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The Anatomy of Revolutions

Crane Brinton’s Stages of Revolution

Who is Crane Brinton and what is this all about?
• Crane Brinton was a historian who analyzed revolutions and found commonalities between them. • He found that there are four phases that most revolutions go through. • He wrote a very important book about these phases called, The Anatomy of a Revolution. This book was published in 1966 but is still referred to today.

Phase 1: Symptoms
1. The middle class is angry at the policies of the government. 2. The government is unable to effectively manage the country. This could be because the leader is not doing a good job or because of a lack of money in the government. 3. Eventually, the government is deserted by the intellectuals, who also speak out against the government.

Phase 2: The Rising Fever
1. This is the escalation of the anger felt by the middle class. The people rise up against the government. 2. The current government can not repress the rebellion. 3. A new government is created, led by the middle class. They will try to replace the old government.

Phase 3: Crisis
1. The revolutionary new government tries to overthrow the old government. 2. There is often violence and efforts to spread the revolution. The government in power may try to crush the revolution violently and hold onto power 3. The revolution is fragile because popular support is needed and economic conditions are often poor.

Phase 4: Convalescence
1. The revolution ends and the country enters a period of recovery. The old government is successfully overthrown. 2. A strong ruler comes to power and the new government begins the process of stabilizing the country. 3. Life in the country begins to return to normal.

What will I do with this information?
• First you will complete a short assignment called, “A Revolution is like a . . .” This assignment will require you to compare a revolution to some other object or event. • Second, you will become an expert on one historical revolution and will learn about three others. You will analyze each of these revolutions to see if and how it fits into Brinton’ phases. • Then, you will be doing a research project and presentation on a modern day revolution in the Middle East region. You will need to include information about how your assigned revolution fits this model and compare it to other revolutions studied.