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Lecture 3

Lecture 3--Rebellion.docx

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Political Science
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Lucan Way

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Grievance-based theories ● Misery and revolution (but poverty causes passivity) ● Relative deprivation ● Marxist theories of revolution ○ Bourgeois revolution (emergence of the commercial class, communist revolutions such as the Russian revolution) ○ Should know these different theories for midterm! ● Problems with grievance based theories: ○ Rebellion doesn’t just happen if you’re unhappy. It might be the interest of the collective, but not beneficial to you individually. ○ Collective action problem ○ The state will resist revolt How rebellion overcomes unified state? Structural Theory Skocpol ● Successful revolutions only happen when there’s a weak state. Weak agrarian states face modernization crises ● States that increasingly fell behind military (in comparison with other powers), and in many cases lost wars ● Monarch seeks more resources for modernization/war → seek more taxes → split in upper class ○ Aristocracy tends to be shortsighted, so they don’t want to give taxes, and this creates an opening ● Where peasant solidarity and autonomy existed ● Where an urban revolutionary elite could attach itself to these peasant insurrections, you have revolution Problem with Skocpol ● Leadership ○ Change that is not open to contingency ○ Someone must effectively articulate or sell a revolution to the masses ● Ideology ○ How can we understand Iran without Islam? ○ How can we understand a communist revolution without communism? Voltuntarist Theory ● Leadership ○ Conditions are everywhere, you need one leader to spark the revolution ■ e.g. Lenin: Lead a backward country into the communist revolution ■ e.g. Castro: Foco theory, where if you have small groups of revolutionaries and they spread the word from the mountainside ● Che Guevara: Assassinated for trying to spread the word somewhere else. Leadership isn’t always the most important thing. ○ Diffusion ■ Successful revolution inside border are enough to spark a revolution somewhere else. They can change their lives, why can’t we? ■ e.g. Arab Spring French Revolution ● Before: ○ If you are a peasant, then that is all you are. You were born into a group and that is how you are judged. You can never leave these estates. ○ Estates ■ Nobility (lawyers, military, mercenaries, serfs, rulers of the country) ■ Church (land ownership $$$, chosen by Rome) ■ Third Estates (everyone else, guilds, seigneurial system) ○ Absolute Monarchy ■ No formal restrictions on state power, and no laws. Only god can judge me. ○ De facto decentralization ■ Venal offices. Not a function of merit, it was sold by the state to people who were noble or rich. The positions were bought. ● Impossible to fire these position holders ● Influx of money on the short term, but not in long term ■ Army dominated by aristocracy ■ Privileges ● If you were able to purchase a position, you are basically exempted from tax ■ Parlements ● When they disagree with certain things, the king wouldn’t press it to keep them happy ● Phase I: ○ 7 Years War and Support USA’s War of Independence ■ France actually beat Britain, but at enormous cost (they borrowed money!) ■ 60% of tax revenue is debt servicing--so the king wants to raise taxes. The aristocracy disagree. ● Assembly of Nobles (hand picked by king’s government) ● 1787 Parlement of Paris ○ Refuse to register stamp and land tax to pay off debt ○ They were then exiled by the king ○ Parlements rally behind Paris, and the king calls for Estates General ■ Selecting the Estates General: ● The first time the peasants saying what they don’t like about the existing systems ■ According to the old rules, you are voting by order ■ King refuses a vote by head = Third Estate says we are 98% of the country, we want 98% of the influence! (Tennis Court Oath) ● National Assembly created ● King had to agree, as even some clergy and nobles go over to the National Assembly ○ Breakdown of State ■ Army mostly notables not committed to king ■ Louis the XVI no longer controls military: Storming of Bastille (by hand!) ■ Creation of citizen’s militias and revolutionary committees throughout France ● They create their own army from scratch ■ Storming of Versailles by women and the king is brought to Paris ○ Breakdown of Feudal Order ■ Impact of Estate General ● Incredible dissatisfaction with the people, 1788 bad harvest = peasants refused to pay their tithes or dues ● They burn the Chateau and burn the title deeds ● The feudal system literally goes up in flames ○ End of Feudal Order ■ Reforms by National Assembly ● Declaration of Rights of Man, National Church ● Church’s land is seized ■ Constitutional Monarchy ● The “warm and fuzzy” phase ● New Legislative system in place. King is still there but power is
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