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Anatomy Of A Revolution

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A summary of Crane Brinton's Anatomy of a Revolution directed towards a high school History class audience.

A summary of Crane Brinton's Anatomy of a Revolution directed towards a high school History class audience.


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  • 1. The Anatomy of Revolution A Brightman Splashcast Exclusive
  • 2. Revolution
    • ‘ A drastic, sudden substitution of one group in charge of a territorial political entity by another group hitherto not running that government’
    • (Crane Brinton, The Anatomy of Revolution , p. 4)
  • 3. Moderate Phase
    • New government tries to make political reforms = moderate faction
    • Rival factions criticize government from both sides
      • Conservatives want to limit change
      • Radicals want to maximize change
    • Radicals slowly gain power
  • 4. Radical Phase
    • Radicals gain power because they have more discipline, ambition and support from the population at-large
    • Introduces great changes in political and social organization
    • Results in widespread protest and reaction
  • 5. Phase of Terror
    • Radical control leads to mass protest and violent responses
    • Radical leaders resort to violence, fear, military rule and any other means necessary to maintain order
    • The behavior of the radicals does not match the ideals they proclaimed when they took power
  • 6. Thermidor Phase
    • A military leader restores order
    • Radicals are imprisoned or executed
    • Moderates reclaim government control
    • Politics focus on economic and social stability instead of political reform
    • Population trades one form of authoritarian government for another
  • 7. Does your revolution look like this? Let me know what you think by submitting comments to this Splashcast.