What examples in history best illustrate the idea that violent revolution is the most rapid force for change?
One should also consider the changes brought about by the French Revolution, which was quite violent and bloody. It is also doubtful that the United States would have won its independence from Great Britain were it not for an armed insurrection. If one considers the events in Libya today, there is ample proof that sometimes armed force works best. At the risk of seeming whimsical, I am reminded of the words of Al Capone who once said one can get much further with a few kind words and a gun than with a few kind words alone. We all would like to think that changes come about through peaceful means; however when there are conflicting interests, human nature sadly dictates force as the most efficient means of bringing about change.
Perhaps the best example of this in the last 100 years is the Russian Revolution (Bolshevik Revolution) of 1917. That violent revolution led to major and rapid changes in Russia and, eventually, the world.
Before the Bolshevik Revolution, Russia was a monarchy whose economy and society were seen as the most backwards in all of Europe. By WWII, the Soviet Union was a major power with an industrial economy and a society that was radically different than it had been in 1917. This rapid change was made possible by the violent revolution and the determination with which Stalin pushed for change after the revolution ended.
Violent revolutions overthrow entrenched social and political orders and cause major upheaval. When this happens, rapid change is possible because everything seems to be up for grabs. This is what happened in the Soviet Union after the Bolshevik Revolution.