Interesting Facts About Revolutions: Fundamental To Human Life

Revolution is a part of life. The term itself means nothing more than “a rotation”—a fitting term for a phenomenon that’s been shaping world history since time immemorial.
Revolutions take place over time as systems of power pervert the social order. If history has taught us anything, it’s that the abuse of power is hardly rare. Such systemic oppression can continue unchecked for decades… but when the displeasure of the people hits critical mass, a revolution is inevitable. Whether they’re peaceful or violent, the power of revolution seems as fundamental to human life as the rotation of the Earth.
Here are 10 interesting facts about revolutions from history.
1. One of Fidel Castro’s most successful tactics in the Cuban Revolution was his use of snipers to demoralize his enemies and put them on psychological tilt. Whenever a group of President Batista’s soldiers was advancing on rebel bases, Castro had his snipers kill the leading man. This led to no soldiers wanting to walk in front, as it was considered suicidal, and kept them from searching for the rebels.
2. Just because the Philippines had a revolution and declared their independence doesn’t mean that it actually worked out in the end. Instead, the Spanish conceded to the United States that they could now go in and take over, which is exactly what the US did, ruling for 50 years in the country that had just won their independence.
3. The Military had a hairy role in the Egyptian Revolution, as they are responsible for the disappearance of thousands of people, and an estimated 1,200 deaths. Documents show that they rounded people up, tortured them, and had mass executions of prisoners during the Revolution and its aftermath.
4. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 set up the Bill of Rights in Britain and cleared the way for parliamentary democracy in the country. It is often referred to as the Bloodless Revolution, however, this is a misnomer. There were violent clashes in England and Scotland, as well as major battles in Ireland, as well as anti-Catholic riots going on throughout.
5. American soldiers of the American Revolution weren’t trained in using the bayonet and instead resorted to using the swords at the end of their guns as skewers for cooking meat over open fires. It wasn’t until the training of Prussian General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben that the American Army was able to properly wield the bayonet, which made them into an unstoppable force.
6. The Storming of the Bastille is the moment when the match hit the fuel in France, and the French Revolution was set in motion, but the moment takes on a new level of badass when you learn that the people tore down the fortress by hand, brick by brick, as they didn’t have any explosives on them.
7. French revolutionaries were known as the “sans-culottes.” The literal translation? Without underpants. That’s not to say that they were going commando, though. It’s just that the nobility tended to wear silk short pants called culottes (classic aristocrats, right?) In contrast, the revolutionaries wore long, tight pants to identify themselves.
8. One of history’s overlooked uprisings is the Greek Revolution, which raged for 11 years between 1821 and 1832.
For four centuries Greece had been under Ottoman control, even before they took Constantinople. And while conspiracy theories tend to get our eyes rolling, this was a case of genuine plotting. A secret society called the Filiki Eteria helped to launch revolts across the country and liberate Greece for the Ottomans.
9. The most influential revolution of our times wasn’t an overthrow of a government, but rather the Industrial Revolution, which transformed the entire world and is responsible for introducing modern capitalism.
10. Sometimes a revolution isn’t just from within but is facilitated by external sources, as was the case of the Nicaraguan Revolution between 1962 and 1980, when the country was actually a battleground for a proxy war between the Soviets and Americans during the Cold War.

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