Popular Protest in Serbia and Greece Essay
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The French Revolution’s legacy has crept all throughout Europe and has even reached the eastern parts of the continent. Revolutionary ideals of social justice and the destruction of the old feudal order were already imminent on many nations reached by the news. Uprisings in the capital cities were the signal that the ruling cliche has been defeated where capitalist seeds were already sown. However, in Serbia and Greece, whose economies if compared to the French, were lagging behind the emerging mode of production.
Feudal power still has its tight clench on these backward nations. What was clear was that the ruling class in the kingdoms and empires has been wary of the spread of the French revolutionary spirit. The French initiative gave inspiration to various states and the conditions were politically feasible for armed contradictions. If the French masses faced the Bourbon dynasty, countries in Eastern Europe were battling to gain their independence from the Ottoman Imperial power after centuries of servitude and economic, political, and cultural oppression.
We must not be mislead however, that though there were religious differences in the issues of national independence in Ottoman controlled areas in Eastern Europe, the primary concern was still the existing economic order. The imperial rule was in essence a parasitic dominion of a foreign power to be able to extract resources and make use of the population as a labor force and plantation workers in the occupied territories (History World 2008). In the Serbian territories, the nationalist fervor was blowing towards the tendencies of creating a nation.
After the French Revolution was won by the bourgeoisie with the help of the basic masses as the primary forces of the revolution, bourgeoisies all over Europe had began partitioning territories for the benefit of the new market economy. Serbian bourgeoisie and remnants of the landed aristocracy wanted to break free from the Ottoman domination in Europe and at the same time feared the growing economic and politico-military power of the Austrian Empire which was continually expanding her territories.
Though these new ruling class in Serbia were not bourgeoisies or feudal lords but political thinkers committed to the emancipation of the Serbian nation the nationalist campaign was sustained mainly because of parliamentary struggle. But the failure of the parliamentary way of establishing a strong Serbian state led to a fractured state for the Serbs (Michigan State University Libraries 2008). Greek revolutionaries on the other hand have chosen the armed revolutionary struggle against the Ottoman Empire.
The revolutionary inspiration provided by the French Revolution had been widely circulated throughout the Mediterranean Sea and the national liberation movements have shaken the social foundations of feudalism. The enlightenment which has earlier commenced provided the oppressed peoples with the alternative theories of governing, very much different from the Theo-centered models of governance.
At the time that the French Revolution freed the French toiling masses, the peasants, workers, intellectual and soldiers in the Greek Islands have already been organized and the revolutionary high tide was already in place (Michigan State University Libraries 2008). When these revolutionary movements have triumphed, there had been no significant changes in the social order. Only the political aspects of the rule of the feudal order were repudiated but the economic conditions such as landlessness and the oppression based on labor economic continued.
Hence after these states got rid of foreign oppressors, there were still the local oppressors. The oppression in the Ottoman Empire had likewise created turmoil domestically. History had thus proven that even in the imperialist countries the toiling masses are also exploited and that the toiling masses are pitted against each other by the ruling class in accumulating territories for their emerging capitalist economies.
This has only provided the exact science of what has happened in during the French revolution that the revolution was not just for political rights but for the liberation of the classes from the miserable conditions of the economic order (Association for Liberal Thinking 2005). The consolidation of the nationalist feelings in Eastern Europe was somewhat unnecessary for their revolutions to commence.
It was clear that the oppressed peoples of Europe, under the feudal order experience the same exploitation so it was easy for the toiling masses of Greece, Serbia or even Turkey to understand what their fellow peasants and workers in France experienced under the feudal system. The problem was in a general form with only specific variations as dictated by the geographic and cultural divisions and so the solution was also general. It took a revolution to liberate the oppressed French then so was for the Greeks (Jack London Online Collection 2006).