Comparison between revolution and civil war Essay

Revolution is an attempt by the people to change the government of a country by violent action. The rise of revolution all over the word is something not new as it has been occurring in every century. This has resulted to the change of guard in the leadership of various countries and the ruling strategies in the constitution referred to as the law of the land. The current state of cohesiveness and harmony in various countries it has been as a result of various revolutions that rose with time to defend their rights and grievances. This paper discusses the revolution causes and outcomes in comparison with civil war. The similarities and differences are also stated and explained.

Revolution may be caused by army and rebellious groups with a certain motive which will be of their advantages. This leads to the major types of revolutions that are experienced globally. The first one is the violent and sudden revolution that seeks to transform the entire nation establishing new political systems that prioritize the citizens’ issues. The other revolutions are the political revolutions in which the government is replaced but other structures like property relations are left intact. The best example of such a revolution is the French revolution that happened in 1830 and 1848. Political revolutions entail mass mobilization and more fundamental economic, cultural and social change (Briton, 12).

The final types of revolutions involve the sweeping but slow changes of the entire society that take several generations to be embraced globally or in a certain nation. One example is the religion which is spread out from one generation to another in the changing of people’s beliefs. The other example that has being evident globally is the industrial revolution which has been gradually embraced by nations to develop various machines. Industrial Revolution in Britain was really propelled by the development of a steam engine that would enable the pumping of water from coal mines thus enabling deeper mining in the ground (Downing, 7).

The one cause that leads to rising of revolution in any nation is when democracy is undermined and collapsed by the reigning regime. Undermining of democracy could be a result of the authoritarian leadership. This leadership does not give the citizens the freedom to express their grievances forward to be met by the people in power. This contends that for a country to expand economically and reduce the rise of revolution there has to be a strong, independent middle class that entails rational legal systems. Also, civil society and representative from the government that checks on arbitrary rule (Downing, 4).

Revolution also can be caused when the government cannot organize its finances correctly and goes bankrupt. The usual mistake done by that time is when heavy taxation on the citizens is practiced. A case study is the French Revolution whereby 1787, the government was bankrupt and was 4000 million lives in debt. France had spent a lot fighting costly wars, but had nothing to show of it. The tax system also was corrupt as there were class of people who did not pay tax and some of the tax collectors did not give all the tax collected to the government (Downing, 8).

A revolution can rise when the government is unable to get enough support from any group to save itself. This was evident in the rising of French Revolution, members of the assembly met at the royal tennis court where they pledged on oath not to leave until the king agreed to meet their demands. When the citizens feel restless and held down by the restrictions put up by the government in the example of high cost of food in a country where there is a high population of poor people (Briton, 15).

Civil war on the other hand is the hostility between groups of people in the same country. One of the causes of civil war is power and who should wield it. This was evident in the English Civil War as King Charles viewed that he was the chosen by God to lead the people so everyone was to obey him unconditionally. The Parliament in opposition claimed that they were elected by people so they should have an ultimate say on issues. As no side was willing to negotiate the civil war was inevitable. The same power issue was experienced in the United States where the election of Abraham Lincoln led to political tension in the south. This is because they feared the abolishment of slavery which they highly practiced (Wiseman, 21).

The other cause of civil war is religion. When a group of people in a nation are associated in a certain religion which is not the norms and culture of the citizens at large may lead to a civil war. This was evident in the Catholic rebellion that rose in England after King Charles married Henrietta Maria of France who was catholic. The people rebelled because the country was protestant and there was fear of changing the country catholic (Wiseman, 23).

Money also contributes to the rise of civil war in many nations. This is if it is not spent appropriately to the benefits of the citizens and the structures to manage it are corrupt. The case study of British Civil War, the king spent tax-payers money on paintings and clothes for his family instead of buying of weapons in case of war. This caused the navy to declare civil war to the king and the parliament (Wiseman, 26).

One of the negative outcomes of a civil war is that it leads to many people losing their lives. American civil war led to over 600,000 deaths in combat and diseases. Economically the nation is affected, as there is no production in the civil war period. The country is dragged behind because of the various institutions destroyed in the civil war such as airports, hospitals and schools. This makes a country to be in a reconstruction period to improve on various pillars of the economy. After civil war, there are also positive outcomes such the dictatorial regime is diminished and democracy is practiced. This means that the people get quality services from their government and hence they are able to improve on their living standards (Wiseman, 28).

Revolution and civil war have various similarities. The first one is that they are a result of people who are discontented by the people in power in the matters of national affairs. The other similarity is that there has to be a certain rebellion for any revolution and civil war to arise. Also, there is killing of people and destruction of infrastructure in both occurrences which leads to dragging of an economy. Finally, democracy is evident after an era of Revolution and Civil War.

In conclusion, there are differences between Revolution and Civil War. One is that Civil War happens in a particular nation while Revolution can be in through joint nations which want to achieve a certain goal. The other difference is that citizens directly revolt against the government in revolution while in civil war factions wage war against each other.

Work cited

Downing, M. Brian. The Military Revolution and Political Change: Origins of Democracy and Autocracy in Early Modern Europe Political science. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1993. Print.

Briton, C. The anatomy of revolution Volume 44 of Vintage international,Vintage Series. USA: Vintage Books, 1965. Print.

Wiseman, S. Drama and Politics in the English Civil War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Print.