Imperialism in India
India has been ruled by several empires in its history, including the Dutch, Danish, French, Portuguese, and most notably the British. The naval trading routes caused the rise of colonialism in India. As the major European powers began sailing to Asia for spices and delicacies, they often stopped in India, and control of India quickly became a way to control the extremely lucrative spice trade (Britain, India, and the East Indies).
The various colonial powers only able to establish coastal trading posts until roughly 1600. In 1600 the East India Company was charted and British power slowly began to take over India. Finally, in 1757, India officially became a British colony (British Presence in India in the 18th Century).
The response of the Indian population to British Colonialism was relatively accommodating at first, likely because Britain was not afraid to use military force to keep its hold on India. As the 20th Century continued on pressure continued to build for an independent India, led primarily by Muhatma Ghandi and his ideas of non-violence. Britain left India in 1947, and the independence movement was, for the most part, peaceful.
Violent American Revolution
The American Revolution was won on the field of battle. The founders of the United States tried, in their minds, several times to come to a peaceful resolution. The biggest issues that caused the American Revolution were representation in parliament and taxes. The founders of the United States felt that if the King of England was going to tax the colonists, he should also give them fair representation in the British Parliament (Taxation Without Representation, n.d.).
The Founders of the United States tried several times to plead with the King through official letters and diplomats for representation without Congress (Taxation Without Representation, n.d.). It was only when it was absolutely clear the King would not budge that the colonists decided to violently rebel, the goal of the American Revolution was to defeat the British and start a new country, that is focused on granting its citizens rights.
Non-Violent Orange Revolution
The Orange Revolution occurred in Ukraine in 2004-2005. The cause of the Orange Revolution was voter fraud. Exit polls for the election suggested that Viktor Yuschenko had received over 50% of the vote while incumbent Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich received around 43% of the vote, yet as the night wore on the voter turnout for Yanukovich favored areas increased from an estimated 70% to over 90% in many places (Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, n.d.). Many Ukranians were suspected major corruption had taken place in order to ensure Yanukovich won.
Viktor Yuschenko quickly called for Ukranian workers to strike and demonstrate peacefully against state sanctioned corruption, which large number of Ukrainian’s did. The goal of the protests was to hold new elections. After several days of mass protests the Ukrainian parliament declared the previous election results invalid and, upon held another vote which Viktor Yuschenko won, and was declared President of Ukraine (Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, n.d.).
Policies and Tactics of the Revolutions
The policies and tactics of the American Revolution and the Orange Revolution began relatively similar, but diverged heavily out of necessity. After peaceful attempts failed, the United States Continental Congress raised an army and went to waged war against the British Empire. The American forces often choose to engage British forces in guerrilla warefare and would ambush unsuspecting traveling British brigades, this type of conflict was especially helpful for the Americans, as the British forces were trained to fight on battlefields, in straight lines (The American Revolution).
The Orange Revolution was largely peaceful. Ukrainians help peaceful demonstrations and many Ukrainian workers went on strike. The Ukrainian people were able to achieve their goals using only peaceful protests as the Ukrainian Parliament responded to their concerns quickly. It is unclear whether Ukrainians would be willing to resort to violent action to achieve their goals during the Orange Revolution, but certainly seems possible. In that way, the American Revolution and Orange Revolution are similar.
“England, India, and the East Indies.” (n.d.). Fordham University. Retrieved from http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/india/1617englandindies.asp
Karatnycky, Adrian. “Ukraine’s Orange Revolution.” (March/April 2005). Foreign Affairs. Retrieved from https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2005-03-01/ukraines-orange-revolution
Marshall, Peter. “The British Presence in India in the 18th Century.” (Feb. 17, 2011). BBC. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/east_india_01.shtml
“Taxation Without Representation.” (n.d.). British Parliament Archives. Retrieved from http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/parliamentary-archives/archives-highlights/archives-stamp-act/
“The American Revolution.” (n.d.). Library of Congress.Retrieved from http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/amrev/north/