The wave of revolutions that swept across the Atlantic world in the later eighteenth century originated in developments that are largely outside the concern of this volume. In their long-term development, the revolutions can be linked to geopolitical competition for empire and the profits of maritime trade, especially the struggle between Great Britain and France. In the aftermath of Britain's victory in the Seven Years' War, the English-speaking colonies in North America violently resisted efforts by the British parliament to impose greater fiscal and political control over its expanded land empire, and this resistance led between 1775 and 1783 to a declaration of independence, a prolonged war, and the formation of a new republic. The French Revolution began in 1789 as a direct result of the monarchy's efforts to stave off fiscal collapse resulting from a century of imperial conflict, including France's military intervention in the American war. This is not to say, however, that the Enlightenment and Christian Awakenings did not play significant roles in the revolutions. Many
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