The Anatomy of Revolutions

The Anatomy of Revolutions
Crane Brinton’s Stages of
Who is Crane Brinton and what is
this all about?
• Crane Brinton was a historian who
analyzed revolutions and found
commonalities between them.
• He found that there are four phases that
most revolutions go through.
• He wrote a very important book about
these phases called, The Anatomy of a
Revolution. This book was first published
in the 1930s but is still referred to today.
Phase 1: Symptoms
1. The middle class is angry at the policies of
the government.
2. The government is unable to effectively
manage the country. This could be because
the leader is not doing a good job or because
of a lack of money in the government.
3. Eventually, the government is deserted by the
intellectuals, who also speak out against the
Phase 2: The Rising Fever
1. This is the escalation of the anger felt by
the middle class. The people rise up
against the government.
2. The current government can not repress
the rebellion.
3. A new government is created, led by the
middle class. They will try to replace the
old government.
Phase 3: Crisis
1. The revolutionary new government tries
to overthrow the old government.
2. There is often violence and efforts to
spread the revolution. The government in
power may try to crush the revolution
violently and hold onto power
3. The revolution is fragile because popular
support is needed and economic
conditions are often poor.
Phase 4: Convalescence
1. The revolution ends and the country
enters a period of recovery. The old
government is successfully overthrown.
2. A strong ruler comes to power and the
new government begins the process of
stabilizing the country.
3. Life in the country begins to return to
What will I do with this information?
• First you will complete a short assignment called, “A
Revolution is like a . . .” This assignment will require you
to compare a revolution to some other object or event.
• Second, you will become an expert on one historical
revolution and will learn about three others. You will
analyze each of these revolutions to see if and how it fits
into Brinton’ phases.
• Then, you will be doing a research project and
presentation on a modern day revolution in the Middle
East region. You will need to include information about
how your assigned revolution fits this model and
compare it to other revolutions studied.