Name – Shivangi Singh
Amity Law School Noida
“A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination & hard work”
Study Of Revolutions
A man has to do something in order to gain something. According to Colin Powell, “A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination & hard work”. This is the same thing is expected and seen in a revolution. The determination, hard work and sweat of revolutionaries. Which tells the story of their individual struggle. Revolution is the result of struggle, injustice, indiscrimination, harassment, pain suffered by the people. When it crosses the limit of bearing pain. Some revolutions are usually recognized as having transformed in society, culture, philosophy & technology much more than political systems. Some revolutions can be global, while others are limited to single countries. Sometimes people of different groups combine and fight together against injustice to establish peace and prosperity. Thinkers like Aristotle were against the happening of revolution. He was considerably interested in the stability of constitutional system, because he knew that without stability of the political system good life and progress could never be achieved. As a general rule of stability, Aristotle recommended the establishment of polity that is the rule of the middle class.
Most Important Revolutions in History
- Russian Revolution– It defines two revolutions which occurred in 1917 between February and October. The first revolution, known as the February Revolution, was focused on the Russian capital, Petrograd and led to the collapse of the Russian Empire and the abdication of its leader. Emperor Nicholas ll and the establishment of a provisional government.
The second phase of the Russian Revolution, known as the October Revolution was led by the Vladimir Lenin. After this revolution, Moscow became nation’s capital.
- American Revolution– took place between 1765 & 1783. The cause of the revolution was that the Americans colonial society refused to submit Great Britain’s king and parliament’s authority. After this revolution, the American Revolution saw the drafting of the constitution of the United States and later independence of the United States
- French Revolution– This revolution was of 10 years, which became the cause of many social and political reforms.
It began in 1789 and ended in 1799. Most notable issues which became the root cause of the revolution were social and economic inequality. The outcome of the revolution was that the monarchs was replaced by a democratic republic.
- Xinhai Revolution– It occurred in 1911 which led to the collapse of last imperial dynasty, the Qing Dynasty. It resulted in shaping the modern social and economic policies of the country and also one of the more violent moments in China which took life of hundreds of people. The Xinhai Revolution ended centuries of dynasties in China and escorted the country to modernization
- Cuban Revolution- The revolution took place for five years beginning on July 26th 1963 and ending on January 1st It occurred in the Island nation of Cuba and resulted in overthrowing of Batista-led authoritarian government. This revolution has a great significance as it became the cause of bilateral relationship between Cuba and U.S. after revolution the government enact several policies on social economic reform.
- Revolution of 1848- The revolutions of 1841 were a series of political turmoil which occurred in 1848 all over Europe. The revolutions of 1848 involved France, Germany, the Austrian Empire, the Italian States, Poland and the Kingdom of Hungary among others and were mainly democratic. This revolution caused the end of feudal system of government in many countries and saw the growth of democracy.
- Industrial Revolution – The industrial revolution was a global movement in the 19th century and involved the shifting of mechanization of the then hand productive methods. The origin is traced to Great Britain and was characterized by increased use of steam power and the development of heavy machinery and the rise of factory system. It is the considered as one of the most significant movement in human civilization as many significant innovation improved the standard of living of people and many job opportunities being at the factories.
Similar Causes behind all the Revolutions
The foundation of all the revolutions was rationalism. Which helped in enlightens people towards their goods and bads, rights and duties which motivated them to create a place where every person can live with Freedom, equality, fraternity. According to Aristotle, although stability should be sole aim of any constitution, in practice it is found that government rise and fall. The synonym of the Greek word is Chaos or disorder or confusion. Interpreters of Aristotelian political thought have called it revolution. Aristotle has stated a number of causes which are generally responsible for revolution. According to him different inception of justice and equality are considered as one of the basic causes of revolution. People feel that there is lack of Equality in privileges, justices, opportunities and above all, political power should be distributed equally. But to what extent they are equal that creates a difference of opinion among them.
By birth everyone has the equal right to be treated equally among others but when some people are deprived of power, they hastily come to the conclusion that justice has not been done to them. The existing system of distribution of power is the prime cause of injustice and inequality and in order to bring change, people use the way of revolution to establish a positive change. The devilish mentality of certain people to harvest their own profit or benefit and dignity leads them to revolt against the establishment. The desire to get these two things decides what course of action people adopt to establish their rights. The third cause of revolution according to Aristotle is sedition which is a distinctive one. There are some owners of property and holders of honour instigate revolution by misusing their possession. These people do not directly participate in revolution, they instigate other people by supplying them men and material. For some powerful persons or rulers importance to dignity and honour is very high. When they see others being honored more than them, they become revolution- minded. This is what the fourth cause of revolution is according to Aristotle- Jealousy for being more honoured among others also results monarchy or oligarchy which emerges out of the revolution.
Books that Inspired Revolution: Written words are powerful tools
We all fear from the guns and bullets, granite, nuclear weapons that causes mass destruction. But sometimes not just to create destruction but to establish peace and prosperity and to shut down the influence of injustice and inequality in society some people take the help of power of words. These words take birth from our thoughts that they had in our minds while suffering from devil rules or devilish powers. Here are some books and authors who dare to awaken the world to raise their voice against injustice.
- Common Sense by Thomas Paine
Published in 1776, this book influenced people and converted a mass audience to the independence movement which resulted in American Revolution. Although there were other factors also behind the revolution but Thomas Paine’s book was the first book to speak directly to the ordinary American people, arguing for personal freedom and social liberty.
- The Wild Fire by Lung Ying-Tai
Published in 1985, Essayist Lung Ying-Tai wrote The Wild Fire when Taiwan was still under one party rule in 1985. Her written worked as a force that led to the democratization of Taiwan. She has written many other essays on socio-political commentary that shows the pain and conditions of the families that were torn apart during civil war in China and Taiwan.
