Both the French and Russian Revolutions were influenced by new waves of philosophical thinking, however, in neither case can it be seen as being the major cause. The French Revolution of 1789 which lead to the sacking of King Louis XVI occurred mainly due to the war-torn state of the country and the long-term abuse of lower classes. While the Enlightenment was a major 'event' of the time, none of the philosophes, the European group of educated idealists, said a revolution was the way. It has been said,
"The prophets of revolution, like Marx, were made by the French Revolution. The French Revolution was not made by prophets."
The direct cause of the 1917 February Russian Revolution which caused Tsar Nicholas II to abdicate was World War I. While the 20th century Russians were more influenced by ideas than the French in the 18th century, they still had numerous other factors setting the conditions needed for having a revolution.
In both cases the inability of the monarch is displayed at crucial times.
Both pre-revolutionary France and Russia had a specific group of thinkers, most of which came from the middle-class of educated and wealthy individuals known as the bourgeoisie. In Russia these were the intelligentsia and in France the philosophes. At a time of industrialization and increased contact with the west, the people in pre-revolutionary Russia became more aware of the quality of life in these democratically superior countries. The intelligentsia, due to the social circles of business most of them traveled in, they had been influenced by the ideas of the west. In France, many people had returned from the American War of Independence of 1777 and brought the ideas of liberty and democracy with them. Belonging to the bourgeoisie, the philosophes also incorporated financial freedom into their ideology...