Quotation by R.R. Palmer

It is obvious that the French Revolution was a vaster and more profound social upheaval, involving more violent conflict between classes, more radical reorganization of government and society, more far-reaching redefinition of marriage, property, and civil law as well as of organs of public authority, more redistribution of wealth and income, more fears on the part of the rich and more demands from the poor, more sensational repercussions in other countries, more crises of counterrevolution, war, and invasion, and more drastic or emergency measures, as in the Reign of Terror. From very early in the French Revolution the American Revo lution came to seem very moderate. Thomas Jefferson, who was then in France, feared that the French were going to dangerous extremes as early as June 1789.
R.R. Palmer (b. 1904), U.S. historian, educator. "The Revolution," Comparative Approach to American History, ed. C. Vann Woodward, Basic Books (1968).
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