Sunday, April 28, 2013

Top 10 Most Inspiring Revolutions

Oxford Dictionary defines the word revolution as a ‘forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favor of a new system”, with this in mind- it should be largely unsurprising to learn that our planet has staged its fair share of revolutions during our time inhabiting it, with the toppling of leaders and their respective agendas going on consistently throughout our races history. Whereas some have been in the name of greed for title, land and riches- many revolutions are representative of a wider class struggle that is still very relevant today.

10. The Spanish Revolution

Beginning with the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, the Spanish Revolution was a social upheaval that saw a large percentage of the nation’s workforce taking over and controlling an equally large percentage of the nation’s economy. More prevalent in some areas than others, the Revolution saw the collectivization of all manner of businesses- from hotels and health clubs to barber shops and market places. Coinciding with the Civil War which brought about the end of the 2nd Spanish Republic and the beginning of Franco’s rule following a Nationalist victory- most of the action took place in Catalonia, Aragon and Andalusia. Though it was eventually quashed by Franco- the Revolution went a long way to instill a value in the Spanish people which many would attribute as a main reason for the countries neutrality during WWII.

9. The French Revolution

Occurring over a ten-year period between 1789 and 1799, the French Revolution was a huge politically, socially and militarily influenced alteration of the inner workings of a nation which had been governed by a sole monarch for the best part of a millennium. The complete infrastructure upon which France was built, and had been maintained up until this point, was pulled up roots and all by numerous left-wing movements all of which were in pursuit of a reconfiguration of the aristocratic and feudal power structure. The Revolution was a shockingly powerful success- deposing and executing the absolute monarch Louis XVI within just a few years and completely transforming the way things worked within the country. It did result in the rise of Napoleon however, and so we must take the good as well as the bad.

8. The Cuban Revolution

The Cold War must have been an extremely uneasy time to be around. Following Allied victory in the Second World War the same nations that had fought to defeat Hitler in Europe all of a sudden were at each-other’s throats. A main player in this conflict, and perhaps the only nation to see some actual conflict throughout- was Cuba. Though largely a political tiff for the first 5 years, the Cuban Revolution eventually saw the Communist ‘26th of July Movement’- led by Fidel Castro in conjunction with the infamous Che Guevara enter fierce combat to bring about the end of the corrupt Batista Regime and bring about the Communist ethos which governs the island nation to this day.

7. The Irish War of Independence

Always a controversial subject to cover, at least in the part of the world I come from- the Irish Revolution took place from 1919-1921 and saw a Republican Army (IRA) fight to liberate their nation from British dominion. Though the violence has been somewhat continuous since this time- the war ended with a political treaty which saw the division of the nation into two separate states- Northern Ireland, which remains as part of the UK to this day- and the Republic of Ireland. Largely a guerrilla conflict- the war, also known as the ‘Anglo-Irish War’ and the ‘Black and Tan War’- is often disregarded for what it really was- a nation fighting for its right to govern its own self.

6. The Young Turk Revolution

Acting to restore a democratic Parliament which had been dissolved previously by Sultan Abdul Hamid II- the Young Turk Revolution saw the nation of Turkey enter its second constitutional era. Formed from a coalition between nationalists, secularists and pluralists- the Revolution was a key factor in the fall of the Ottoman Empire and marked a huge change in the political and social make-up of the country.

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