Crises of Old Regimes

However, the state policy did not lead to any significant socio-economic changes, which were necessary for Russia and because of which the revolutionary movement grew in power. For instance, in 1905 the first attempt of the Revolution occurred on January 9, when a peaceful demonstration of people demanded improvement their socio-economic position, including democratic liberties, such as freedom of speech, universal and compulsory public education, equality of all people before the law; elimination of poverty and measures against oppression of labor by capital. Not a single basic demand of Russian people was met in the Manifestos.

Bolsheviks laid emphasis on the necessity of radical economic changes and the inability of trade-unions to improve the situation and protect the rights of working people. Lenin, the leader of the Russian Revolution supposed to modernize Russia through the establishment of the eligible power, the liberation of workers, who should take power over their factories, and abolition of private property along with the substitution of monarchy by republic,.The beginning of World War I and failures of Russian army led to the dramatic deterioration of the socio-economic and political situation accelerated the revolutionary changes in the country resulted in the Revolution of 1917. In fact, it was a coup d’état conducted by Bolsheviks who took power in St.-Petersburg and gradually take control over the entire country. In the result of the Revolution, the ruling royal regime was overthrown and the Communist regime was established.

The Islamic Revolution in Iran developed on the similar ground as revolutions in the USA and Russia. To put it more precisely, Iranian society could not afford the regime established by the Shah of Iran, who established the total control over all aspects of social, economic and political life. The consistent deterioration of the socioeconomic situation in Iran was aggravated by the accelerated westernization of Iran launched by the Shah. In such a situation, the westernization became a pretext for the revolution because western norms and traditions were absolutely hostile to Iranians. The failure of economic reforms launched by the Shah aggravated the socioeconomic situation in the country. Iranians grew dissatisfied with the forced westernization that contradicted to their traditional lifestyle. As a result, they rebelled against the ruling regime. However, their ultimate goal was not only cultural changes and restoration of the traditional Islamic lifestyle of Iranians but also and mainly qualitative socio-cultural changes that could improve the position of Iranians. Therefore, socioeconomic factors became the major driver of the Islamic Revolution, whereas cultural changes were just pretext for the revolution.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the downfall of old regimes in the US, Russia and Iran, i.e. the rule of the British in the US, the rule of Nicholas II in Russia, and the Shah in Iran, was caused by the aggravating socioeconomic situation. The population grew dissatisfied with the deterioration of the socioeconomic situation. At the same time, the political or revolutionary power appeared that called to rebel and suggested the program of changes that could improve the life of the population after the downfall of the existing regime. As a result, when the population reached the point when they were ready to rebel any pretext could be used from Boston Tea Party in the USA to westernization in Iran.


Works cited:

Lih, Lars. Lenin Rediscovered: What is to be Done? in Context. Brill Academic Publishers, 2005.

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