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Did America undergo a revolution?

Uploaded by rmulder on Nov 04, 2002

Before we ask the main question, (whether America underwent a revolution in the Late 18th century) we must first define what a revolution is. In the past it used to mean there was a change in the society but then after a period of time it would return to the way it was, hence the word revolution, to revolve. Now if you look it up in the dictionary it tends to mean something radically changes and then stay's that way i.e. '' Fundamental change in values, political institutions, social structure and leadership brought about by a large scale revolt.'' The totality of change in a revolution distinguishes it from coups, rebellions and wars of independence, which seek to achieve only particular changes. For a complete revolution to take place there are six stages which should be completed, though it is impossible to predict the exact course of a revolution so this is just a guideline. The first of the stages is breaking away from the past, this is the stage that takes place even before the revolutionaries can think of setting up a new order for society. This stage is the weakening of the old society or government. Now that the the old order has fallen there is an apparent period of calming down, though peoples expectations are still high, if the new order doesn't resolve the issues that caused the political upheaval in the first place then the days of moderation will be short lived, this stage is called '' The weakness of Moderates''. A revolution is like starting again with a clean plate, so there is a radical backlash against prior powers. This stage eliminates all the old order and it's sympathisers, as they are seen as evil or corrupt, shortly anyone who is suspected of sharing or longing to go back to the old ways could become a target for social cleansing. This stage is called ''wiping out the past'' for obvious reasons. The next stage is the ''temporary set back'' or ''Thermidor'', this is when a revolution tries to turn back, though these temporary retreats are usually just pauses to regain strength. Then comes dictatorship or ''Bonapartism'', meaning that all the ideals in a revolution are ultimately betrayed by a dictator. Bonapartism is the gaining of power using military strength. The final stage is restoration, this is the loop in the stages, when everything returns to...

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Uploaded by:   rmulder

Date:   11/04/2002

Category:   American Revolution

Length:   6 pages (1,364 words)

Views:   1507

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