Model of a Revolution

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					                   Final Project: Revolutions Around the World
        During the roughly 200 year period of 1750-1917, revolutions erupted around the world. Many
theorize that these revolutions occurred because of Enlightenment ideals, while others say that the world was
ripe for change due to the oppressed (think proletariat) realizing they could force the world around them to
evolve. To better understand the nature of revolutions and the reasons why they started, you will research a
revolution in small groups. Before starting, some terms need to be defined:



(Classic) Conservatism: Society was an organism that should change very slowly over time. Edmund Burke, an
English philosopher, believed that society was a compact between a people’s ancestors, the present
generation, and those not yet born. Change should be gradual and come about by mutual agreement of all
parties involved.



(Classic) Liberalism: Change was normal and should be encouraged. Changed should be managed to serve the
best interests of society, not the interests of a few (liberals viewed conservatism as a method to maintain the
status quo). Enlightenment ideals were valued, and republican forms of government with written
constitutions were viewed as ideals. John Stuart Mill, yet another English philosopher, believed that
individuals should be able to choose their own economic and intellectual pursuits.



Nationalism: Remember that nations are groups of people with some similarity (history, ethnicity, religion,
language, region, etc.). Nationalism is the belief that an individual’s identity is based on his or her nationality
(the group – not the state or country – that he/she belonged to). Nationalism can be broken down further in
to cultural nationalism and political nationalism. Cultural nationalism focused on individual communities and
their uniqueness. Political Nationalism focused on the loyalties an individual should have towards the larger
group –loyalty to the state.
Basic Steps in a Revolution (Crane Brinton): The “Fever” Model
Revolution, in its most basic form, means change. Crane Brinton wrote a book titled Anatomy of Revolution,
which is viewed by many historians as the definitive book for examining revolutions. In it, he attempted to
establish a pattern that most revolutions follow, a sort of blueprint. He gathered data from four distinct
revolutions: the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution (or Bolshevik Revolution),
and the English Civil War. Using these revolutions as models, he came up with four phases that occur in a
revolution:

“Symptoms” of Revolution: the Old Regime (Right)
         Economically weak – the government is in a financial crisis and must tax.
         Structurally weak – inability to govern; cannot enforce policy.
         Inept ruler – often an autocrat with absolute power.
         Intellectuals shift loyalty – reformers speak out against the government.
         Class antagonism – there is a conflict between the old regime and new forces.
         Expanding economic wealth – people want rights and privileges associated with more money
         Leader’s control fails despite the use of force/terror
         People ask for change (change = justice)
         Symbolic actions – there is a rallying point against the old regime.
         Planning – the new forces plan "spontaneous" revolt.
         Role of force – the government cannot repress the rebellion.

Rising “Fever” of Revolution: Rule of Moderates (Center)
            Moderates gain power “peacefully”
            “Honeymoon” phase- the old regime is gone; there is a sense of hope and optimism
            Dual sovereignty – the “legal” moderate govt. struggles with a more radical “illegal” govt.
               (revolution within a revolution)
            Turns to the mob, which is ignorant and emotional; turns from wanting justice to wanting
               revenge

“Crisis” Stage: Rule of the Radicals (Left)
             Coup d'etat – radicals seize power (actual revolution).
             Moderates driven from office; flee the country or are killed as examples
             Centralization of power in a revolutionary council- a small number of devoted, disciplined
                radicals govern.
             Terror is used to rule; revolution turns inward on itself (Causes of terror: habitual violence,
                pressure of war, economic crisis, class or ideological struggles)

“Convalescence/Recovery” Stage:
           Strong, central ruler comes to power, begins process of stabilizing country
           Radicals are discredited or executed
           Slow, uneven return to quieter times
           Return of pleasure, religion, the status quo
           Aggressive nationalism
           People trade freedom “to do” for freedom “from” (in a sense people trade liberty for security)
          So, What are you going to do with all of this information?
Step 1)       Choose a revolution to analyze according to Brinton’s Model of Revolutions.

              Here are just a few examples: Mexican Revolution 1910, Chinese Revolutions 1911 &1949,
              Bolivian Revolution 1952, Hungarian Uprising 1956, Cuban Revolution 1959, Iranian Revolution
              1979, Egyptian Revolution, Libyan Revolution…

Step 2)       Research: Complete the attached chart for your revolution.

Step 3)       Analyze: Compare your revolution to the Russian Revolution. Did both revolutions follow a
              similar pattern? Did they both fit Brinton’s Model of Revolutions? How did they differ?

Step 4)       Evaluate: Answer the four questions that follow:

              a. Did the ideals of the revolution change as its leadership changed?
              b. Were the original goals of the revolution achieved? At what point? Were these
                 achievements conserved?
              c. Which social classes gained most from the revolution? Which lost? Did the original ruling
                 group or individuals from this group return to power?
              d. How was the old political, social, and economic order of society [Old Regime] changed as a
                 result of the revolution?

Step 5)       Synthesize: Create a multi-media presentation (text, audio, video, still images, animation) to
              communicate your findings with the class. These are just a few sites that offer free online
              multi-media tools: Empressr, Prezi, MuseumBox, Animoto, Ownzee, VoiceThread, Scrapblog.
              Try something new! 

Requirements:
  1.      Uses and properly cites at least FOUR scholarly, legitimate sources, from reputable newspapers,
          journals, agencies, and the like. This information is submitted with the presentation in MLA Style
          bibliography format. The sources meet the expectations listed above about the types of sources.

  2.      Presentation accurately presents facts about the____________ Revolution with sufficient depth
          and clarity, using Brinton’s model for analysis.

  3.      Presentation argumentatively addresses the greatest similarities and differences between the
          Russian Revolution and the ____________ Revolution organizing that discussion around clear
          points of comparison.

  4.      Presentation argumentatively addresses the question of how revolutionary the revolution was and
          does so through reference to and use of Crane Brinton’s model of a revolution (answering the 4
          questions from Step 3 above).

  5.      Presentation is visually interesting and communicates ideas effectively.
Anatomy of a Revolution
Name of Revolution________________________________________ Years:_____________________

Symptoms –
Ideas with real
examples of why people
might rebel or revolt.
Short-term and long-
term causes, usually
social, political,
economic, or cultural in
nature.




Rising Fever –
How did people protest
or act on the
ideas/problems that
they experienced? Must
be observable.




Crisis –
Events that make up the
actual revolution.
Describe actions taken
to force change in
society




Convalescence –
Healing process, must
change the social,
political, economic, or
cultural factors that
aggravated the situation
in the first place




Compare your revolution to the Russian Revolution. Did both revolutions follow a
similar pattern? Did they both fit Brinton’s Model of Revolutions? How did they differ?
Anatomy of a Revolution
Name of Revolution________________________________________ Years:_____________________


Crane Brinton concluded that, in the end, most revolutions generally end up back where they started. Some
new ideas emerge, the power structure shifts slightly, some reforms are undertaken, and the worst of the old
order is removed. However, the status quo becomes one similar to the pre-revolutionary one as the ruling
class again begins to grab power.


Examine the results of your revolution with these questions in mind:

   1.     Did the ideals of the revolution change as its leadership changed?
   2.     Were the original goals of the revolution achieved? At what point? Were these achievements
          conserved?
   3.     Which social classes gained most from the revolution? Which lost? Did the original ruling group or
          individuals from this group return to power?
   4.     How was the old political, social, and economic order of society [Old Regime] changed as a result of
          the revolution?

				
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