Who knew there was so much controversy in the term revolution? What makes something so revolutionary? Change? Sure, but that is the simple and easy way out of answering the question. A revolution is something that adds not only change but some sort of collision or controversy in the society. For example, the American Revolution or the Industrial Revolution all caused something to happen that had never happened before. The American people broke away from the power of the British and began to form somewhat of a democracy. The Industrial Revolution transformed the world by adding machines and different capabilities with machines and the way we work all change. It caused hourly pay, assembly lines, and labor laws to all come into place. Both of these examples are how a revolution can be different in context but be the same by changing the way someone, people, or nation think, act, or the way they use to be.
How do we study revolutions? Skotchpol had it right in my opinion. We have to study revolutions in context. I by no means am an expert on revolutions or war or change, but I do not believe that revolutions will all happen the same, have the same agents, or are for the same reasons. Revolutions have happened over time for various reasons. Because humans like simplicity and want to think that everyone is the same or that they all do things the same, we tend to miss the appropriate way to study revolutions.
No one can be an expert on “Revolutions”. I believe that one can only be an expert in a specific revolution. Revolutions never happen the same way twice. That is why when studying the revolutions, we have to look at why? Where was it taking place? Who were the agents in this revolution?
The typical way is not going to work anymore. We cannot keep assuming that we study revolutions the same. We cannot keep assuming that it is just a man thing or a lower class or middle class thing either. Revolutions happen and have happened for various reasons and with various people.
Bethanee La Borg