- Das Capital by Karl Marx
Karl Max has always been credited with creating 20th century. His ideas and concern for labor, workers and rights and follies of capitalism has fueled shifting regimes, rebellions for decades.
- History of the Russian Revolution by Leon Trotsky
This passionate partisan and beautifully written account by a major participant in the revolution written during his exile in Turkey remains one of the best accounts of 1917.
- The Terror in the French Revolution by Hugh Gough
Tackling one of the bloodiest periods in European history. The terror, Gough examines how aspirations and ideologies of freedom and equality turned into violence and dictatorship.
Drawbacks of War and Conflicts
A revolution is a way of establishing equality, justice, and liberty but sometime to gain something we have to lose a lot. The same is with all revolutions that have occurred till now. People gain a lot but these conflicts takes a lot of things from them.
The loss of life – Whether it is a civil war or war between two countries, the most expensive thing that both the countries lose is loss of life of its citizens. Mass destruction starts from hundreds and takes away life of thousands of people at a time.
War is very expensive – The cost for protecting the nation from the attacks of another nation, while planning and executing a military attack on another nation or against the revolutionaries of its own country can be so expensive.
Threat to Environment – War & conflict affects the environment negatively as most of the weapons used in the war are extremely harmful for environment. Many kinds of animal lose their life and home just because of human war.
Loss of the Property – There is a huge loss of public and private property, crops, and domestic animals. People are forced to live inside their homes due to the curfew outside on streets. They face lots of irregularities. Both the sides however have devastating consequences depth, death, poverty. Some of the major consequences that follows war. The rewards can be great, but the loss is too great.
Children are consider as the future of a nation. But during war they face the worst days of their life. Many of them become orphan, lose their homes, are being forced to confine in one place for many days due to ongoing curfew outside. After war they hardly get help from their government or administration. Life becomes too hard to survive.
The economic conditions of the war suffering country becomes feeble. Economy drops at its lower rates. War affects the schools and colleges also. Because of danger of life government orders closing of educational institution which affects the education of children.
One war can take many things. This is for the leaders of those countries to understand who are mostly affected by war. War is not only option to solve a dispute between states or countries. For the sake of mankind, environment, economic stability, education, prosperity and safety of citizens wars should be avoided every time when it seems that the conditions are becoming worse between countries.
Revolution: Era of New Beginning
Many leaders like John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau defined a form of government with social contract between people and their elected representative. The idea of social contract theory laid down the formation of government with its power divided between legislature and executive and the judiciary. This was the time when France was ruled by absolute monarchy. The idea became very popular and it was also practiced in France when it became a constitutional monarchy in 1791.
French Revolution resulted in establishment of basic rights. It established rights such as the right to life, freedom of speech and opinion, equality before law as each citizen’s natural rights. Women actively participated, formed clubs and pressurized government to fulfill their demands. French revolution saw the rise of women empowerment because there were not only males fighting for their rights.
Women gave their full support and raised their voice against monarch. American Revolution just like French revolution saw great changes after it took place. After conflict there was an end of Slavery in American, who were slaves of British people in Britain. Everyone was fighting for their freedom. The conflict took place on the land of America which was a very plus point for Americans as the British army were not exactly familiar with the place, they were largely foreign to the environment. This helped a lot to the American soldiers.
If we throw light on Russia Revolution then it was supposed to bring about change for the betterment of state of Russia. The revolution resulted in economic development. The communist leader Vladimir Lenin instituted a strategy to caution the people and the country from economic ruin by establishing the new economic policy.
The revolution led to social benefits. Vladimir Lenin altered the outlook of education and literature in the country by introducing free education accessible to all children. Second he altered the role of women in society. According to him women would be crucial in ensuring the success of the revolution. Hence he sought to improve their status and rights in society.
Sometimes for a big change a big cause is required. Revolution is not always painful. It starts with a common motive and spread slowly among people to establish change. People work in collaboration, in groups and sometimes the majority and minority comes together for their common. Due to this there is also establishment of brotherhood in society.
Requirements change according to change in time. In ancient time, life was not as complex as it has become now. It seems like as the centuries are passing the hunger of rights and laws in humans is also increasing. If we look back, the law and order of a state, it did not contain cyber laws, patent laws, privacy laws etc. laws prescribed in books only is not enough.
Proper implementation is also important. In other words the cause of upheaval is inequality, which creates tension in the class structure, eventually leading to revolutions, but this is 21st century. A war or conflict between two nations will not be only limited to tanks. Rifles, missiles, granite. A nuclear weapons are possessed by many powerful countries and can be used during the times of war. The result will be destruction of mankind. As the time is passes by humans are becoming more technological advance. They are finding new ways to protect their territory from external or internal aggression. But war or conflict is not only the solution left with us. People with conflict should try to understand other’s opinion or position. Both the opposition parties should find a point to meet and talk openly. They have to listen each other genuinely. If the conflict is internal in a country then the situations varies. Revolutions are also the result of imbalances in the disproportionate increase in the power of the state that creates a gap between the constitution and the society. In the end, the constitution reflects social realities, the balances of social and economic forces. If this balance is disturbed, the constitution is shaken and it will either get modified or will perish. For instance, if the number of poor people increases, the polity may be destroyed. Similarly, if there are more numbers of rich in the government, it may lead to an oligarchical set-up. Thus, any sharp differences in the polity would result in revolutions. As regards the political factors, issues such as elections intrigues, carelessness, neglecting small changes, growth in reputation and power of some office, or even balance of parties lead to deadlock and finally foreign influence.