30. A different kind of Revolution

30 Days. 720 Hours. 43,200 Minutes.

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Not all revolutions are enlightened.  To be honest, a lot of them aren’t even revolutionary.  Everyone know George Washington and Maximilien Robespierre… But, Wovoka? Hong? Let’s look at some other ‘movements’ that weren’t so successful…


Spend most of your time in 5.3 on the Revolutions we went over a few days ago.  But, here are some other attempts (some successful, some not) that took place in this era.

Let’s start with the successes:

SLAVERY/SERFDOM ABOLISHED: This is a HUUUUUGE deal.  Up until this point slavery/serfdom had been omnipresent in most civilizations around the world.  But, through the work of the British Navy and women’s groups (among others) around the world, this scourge on humanity was erased from the earth.  Most notably by war in America, Tsarist Decree in Russia, and laws passed around the world. The last large one was Brazil in 1888.

SLAVE RESISTANCE: Who doesn’t like a good revenge story? Well, the ultimate one took place in Haiti where Maroon Societies (escaped slaves living in the hinterland) succeeded in overthrowing Napoleon.  Sadly, this is the ONLY time this worked.  Most often they were defeated by their former slave owners :(

SUFFRAGE: LADIES!!!!! You did it.  This is the era where women showed that they were equal (somewhat) to men.  At least in the field of suffrage (VOTING RIGHTS), women began to gain voting privilege in this era.  However, most women do not receive the right to vote until the beginning of the next era.  The roots of women’s suffrage took hold at the end of the 19th Century. 


REFORM MOVEMENTS: This could go in either category.  Some were somewhat successful (Tanzimat reforms) others were not (Self-strengthening movement).  You take the good… You take the bad… Here are some that didn’t work out:

CHALLENGES TO CENTRALIZED STATES: Not all states just conquered and succeeded everywhere.  In fact, all major empires that succeeded in expanding throughout their geographic region step forward… NOT SO FAST MUGHALS! The Mughals actually lost an expansionary war (Deccan Wars) to the Murathas.  It was a 27 year war where Aurangzeb’s goal of Mughal control of the subcontinent was forever shattered.

ANTI-COLONIALISM: Nobody likes an outsider moving into your territory and bossing you around, making you feel like a second class citizen.  Well, that’s exactly how Africa and Asia felt.  However, if you attempt to fight back against an Industrialized power, you’re gonna have a bad time.  The AP gives two examples: 

  1. SEPOY REBELLION: Indian soldiers in the British East India Trading Company were forced to use a gun that required them to ingest animal fat to open the protective packaging. This led to a rebellion that was squashed by the British in 1857. However, it was a big enough rebellion to cause Great Britain to take over for the British East India Co. (meet the new boss… same as the old boss)

  2. BOXER REBELLION: The Chinese peasants (along with the spirits of their ancestors) decided to fight back against foreign/Christian incursions into China. They were successful for a minute before being crushed by an international coalition of forces, including both Japan and the United States.

MILLENARIANISM: Technically, it MILLENARIANISM means a belief that the world will end on years ending in 1000; in this case it refers to a mystical belief that the world will end or a major change will occur due to an upcoming prophecy.  

Posted on April 16, 2019 .