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Critically explore the notion of revolution and its potential impacts on social development - Essay Example

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A revolution refers to a sudden, quick and fundamental change in institutional or power structures that exist in a society (Neitzel n.d, p.1); a revolution erupts after a gradual built up of a complex series of interrelated events reaches extreme heights (Gorrow and Montana 1955, p.54)…
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Critically explore the notion of revolution and its potential impacts on social development
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Download file to see previous pages The most well-known revolutions in the west history include The French Revolution (1789), the English Revolution (1640), the Russian Revolution (1917) and the American Revolution (1776) (Goldstone 1982, p.189). Social development, on the other hand, is the progressive and qualitative transformation of the social order within a society because of changes in ideologies. In this respect, social development is a function of social change; societies continuously undergo changes that result in improved institutional structures. Revolution and social development are thus closely related in that society progresses by evolutionary mechanisms; society’s reorganization through revolutions is the first step to social change, thus social development accordingly. Social development implies an improvement in social institutions that lead to improved quality of life in the society. Since time immemorial, many theorists have tried to explain the linkage between revolutions and social development; specifically, a lot of attention has been drawn to the causal relationship between revolutions and social development. ...
However, all these revolutions have instigated fundamental changes in cultures, economies and socio-political structures in those ancient societies. The notion of revolution has interested historians and political scientists for many years to the effect that the study of revolution has led to the evolution of two broad approaches; the historical and theoretical approaches (Lipsky 1976, p.495). The historical approach mainly focuses on the course of events of a given revolution in history, outlining its development and causal factors. The theoretical approach, on the other hand, is interested in formulating a general theory of revolution through examination of selected examples of revolutions in history; theorists in this approach focus on cause-effect relationships and classification of revolutions into various types. They are also interested in the dynamics of the revolutionary process and the long-term impact of revolutions on society. The causes of revolutions have been a focal point in revolution studies; theorists have tried to explain the origin of revolutions as a two-step process; a sudden change in the existing order occurs creating the conditions for a revolution to occur. In such enabling socio-political environment, any unfortunate eventuality in a society such as a poor harvest can trigger a revolution. For instance, Marxism posits that revolution is a result of the inevitable conflict between classes for the means of production (Britannica.com, n.d). Tocqueville, another 19th century theorist, argues that revolutions in a society arise out of the demand for accelerated socio-economic progress (Lipsky 1976, p.496). However, modern approaches have linked revolutions to multiple ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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