The Anatomy of Revolutions
Crane Brinton’s Stages of
Who is Crane Brinton and what is
this all about?
• Crane Brinton was a historian who
analyzed four revolutions and found they
• He found that there are four phases that
most revolutions go through.
• He wrote a very important book about
these phases called, The Anatomy of a
Revolution. This book was published in
1966 but we still use it today.
Phase 1: Symptoms
1. The middle class is angry at the policies of
2. The government is ineffective and is unable to
effectively manage the country. This could be
because the leader is not doing a good job or
because of a lack of money in the government.
3. Eventually, the government is deserted by the
intellectuals, who also speak out against the
Phase 2: The Rising Fever
1. This is the escalation of the anger felt by
the middle class. The people rise up
against the government.
2. The current government can not repress
3. A new government is created, led by the
middle class. They will try to replace the
Phase 3: Crisis
1. The revolutionary new government tries
to violently overthrow the old
2. There is a lot of violence and efforts to
spread the revolution. Opposition is
3. The revolution is fragile because popular
support is needed and economic
conditions are poor.
4. The old government tries to hold onto
Phase 4: Convalescence
1. The revolution ends and the country
enters a period of recovery. The old
government is successfully overthrown.
2. A strong ruler comes to power and the
new government begins the process of
stabilizing the country.
3. Life in the country begins to return to
What will I do with this information?
• You will be learning about the American
Revolution, the French Revolution and the
Iranian Revolution. You will analyze each of
these revolutions to see if it fits into Brinton’
• You will be doing a research project and
presentation on a modern day revolution as your
summative for this quarter.
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