Similarities and Differences of the French and Russian Revolution.

Similarities and Differences of the French and Russian Revolution.


  • There was massive loss of life, especially in the ruling class.  King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette both were beheaded by guillotine and Tsar Nicholas II and the entire Romanov family were shot to death.  Many lesser nobles and pro-government generals were killed in purges during the French Revolution and Russian Revolution.
  • Starvation and the cold winter that had taken its toll on the people, causing a bread riot on both Revolutions. In the French Revolution, the women marched to Versailles and chased after Marie Antoinette, fixed upon killing her. They then forced the royal family into the Tuilleries Palace in Paris so they could keep a good eye on them. In the Russian Revolution, the women were calmer and simply paraded down the streets on International Women's Day, simply wanting some bread to contain there hunger.
  • The middle-class, which had hardly existed in Russia until socialism was introduced, was also a major factor in both Revolutions. In the French Revolution, the middle-class, commonly know as the bourgeoisie was practically ignored by Louis XVI, made plans and organized, and then striking at the monarch and setting up their own government. As for Tsar Nicholas, he refused to acknowledge the middle-class, whom were called the Dumas, making them disgusted with the way he rules.  Hating the Tsar, the Dumas set up the Provisional Government in March 1917 which "established equality before law; freedom of religion, speech, and assembly; the right of unions to organize and strike; and the rest of the classic liberal program."
  • In both Revolutions,  the indisposed royal families were executed. Tsar Nicholas had abdicated peacefully enough, only wanting the best for his people and his own family. At the end of the Revolution, Tsar Nicholas and his family were arrested first by General Kornilov of the Provisional Government and imprisoned at one of their many palaces in the countryside. Later, the royal family was transferred to a small home in Siberia. When Lenin came in power, the royal family were escorted to the Impatiev House, “House of Special Purpose.” By July 17th 1918, the royal family were crowded in a basement room and then eleven executioners entered and shot each of the members of the family: Tsar Nicholas, Alexandra, Marie, Alexei, Tatiana, Olga, and Anastasia. However, Louis the 16th  family weren't killed as harshly, with only Louis the16th and Marie Antoinette dying, through the guillotine.


  • A difference between the two revolutions is that the Russians had an unsuccessful "pre-revolution" in 1905.
  • The French decided  towards a democracy while the Russian government became communist . Both the French and Russian revolutions had similar causes but ended up with different results. Both of these countries had different internal factors which cause the results. The Russians had Lenin and the French had the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.
  • Unlike  the French Revolution, soldiers were ordered to shoot at the people in the "parade." They disobeyed and instead shot their officers and joined the "parade." Furthermore, the French wanted to abolish their previous totalitarian regime so that they would all have the opportunity to live and get rich in a capitalist democratic 'free' state, while the Russians wanted to abolish their previous totalitarian regime so that they would all have the necessities of life and live equally without the need to acquire material wealth as happiness.
  • Unlike Louis the 16th family, the Romanovs were not a threat to Russia. Once, Louis and his family tried to escape the clutches of the mob of Paris, but were caught when they had nearly reached Austria. The Romanov family, on the other hand, wanted no trouble.
  • The French government’s bankruptcy ignited because of King Louis the 16th  careless spending while the Russians went bankruptcy due to the money used to pay for World War I expenses.

Overall comparison

In conclusion, it is clear that both the French and Russian Revolution were extremely similar, yet also had a few differences. The main similarity is that there was massive loss of life in both events, mostly the ruling class. This was due to starvation of the peasants after Lenin's troops demanded that farmers met the quotas even if it meant they starved to death themselves, if not, they were brutally murdered. In one case, 11 peasants were beheaded and their heads were put upon spikes to publicly shame them for not following orders (of which Lenin encouraged.) Even though there were more similarities, the main difference between these revolutions was that the Russian monarchy were not a threat to the people of Russia, Tsar Nicholas wanted to be with his family, not rule a country. Yet Louis XVI caused destruction and chaos among the French people. Therefore, the French and Russian Revolution shared more similarities that differences.


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