Brinton’s idea of revolution is one of the renowned theories that clearly explain the anatomy of revolution. He uses four major uprisings of his time to analyze and generalize certain issues that affect the country and lead to a revolution. One of the greatest critiques that Brinton’s idea has received in the modern society is its failure to provide a particular design for what a revolution meant to him. Many scholars and researchers have disagreed with his grouping mechanism especially in regards to the American Revolution, an event that does not correspond to the definition of revolution to many. Another common critique is the commonality of events that occur during a revolt. The fact that even the four revolutions that Brinton chose to use for his analysis do not seem to follow all the stages he proposed makes his claim vague. The French revolution however is one where the claims of Brinton revolution anatomy seem to fit bets. People seeking to disregard or prove the suggested anatomy have studied the issue occasionally. In fact, the best way in which one can understand Brinton’s revolution anatomy is by studying the French revolution because it contains all the four stages. Consequently, the reason of this study is to use the French revolution to review Brinton revolution theory anatomy by pointing out the weaknesses of the anatomy and areas within the event where the suggested anatomy was ineffective.
As mentioned earlier, the French revolution is one that has a clear distinction in the four stages of the anatomy. The first stage as coined by Brinton is the fall of the old regime; at this stage, the government loses power over its people and the revolution begins. A short recess characterizes the second stage where the revolting group acquires the required power to enforce the needed change. At this stage, all the people seem to be united against one big monster, the government. The third stage is indicated by crises as some influential, powerful person whose main purpose is to punish his opponents rather than lead the nation to a new life overthrows the government through violence. The last stage is represented by the end of the crisis as a great leader steps in the leadership position of the nation, and life goes back to normalcy within that nation. The first two stages resonate well with the French revolution. However, the transition from the third to the fourth stage during the French revolution does not follow the suggested mechanism by Brinton. It is enough to argue that the transition to the fourth stage and the entire healing of the nation period present the most ineffective area of the Brinton revolution anatomy in the French revolution.
The last stage of the revolution as coined by Brinton should bring healing to a nation and amend the structures as they used to be before the issues that geared the revolution. This cannot be the same in the French revolution as the war that was started at that time between the Europeans and France has lasted for centuries affecting the wellbeing of the French people. This is to say that the normalcy expected as new leaders take up the position of a nation’s leadership does not always occur. In the modern society, nations that engage in war and unnecessary fights even if the course for that war is noble never remain the same. Brinton’s view of revolution might have been valid seventy years ago but not in the modern society where change implementation does not require riots. Additionally, the radical dictatorship during French revolution turned out to be the leadership that enabled the healing of the nation. The poor and low-class people placed their person in the nation’s leadership; this made them confident and at peace with the rest of the world. This is because they got than one opportunity to be heard, something the former government had denied them. According to Brinton, people who take up the country leadership after the honeymoon period are violent people seeking for revenge, and they are eventually removed from leadership positions after a while. This was never the same case in the French revolution; the government that was established during the third phase of the revolution maintained peace in France, and it had the support of the people for more than a decade.
Like any other model or theory, the Brinton revolution theory has its weaknesses, especially in regards to its application in the French revolution. First, Brinton assumes that the change must come through violence by the poor and the voiceless. Of course, his views were valid at the time of the book publications because that was the normalcy then. During the French revolution, the idea of uprising was not coined by the voiceless although they had their setbacks about the government. The middle class, the people that the government chose to except from taxation while the poor carried all the financial burden of the nation were the people who initiated the revolution. The government made sure that the poor were extremely oppressed to raise any voice against the leadership; additionally, the French government of the time thought that by favoring the middle class they would have bought their ticket to eternal command. Most governments even in the current world use the same technique to ensure that they remain in power long enough because the middle class constitutes majority of the population.
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In conclusion, the French revolution is one that is easily thought to fit within the four stages of the revolution as suggested by Brinton. However, some of the events that transpired during the uprising did not completely follow the principles of Brinton revolution theory anatomy. Additionally, the anatomy cannot be applicable in the current modern society where dialogue receives more credit than war and violence.
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