The Great Revolutions of Modern History

Survey some of the most important revolutions from the past 300 years of world history.
The Great Revolutions of Modern History is rated 3.8 out of 5 by 15.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Great Revolutions of Modern History I just received the course and I have not watched the DVD. However, I can't put the book down. I have been reading it since I took it out of the box. If the video is as good as the book......................
Date published: 2021-06-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not too good Instructor is far too enthused about revolution, and does not give enough weight to the often tragic consequences. Not a very compelling speaker. One of my least favorite great courses.
Date published: 2021-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative and Enjoyable I thoroughly enjoyed this course. I learned quite a bit and am now looking forward to taking additional courses presented by Dr. Hartnett. Great courses delivered once again!
Date published: 2021-06-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from horrifyingly biased and inaccurate I am horrified listening to someone talk up the positive aspects of nationalism quoting historical context of England's monarchy (socialism) and Russia's revolution (communism) - it is no wonder why America is failing due to the nationalistic and myopic systemic infiltration into our academic institutions.
Date published: 2021-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent informative, insightful course I bought this course, watched it on my ROKU and thoroughly enjoyed Professor Hartnett's personable, informative, insightful presentations, especially since I lived through some of these Great Revolutions. She knows her subjects very well and conveys her knowledge in a manner that kept my attention. I highly recommend this and her other course "Understanding Russia". I am a long-time subscriber to the Great Courses, Great Courses Daily and Great Courses Plus.
Date published: 2021-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from First Course and loved it! As a new subscriber this title caught my attention. I thought that it would be difficult to cover so much material on various revolutions but Dr. Hartnett presented each lecture as a stand alone historical narrative. I found that each lecture was filled with new angles to consider and new characters that I found captivating and complex. The lectures were consistently enjoyable and illuminating. My favorite lectures were the US Civil Rights, England's Glorious Revolution , 1968 and the TV Revolution in Your Living Room was an outstanding way to wrap up the course. Looking forward to my next Great Courses course, I will be happy if the next one is half as good as The Great Revolutions!
Date published: 2021-05-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This course does not disappoint! This course does an amazing job of transporting the viewer to the center of Revolutions and revolutionary movements around the world. The professor provides important background to these Revolutions and a true sense of their ongoing importance. Not only did I learn more about revolutionary figures with whom I am already familiar, I was also introduced to figures I never knew. This course does not disappoint!
Date published: 2021-05-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good course, time well spent. The first thing that I noticed when I dipped my toe into the course was that Professor Harnett has a distinct accent – Boston I reckon, no harm in that (I've an Irish accent) Then I watched her for a bit thinking can I go 24 lectures in her company, and I'm delighted to reveal that I could. Huzzah! Some professors do that little shuffle between the two cameras to keep a sense of momentum, but Dr. Harnett stays seated and is demonstrative with her hands and facial expressions. I understand that this is to keep an sense of movement and engagement (as it's not a two way conversation it would be easy to zone out over 30 minutes if not kept captivated). I often think some professors are on the verge of pulling multicoloured hankies out of their sleeves, like the magicians, as they are whizzing their upper limbs about so much in an attempt to dazzle. It is nitpicky studying the professors themselves but they are a big part of the package. Sometimes Dr. Harnett gets over-dramatic, or leads up to a big crescendo & then there isn't one, like she's about to drop the bomb but the sentence surprisingly fizzles out to nothing. And there can be a sense of talking over the fence after hanging out the washing when she's all hands, & raised eyebrows – usually when 'youth' or students' are leading a rebellion. Often she will get a bit misty -eyed, probably because she is trying to impart the enormity of the world-altering events she is describing and the incredible bravery of those on the front line who have decided to fight back. Some in the first waves of uprisings will never get any credit whatsoever, but will simply disappear from history, while others will often die miserable & lonely deaths in captivity. So it takes guts. Overall the professor is immensely clever, likeable, engaging, amusing in her own way, and the sense of a good soul shines through too. As for the course, well it's lucky that the professors political leanings chime with my own, because her spin on all events covered is crucial. These are bite-sized courses that give an over-view, some anecdotes, some templates for the future revolutions that by the end of the course brings us up to the modern era. It's handy to know the back-story on a lot of these events to get a decent scope on what is happening – The Mexican and Iranian revolutions were the exception for me, and I'll follow those up at a later date. And even if you know the full story of a particular revolution, there are still new unique angles and opinion so as to be kept interested. I tend to watch a lecture, then let it distil through my mind for a day, then read the relevant section in the guidebook, then follow up anything I didn't fully understand, and check online to tie up any loose ends I may have been pondering. I enjoyed the course and I'm giving it a solid 4, I think that's fair, and as I'm quite tight with my marks that's pretty good.
Date published: 2021-05-01
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Overview

Survey some of the most important revolutions from the past 300 years of world history.

