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The Revolutions That Shaped The Human Civilization

  • Neolithic revolution (10,000 bc).
  • The Industrial Revolution (1760-1870).
  • The American Revolution (1775-1783).
  • French Revolution (1789-1799).
  • Russian Revolution (8 march 1917 - 7 November 1917).
  • Cuban Revolution (1953-1959).

Almost every form of human civilization existing today is a result of a revolution. People who stood up against injustices, corruption, or unresponsive political systems. Others were not radical and resulted from humans simply embracing change.

Even though most of these revolutions were centered around political aspects, their impacts are still felt today. They are not restricted to political prospects.

Here are some of the greatest revolutions that shook human civilization.

Neolithic Revolution (10,000 BC)

A society inclined towards agriculture realigned man’s societal structures during the Neolithic period. The beginning of the Neolithic Revolution is dated back to BC in the Kuk early, to around 2,500 BC in the Sub Saharan Africa.

During this period, humans mastered the art of domesticating crops and animal breeds. Complex systems emerged in society. With an increased populace, systems of governance had to be invented to ensure law and order.

The aspect of land ownership was also introduced. Farmers instinctively cultivated one plot of land for an extensive period.

Most of the cultivation was left to men, and women assumed other roles that were deemed to be less complex and involving.

The Industrial Revolution (1760-1870)

This period of the industrial revolution took off in the late 18th century. It is credited with the alignment of manufacturing and industrial processes. The industrial adjustments glossed over the broader aspects of living and made life easier.

The steam engine was the major propellant of industrialization in Britain, and its effects on production were massive. It also revolutionized transport, with for example steam-powered locomotives.

With the introduction of the factory system, the cottage system of production was replaced. This enhanced the mass production of goods, and people’s standards of living were greatly improved. The sprouting of factories warranted an increased number of factory workers. People moved to towns that harbored industries, giving birth to urbanization.

Financial institutions such as banks and insurance also came up. This revolution prompted the structuring of the first stock exchange in London, in the 1970s.

Economic power also shifted immensely to fit the needs of an industrialized society.

The American Revolution (1775-1783)

The American Revolutionary war was the pathway that led to the formation of The United States of America in 1776. In an attempt to rebel against the unpopular laws which were forcefully imposed by the British Crown, civil wars emerged.

The revolution later led to America’s attainment of independence, and the subsequent formation of the United States of America. How was it pivotal to political civilization?

With the introduction of states, it was necessary for the drafting of State constitutions in 1776 and 1777. These written constitutions were a breakthrough from Britain’s unwritten constitution and were later adopted by many nations on the attainment of independence.

The revolution also heightened the people’s participation in politics and governance, through acquiring the right to vote, hence take part in elections.

One major hallmark of the American revolution was the end of the mercantilist era.

French Revolution (1789-1799)

France was mired by revolutionary turmoil between 1789 and 1799.

"The Great French"

Revolution reconfigured France’s Political and social structure and extended its impact on Europe and other parts of the world.

In the middle of the reign of King Louis XVI, France was embroiled in a financial crisis as a result of its involvement in the American revolution. In an attempt to reverse this situation, King Louis XVI opted for increasing taxes for the wealthy and elite. This did not go well with the people and ignited their zeal for a radical revolution.

The Monarchy was overthrown and the revolutionary government orchestrated a parliament, through which they demanded certain rights from the King. This group, also known as The Third Estate, overthrew the King and started a myriad of reforms in France. Through the French Revolution, democracy made its way into the face of world politics and monarchies and feudal systems.

The revolution also stripped the political power of the catholic church, and religion was no longer imposed on people. Before this, the catholic church was incredibly powerful. It owned 10% of land and laid claim to tithes (10% of the total tax collected). The lessening of the importance of religion instilled a sense of freedom into the whole world, and religion became a choice, rather than an obligation.

The revolutionary government drew up a new constitution for France and imbued other countries to follow suit. Europe greatly benefited from the French revolution and was determined to attain liberty and freedom to its commoners.

The political structure was reconfigured, scraping off the monarchies and feudalistic systems.

The revolution reinstated the aspects of nationalism. When Napoleone Bonaparte ascended to power towards the end of the revolution, he led French armies to infinite victories at wars. The sense of pride and satisfaction derived from such triumphs birthed the ideology of nationalism, and citizens began taking pride in their nations.

Russian Revolution (8 March 1917 - 7 November 1917)

1917 was an explosive year for Russia in every political and social sense. This was the year when Russia had two, most radical revolutions whose impacts are still felt today. The two-phased revolution brought the centuries-long imperial rule in Russia to a standstill. The Bolsheviks took over power from the Romanov dynasty and later became the communist party of the soviet union . Even before the violent revolutions, Russia was characterized by political and social unrest. The majority of people were dissatisfied with the government of Tsar Nicholas II.

By 1917, Russia had started to develop, hence the number of industrial workers increased. Industrial strikes were a common thread by then. Such mass industrial strikes that translated into the events of Bloody Sunday, which ignited the commencement of the February revolution.

The events of the Bloody Sunday massacre sparked the commencement of the Russian revolution in 1917. Unrelenting protesters contributed to the enactment of a liberal program of rights. Some of those liberties included: Freedom of speech and equality before the law.

The aspect of free education also found footing in Russia, as Lenin advocated for free education throughout Russia. Peasants and workers were also granted a say, and their working conditions were elevated greatly. With the introduction of the 8 hour working day rule, work relations were civilized and aligned.

Cuban Revolution (1953-1959)

1959 was the year that turned it all around for Cuba. The enthusiastic political genius, Fidel Castro, presided over one of the most talked-about revolutions in history. On 1 January 1959, the lingering rule of Fulgencio Batista was overthrown, after a series of struggles that had begun in 1952. The island nation of Cuba had been teetering at the edge of deplorable living standards and a corruptive political system.

The Cuban revolution achieved amazing feats in the sectors of health and education. It did this by greatly sacrificing economic efficiency to social objectives.

Countries in Latin America were also inspired by the Cuban model, and in the years after the Cuban revolution, there was an upsurge of political upheavals in other countries within Latin America. The revolution also impacted Cuban societal structures and paved the way for women empowerment in Cuba. The period following the revolution saw women come up, claim their space and enjoy equal rights as their male counterparts.