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从英法俄革命比较看革命时代的变与常(英文)

Colin Lucas  
【摘要】:Three revolutions from three different centuries and socio-economic contexts offer an excellent opportunity to examine the theme of accelerated change and the continuities that survive, though often in modified form. This comparison allows us to emphasize similarities in the process of revolution across the centuries despite very different contexts. The comparative approach allows us to understand more clearly the relationship between change and continuity. This is not to say that these revolutions are similar, especially in outcomes. The Russian Revolution probably resulted in the least continuities. In a short paper, it is necessary to discuss a limited number of themes. Here I have chosen five strong themes. The first is to identify the social groups who led the revolutions and, in the case of England and France, were the main beneficiaries. A strict class analysis is not helpful across this range of centuries. However, including the February Revolution in Russia, we can say that these groups are drawn from the property-owners, the officials, and the merchants. In common also, the revolutions confront a fragmenting nobility and the failure of the state. In each, these groups express quite distinct ideologies drawn from different sources. Nonetheless, it is remarkable that all of them emphasize the legitimacy of sovereignty, constitutionalism and the rule of law. With the exception of Russia where the October Revolution rapidly obliterated the ambitions of February, we can use this similarity to analyse what change was envisaged, how change was modified by the process of revolution and what the outcomes were. By this means, we can hope to establish some model of revolutionary change and abiding continuities. The second theme is war. War was a defining condition of each revolution - civil war in England, foreign and civil war in France and Russia. We need to analyse the acceleration and distortion wrought by war, often similar in each case. We should pay particular attention to the way in which, in all three, the "new" army comes to enshrine the revolution's values and the nation's new identity. The third theme is popular intervention in the revolution and especially the role of revolutionary violence. Popular action is a defining driver in both preserving and radicalising the revolutions, though that is less clear in England. This is a highly complex phenomenon, especially if one tries to include rural as well as urban popular action. However, we may legitimately ask just how traditional were the objectives and behaviour of popular action. In both France and Russia, there is an interesting relationship between popular politics and the politics of the assemblies or revolutionary parties. Indeed, this can be seen in the connection between popular violence and state violence. The final two themes relate to human beings. On the one hand, all these revolutions set out to redesign humankind - to create a "new man", although in different terms between the revolutions. The failure of this project demonstrates the human limit on revolution. On the other hand, each revolution ends in the appearance of a "strong man". What is the role of these men and do they consolidate the outcome of the revolution or pervert it?

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1 Colin Lucas;;从英法俄革命比较看革命时代的变与常(英文)[A];北京论坛(2011)文明的和谐与共同繁荣--传统与现代、变革与转型:“变与常:关于社会转型方式的历史思考”历史分论坛论文及摘要集[C];2011年
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