What is the difference between The American Revolution and the Arab spring ? – History, Politics & Society


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This is a very legitimate question to raise. We should be wary in the terminology that we are using to address each of the two historical events. We have got revolution and Arab spring. I prefer to address the latter as ‘Arab Uprising’. However, Revolution in its sociological context is the radical change which occurs in a certain country whose main purpose is to alter the unwanted atmosphere prevailing in that nation ; usually this unwanted atmosphere is characterized by social inequity and authoritarianism.

Put differently, revolution is a path which is already determined to lead to a better destination. Revolution is a philosophy staged by well-educated people who are willing to walk through that path until the end. Uprising is another story. Let’s take Arab spring for example. People used to live in dystopian conditions, and still.

They have been angry at their regimes but they could not do anything not even surface their attitudes because their mouth are swaddled. After years of oppressed rage and after it had imploded inside their chests, they exploded publicly at their regimes.

What after ? After overthrowing a number of tyrannic rulers, ‘revolutionists’ found themselves colliding into their nations’ management of affairs. They realized their incapability of handling the issues of their nation. That is, it was just a burst needed to be surfaced no less no more, i twas a reaction no less no more.


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  1. DW Davis
    February 15, 2018 at 10:24 pm

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    Aside from the regional and timeline differences (i.e. the American Revolution occurred in the Eastern United States in the 1770s and 1780s, while the Arab Spring took place in the Islamic World from 2010 to the Present), there are several serious differences between the American Revolution and the Arab Spring.

    1) Change in Government: In the American Revolution, there was really no objection to the Colonial Governments (i.e. the leaders of Massachusetts Bay Colony or the Governor of Virginia). The issues were between the Colonists in North America and the British government on the other side of the Atlantic and the foreign policy and economic restrictions that the British imposed.

    After the US Americans gained their independence, the same governors and political institutions in the colonies became those institutions in the quasi-independent states. In the Arab World, the Arabs actually wanted a fundamental regime change. They wanted to replace Secularist Dictatorships with Quasi-Islamic Republics. They wanted a new set of leaders, fundamentally different constitutions, and new styles of government.

    2) Method of Acquiring Freedom: In the American Revolution, initial revolts were made through riots and violent protest. Then the American leadership formed a united army to strike militarily at loyalist strongholds. This led to a six-year war (1775-1781) and the Treaty of Paris of 1783 which guaranteed independence for the new United States.

    In the Arab Spring, Arab civilians protested peacefully for their freedom or more rights like in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, and Iraq. Only in places where the protesters were violently attacked, such as Libya and Syria, did the rebels organize and fight against the controlling authority.

    3) Territorial Alliances: In the days of the American Revolution, each of the 13 Colonies considered itself an entirely unique territory. However, all thirteen of them united to repel the British and then chose to cede power to a federal government.

    In the Arab Spring, each of the revolutions took place at a different pace and with different results. The successful revolutionaries in one country did not assist revolutionaries in other countries although they often provided moral support.

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