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Revolutions’ History and Definition Essay

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Updated: Apr 22nd, 2020


We live in a world of revolutions. As human beings, we are never satisfied with the status quo. The world power has witness significant restructuring since 1750. As countries in the Atlantic region witnessed political as well as economic changes, this had a profound impact on countries in Africa and Asia, a good example being the expansion of Europe.

This is the period when people who were dissatisfied with the way things were run both politically and economically started to device ways of ensuring reformation. In the political arena for instance, people started to revolt against aristocracy while at the same time opposing oppressive trade practices like monopoly and campaigned for free trade (Tignor, 2008).

Since then, as humans, we have always sought to overturn regimes or policies that we perceive as oppressive. In the years after 1750s for instance, most colonized nations sought to free themselves from their colonial masters and this was done by people seeking for ways of reconnecting with their motherlands.

This brought about the issue of nation hood and most people did whatever they could in the name of serving their people or liberating them. Since then revolution has been a significantly powerful force in the world that we live in and it has brought about significant changes. Such revolutions have often led to conflict, battles or even wars that later lead to independence a good example being the conflict between the Americans and Amerindians.


Revolutions have often resulted in changes in government systems and the passing of new laws and constitutions so as to cater for the needs of those revolting and ensuring justice and equality. The struggle between the Americans and Amerindians for instance led to the passing of a constitution and restructuring of the government system so as to avoid anarchy. As humans, we have often resorted to revolution whenever other avenues for change seem not to bare much fruit.

The French revolution seems to be the best example (Wilde, 1900). It happened that the country was witnessing economic challenges and people were feeling oppressed given that the aristocratic system of governance never gave them an opportunity to express themselves. People therefore resorted to the revolution so as to have the changes that they desired. The revolution was widespread and it led to the end of the aristocratic rule.

Revolutions have been the cause of shifts in power across the globe. In most cases, revolutions have been characterized by civil wars and blood shed as in the case of Haiti while in some cases they have led to independence. They are often triggered whenever the oppressed become enlightened and start pressing for their rights. For instance the poor majority might decide to revolt against a few rich elite who seem to control power and resources.

Our world has also witnessed revolution while peoples sought to stop oppressive activities like slave trade as in the case of Africa. On the other hand, revolution has also been witnessed in the industrial sector. Industrial revolution resulted in economic empowerment to those nations that adopted it as in th3 case of Western Europe as well as the North American nations.

I personally can not imagine a world without industries, it would be a world of characterized by poverty, unemployment and uncivilized people. Industrial revolution lead to increased industrial and agricultural production and it marked the beginning of civilization. It was particularly facilitated by technological advancements.

The revolution resulted in improved lifestyles both for the rich as well as the commoners. The rich became so powerful to the point of even influencing the politics of their nations and most of them used this opportunity to press for free trade. Given that a revolution has its own setbacks, industrial revolutions have for example led to the emergence of slums. Some people worked under pathetic conditions and most of the local industries ran out of business and collapsed in the end.

Our change of ideologies has often been influenced by revolutions. The challenge to ideologies like capitalism has often been fuelled by revolutions. There was opposition to colonization for example due to its capitalistic nature. People sought reason from the traditional ways of running their affairs and hence opposed colonization while claiming to protect their traditions.

We are often challenged to protect whatever we perceive as ours be it our religious beliefs or traditions and often opt to revolt against anything that infringes this. People in the Islamic as well as the African world felt that Christianity and the western lifestyle was encroaching into their traditions and belief systems and hence cold for a revolt against this. The Fulani in Nigeria for instance were so much opposed to the Christian and western lifestyle and the opted to fight back.

As people we often want to be more empowered and have a bigger say in the way issues are run by those in power. This has often been a major cause of revolution. In Europe, different people came up to oppose the rule of monarchies which they perceived as oppressive and non democratic. Liberals sought to limit the powers of their respective powers while at the same time empower individuals.

Socialists and communists for instance sought to rectify the economy by discouraging free market trade and bring an end to aristocracy so as to solve problems among the poor. Carl Marx is well known for the opposition of capitalism his campaign for socialism. People often depend on charismatic leaders or influential characters to lead them through such revolutions as in the case of Carl Marx and Mahatma Gandhi in India (Tignor, 2008).


All these examples show that we live in a world characterized by revolution. We often employ revolutionary tactics to bring about social, political, economic or even ideological changes. In most cases these revolutions bring about the desired changes although they have their own negative outcomes as in the cases of war where people loose their lives.

Reference List

Tignor, J. A. (2008). Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World from the Beginnings of Humankind to the Present. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania.

Wilde, R. (1900). French Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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