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Sociology: Peasant Protest and Rebellion in Europe Essay

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Updated: Oct 26th, 2021

The connection between the numerous acts of protest through history can be assigned to different factors. The mutual goals of these protests were always to create changes and attempting to transform one state of life conditions to another, to a better state as intended. Whether it peasant protest, a rebellion, or systemic protest they differ in the methods and mostly coincide in circumstances, they demonstrate what the differences in social conditions may lead to, proving that most of the mentioned protests are led against the hegemony of wealth and power resulted in the extreme difference between the highest and lowest layers of society.

In the book entitled “Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism” by Richard Robbins, the different historical backgrounds of human protests are followed and the author gave an objective overview of the most significant events of this category.

Taking examples to compare and to find connections between two of the examples given it is seen that peasant protest in Malaysia and the Rebellion in Kenya are different in the methods, the outcome, and the historical background. The protest against which started against the land rent raises and obviously human greed was the result of the green revolution which provided the building of two dams in Malaysia. The sudden change of the land’s value after the peasants started to harvest the fields twice the year, awake the desire to earn more in Malaysian landlords. The raised value of land started the wave of unfair contention from people outside of the village who were willing to pay more and to substitute the human efforts with harvesting machines leaving the peasants without work. Another example is the rebellion in Kenya, which although ended as a political revolution, started similarly as land deprivation by Britain’s settlers.

The state of overall poverty of Kenyan people along with the prolonged drought, smallpox, and cattle disease, started the rebellion in Kenya which resulted in more than eleven thousand victims in what considered being the first African liberation movement. Analyzing these two historical events, while omitting the political background of the British colonization, the reasons, and motives of both cases are the same. Poverty and taking away what is considered to be yours result in almost every act of protest in history, these motives with the desire for equity which modern capitalism rejects pushes the desires of people to reject and repair the injustice.

In examining the other forms of protest which comparing to the previously mentioned which were more of a result of globalization, the protest, and strikes against the system can identify as the result of capitalism which in bringing new aspects of innovation and development also brought waves of disapproval around the globe. The examples given compare the two revolutions in 1848 and 1968 from the same perspectives, the motives, background, and the results.

The first revolution which started in 1848 in France as a workers protest and rapidly spread throughout Europe, although did not achieve their goals it started two different movements which set the tone for all the subsequent protest that followed in the world. The first movement is the worker’s movement which fought against the exploitation of the working class in the industrial world. The immediate response for this revolution was not achieved, although it started to set the probability of future negotiation and by 1945 as a result of forming labor unions and in some countries political power the overall improvement was attained.

The second movement that resulted from the 1848 revolution was the national liberation movement which was mostly to gain freedom in colonized countries, started by mid-class layer, and the movement almost stopped by 1968 when all the countries gained their independence.

The second revolution was in 1968 which started as a student protest against the war in Vietnam, although it had a deeper meaning as it was a revolution against the groups which resulted from the movements of the first revolution. It is needed to understand that this concept is generally speaking not about the concrete organization as the period between 1868 and 1968 contained a lot of movements, this article covers the most significant trying to keep the chronological order and the effect-result basis. The protests in 1968 in general though varied in different countries in the pushing factors, they all against the old oppressing regime that being in power did not solve the different social problems that were existed. The movements that resulted and followed after 1968 were different might seem addressing different targets such as capitalism, the blacks, the Jews, world globalization in fact address social problems in the first place.

From the examples mentioned, it becomes obvious that the protestants in all the cases rejecting and fighting for the rights and improving their social statuses were not targeting the system which led to their state. Instead, they fought what represented the system in their opinion, symbolic figures which in some cases had no personal profit from the oppression or the exploitation the protestants were suffering. The problems occurring will still be existed as long as by the end of the new revolution and until the new one, the effects will continuously diminish until the new blood will be poured into the system.

Works Cited

Robins R. “Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism”. 4th edition. Pearson Allyn and Bacon. (2004).

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Sociology: Peasant Protest and Rebellion in Europe'. 26 October.

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