Chapter

Space, Revolution, and Science

Peter Dear

in Geography and Revolution

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780226487335
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226487359 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226487359.003.0002
Space, Revolution, and Science

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In its broadest sense, historians and others use “revolution” to indicate some sort of discontinuity, or rupture, as E. J. Hobsbawm noted. But as Hobsbawm also observed, it sometimes takes quite a long time to certify whether a revolution really did occur at some particular time in the past. From this point of view, the political-social historian—or, to be more precise, the Marxist or crypto-Marxist historian—is reluctant to regard revolutions as being of central, driving importance in the ongoing processes of history. The real historical changes are macrosocial ones, such as the transition from feudal to capitalist societies, and revolutions are simply what Hobsbawm called “incidents in macro-historical change,” the moments at which the rupture of an old and increasingly insupportable system occurs and a new system comes into being to take its place.

Keywords: revolution; E. J. Hobsbawm; historical changes; capitalist societies; Marxist historian; feudal societies

Chapter.  6760 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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