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All 3 posts   Subject: Anatomy of a Revolution   Please login to post   Thread expires   Down

11-11-04 05:38
No 540972
      Anatomy of a Revolution     


1.  People from all social classes are discontented.
2.  People feel restless and held down by unacceptable restrictions in society, religion, the economy or
the government.

3.  People are hopeful about the future, but they are being forced to accept less than they had hoped
4.  People are beginning to think of themselves as belonging to a social class, and there is a growing
bitterness between social classes.

5.  The social classes closest to one another are the most hostile.

6.  The scholars and thinkers give up on the way their society operates.

7.  The government does not respond to the needs of its society.

8.  The leaders of the government and the ruling class begin to doubt themselves.   Some join with the
opposition groups.

9.  The government is unable to get enough support from any group to save itself.

10.  The government cannot organize its finances correctly and is either going bankrupt or trying to tax
heavily and unjustly.


1.  Impossible demands made of government which, if granted, would mean its end.

2.  Unsuccessful government attempts to suppress revolutionaries.

3.  Revolutionaries gain power and seem united.

4.  Once in power, revolutionaries begin to quarrel among themselves, and unity begins to dissolve.

5.  The moderates gain the leadership but fail to satisfy those who insist on further changes.

6.  Power is gained by progressively more radical groups until finally a lunatic fringe gains almost
complete control.

7.  A strong man emerges and assumes great power.

8.  The extremists try to create a "heaven on earth" by introducing their whole program and by
punishing all their opponents.

9.  A period of terror occurs.

10.  Moderate groups regain power.  The revolution is over.

-Crane Brinton
11-11-04 06:06
No 540973
      More anatomy     

Three of four revolutions — the English, French and Russian, have courses in general surprisingly similar. All have a social or class rather than a territorial or nationalistic basis, though Oxford and Lancashire, the Vendee and the Ukraine, suggest that one cannot wholly neglect these latter factors. All are begun in hope and moderation, all reach a crisis in a reign of terror, and all end in something like dictatorship — Cromwell, Bonaparte, Stalin. The American Revolution does not quite follow this pattern... The American Revolution was predominantly a territorial and nationalistic revolution, animated throughout by patriotic American hatred for the British. On the other hand, it was also in part a social and class movement, and as time went on its social character came out more and more strongly. It never quite went through a reign of terror, though it had many terroristic aspects, usually soft-pedalled in school and popular histories... But we must always remember that the American Revolution was as a social revolution in a sense an incomplete one... that it does not show the victory of the extremists over the moderates...

The difference between a revolution and other kinds of changes in societies is, to judge from many past users of the term, logically nearer to that between a mountain hill than to that, say, between the freezing point and the boiling point of a given substance. The physicist can measure boiling points exactly; the social scientist cannot measure change by any such exact thermometer, and say exactly when ordinary change boils over into revolutionary change...

Politically the revolution ends the worst abuses, the worst inefficiencies of the old regime. It settles for a time at least the kind of internal conflict out of which the ‘dual sovereignty’ arose. The machinery of government works more smoothly after than immediately before the revolution. France is here a typical case. The old overlapping jurisdictions, the confusions and the compromises inherited from the thousand-year struggle between the centripetal forces of the Crown and the centrifugal forces of the feudal nobility, the welter of accumulated precedents, were all replaced by the work of the French Revolution. An able bureaucracy operating within neatly subordinated administrative areas, a legal system efficiently codified, an excellent army well staffed and well provided for, enabled Napoleon to do much that his Bourbon predecessors could not possibly have done. Tocqueville long ago pointed out that the French Revolution came to complete the work of a long line of French monarchs, to make centralised power in France effective and complete.
-crane Brinton
(Hive Bee)
11-11-04 11:36
No 541008
User Picture 
      The English Revolution     

There was never such a thing; it was a military coup by Cromwell. England has never had a revolution.

Are you, or have you ever been a Liberal? YES / NO

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