Questions tagged [revolution]

An internal state of change within a political unit, organized by a typically popular movement formed with the express intent of overthrowing the established government for said political unit.

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Why didn't Louis XVI print money prior to the French revolution?

I'm currently reading "Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution" by Simon Schama. It is an ok book. There is a lot of divergence into the culture leading up to the revolution, which ...
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Do revolutions always need public support in order to succeed long-term? [closed]

I normally frequent Worldbuilding StackExchange, and I recently asked a question about werewolves attempting to declare themselves an independent, sovereign state in the American West. However, this ...
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Have revolutions been won without the military establishment?

Various historical and political theorists (for instance, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita) have asserted that the support, or, at most, the abstention of a country's military is necessary for a successful ...
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What alternatives to working was proposed in Paris during May, 1968? [closed]

What ideas for alternatives to work, or a society where people work to survive, did people have during May 1968 in Paris? How could that society function and how could people feed themselves? I've ...
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What caused the 1979 Iranian revolution to become Islamic?

How did an initially anti-Shah revolution become an Islamic revolution? Was it because of Khomenei's return to Iran such that he seized the Iranian revolution?
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Has there ever been a situation where the “motherland” treated its colonies well anywhere in the world?

Has there ever been a situation where the "motherland" treated its colonies well anywhere in the world? So being born in a former French protectorate, I've been taught about the horrendous treatment ...
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Why do revolutions “eat their own?” What is the sociological dynamic here?

We have a number of cases in history of revolutionary movements growing increasingly radicalized by a kind of internal dynamic that eliminates more moderate factions. Instances include the Jacobins, ...
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Why was 'France' excluded from Henry Lane Wilson's clique during the Mexican Revolution?

The book by Friedrich Katz, The secret war in Mexico, mentions that the USA minister Henry Lane Wilson organized in part the overthrow of president Madero during the first phase of the Mexican ...
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Was a drop in standards of living a significant factor in the revolutions of 1848?

A lot ink has been expended discussing the revolutions of 1848 and their causes, only a small fraction of which I have read. From my point of view, there seem to be two main schools of thought in ...
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Were Quintidis holidays in the French Republican calendar?

I did some research on the French Republican calendar and found some contradictory information on weekly (or decadian?) holidays. Wikipedia (and most other articles I found) mention: The calendar was ...
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What was the first recorded non-violent toppling of a dictator?

There has been a lot of research on non-violent resistance, but looking at Wikipedia's page on the topic, I can't seem to answer this question: What was the first non-violent toppling of a dictator? ...
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Why were the continuity states of Imperial and Royal Austria-Hungary disunited, while the continuity states of Imperial Russia were united?

Towards the end of WWI, both Austria-Hungary and Russia faced populist or socialist revolutions and successful nationalist uprisings. In both cases, both revolutions and uprisings resulted in the ...
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Who were the first “businessmen” to rival the kings throughout the world? [closed]

The merchants seem to have existed for as long as human history. But when did they begin to "take over" the kings? By that I mean, by the time of the "tycoons" like the Oil and Train people of the ...
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Does anyone have a concrete example of the British Empire using revolution to gain control over foreign resources, governments?

I can't remember where I read this but in multiple sources I've read the saying that the "The British Empire could unfurl the winds of revolution" to achieve control over foreign resources, ...
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Did Hitler and Nazi officials give interviews and cooperate with the Weimar republic general press?

Politicians often purposely avoid being interviewed by journalists based on numerous arguments and if they do get interviewed they might ensure to film the interview with their own crew to expose ...
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Why was the Cuban Revolution (1953-1959) ultimately successful?

Communist revolutions have been attempted across the world - what were the primary reasons that the Cuban Revolution succeeded while others failed?
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How do totalitarian states/empires usually fall?

How do totalitarian states/empires usually fall? Are there cases or plausible where these states fall without it necessarily being invaded or face a rebellion? When i say fall, i mean the move from ...
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Who decided on the name “Mexico”?

New Spain's independence struggle led to adopting the national identity of "México", the name of its major city and the Mexica society there. In referring to a specific indigenous group, Mexico seems ...
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Why were Catholic priests so instrumental in the Mexican independence movement?

Catholic priests were leading figures in the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. In 1810, Hidalgo gave the Grito de Dolores; in 1811, Morelos occupied Acapulco and Mercado took San Blas. ...
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Were there any successful revolutions that didn't end in a totalitarian regime? [closed]

By revolution, I mean a violent overthrow of a system of government, from within the country itself. So, the American Revolution doesn't count for my question, since it was a revolution to push out an ...
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Revolutions of communication

Different from other revolutions which took place just once like Harari's cognitive revolution agricultural revolution unification of mankind scientific revolution revolutions of communication took ...
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What was the 'indemnity' paid out by Haiti actually for?

The Haitian Revolution was a successful anti-slavery and anti-colonial insurrection between 1791 and 1804 and led by Toussaint L'Ouvrture. Haiti paid reparations to French slave-holders set in 1825 ...
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Women in the Iranian revolution

Iranian women are now always portrayed as oppressed in the media and social media compared to the 1970s. I expected their situation to be similar to that for women in Saudi Arabia but after reading a ...
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Are there any historical examples of (non government-approved) fake news having a strong effect?

Right now there is great concern about "fake news", with calls to regulate journalists and social media to prevent people from seeing or propagating fake news stories. I would like to know what kind ...
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Which recent revolutions resulted in a major redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor?

