France is known as a country whose populace is not reluctant to voice discontent, strike when deemed necessary, and take down an entire monarchy from time to time. Historians and academics often discuss the nuances of what makes a proper revolution and what merely qualifies as a revolt, rebellion or coup d'état. The general consensus is that a true revolution demands a change of regime, and the use of collective force. The American Revolution of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789 were shocking in their scope and consequence. And several decades later, in 19th-century Europe, there were liberal revolutionary movements at various intervals (1830 and 1848) that usually sought to reform or overthrow rigid and conservative monarchies. The twentieth century was witness to revolutions based on communism, socialism and other ideologies that challenged the fundamental beliefs of centuries of rule, and forever changed the political landscape and the global balance of power. As politics become increasingly tribal, and the news industry less neutral, the challenge is to continue learning from the revolutions of the past to better shape our future.
Below are some general works on Revolutions in France and in other regions of the world that have experienced modern-day revolutions, as well as theories of revolution. You can identify additional material by searching the Library of Congress Online Catalog using the following headings:
The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.