A revolution (from the Latin revolutio, "a turn around") is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time. Aristotle described two types of political revolution:
- Complete change from one constitution to another
- Modification of an existing constitution.
Revolutions have occurred through human history and vary widely in terms of methods, duration, and motivating ideology. Their results include major changes in culture, economy, and socio-political institutions.
Scholarly debates about what does and does not constitute a revolution center around several issues. Early studies of revolutions primarily analyzed events in European history from a psychological perspective, but more modern examinations include global events and incorporate perspectives from several social sciences, including sociology and political science. Several generations of scholarly thought on revolutions have generated many competing theories and contributed much to the current understanding of this complex phenomenon.
Famous quotes containing the word revolution:
“... rhetoric never won a revolution yet.”
—Shirley Chisholm (b. 1924)
“To deny the need for comprehensive child care policies is to deny a realitythat theres been a revolution in American life. Grandma doesnt live next door anymore, Mom doesnt work just because shed like a few bucks for the sugar bowl.”
—Editorial, The New York Times (September 6, 1983)
“In bourgeois society, the French and the industrial revolution transformed the authorization of political space. The political revolution put an end to the formalized hierarchy of the ancien regimé.... Concurrently, the industrial revolution subverted the social hierarchy upon which the old political space was based. It transformed the experience of society from one of vertical hierarchy to one of horizontal class stratification.”
—Donald M. Lowe, U.S. historian, educator. History of Bourgeois Perception, ch. 4, University of Chicago Press (1982)