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Anatomy of a Revolution

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What is a Revolution?
Revolution
�A drastic, sudden substitution of one
group in charge of a territorial
political entity by another group
hitherto not running that
government.’
(Crane Brinton,The Anatomy of
Revolution, p. 4)
Crane Brinton’s Anatomy of a
Revolution
• He borrowed his
terms from pathology.
• Compares a
revolution to a
disease.
FEVER MODEL OF REVOLUTION
Crisis
Stage
Symptomatic
Stage
Convalescence
Incubation
Stage
Much like an illness, revolutions can also be studied in stages
This stage in an illness is when the cause of the sickness
first comes into contact with the individual, infecting them,
but not yet causing any symptoms to present themselves.
What would this stage be like in a revolution?
Crisis
Stage
Symptomatic
Stage
Convalescence
Incubation
Stage
In a revolution, this stage would involve the political, social, intellectual,
or economic causes. In some cases, these causes could fester for
many years before showing themselves in the form of actual
revolutionary action.
Sicknessпѓ affects person in observable waysпѓ Temp may rise; cough
might present ; individual might become weak & queasy.
What would this stage be like in a revolution?
Crisis
Stage
Symptomatic
Stage
Convalescence
Incubation
Stage
1st part to involve direct action resulting from social, political,
intellectual, or economic causes of incubation stage. Might
involve the publication of works calling for a change, street
level riots by common people, or more direct attempts at
changing society.
Critical stageпѓ 2 things can happenпѓ individual either breaks the fever
after a heightened stage of illness OR gets progressively worse & does
not recover.
What would this stage be
like in a revolution?
Crisis Stage
Symptomatic
Stage
Convalescence
Incubation
Stage
Make or break part of struggle. May involve conflict where
sides for & against revolution compete. (could take the form of
debate or full-scale war) Successful revolutions survive this
stage- those that don’t are failed rebellions.
Recovery from illness. Individual might be weakened from experience,
but he or she will eventually emerge healthy & w/ new knowledge &
experience that might prevent illness from occurring again.
What would this stage be like in a revolution?
Crisis
Stage
Symptomatic
Stage
Convalescence
Incubation
Stage
Recovery from the extreme disruptions of crisis stage. Political, social,
intellectual, or economic causes of revolution must be addressed in
some way, though not necessarily to satisfaction of all revolutionaries.
Conditions Present Before a
Revolution Takes Place
1) People from all social classes are discontented.
2) People feel restless & held down by unacceptable
restrictions in society, religion, & the economy or
gov’t
3) People are hopeful about the future, but are being
forced to accept less than they had hoped for
4) People are beginning to think of themselves as
belonging to a social class, & there is bitterness b/t
social classes
5) Social classes closest to each other are the most hostile
Conditions Present Before a
Revolution Takes Place
6) Scholars & thinkers give up on the way their
society operates
7) Gov’t does not respond to needs of its society
8) Leaders of gov’t & ruling class begin to doubt
themselvesпѓ some join w/ opposition groups
9) Gov’t is unable to get enough support from any
group to save itself.
10) Gov’t cannot organize its finances correctly & is
either going bankrupt or trying to tax heavily &
unjustly.
The Course that Revolutions
Seem to Take
1) Impossible demands made of government which,
if granted, would mean its end
2) Unsuccessful gov’t attempts to suppress
revolutionaries
3) Revolutionaries gain power & seem united
4) Once in power, revolutionaries begin to quarrel
among themselves, & unity begins to dissolves
5) Moderates gain the leadership but fail to satisfy
those who insist on further changes
The Course that Revolutions
Seem to Take
6) Power is gained by progressively more radical groups
until finally a lunatic fringe gains almost complete
control
7) Strong man emerges & assumes great power
8) Extremists try to create a “heaven-on-earth” by
introducing their whole program & punishing all of
their opponents
9) Period of terror or extreme violence occurs
10) Moderate groups regain power.
THE REVOLUTION IS OVER!!!!
The French Revolution
Application of the Fever Model
Causes - Incubation
• Social Inequality - three
estates
– Three estates
– First Estate (upper clergy) - 1%
of population, taxed peasants
– Second Estate (nobles) - 2-3%
of population, paid no taxes,
taxed peasants
– Third Estate (Bourgeoisie,
peasants, workers) - paid up to
1/2 of income in taxes
Causes - Incubation
• Enlightenment Ideas/American Rev.
– Belief all men should have liberal freedoms
– Right and just to remove unjust gov’t
– Equality for all
– United States Dec. of Independence and
Constitution
Causes - Incubation
• King Louis XVI
– Weak leader
– Preferred personal interests, delegated
authority
– Incapable of decisive action
Causes - Incubation
• Economic Crisis
– French economy bankrupt
– Wars, Louis XVI lifestyle
– Nobles not taxed
– Crop failures
– Debt - 1/2 budget goes to interest
– Bourgeoisie begin questioning King
Moderate Stage - Symptoms
• Estates General called, Third Estate
demands reform - resisted by others
Moderate Stage - Symptoms
• National Assembly declared (June 20, 1789)
Moderate Stage - Symptoms
• Bastille
stormed (July
14, 1789) in
response to
king
mobilizing
Swiss troops
Moderate Stage - Symptoms
• Declaration of the Rights of Man and
the Citizen (Aug., 1789)
– Influenced by America
– Equality of all men, sovereignty resided in
the people, and individual rights to libery,
prosperity, and security
• March of the Women (Oct., 1789)
– Food protests turn into march to Versailles
– King forced to move to Paris
Moderate Stage - Symptoms
• Reforms on National Assembly
– “Liberty, equality, fraternity” - motto
– Dismantled feudal system
– Seized Church lands
– Abolished estates
– Creates Constitution of 1791 - limits power
of king (constitutional monarchy)
– Men of property could vote
Radical Stage - Crisis
• Prussian and Austrian
invasion of France
• French Republic
established - King
dethroned, the
Convention set up
• Large scale draft
• King tried and
executed
Radical Stage - Crisis
• Robespierre /
Jacobians take control
of the Convention
• Committee of Public
Safety oversees the
Reign of Terror (40,000
people executed,
300,000 arrested)
• Tried to eliminate
influence of the church
Moderate - Convalescence
• Convention arrests Robespierre - executes
him
• The Directory takes over
–
–
–
–
Committee of five conservative men
Tries to find middle ground
Military successes outside of France
Domestically, still many problems
• Napoleon stages coup, imposes new
constitution - declares himself first consul
• What do you think is the reaction of the
French?
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