Political Revolutions Review for AP World History (page 4)

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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Mar 4, 2011


The socio-political theories of the German Karl Marx became significant in Russian history. Marx taught that all history was the result of a class struggle between the bourgeoisie, or middle class, and the proletariat, or working class. According to Marx, the proletariat would eventually revolt and establish a "dictatorship of the proletariat" that would insure social and political freedom. When this occurred, there would no longer be a need for the state, which would wither away. The result would be pure communism, or a classless society.

Less extreme forms of socialism emerged in European nations as socialist parties arose in Germany, France, and Austria. Many Europeans were fearful of the revolutionary nature of some socialist movements. Socialism in Germany, France, and Austria brought changes such as the recognition of labor unions and disability and old-age insurance.

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The spirit of the Enlightenment produced revolutions in the British North American colonies, France, and Latin America. Reaction against foreign intervention and the weakness of the Qing dynasty culminated in revolution in China that ended centuries-old dynastic rule in that country. Accompanying political revolution was an increasingly vocal movement to grant political rights to women in the Western world. Socialism attempted to create working conditions and societies that would improve the condition of humanity, whereas the Marxist brand of socialism defined a class struggle whose ultimate purpose was the abolition of government.

Review questions for this study guide can be found at:

Political Revolutions Review Questions for AP World History

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