In its current political iteration, indicating a complete regime change in favor of a new order, the term revolution derives its meaning from the late 19th century liberal overturnings of the aristocratic administrative units: United States Revolution (1776); French Revolution (1789); Haitian Revolution (1801). These modern revolutions collectively initiated the end of monarchical empires premised upon the absolute power of a single sovereign, instituting instead nation-states (→ II/38) that redistributed the sovereign power of the state to the people through some form of liberal representative government (→Democracy, II/32). “Revolution” comes from the old French word revolvere - to turn back, to return - suggesting that this overthrow of an exploitative and outmoded aristocratic order was no more than a return to an original authority that belonged to a sovereign people. Thus, revolution returns a people to itself, returns to the people their natural sovereignty, even if it is the act of revolution itself that constitutes the people retrospectively as a national ethnos, as scholars of nationalism argue (→ Foundational Discourses, III/8).
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The Routledge Handbook to the Political Economy and Governance of the Americas|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2020|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)