Since the string of revolutions collectively called the Arab Spring, it has seemed that we live in unusually convulsive times. A look at similar events in the past, however, suggests that popular uprisings are more common than we sometimes remember. Some of the events highlighted here are little-known outside the places where they happened. Yet, in their day each was every bit as earthshaking as events in Cairo or Tripoli of recent years.
The list is hardly complete—of the hundreds of major uprisings over the centuries, we’ve chosen just 10. But each of these 10 tells a story surprisingly similar to the ones we read and watch today: of small movements that explode into mass revolts, with consequences no one can foresee.
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