About

Lynne Ann Hartnett
Lynne Ann Hartnett

For better and worse, people are the central characters in revolutions.

INSTITUTION

Villanova University

Dr. Lynne Ann Hartnett is an Associate Professor of History at Villanova University, where she teaches courses on all facets of Russian history as well as on the social, political, and intellectual history of modern Europe. She earned her PhD in Russian History at Boston College. Dr. Hartnett’s research focuses on the Russian revolutionary movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and she has conducted archival research in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, and London. She regularly presents her research at international conferences in the United States and Europe. Dr. Hartnett’s work, which has been published in a number of academic journals, focuses on the Russian revolutionary leader Vera Figner and the terrorist group People’s Will; Russian political émigrés in European exile; the Russian Civil War as experienced by an individual family; and the transnational activist networks that Russian émigrés built with British liberals, socialists, and suffragists. Immigration policy and refugee issues are central to this work and provide a link to contemporary policy questions. Dr. Hartnett is also the author of the book, The Defiant Life of Vera Figner: Surviving the Russian Revolution. Dr. Hartnett is the director of Villanova’s graduate program in History and the president of the Sigma of Pennsylvania Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. At Villanova, she has served as the director of the Russian Area Studies Program. Dr. Hartnett has been nominated three times for the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award and has received several teaching awards at both Villanova and Boston College.

By This Professor

The Great Revolutions of Modern History

Trailer

Who Makes a Revolution?

01: Who Makes a Revolution?

Revolutions are messy and chaotic. Begin with an examination of how revolutions arise from societal forces, and how they are seldom organized by the most downtrodden and repressed groups in a society. Reflect on how violence, or the threat of violence, accompanies political transformation.

28 min
Nationalism as Revolutionary Ideology

02: Nationalism as Revolutionary Ideology

The idea of the nation-state—and the accompanying feelings of nationalism—have shaped the world we know today, but nationalism has often gone hand in hand with revolution. Explore how social progress, literacy, and the evolution of new cultural bonds led to revolutions in France, Italy, and elsewhere.

33 min
Mexico’s Revolution of Bullets and Myths

03: Mexico’s Revolution of Bullets and Myths

The Mexican Revolution is confounding for its many characters, as well as the twists and turns the revolution took. Meet Emiliano Zapata, Francisco Madero, Pancho Villa, and others who transformed Mexico in the early 20th century. This larger-than-life story is truly something made for the movies.

31 min
The Man Who Lost the Russian Revolution

04: The Man Who Lost the Russian Revolution

The Russian Revolution of 1917 began with the great promise of overthrowing the Romanov autocracy and ended with totalitarianism. There was a moment in 1917, however, when an interim government may have set Russia on a different course. Learn about Alexander Kerensky, who embodied the hope and fall of revolutionary Russia.

31 min
Totalitarianism and Counterrevolution

05: Totalitarianism and Counterrevolution

It’s easy to get swept up in the promise of revolution, but the 20th century laid bare the costs of a counterrevolution. Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union were on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but their totalitarian states were tragically similar. See what led to the rise of totalitarianism, and what it’s like to live in such a state.

34 min
The US Civil Rights Revolution

06: The US Civil Rights Revolution

Not every revolution involves a violent overthrow of the government. In the United States, the civil rights movement transformed the political landscape by reforming the system. From Reconstruction to Martin Luther King Jr., trace the arc of African American history as it moved toward social equality and social justice.

31 min
England’s Glorious Revolution

07: England’s Glorious Revolution

Modern revolutions were likely made possible by the Enlightenment, by humanity daring to inquire about the world and imagine something different. In this lesson, go back to one of the earliest revolutions in the modern era: the Glorious Revolution in the 17th century. See how England transformed into a constitutional monarchy.

30 min
Samuel Adams: Apostle of American Liberty

08: Samuel Adams: Apostle of American Liberty

The American Revolution has so many iconic historical figures that it is easy to forget that the war began with a panoply of business owners and citizens disgruntled by Britain’s onerous tax laws. Join rabble-rousing Samuel Adams as he becomes the apostle for freedom. Trace the events that led to the first battles at Lexington and Concord.

34 min
The French Revolution: Fraternity and Terror

09: The French Revolution: Fraternity and Terror

Inspired by the American example, the French led an amazing revolution to overthrow the monarchy in the name of liberty, equality, and fraternity—only to watch as the movement for independence gave way to dictatorial control. From the storming of the Bastille to the terror of Robespierre, survey this astonishing period.

32 min
Haiti: Trailblazer of Democracy and Failure

10: Haiti: Trailblazer of Democracy and Failure

The American and French revolutions facilitated democracy and economic growth, but not every movement was so successful. The Haitian Revolution completely upended the small Caribbean country’s political, economic, and social order, and fomented a legacy of continuing disruption and inequality. Explore this doomed democratic experiment.

