Mao and Fanon: Competing Theories of Violence in the Era of Decolonization

The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon offers a powerful critique of colonial rule, while at the same time providing a call for violent and revolutionary struggle against European imperialism. Written in 1961 and in the context of the Algerian War of Independence, Fanon extols the virtues of violence as a means to liberate …

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Downfall of a Dynasty: The February Revolution

february revolution

The slogan “Daite khleb – Give us bread!” echoed throughout Petrograd as 90,000 people gathered to strike against the tsar, Nicholas Romanov (“February Revolution”). The demonstration began on March 8th, 1917 when working class women marched through the capital’s streets angry over food scarcity, overgrown breadlines, and the seemingly indifferent tsar. They ardently demanded for …

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The American Revolution

American Revolution

In the United States, historians and the broader public have, for most of the past two centuries, looked at the American Revolution principally as the first step in the creation of the American nation. They have stressed the process of nation building epitomized by the creation of a republican political regime in each state and the subsequent establishment of a federal system for the distribution of power between the states and the nation. They have emphasized the centrality of the drive for national self-realization that, beginning during the revolutionary era, provided the foundation for an American national identity. From the national-state perspective that has largely shaped the writing of United States history, such an emphasis makes considerable sense. For developing an understanding of why a revolution occurred in North America during the late eighteenth century and what that revolution was, however, it is, in at least two major respects, seriously deficient. First, it obscures the extraordinary extent to which the American Revolution was very much a British revolution. Second, it seriously underestimates the powerful continuities between the colonial and the national eras and thereby significantly overestimates the revolutionary character of the revolution.

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