(b) The Outbreak of the Revolution


Following were the social, economic, political and intellectual causes of the French RevolutionSocial – The social conditions in France in late 18th century were extremely unequal and exploitative. The clergy and the nobility formed the first two Estates and were the most privileged classes in the French society

Definition of Social Revolution

How do we implement change in our society? If we see something we think is wrong, how do we address it? A social revolution is a fundamental change in a society. It involves a shift in power in a society. Revolutions occur when a number of people in a society feel discontent with the current order and agree that change is necessary. When we stop wanting to live the way we're living, or if we stop believing in the legitimacy of our current social or political order, we may turn to revolution.

It's important to note that revolution is different than reform, which seeks to change small parts of an existing system, but ultimately keep it in place. Revolution seeks to overthrow this whole system. Revolution can bring about important social, political, and economic changes. Let's talk about some of the causes of social revolution.

Causes of Social Revolution

There are a number of things that can cause a revolution to occur. For one thing, revolutions might happen when a state is no longer functioning well. In other words, when a government is weak, an opportunity arises for revolutionaries to seize on this.

Class struggle, or conflict between different social classes with different access to resources, is often an important explanation as to why revolutions occur. Think about it this way: if a society is very unequal, it's likely that there are many people in it who are discontent. This can create anger directed at elites, leading to an uprising of the working class.

Shifts in culture can also cause revolutionary change. Sometimes, citizens begin to feel troubled by dominant cultural values or norms, and this can bring about change. One example of this in the United States is the sexual revolution. During this time, we saw issues like birth control and women's sexuality discussed much more openly and with less judgement than previous eras. Now that we know a little bit about what a revolution is, let's talk about some specific revolutions and what they accomplished.

Social Revolution in History

We should note that there are many, many revolutions that have occurred in places throughout the world. But let's focus on a few to get an idea of some of the major revolutions that caused massive change.