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Are Violent or Non-Violent Revolution More Successful

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A Successful Rebellion, Revolt or Revolution Relies on The Use of Armed Force. Discuss this statement in relation to two rebellions, revolts or revolutions you have studied. At least ONE of these should have been studied in class.

Many revolutions rely on an armed force however the most successful revolutions use other means. The Velvet Revolution is an example of this. The Velvet Revolution was a successful revolution that heavily relied upon peaceful methods without the use of a major armed force to achieve its success. This is not like the Spartacus Revolt however. The Spartacus Revolt relied heavily on an armed force but is known to be less successful than the Velvet Revolution. Before evaluating this in detail we need to understand what is meant by some key terms. When analysing success, we need to identify what the aims of the revolutions and if they achieved its aims. The other aspect of success is how long lasting the change they influenced was. Armed forces can be defined as military, naval, and air forces, especially of a nation or of a number of nations. A revolution can be classified as an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed. A revolt means to break away from or rise against constituted authority, as by open rebellion; cast off allegiance or subjection to those in authority. A rebellion is defined to be open, organized, and armed resistance to one's government or ruler. Now knowing these key terms, we can further look into whether a successful rebellion, revolt or revolution relies on the use of armed forces.

The Spartacus Revolt relied heavily upon an armed force, however the revolt is widely considered to be unsuccessful. There are many different ideas from historians about Spartacus’ aims for the Spartacus revolt. However, Spartacus was unable to achieve many of these varying aims as he was defeated by Crassus. Plutarch suggests that Spartacus wanted to escape from Italy and return to back to his homeland. If this is true, that declares the revolt as unsuccessful as Spartacus never escaped from Italy as he was defeated in Picenum. This disagrees with the stimulus. Appian also suggests that the goal of the revolution was to defeat Rome itself. This would also declare the revolt unsuccessful as Spartacus never battled in Rome. Some historians however say that Spartacus’ aims changed throughout the revolt as Spartacus turned around before the Alps. However, historians have suggested that this was because his own men had vetoed him from doing this. There is also no evidence supporting the idea of Spartacus changing his aims during the revolt. Hence, the Spartacus revolt was unsuccessful as it was unable to achieve its aims, this disagrees with the stimulus and supports my thesis.

The Velvet revolution was a successful revolution that did not rely on an armed force. These protests lead to the resignation Gustav Husak and the end of communism. This revolution succeeded its aim without relying on an armed force. We know this as on the 19th of November 1989 the Civic Forum identified its aim for the revolution, “the resignation of the Communist government, the release of prisoners of conscience, and investigations into the November 17 police action." The Velvet Revolution achieved these aims. And still to this day there is no communism in the Czech Republic or Slovakia. This clearly meets the two criteria needed for a revolution to be successful and disagrees with the stimulus. “This non-violent transition of power earned its moniker primarily for its peaceful nature - not a single life was lost during the process.” This is what BBC news had to say about the Velvet Revolution. This source tells us about the peacefulness of the revolution and that success is not achieved by killing people, but instead peacefully getting your message across through many other different means. This clearly shows that the most successful revolutions do not rely upon an armed force and that an armed force is not required to have a successful revolution.

The stimulus has been shown to not always be true because of success

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