34 min
The Industrial and Urban Revolutions

11: The Industrial and Urban Revolutions

Not every revolution is political. In this lesson, you will examine how the process of industrialization reshaped production, markets, and society. What started as innovations in the textile industry marked the breathtaking transition to the modern age. Roll up your sleeves and enter the revolution of technological innovation.

32 min
The Decembrist Wives of Imperial Russia

12: The Decembrist Wives of Imperial Russia

Shift your attention to the annals of Russians history and the Decembrist Uprising of 1825. After this failed revolt, the conspiratorial officers were sent into exile, accompanied by their wives. The story of these Decembrist Wives—their self-sacrifice and social martyrdom—is the stuff of legend. See how these women created a revolutionary code of ethics for generations to come.

31 min
China’s Revolutionary Nationalism

13: China’s Revolutionary Nationalism

Two of the main revolutionary accelerants of the 20th century were a quest for national liberation from external powers—in Asia, Africa, and Latin America—and the international campaign to implement Marxist principles in place of existing regimes. Here, witness these trends in China from the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1912 to the rise of Mao.

33 min
The Women’s Revolution for the Right to Vote

14: The Women’s Revolution for the Right to Vote

Despite America’s founding principle that “all men are created equal,” women had no direct voice in government. Survey the suffrage movement in the United States and Great Britain, from the writings of Abigail Adams to the passage of the 19th Amendment. Meet Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Emmeline Pankhurst, and other pioneers in the movement.

31 min
Mao Zedong’s Revolutionary Road

15: Mao Zedong’s Revolutionary Road

Mao Zedong’s defeat of Chiang Kai-shek in 1949 ushered in a new revolutionary period for Chinese history—the era of communist China. Efforts such as land redistribution, liquidation of class enemies, and the Cultural Revolution brought about dramatic—and sometimes disastrous—results. Delve into this astonishing period.

32 min
Gandhi’s Revolutionary Nonviolence

16: Gandhi’s Revolutionary Nonviolence

Delve into one tactic of India’s anti-colonial resistance: non-violent struggle, which was developed and popularized by Mahatma Gandhi. Not only did his peaceful methods of protest further the cause of independence from Britain, but he introduced a new method of revolutionary agitation throughout the world.

32 min
The Cuban Revolution with Fidel and Che

17: The Cuban Revolution with Fidel and Che

The revolution led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara is one of the most captivating stories of the 20th century, in part because it represented a proxy fight between US capitalists and Soviet communists. In this lesson, Professor Hartnett takes you into Latin America and shows you a dramatic sequence of events on a small island that changed the world.

32 min
The Revolutionary Year of 1968

18: The Revolutionary Year of 1968

Most revolutions are local to a particular nation, but sometimes global events create a worldwide revolutionary fervor. Consider the events of 1968, which included the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, and the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia. See how the world’s youth led a revolution.

32 min
The Counterculture Revolution

19: The Counterculture Revolution

Political transformations are bigger than systems of government. They are also about culture, and the unifying bonds of a mass of like-minded people. In the 1960s, the counterculture generation led a cultural revolution to overthrow the stodgy past and usher in a new era of personal liberation and promoted ideals of equality, justice, and peace.

33 min
The Anti-Apartheid Movement as Revolution

20: The Anti-Apartheid Movement as Revolution

Thus far, we have reflected on social movements as revolution, as well as the power of nonviolent resistance. In this lesson on South Africa, you will assess how nonviolent resistance was adapted to the challenge of apartheid, and how even the most repressive regimes are vulnerable in ways that can be exploited with patience, perseverance, and coordination.

34 min
Terrorism as Revolutionary Strategy

21: Terrorism as Revolutionary Strategy

Terrorism is a political tactic that uses violence to engineer radical change. When members of a group employ it for a radical purpose, terrorism is a frightening revolutionary strategy. Here, survey the history of terrorism as a political tactic, and then step into the War on Terror to better understand our contemporary world.

33 min
Iran’s Islamic Revolution

22: Iran’s Islamic Revolution

The Iranian revolution of 1979 is unique in the modern era. Rather than seeking to advance secular notions of liberalism and democracy, the revolution was theological in orientation. Investigate how Iran’s political history, and global position, engendered a sense of nationalism rooted in Shi’a Islam, and see how the revolution’s process fits a consistent pattern.

31 min
The Revolutionary Year of 1989

23: The Revolutionary Year of 1989

The year 1989 was the culmination of the Cold War, the generation-long struggle between American freedom and Soviet totalitarianism. After examining the background of this ideological war, Professor Hartnett walks you through the cascading events that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet Empire.

33 min
The TV Revolution in Your Living Room

24: The TV Revolution in Your Living Room

Media scholars consider the introduction—and widespread dissemination—of television to be one of the most significant social forces of the 20th century. It revolutionized how people thought about the world and spent their leisure hours. In this final lesson, study the way television has been both a locus of cultural revolution and an agent of political change.

29 min