Political and Social Revolutions

An Age of Revolutions

Adapted from Henry Brun’s Essential World History

Political and Social Revolutions

The ideas of the Renaissance and the Reformation had an important effect on Europeans. People now felt they had certain rights and began questioning some long-standing ideas about government, especially that of monarchs.

              Political struggles developed between monarchs who wanted to keep their power and people who wanted the rulers to share their power with them. Often these struggles resulted in violence. Such a use of violence or the threat of violence to bring about change in government is called a revolution.

              Revolutionary successes led to the establishment of limited monarchies in England and France and republics in the United States and Latin America. Both forms of government depend on constitutions that limit the power of rulers and guarantee basic rights to citizens.

              Other revolutionary goals were independence from foreign rulers/control and national unification. North Americans fought for independence from Britain. Latin Americans fought for independence from Spain. Germans and Italians struggled to unify their countries under national governments. Some of the revolutions succeeded, while others failed. Yet all produced great ideas and leaders.

A. Revolutions in England

  1. The Puritan Revolt
  2. The Glorious Revolution

England

B.   American Revolution

C.   The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era

French Revolution

D.  The Latin American Revolutions

E.   European Revolutions

         1. Revolutions of 1830

         2. Revolutions of 1848