The American Revolution's Effect On Other Nations

Essential Question

How did the American Revolution influence France and other nations?

The American Revolution

After the Revolution, America became a symbol of freedom and democracy. It shows the world it was possible for small colonies to defeat the strongest empire in world and it also showed that it was possible to build a democratic government without a king/queen. It inspired people in Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America, to organize and fight for their own freedom the right to rule themselves.

Effects on France

France was an absolute monarchy. King Louis XVI hated England since France lost to England if the French and Indian War. When he found out the Americans were fighting a war again the British, King Louis was happy to help the American colonists fight against the British. The French were essential in helping the Americans win the Revolutionary war. They provided financial support, guns, and ships. The Americans even borrowed French ideas about the government from French philosophers when forming the U.S. Government. Then French soldiers who fought for these new democratic ideas in America did not have democracy at home where they were part of a growing middle class in France that was hungry for freedom and power.

Shortly after the American Revolution, France was in extreme debt. Most of the debt was from funding the American Revolution. The French common people were starving and did not have enough money for food. In 1789 the French Revolution began. The French people overthrew their king, beheaded their king and queen, and trying to create a democratic government, similar to the U.S. However, this took many years.

In 1791, enslaved Africans in the French colony of Haiti were also inspired by the American and French Revolutions and revolted to form their own independent government. It was the first black government in the Western Hemisphere and the world's second democratic republic (after the US).

Americans were split on supporting the French and Haitian revolutions. Some Americans were happy the French and Haitians were creating a democracy, but others were not pleased. A few months later Britain declared war on France to restore their monarchy and America decided to be neutral rather than support their French allies in their fight for freedom. The U.S. also did not give full support to the new Haitian government because it was led by former slaves.

Effects on Latin America

Latin America was also inspired by the success of the American and French Revolution started to rebel against Spanish rule. Simon Bolivar "the Liberator" lead an army in 1819 and freed modern-day Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama. In 1821 the people of Central America rebelled and won their freedom. This was modern day Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. In 1822 Brazil declared independence from Portugal. By 1825 most of Latin America was free of European rule.

Discussion Questions

  • Whom did the American Revolution influence? How

  • How did the American Revolution influence France?

  • On a scale of 1 or 10, ten being the highest, how would you rank The American Revolution's impact on other nations?

These new democracies used the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, along with earlier documents, such as the English Bill of Rights, as models for their own governments. For instance, like the United States, Haiti also wrote a Decleration of Independence. The French wrote the Decleration of the Rights of Man which share many similarities with the Decleration of Independence and was a framework for France's future governments lLike the Decleration of Independence was for the American governments).

Haitian Decleration of Independence

Activity 1: Primary Source-Decleration of the Rights of Man

Define any vocabulary words, read the primary source excerpt, and answer the text-dependent questions. Be sure to highlight your evidence.

Primary Source-Declaration of the Rights of Man

Activity 2: How did the American Revolution influence France and other nations?

Using the information from this lesson, answer the questions in a thinking map. Complete this assignment digitally or on paper. It will be collected in your portfolio.

Extension Activities

NEWSELA: The French Revolution, Part One: A Timeline of the Revolution

NEWSELA: Connections between the American Revolution and the Haitian Revolution