What are some of the recent examples of a violent large-scale redistribution of wealth?
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What was the first successful non violent independence movement?

It is a known fact that Mahatma Gandhi launched a non-violent movement which freed the Indian subcontinent from the British rule on 15th August 1947. But was this the first instance that a freedom ...
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What proportion of revolutions that overthrew tyrannical regimes made things as bad or worse? [closed]

I realize that a phrase like "as bad or worse" is subjective. By what metric do we decide if a new regime is "better" or "worse" than an old one? However, I want to know if this is a known area of ...
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To what degree has the historical effectiveness of non-violent resistance movements been impacted by parallel violent resistance movements?

Martin Luther King had Malcolm X. Gandhi had Bhagat Singh. I've lately been involved in a pretty radical movement in which there are many people arguing against the movement being only non-violent....
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How can I understand the effect of the Sonderweg on the Revolution of 1848?

I'm trying to understand the effect that the German 'Sonderweg' had on the Revolution of 1848 in Germany. Are there authoritative/canonical references that would help? PS: Since I also speak German ...
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How did Tunisia's revolution (and Arab Spring) begin?

I am asking because the most cited reasons are not that convincing: The self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi: He was neither the first nor the last to self-immolate himself. Poverty: Prices more than ...
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When was the first secular society?

When was the first attempt to create a secular society? (a society that was intentionally separate from religion). Was the French Revolution the first to discard religion as an legitimizing force and ...
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Was there risk of revolution in France at end of World War I?

Germany was forced to finish World War I with signing peace treaty on very humiliating conditions for them. That's because in 1918 in Germany there was active fifth column of communists who were ...
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What happens after a widespread social chaos? [closed]

I have a pretty limited knowledge in History but I want to know the future (or outcome) of the Tunisian revolution based on the development of current events and also on some data that I know/can ...
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Did the Zapatistas actually kill anyone?

The armed Zapatista movement started in 1994 as an armed revolution and spanned more than 20 years. Disambiguation - this is the 1983/1994 movement, not the 1910 movement. It is surprising to note ...
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Guadalupe Victoria's imprisonment

In 1821 Agustín Iturbide formed a ruling junta for newly independent Mexico that excluded his prominent fellow revolutionary officers. Near the end of 1821, Iturbide imprisoned several that may have ...
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In which estate were the soldiers prior to the French revolution?

In which estate did the soldiers come prior to the French revolution? In my book it is written "peasants had to serve in the army..." and "army was not open as I was not a noble by birth"
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Has there ever been a revolution backed by a royal or a noble against their own family?

Has there ever been a true rebel in the higher Royal or noble society who charged against a regime or a kingdom that is run by his own family, for altruistic reasons?.
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How direct was the Enlightenment's role in the French Revolution?

John Thomson, in his book "Europe after Napoleon", argues that the Enlightenment had little direct role in creating the conditions for revolution. Neither the thinkers prescribed revolution nor the ...
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New Latin American navies raiding Spanish interests

The newly formed navies of the Latin American wars of independence sometimes raided or blockaded Spanish interests in other parts of the Americas. Consider the Liberating Expedition of Peru, the ...
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What did Catesby and crew expect to do after the explosion?

In Britain, we are taught in school about the Gunpowder Plot, the events that led to it and to Fawkes's capture on November 5th 1605 under the Houses of Parliament and the gradual round-up of the co-...
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Why did human and civil rights gain a foothold at the time they did? [closed]

Even though the idea of human equal rights has a rather long history, it wasn't a reality up until the late 18th century. Nobles still had more or less absolute power over the lower classes. The lower ...
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Does anyone know the name of the student who died during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956? If not, why not?

I'm reading up on the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and it seems that if that one student hadn't died, the revolution never would have started. The revolt began as a student demonstration, which ...
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How accurate is Russell on liberalism versus fanaticism in war?

After the second world war, reflecting on the rule of empiricism versus various kinds of dogmatism in political philosophy, Bertrand Russell writes (Philosophy and Politics, 1947; emphasis mine): ...
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Dictators who came back through elections?

Were there any dictators1 who, after being toppled by a revolution or the like, managed to get back to power via what is (or was considered by the norms applied at the time) free and transparent2 ...
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Why was the Imre Nagy government deported to Romania?

After the 1956 Hungarian upgrising, the KGB briefly deported Imre Nagy and his closest followers (Donáth, Lukács, etc.) to Romania. I understand that the Soviet Union would have wanted to remove Nagy ...
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Economic effects of the Cuban Revolution

What were the economic effects of the Cuban Revolution? Were living conditions improved for the average Cuban? I'm looking for objective criteria like average income, wealth distribution, life ...
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How and Why Did the Soviet Union Collapse? [closed]

How did the Soviet Union collapse? (Collapse meaning loss of central power over its member states who declared their independence.) Was it economic, and to what extent? Was it Ronald Reagan and ...
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What economic incentives (if any) did France have to aid the American army during the revolution?

Most history texts only state France had a desire to seek revenge for their defeat in the 7 Years War and that a Treaty of Alliance (1778) was signed. I'm having a hard time convincing myself that ...
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Wendell Phillips Quote that “Revolutions Never Go Backwards”

What did Wendell Phillips mean when he said, "Revolutions never go backwards."? I believe that Abraham Lincoln also used this quote as a means of promoting the Republican Party and anti-slavery ...
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Paying for something in Revolutionary Times

If someone were paying a bill or for a debt in 1790, did they pay with cash or a note of some sort?