Revolution

How a slave uprising in Haiti changed the course of history

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When the masses of Paris overthrew the French aristocracy the ideals of their revolution were adopted by
the slaves of France’s wealthiest colony. Raj Perera tells the story of the successful Haitian Revolution.

A revolutionary uprising forged enslaved Africans on a small Caribbean island into an army of self-emancipation to create the world’s first black republic, in what is known as the Haitian Revolution. The successful insurrection of 1791 was a crack in the arc of history, one painted over by historians of capitalism. Previous slave revolts in the colonies had been put down, but events would propel literate coachman Toussaint L’Ouverture — who had been freed 15 years previously — into the leadership of the revolution.

Vygotsky, social environment and development

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The 1917 Revolution created a breakthough in materialist theory of learning, writes Shirley Franklin

Vygotsky lived in Russia between 1896 and 1934. He was driven by his commitment to promote the development of children and adults and to create the best possible educational opportunities for the population of revolutionary Russia. All aspects of his approach to psychology and theory of children’s development — play, thinking, learning, language, the zone of proximal development, working with people with learning difficulties, mental health issues and more — are rooted in a social and materialist theory of learning.

Rebellious Daughters: Mother Jones & Bhikaiji Rustom Cama

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In the second of our monthly series we celebrate the lives of union organiser Mother Jones and India independence leader Bhikaiji Rustom Cama

Mary "Mother" Jones (1837-1933) was born Mary Harris in 1837 in County Cork, Ireland. Her father Robert fled to Canada after taking part in a revolt against the landowners.

Mary became a schoolteacher but was barred from most schools because she was a Catholic. She later moved to Chicago and worked as a dressmaker.

She met George Jones, an iron worker and union organiser, in 1861 and they married and had four children. Sadly George and the four children died in a yellow fever epidemic in Memphis in Autumn 1867.

The mainstream left face defeat and dilemmas

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It is beggars belief that Piers Morgan and The Sunday Times have been much more effective in calling out the government than the opposition

The defeat of Jeremy Corbyn in December’s General Election and his subsequent replacement as Labour leader by Keir Starmer raises serious questions for the mainstream left. These are underlined by the suspension of Bernie Sander’s bid to become the Democratic Party candidate in the US presidential election and his endorsement of Joe Biden’s candidacy.

Sojourner Truth & Elisabeth Dmitrieff - Rebellious Daughters #1

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We begin a monthly celebration of some of the most dynamic, fighting women from history.

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was born a slave in New York and named Isabella Baumfree. She was bought and sold four times and subjected to harsh physical labour and violent punishments. In her teens, she was united with another slave with whom she had five children.

Between 1826-27 Truth ran away with her infant Sophia to a nearby abolitionist family. The family bought her freedom for $20 and helped Truth successfully sue for the return of her five-year-old-son Peter, who was illegally sold into slavery in Alabama. She was the first black woman to sue a white man.

China's revolution at 70: reality trumps myths

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Mao's revolution was not socialist

As China launches its official celebrations marking 70 years since the revolution of 1949, Adrian Budd looks at the longer context of what was a national revolution, far from any vision of communism.

On 1 October China was set to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. Massive parades are organised, children will sing patriotic songs whose lyrics they have learned by heart but do not understand, military hardware has been polished. The multi-millionaires who run China will admire themselves in their new hand-made suits and dresses.

Algeria on fire

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In getting rid of their dictator of 20 years, Algerians showed the power they have. Chinedu Chukwudinma looks at the history of workers’ struggles and assesses the possibilities for the future.

Revolution has again struck North Africa as the mass protests in Algeria forced dictator Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign on 2 April. Despite this victory, Algerians have continued to demonstrate and are now demanding the removal of the entire regime.

Iran 1979: an opportunity squandered

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Forty years ago protests in Iran rolled over into a revolution. John Rose tells a tale of huge potential brutally suppressed.

The Iranian Revolution of February 1979 was one of the most startling events of the 20th century. This is true not just because of the almost total participation of the entire population in the active overthrow of the Shah, the dictatorial self-proclaimed monarch, but also because of the determination of the new regime to install what it described as an “Islamic Republic”.

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