Asian History of Social Process Essay

Pages: 4 (1251 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Drama - World

Transformative Years That Were Many Years in the Making

In his essay entitled "1789-1792 and 1989-1992: Global Interaction of Social Movements," historian Patrick Manning parallels the events of 1789, the year of the storming of the Bastille and the beginning of the French Revolution with 1989. 1989 encompassed the successful movement to unite the two Germanys and end the Soviet dominion of Eastern Europe as well as the unsuccessful pro-democracy movement in China. Because of their powerful, symbolic nature, these events are often interpreted as just that -- singular events. But Manning believes that such social movements cannot be understood in isolation, but should be understood as international phenomena. "Even these most macro-oriented of the analysts of social movements have tended, however, to focus on social revolutions as independent cases, rather than emphasize their connections to each other. In recent years, some social historians have explored social movements at transnational levels, emphasizing their long-term patterns of development" (Manning, par. 7).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Asian History of Social Process Assignment

Manning believes that the inequality between the Estates General, higher taxes, and food shortages were undeniable contributors to the French Revolution. But the American Constitutional convention and its creation of a written constitution, anti-slavery movements, and agrarian revolts also influenced demands for party, justice, and finally revolution in France. Manning argues that these international examples provided models or templates for social justice movements in France and elsewhere. The storming of the Bastille may have been the most cinematic moments of all the revolutionary occurrences of 1789, but the spread of anti-slavery crusades in Europe and Africa, and the demand for the rights of disenfranchised peasants and laborers in America cannot be ignored. The French learned about these events through cross-pollination of information around the globe. This suggests that revolutionary France cannot be understood in international isolation. "By 1792, black sailors arriving at Salvador in Bahia were reputed to have worn medallions celebrating the slave uprising…in early 1792 the move to abolish slave trade appeared to be gaining irreversible momentum" (Manning par. 31-32). Also, the fears that the French regicide spawned created movements either for moderate liberalization, to dampen radical furor (as in England) or more autocratic rule.

After Manning draws his parallels, it is difficult to ignore the superficial resonances between the different eras: likewise, 1989 was a year of successful and unsuccessful mass revolts. In each nation that experienced unrest, there was a long, specific, and personal history of oppression, but the oppressed drew conscious parallels between their own struggles and the struggles of others. "As in 1789, these events of 1989 gained in recognition because they precipitated a confluence of several different types of social movement and the formation of transnational links of sympathy and mutual support" (Manning par. 41) Decolonization and the self-determination of ethnic groups along with calls for democracy all coalesced. Almost at the same time, "Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, South African withdrawal from its long occupation of Namibia, Vietnamese withdrawal of troops from Cambodia, and the agreement of the communist-led government in Poland to elections that would surely cause it to step down" all occurred, inspiring people in other pockets of the globe, but particularly in Eastern Europe, to develop a revolutionary sensibility (Manning par. 41).

Hope and the real possibility of change were inflamed in the hearts of millions. What before had seemed like insurmountable odds, now seemed possible: the Goliaths of communist power had been slain by Davids. The Soviet Union began to crumble, gradually shedding republics and former satellite states. South Africa was transformed by the end of apartheid. Saddam Hussein's invasion of neighboring Kuwait was swiftly defeated by the democratic military might of the U.S. While of course, the historical forces that had given rise to these events did not occur overnight, and it could… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Asian History of Social Process.  (2010, May 12).  Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/asian-history-social-process/331074

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"Asian History of Social Process."  Essaytown.com.  May 12, 2010.  Accessed September 29, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/asian-history-social-process/331074.