Top 10 Notable Revolutions

Script written by Joseph Boctor. There’s an old maxim that says: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” These people set out to do just that. For this list, we picked the uprisings and conflicts that have left the biggest imprint in the world and ultimately left the pages of history forever changed. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 notable revolutions throughout world history. Special thanks to our users Khaled El-Kinawi, Mattyhull1, Marlon Jacques, James Foster, Bigsky538, Tools Gav, Jaime Enrique Gutierrez Pérez, Calipso Guerrero for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Joseph Boctor.

There’s an old maxim that says: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” These people set out to do just that. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 notable revolutions throughout world history.

For this list, we picked the uprisings and conflicts that have left the biggest imprint in the world and ultimately left the pages of history forever changed.

#10: The Arab Spring
(2010 -)

The end of 2010 saw the spurning of the collective democratic imagination of entire nations, which started in Tunisia and spread across the Arab World. This soon led to numerous revolts and the ousting of leaders, including Tunisian President Ben Ali, Egyptian President Mubarak, and Libyan leader Gaddafi, who was also killed in the Libyan civil war. Social media was used as a mobilization tool in the beginning stages of the revolution. However, in some countries like Egypt, the government attempted internet censorship. Meanwhile, military groups began organizing themselves so they could also get involved.

#9: The Taiping Rebellion
(1850 – 1864)

This rebellion came in the midst of several anti-Qing demonstrations that helped lead to the eventual collapse of the foreign Manchu government that had held power since 1644. This religious-minded movement was based on the belief that its leader, Hong Xiuquan, was the younger brother of Jesus Christ. Transforming into a full-blown civil war and necessitating a 1 million-plus strong imperial army, the failed rebellion left an estimated 20 million people dead by its end.

#8: The Chinese Communist Revolution
(1946 – 1950)

The slow demise of China’s post-dynastic period came from the long struggle of the Chinese Communist Party. After intense periods of hiding in the mountains, the CPC eventually gained a leader in Mao Zedong and overthrew the Chinese Nationalists in armed struggle. Prior to this, the Nationalists had to fight both the CPC and an invading Japanese force during World War II. However, it was the 1949 Revolution that ultimately led to the formation of the People’s Republic of China.

#7: The Young Turk Revolution
(1908)

This group of young reformists pushed for change with respect to the absolute power of the Ottoman monarch who had complete control of the country at the turn of the 20th century. The Young Turks pushed for constitutional institutions and shifted their views to accommodate Islam as the major religion. They also changed authoritarian ideologies to apply them to what they saw as the greatest problems holding back what would later become the Republic of Turkey.

#6: The Haitian Revolution
(1791 – 1804)

One of the few revolts won by slaves, the Haitian Revolution was born out of the island’s intricate class system, and it propelled the black people of Haiti to freedom. Commander Toussaint L’Ouverture recruited slaves to fight against their oppressors, which gradually resulted in a newly formed state. His successor Jean-Jacques Dessalines later ordered a mass white genocide that set the island on the path to becoming Latin America’s first independent nation. However, it also increased racial tensions for generations to come.

#5: The Iranian Revolution
(1978 – 1979)

One of the most well known religious reformative movements, this groundbreaking revolt overthrew the influence of the pro-West Shah of Iran and implemented a religion-based state spearheaded by the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini. Citing Western influence as Satanic, a thorough cultural shift was established within the country, which made Islam the driving and thriving pulse it remains to this day.

#4: The Cuban Revolution
(1953 – 1959)

Thanks to Fidel Castro, his younger brother Raul and Che Guevara, Cuba was liberated from U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista. Utilizing guerilla tactics while hiding in the lush Cuban jungles and mountains, and motivated by their hatred of perceived American imperialism, the 26th of July Movement permitted Castro to transform the island into a socialist-and-later-communist state. This revolution also encapsulated numerous future events that sparked worldwide fears, including the Bay of Pigs, the spread of Communism in Latin America and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

#3: The October Revolution
(1917)

On the heels of a toppled Tsarist aristocracy, the Russian provisional government had power – that is, until the uprising of the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin. With a majority win within Soviet circles, the Bolsheviks then proceeded to obtain government buildings through armed insurrection. Despite their declaration of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the Russian Civil War broke out. Though allied World War I forces attempted to aid the anti-Bolshevik fighters against Lenin’s Red Army, the war ultimately cleared the path for the creation of the Soviet Union.

#2: The American Revolution
(1765 – 1783)

With the help of the French and the Spanish, the Thirteen American colonies liberated themselves from their British overlords with armed struggle and guerilla warfare. With famous incidents like the Boston Tea Party revolt and the attempted seizure of Quebec to rally Canadian support, this long war was eventually won to thanks to numerous factors, an important one being knowledge of the terrain. Following the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the United States of America was born.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Israeli-Palestinian Conflict [First and Second Intifada, etc.]
(1947 -)
- The Glorious Revolution
(1688 – 1689)
- The American Civil War
(1861 – 1865)

#1: The French Revolution
(1789 – 1799)

With France’s inclusion in many previous wars, the time was ripe for a revolution during the late 18th century. Thanks to financial trouble and a rigorous class system, the French eventually revolted against the monarchy in a rebellion that brought much bloodshed, including the storming of the Bastille. The result was a democratic republic and the beheading of King Louis XVI, which set the stage for the rise of one of the world’s most famous conquerors: Napoleon Bonaparte.

Do you agree with our list? Any other notable uprisings we missed? For more memorable Top 10’s published daily, be sure to swing by and subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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