35

Revolution and Power As Lenin famously said, the key question of any revolution is the question of Power. Translating it into the vernacular for the benefit of the unindoctrinated: a revolution is done for the sole purpose of gaining power. All talk about giving land to peasants or factories to workers is just that - talk, the people who are actually leading ...


18

Revolutions create instability. Edmund Burke said the following after the French Revolution: one of the first and most leading principles on which the commonwealth and the laws are consecrated is lest the temporary possessors and life-renters in it, unmindful of what they have received from their ancestors, or of what is due to their posterity, should act ...


17

Speaking very generally, merchant groups were relatively marginalized in all pre-modern societies. They formed networks across city-states in different regions, but were not allowed to take strong political footholds in more centralized states. Political rulers saw economic power as a threat, a (sometimes necessary) evil and were generally successful in ...


14

Old system destroyed, new system not yet established When you observe human behavior in large groups, you will notice a large amount of inertia. Let's take for example British political system. They have a monarch, with mostly ceremonial duties. They have a parliament, elected with first pass the post voting system, and very powerful Prime Minister. This ...


10

It's actually very simple. So long as the target of a revolution/movement exists, the solution remains very theoretical: "solve the problem". During this time, everyone in the movement generally agrees with everyone else. However, once the revolution/movement succeeds in obtaining all or part of its goal, solutions have to become concrete and ...


7

In these kinds of situations, the divide is between the call for "continuing" revolution by some, and the wish by others to "Join the Establishment." Naziism was a "revolutionary" movement, until the Party amassed a plurality and nearly a majority in the Reichstag. Then Hitler saw that it was possible for the Nazis to rise to ...


5

See the article "Economic Crises and the European Revolutions of 1848" (Berger and Sporer, 2001): Recent historical research tends to view the 1848 revolutions in Europe as caused by a surge of radical ideas and by long-term socioeconomic problems. However, many contemporary observers interpreted much of the upheaval as a consequence of short-term ...


5

Another revolution to consider is Haiti 1793-1804. Although L'Ouverture allies his former slave army with the Spanish military and then the French, he is eventually betrayed in 1802. From 1802-1804 it's just the revolutionary forces vs. the military of Napoleon's Republic. In October 1802, Revolutionary leaders, including Dessalines and Christophe, at last ...


3

Marxism is most notorious for 'eating their own" First they cultivate a mindset of revolutionary reaction to perceived or real tyranny Then they kill that generation; so they cant do it again. Venezuelan history in a nutshell. 1992: They were the 3rd richest country in the Western Hemisphere behind US and Canada 2001: Voted a marxist president to ...


3

There was an important difference between the two empires. In the case of the Soviet Union, there was one country, Russia, with 50% or more of the people of the whole Union. The next two, Ukraine, and Byelorussia, had about 15%. The remaining 30%-35% were divided among 13 Republics, averaging 2%-3% each. Russia was so much larger (in population) than the ...


2

Basically I am trying to paint a vivid mental picture of how the merchant class gained power equal to or above the kings in Europe, China, and India (or anywhere else). Who were the key merchants (what were their names or ethnicities), and what did they do to aid in this transition? IMHO, you are trying to paint a picture of a world that has never existed! ...


2

There are many excellent answers here which I have upvoted. (I'll add that I particularly like the point that revolutionaries are people who like us all are tempted by power which they are loath to surrender.) But to those answers I'd like to add a point about violent ideological revolutions. (The American Revolution, like the Glorious Revolution, was not ...


1

I am not really sure what your definition of "revolution" is. If what you want is the take-over of power by a formerly marginal minority, then the classical circle of dynasties described by Ibn Khaldun fits quite well. Basically he describes that people from the margins of an agricultural society (e.g. nomads, people living in unproductive mountain ...


1

In general, do revolutions need the support of the populace to achieve long-term success? No. Not at all. It's a nice bonus. Nothing more. Plenty of dictatorships ruled with very little popular support. Thailand is not an exception to the rule. It only happens more often than elsewhere. I can only say: welcome to Thailand! In the 25 years that I live here ...


1

After WW2 West-Germany and Japan were governed by the United States for a short time and thus were in essence colonies/protectorates during that period. I think most historians agree these countries were treated extremely well by their "master-country" during this period. Especially when you take into account the actions of these countries that ...


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