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Revolutions: The History And Implications Essay

1600 words - 6 pages

A great revolutionary once said, “The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.” The revolutionary in this quote, Che Guevara, epitomizes the notion that revolutions are not a random occurrence but rather a continuous push for a fundamental change. In the framework of revolutions that have occurred in the world, most notably those that have occurred in Britain, America, France, and Haiti; one realizes that the elements of competition and mass mobilization are intrinsic to understanding the successes of each revolutionary movement. Yet, the catalysts and societal implications for each of these revolutions provides different venues of implementation that separates it from others.
It is said that revolutions are the manifestations of an anarchic mentality that is fostered through widespread oppression on a variety of scales. This anarchic mentality is most evident in the infamous French Revolution of 1789. During the late 16th century, a schism began to grow between the aristocracy and the commoners in France. The common people of France wanted a government that better represented them than the monarchy, which was the ruling power. During this time, France had instituted a practice of dividing sections of their societies into what they called “three estates”. The “three estates” set specific boundaries on what people’s statuses were in the French Society, and established the competitive nature of class in France. Because of the competitive class structure in France, poor French citizens such as peasants and farmers decided that they wanted to do something about their status, so they took matters into their own hands; they initiated what how has come to be known as the French Revolution. By 1792, the revolution had almost exclusively become violent in nature. The beginning of this period in French history began when on August 10, 1792; citizens of France stormed Tulieries Palace, killing six hundred of the King’s Swiss guards. However, this period of violence and anarchy did not stop there, it continued throughout the French revolution culminating with the execution of King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette at the aptly titled “Place de la Rèvolution”.
The same aforementioned anarchic mentality is evidenced in the Haitian Revolution as well. The Haitian Revolution occurred from 1791-1804 in the French Colony of Saint-Domingue, a colony that at that time produced over forty percent of the world’s sugar and over sixty percent of the world’s coffee. Saint-Domingue was also the wealthiest and most prosperous colony in all of the Caribbean. Just like France, the colony of Saint-Domingue also practiced a process by which people were divided into multiple ranks within the society. The division of class within Saint-Domingue became more apparent as the immense sums of wealth that was being cultivated by these colonies began to grow at an exponential rate. As a result, a schism began to form between the “wealthy”...

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