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The French Revolution took place in 1789 after a powerful push for independence by the French people. Equality, fraternity and liberty became their slogan in the clamor for independence from the ancient regime (Halsal, 1997). The events that led to this revolution became so enormous and enlightened the world against oppressive rules and institutions. The French Revolution thus became a trigger for world revolution campaigns and movements. Most historians have argued, and rightly so, that the aftershocks of this revolution and the era of Napoleon were actually felt in Latin America.
The French revolution and its aftershocks triggered the clamor for independence in Latin America. These events greatly influenced Bolivar. So pushing was the urge to decolonize Latin America from Portuguese and Spanish institutions that Bolivar ended up leading the struggles for freedom. He got great stimulation from Napoleon Bonaparte and the events in the French Republic. The struggles for liberation and creation of liberal institutions that Bolivar witnessed in France while with Napoleon pushed him to advocate for the same liberation in Latin America that still stalled under ancient institutions that had no respect for human rights.
For a long historical period, the Spanish and Portuguese colonies had fallen into economic deprivation. Many Creoles had consequently resented the political power of the Peninsular that governed them. However, the influence of the republican political principles that were installed in U.S.A. and the reforms caused by the French Revolution and Napoleon motivated Bolivar and other Creoles to champion and campaign for the establishment of similar institutions and principles in Latin America founded on strong pillars of liberty, equality and equity.
The success of the French Revolution thus ushered in a new season of liberty in France and inspired the Latin Americans to also seek their independence. Most people resented the domination and oppressive rule of the European powers. The coming of the age of “Enlightenment” in France led to more push for the establishment of liberal institutions and government with respect for human rights. This was a great inspiration and a trigger to the Latin American Revolution (Declaration of the rights of man and the citizen).
Comparing the Different Results of the Revolution in Latin America and Europe
The effects of the Latin American Revolution and Revolution in Europe were similar and different in various aspects. To start with, in Europe, the Revolution was marked with celebration and jubilation. It marked the beginning of a new dispensation characterized by establishment of liberal institutions that respect human rights and promote justice and equality (Declaration of the rights of man and the citizen). The tyrannical monarchy was replaced and instead liberal republics were established. These were run, not by the European tycoons but elected officers, governed by civil liberties and equality before the law.
On August 4, the monarchy, nobles and the clergy all relinquished their privileges leading to the abolition of the feudal structures in France. This was quickly followed by the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. A constitution was eventually drafted that created a limited monarchy but a dominant unicameral legislature elected through voting (Declaration of the rights of man and the citizen). These events reflect the unfolding transformations in the aftermath of the Latin American revolution.
The new independent states in Latin America embarked on international and bilateral trade thus spurring economic development after the liberation. Equality and respect for human rights was greatly enhanced with the new era of enlightenment and civil liberty. Of great importance is the fact that the political institutions got liberated from their historical tyrannical nature. Respect for human rights, equality and equity and liberty thus found root in Latin America as was the case in Europe (Pioch, 2006).
In conclusion, the French Revolution acted as a trigger to world revolutions that targeted elimination of ancient political systems that promoted injustices, slavery and oppression. In particular the French Revolution can be said to have triggered the Latin American Revolution through the interaction of Bolivar with Napoleon Bonaparte. This took place at the peak of the French Revolution.