revolution

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revolution,

in a political sense, fundamental and violent change in the values, political institutions, social structure, leadership, and policies of a society. The totality of change implicit in this definition distinguishes it from coups, rebellions, and wars of independence, which involve only partial change. Examples include the French, Russian, Chinese, Cuban, and Iranian revolutions. The American Revolution, however, is a misnomer: it was a war of independence. The word revolution, borrowed from astronomy, took on its political meaning in 17th-century England, where, paradoxically, it meant a return or restoration of a former situation. It was not until the 18th cent., with the French Revolution, that revolution began to mean a new beginning. Since Aristotle, economic inequality has been recognized as an important cause of revolution. Tocqueville pointed out that it was not absolute poverty but relative deprivation that contributed to revolutions. The fall of the old order also depends on the ruling elite losing its authority and self-confidence. These conditions are often present in a country that has just fought a debilitating war. Both the Russian and Chinese revolutions in the 20th cent. followed wars. Contemporary thinking about revolution is dominated by Marxist ideas: revolution is the means for removing reactionary classes from power and transferring power to progressive ones.

Bibliography

See H. Arendt, On Revolution (1963); J. B. Bell, On Revolt (1976); R. Blackey and C. Paynton, Revolution and the Revolutionary Ideal (1976); S. N. Eisenstadt, Revolution and the Transformation of Societies (1978); B. Turok, Revolutionary Thought in the Twentieth Century (1980); J. A. Goldstone, ed., Revolutions: Theoretical, Comparative, and Historical Studies (1986); A. Yarmolinsky, Road to Revolution (1986); J. B. Rule, Theories of Civil Violence (1988); M. S. Kimel, Revolution: A Sociological Interpretation (1990); L. Langley, The Americas in the Age of Revolution (1997); S. Dunn, Sister Revolutions (1999).

revolution

1. Orbital motion of a celestial body about a center of gravitational attraction, such as the Sun, another star, or a planet, as distinct from axial rotation. See also direct motion.
2. One complete circuit of a celestial body about a gravitational center. The Earth takes one year to make one revolution around the Sun.

revolution

  1. (political and social) ‘the seizure of STATE power through violent means by the leaders of a mass movement where that power is subsequently used to initiate major processes of social reform’ GIDDENS,1989). This distinguishes revolutions from COUPS D’ÉTAT, which involve the use of force to seize power but without transforming the class structure and political system, and without mass support. The 20th century has seen revolutions occurring not in industrial societies but in rural peasant societies like Russia (1917), China (1949) and North Vietnam (1954). Various theories exist to try to explain revolutionary change, of which the most influential have been Marxist. An example of the application of MARXISM in an actual revolutionary situation is provided by LENIN in the context of Russia. He argues that a revolutionary situation is created when three elements come into play: when the masses can no longer live in the old way, the ruling classes can no longer rule in the old way, and when the suffering and poverty of the exploited and oppressed class has grown more acute than is usual. But the revolution will only be successful when the most crucial condition is fulfilled: the existence of a VANGUARD PARTY with the necessary Marxist programme, strategy, tactics and organizational discipline to guarantee victory. In her comparative study of revolutions Skocpol (1979) criticizes Marxist theories of revolution and argues for a state-centred approach. Specifically, she views international pressures such as wars or upper-class resistance to state reform as key factors leading to the breakdown of the administrative and military apparatus which in turn paves the way for revolution. See also MOORE, REVOLUTION FROM ABOVE.
  2. (social) any major change in key aspects of a society which leads to a change in the nature of that society. This may refer to economic transformation, as in the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, to changes in individual behaviour, as in the concept of a modern revolution in sexual behaviour’, or to a revolution in knowledge, as in the 'scientific revolution’ in 17th-century Europe, which laid the basis for all later developments in modern SCIENCE. Usage in this second sense tends to be highly variable, and may refer to comparatively long periods of time.
Originally, in the 17th century the concept of revolution referred to the process ‘of passing through the stages of a cycle that ultimately lead back to a condition that is identical or similar to some antecedent one’. Today such CYCLES OR CYCLICAL PHENOMENA are not usually referred to as ‘revolutions’.

