a revolution carried out by the broad strata of the people in contrast to a revolution by the elite or a palace revolution.
A people’s revolution raises the popular masses to participate in the shaping of history. They act decisively and are able to voice their own economic and political demands. A people’s revolution may have varying socioeconomic content. Thus, both the French Revolution and the Revolution of 1905–07 in Russia were people’s revolutions. In comparing three bourgeois revolutions of the 20th century—those in Portugal, Turkey, and Russia —Lenin wrote about the first two that “neither of them is a people’s” revolution (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 33, p. 39). The Revolution of 1905–07 in Russia was “undoubtedly a ’real people’s’ revolution, since the mass of the people, its majority, the very lowest social group, crushed by oppression and exploitation, rose independently and stamped on the whole course of the revolution the imprint of their own demands, their attempts to build in their own way a new society in place of the old society that was being destroyed” (ibid.). Among the people’s revolutions of the 20th century were the popular democratic revolutions of the 1940’s in a number of countries in Europe and Asia, the Cuban Revolution of 1959, and the national liberation revolutions. Socialist revolutions are the most profound people’s revolutions and are carried out by the working class in alliance with all toilers.
A. P. BUTENKO