Compare and Contrast the French and Russian Revolutions

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Compare and Contrast the French and Russian Revolutions

During the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, the world, as a whole, was experiencing a great changing of the guard. The period was marked with numerous revolutions throughout the world, leaving Robert Palmer to write, "The words liberty and equality were in the air  (Palmer 47). This sweeping insurrectionist movement helped bring about change in both France and Russia. The revolutions, however, were not impervious to opposition.

A series of economic and political vulnerabilities began the early development of the French Revolution of 1789. A large population explosion would lead to a loss of jobs in city centers, and made it harder on farmers to make a profit (Palmer 11-12). However, initially, the population growth resulted in a rise in prices, which created prosperity in the merchant class, which was shared with nobility and clergy. As the prices for goods and services went up, the wages for workers lagged behind, leaving the working class peasantry with less buying power than before (Breunig 2). Both over production and under production of crops negatively affected food prices which struck a stiff blow with the peasant class. Many lower class citizens

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