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Conditions necessary for a Revolution: Crane Brinton

Crane Brinton's famous work, Anatomy of Revolution published in 1965, is comparative history of the English, American, French and Russian revolutions. Crane looks at the similarities and differences between these revolutions in order to come up with what he calls "The Anatomy of Revolution." The following is a summary of Crane's Anatomy.

Conditions that must be present in the outset of a revolution:

  1. There is discontent amongst the people of all the social classes.
  2. People feel restless and held down by unacceptable restrictions in society, religion, the economy or the government.
  3. People are hopeful about the future, but they are being forced to accept less than they had hoped for.
  4. People are beginning to think of themselves as belonging to a social class, and there is a growing bitterness between social classes.
  5. The social classes closest to one another are the most hostile.
  6. The scholars and thinkers give up on the way their society operates.
  7. The government does not respond to the needs of its society.
  8. The leaders of the government and the ruling class begin to doubt themselves. Some join with the opposition groups.
  9. The government is unable to get enough support from any group to save itself.
  10. The government cannot organise its finances correctly and is either going bankrupt or trying to tax heavily and unjustly.


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Last modified 24 April, 2017

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