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:
“In comparison to the French Revolution, the American Revolution has come to seem a parochial and rather dull event. This, despite the fact that the American Revolution was successfulrealizing the purposes of the revolutionaries and establishing a durable political regimewhile the French Revolution was a resounding failure, devouring its own children and leading to an imperial despotism, followed by an eventual restoration of the monarchy.”
—Irving Kristol (b. 1920)
“Every revolution was first a thought in one mans mind, and when the same thought occurs in another man, it is the key to that era.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“If to be masculine is to be smart, do let [woman] try; or are you afraid, if she has the chance, that a few of your laurels will droop?”
—M.C. R., U.S. womens magazine contributor. The Revolution (March 19, 1868)