In Crane Brinton’s theory of revolutionary characteristics, he compared a revolution to a
fever. There was the symptoms, the fever itself, and the breaking of the fever. In the French
revolution, the symptoms were quite obvious.
The first symptom Crane Brinton discussed was economic problems. Obviously, what
first springs to mind is the system of taxation in France. 3% of the population was high class, and
97% low class and poor. And yet, the burden of taxation rested on those who were unable to
pay, and not the nobility who ended up squandering their funds on parties and gambling anyway.
Also, the old tradition of charging a pittance for use of land was still very much alive, much to the
bad fortune of the third class. Though the serf idea had been abandonded quite a long time ago,
the old-fashioned notions attached to serfdom still existed.
The second symptom in Crane Brinton’s theory was inefficency of government. Louis
XVI was a prime example. He was a good man at heart, always wanting to give his people the
best, and yet he utterly failed as a ruler. He was such a pushover that toward the beginning of the
revolution, he let his own National Assembly boss him around, and he met their demands without
Finally, the third symptom was a rise of self-revolutionaries. One word says it all: Bastille.
Once those Frenchmen take it into their heads to have a revolution, there’s no stopping them.
Year 12 History Russian Revolution Research Essay In 1900 Russia was the last remaining absolute autocracy out of the great powers of Europe. Approximately eighty four per cent of Russians were peasants, lead by an over privileged upper class who had enslaved them for centuries. There existed a total lack of understanding or sympathy between the workers / peasants and their ruling class, who cared ...
What with all the underground newspapers and anti- Antoinette propaganda floating around, it’s a
wonder the royalty had any dignity left at all.
In conclusion, Brinton’s three symptoms were dutifully fufilled in the French Revolution.
The fever broke out like wildfire, leaving a victorious France in its wake.