the terrorization of the colonial upper classes and imposition of a crackdown on rights in the surrounding European occupied Latin American nations. To further elaborate on the concept of class system civil war, one can observe the example of the French Revolution Third Estate, including the bourgeoisie, pitted against both the First and Second Estate and its relation to the Latin American Creoles (equivalent to the bourgeoisie and similarly exposed to Enlightenment ideas) whose goal it was to break free of Peninsular (akin to the French First Estate and upper class) controlled colonial governmental rule and establish true administrative and economic control, and from which class Haitian- and Enlightenment-inspired activist Simon Bolivar originated Ð'- appointed to a position of leadership in Venezuela following the inauguration of Joseph Bonaparte (Napoleon's brother) to the conquered Spanish throne, after which the Spanish colonies of Latin America were forced to question their loyalties, eventually coming to a consensus to remain loyal to the Spanish king and rebelling against the French regime, including their Venezuelan counterparts. Bolivar, now in a position to progressively lead his people to freedom in the spirit of Enlightenment thinkers, French Rights of Man, and American Revolution philosophy, helped establish a national congress in 1811, which declared independence from Spain. Precedence in Haiti did not hold true in this regard, however, as Bolivar, even after "accomplishing" independence, was plunged deep into civil war, only



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