One important issue in the study of revolutions (in sense 1 or 2) is whether they form part of a more overarching ‘evolutionary’ or ‘developmental’ sequence in human affairs (see EVOLUTIONARY THEORY, EVOLUTIONARY SOCIOLOGY) or should receive only a more EPISODIC CHARACTERIZATION.

Revolution

 

a profound qualitative change in the development of a phenomenon of nature, society, or knowledge, for example, the geological revolution, the industrial revolution, the scientific and technological revolution, the cultural revolution, and the revolution in physics and philosophy. The concept of revolution is most frequently used in describing social development. (See.)

The concept is an integral aspect of the dialectical conception of development. It reveals the internal mechanism of the law of the transformation of quantitative into qualitative changes. Revolution means a break in gradualness, a qualitative leap in development. It differs from evolution—the gradual development of a process—and also from reform. Between revolution and reform there exists a complex correlation determined by the concrete historical content of the revolution and the reform.

revolution

[‚rev·ə′lü·shən]
(geology)
A little-used term to describe a time of profound crustal movements, on a continentwide or worldwide scale, which led to abrupt geographic, climatic, and environmental changes that were related to changes in forms of life.
(mechanics)
The motion of a body around a closed orbit.

revolution

1. the overthrow or repudiation of a regime or political system by the governed
2. (in Marxist theory) the violent and historically necessary transition from one system of production in a society to the next, as from feudalism to capitalism
3. 
a. the orbital motion of one body, such as a planet or satellite, around another
b. one complete turn in such motion
4. Geology Obsolete a profound change in conditions over a large part of the earth's surface, esp one characterized by mountain building
References in periodicals archive ?
Therefore, it is incumbent on us not pass the anniversary of this great revolution without relive those memories learn more lessons, take advantage of them in the present and the future of our days.
For its part, Syria has known a glorious and great revolution.
Deniz confirmed that the PKK got mss support particularly in bigger cities with Kurdish majority, waiting for "the Great Revolution of the Masses", as he described it.
Travel agents and tourists from all over the world should encourage Egyptian economy after our great revolution but what's happening now is that I see them punishing us by not visiting us, any way tourists will guarantee an excellent service now, when they just pay at the last minute as if they are not satisfied, they are not requested to pay.
We can safely say that the change that happened in Makkah and Europe took place in the absence of foreign ideological and political influences and foreign pressures, while the Arab Spring took place with a different regional and international setup due to the great revolution in communications and information technology.
The time has come to start a comprehensive political process to achieve the goals of the revolution," he said, adding that he wanted to rescue the great revolution that has been derailed and is almost stillborn.
Ahmed al-Sahati, a media co-ordinator at the justice ministry, said: "This is a great revolution and we have to prove its greatness by showing solidarity, preserving our national unity and being up to the expectations of other peoples who considered it to be one of the most wonderful and greatest revolutions against oppression and injustice, and also as an example to be followed.
We are confident that history will see the wisdom of your country in debating these issues," said the letter seen by AFP, signed by Kadhafi as "Commander of the Great Revolution.
It said the army would therefore avoid locations of planned protests and would "rely on the youth of the great revolution to handle organization and security".
Sheikh Mahmoud congratulated Egyptians on their great revolution , wishing them success and that Egypt will regain its leading role in the region.
NNA - Lebanese Forces bloc member, Deputy Antoine Zahra, said in an intervention with the Future News TV station on Thursday that March 14' s great revolution aimed at ending the external interference in Lebanon' s affairs, putting terms to political assassinations and building state' s institutions.
In accordance with these ideals and the spirit of Tunisia's people great Revolution, the Religious Affairs Ministry reaffirms commitment to the principle of coexistence between races and nationalities and freedom of worship as regards belief and practice.