What are some revolutions that occurred around the world within the past 75 years?

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If one limits a compilation of violent political transformations to revolutions and excludes coups d’etat, then the number is drastically reduced, as instances of the latter can fill a book by themselves.  Revolution defined as a radical removal of one political regime with another, however, brings the discussion into more manageable parameters.  Between 1938 and the present (2013), there has been nonstop political violence, but, until the outbreak of the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, genuine revolution has been less common.  Also, whether liberation from foreign occupation through violent or peaceful means constitutes “revolution” for the purposes of discussion is uncertain.  Clearly, the successful Vietnamese effort to defeat the French in 1954 could be considered revolutionary, as could the achievement of independence by East Timor between 1999 and 2002, or the successful break from Ethiopia on the part of Eritrea during the early 1990s.  And, of course, India’s independence movement succeeded in achieving its goal in 1947 with Britain’s decision to withdraw from its most prized colony.  A reasonable list, however, could look this: [Note: dates reflect final resolution of a revolutionary war, not the date at which it began]

1944: Guatemala

1945: Vietnam’s August Revolution; Venezuela (probably more a coup, but included)

1947: India

1948: Israel

1949: China

1952: Egypt; Bolivia

1954: Vietnam

1956: Hungary (uprising against Soviet-installed government; deemed a revolution); Tibetan revolt against Chinese domination

1958: Iraq

1959: Cuba; Rwanda

1962: Yemen; Algeria

1963: Syria (probably more a coup, but included); Iran

1964: Sudan

1968: Republic of Congo; Czechoslovakia (uprising against Soviet-installed government)

1969: Pakistan

1971: Bangladesh

1972: Benin; Malagasy Republic (Madagascar)

1973: Thailand

1974: Ethiopia; Portugal

1975: Angola; Cambodia; Laos; Vietnam; Cape Verde

1978: Afghanistan (more of a coup, but included)

1979: Grenada; Iran; Nicaragua

1986: Philippines

1989: Poland; East Germany; Romania; Czechoslovakia; China (failed rebellion at Tiananmen Square)

1991: Lithuania; Estonia; Latvia (achieve liberation from Soviet control); Iraqi Kurdistan; Ethiopia; Eritrea

1992: Albania

1994: Mexico (Zapatista rebellion)

1996: Chechnya; Afghanistan

1998: Indonesia

1999: Kosovo; Chechnya

2000: Serbia

2001: Macedonia; Philippines; Argentina

2002: East Timor

2003: Georgia; Darfur region of Sudan begins revolt

2004: Ukraine

2005: Lebanon; Kyrgyzstan

2009: Iceland

2010: Kyrgyzstan

2011-present: Tunisia; Libya; Egypt; Syria; Yemen

2012: Central African Republican

This list is fairly comprehensive, but not complete depending upon how one frames the discussion of what constitutes a revolution.