There's nothing I hate more than when scholars try to marginalize the English Revolution by comparing it unfavorably with the French Revolution. Exhibit A for this kind of nonsense is Theda Skocpol's book, States and Social Revolutions
. Skocpol argues that:
"Though the English Revolution was certainly a successful revolutoin, it was not a social
revolution like the French. It was accomplished not through class struggle but through a civil war between segments of the dominant class...And whereas the French Revolution markedly transformed class and social structures, the English Revolution did not."
Ok, sure, so the dominant class wasn't "structurally displaced" by the English Revolution the same way the Nobility was by the French Revolution. But that doesn't mean that the English Revolution wasn't accomplished through class struggle! Or that it wasn't a revolution at all, but merely a "civil war" between two segments of the dominant class, as Conrad Russell's revisionist historiography (AKA, my LEAST favorite historiography of ALL TIME) would have you believe. I mean, is it just a COINCIDENCE that the areas of greatest Parliamentary strength were in the East, Southeast and Midland areas - the areas where capitalist agriculture and industry were FARTHEST ADVANCED? Or that yeomen and the urban petty bourgeois formed the basis of EVERY anti-Royalist, radical party (Levellers, Diggers, Independents, etc.) in the late 1640s?!?!
Besides, I just don't understand how you can compare the English and French Revolutions in the first place, seeing that they occured in completely different social contexts
. Late-18th century France was still a backwards, quasi-feudal agrarian economy, whereas by 1600, English agriculture had already transitioned to a capitalist mode of production, and its industry was the most advanced in all of Europe.
WHY CAN'T WE JUST ACCEPT GREAT REVOLUTIONS FOR WHAT THEY ARE?
WHY MUST WE CONSTANTLY COMPARE THEM?