Defining the Concept of Revolution

1950 Words8 Pages
Recent theorists have put forward their definition of a revolution but there does not seem to be a clear concise description. Do protests or demonstrations, the toppling of a president, uprisings and changes in government constitute a revolution? I will explore these different approaches from the theorists and then show which I believe to be a ‘successful revolution’ going back as far as the French Revolution.
Revolution refers to a central change in power or governmental structure that takes place over a long period of time depending on the conditions (Stone 1966: 160). Revolutions often develop from social unhappiness in the lower status group of the population and have been taking place through history differing greatly in terms of the conditions and outcomes, the period they last and the ideas and ideologies behind them (Stone 1966:160). However it is difficult to define such a broad concept especially when each revolt has distinctive circumstances that allow people to react in different ways (Stone 1966:161).
Huntington’s definition of revolution explains how these occurrences are relatively rare and distinctive events and how over time they transform states and societies (Tilly 1973:430). “A revolution,” suggests Samuel Huntington, “is a rapid, fundamental, and violent domestic change in the dominant values and myths of a society, in its political institutions, social structure, leadership, and government activity and policies”(Tilly 1973:430). Revolutions are thus
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