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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Two different moments

Somewhat inevitably, given their similar timings, slight overlap in characters and commentators, and the superficial similarity in their rhetoric the American and French Revolutions get compared. What is really interesting about these two events though is how fundamentally different they were.

This can, among many other things, be seen in their chosen day of celebration. In the USA it is July 4th, the Declaration of Independence. In France it is today, the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. Importantly Americans choose to honour the crafting of a document, rather than the Tea Party, Lexington, or Saratoga; and likewise importantly the French choose to honour a popular uprising and not the Tennis Court Oath, the Declaration of the Rights of Man, or the end of feudalism.

I have no idea why this difference, but I feel it might well be an important one. Something to ponder.

UPDATE Just a note to thank Donald Sensing for his kind link, and to welcome anyone still coming over. Welcome.

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