Revolution from above

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Revolution from above is a concept of historical science that describes fundamental reforms on the part of the rulers who are to avert a revolution feared by them , or which describes a fundamental change in the political-social structure taking place under state control without a supporting mass movement ( Michael Stürmer , 1975) . The term was coined in the 19th century by Friedrich Engels and taken up by German history in the 1970s, in particular by Hans-Ulrich Wehler , Ernst Engelberg and Michael Stürmer. Revolutions from above are common in German history .

Revolutions from above in German history

Revolutions from Above in Soviet History

  • Holodomor - Stalin purposefully and deliberately starved millions of people in 1932.
  • In the context of the de-Stalinization , Khrushchev and other functionaries of the CPSU tried to soften or break up the structures created by Stalinism (see also thaw period )


  • Hans-Ulrich Wehler: The German Empire 1871-1918 . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1973
  • Ernst Engelberg: About the revolution from above. Reality and Concept . In: ZfG . 22, 1974. p. 1183
  • Michael Stürmer: Beyond the nation state. Comments on the German continuity problem . In: Politics and Culture . H. 3/4, 1975. pp. 119-139

Individual evidence

  1. see page 3