For much of the nineteenth century, Finland was under Russian rule. This began in 1809 when Finland was made part of the Russian Empire. As part of the Russian Empire, Finland was autonomous in domestic policy but not foreign policy. Finland was allowed to create its own laws through its parliament, but Russian tsars controlled Finland and decided Finnish foreign affairs. Finns generally had no problem with this situation because the Russian government did not interfere with internal affairs.
In the 1840’s there were high tensions between Hungary and the Austrian Empire. Hungary, a part of the larger Austrian Empire, was characterized by nationalistic fervor and that feeling erupted in a violent insurgency in 1848. Franz Josef, the emperor of the Austrian Empire, forcefully put down the rebellion, with assistance from Russian military forces.
Russia first occupied Lithuania and introduced a program of “Russification,” an attempt to eliminate Lithuanian language and culture in favor of Russian culture, in the mid-19th century. After 22 years of independence from Russia, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939 reintroduced the Soviet Union’s dominance over Lithuania—as well as the other Baltic states: Estonia and Latvia. The Soviet Union publicly stated that Lithuania had joined the USSR willingly, although secret protocols of the pact disputed this. Following World War II, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania.
The 13 English colonies in North America were established and grew during the 17th and 18th centuries. During most of this time, the colonists lived under what historians have termed “salutary neglect,” meaning that the English government mostly left them alone and the colonies prospered under these conditions.
Benin gained its independence from France in 1960 and was then named Dahomey. Colonel Mathieu Kérékou took power of the country in a coup in 1972 and later renamed the country the People’s Republic of Benin, organized the economy under a Marxist-Leninist ideology, and outlawed all political parties except his People’s Revolutionary Party of Benin. By the 1980s, Kérékou remained as the president of Benin, but the economy was failing. The government had to lower government aid to students and the salaries for civil servants and in 1988 the state owned banks crashed. Fa
Turks and Caicos is a British Territory of 8 islands in the Caribbean with a formal population of approximately 15,000, mostly descendants of African slaves. England appoints a Governor to the island for a minimum of three years, but the islands also have their own local government, a legislative council of 13 ministers. Because of their geographic location, the islands are a convenient stop in drug smuggling to the United States. The drug trade through the Islands climaxed in 1985, when U.S. authorities caught a native official bringing drugs to the United States.
On June 26th, 1958, workers from the Sindicato de Trabajadores Ferrocarrileros de la República Mexicana (STFRM, Union of Railroad Workers of the Mexican Republic) initiated a series of escalating strikes led by Demetrio Vallejo. Vallejo had formed a General Action Committee after participating in a Union wage-price study committee that had determined a proper increase in wages of 350 pesos ($28) per month based on the decrease in real wages due to inflation.
Through the 1830s, the Cherokee owned incredibly rich, fertile land that was desired by their white neighbors. In 1828, gold was discovered in Cherokee nation, setting off the Georgia gold rush. Though the Cherokee had been resisting social forces trying to displace them, legal pressure began to mount to allow access to the land and to remove the Cherokee from it. In 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, forcing the Cherokee in Georgia and other areas east of the Mississippi River to relocate to other Indian lands in the West, primarily in Oklahoma.
In 1984, the Guinean President Lansana Conté first seized power through a coup, and after that won three elections. In 2006, Transparency International ranked Guinea as the most corrupt country in Africa. Also in 2006, labor and trade union alliances launched two general strikes, protesting the economic misery in Guinea and the government in general.
Tunisians overthrow dictator and demand political and economic reform (Jasmine Revolution), 2010-2011
Over the past several decades, high unemployment, high food prices, and widespread poverty have characterized much of Tunisia. Government corruption and a paucity of political freedoms have also painted its landscape, making it exceedingly difficult for Tunisians to express dissent against the ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party. However, on 17 December 2010, 26-year-old Mohammed Bouazizi doused himself in paint thinner and set himself on fire in front of the Sidi Bouzid municipal office in response to the confiscation of his produce stand, his violent treatment a
Born into a family of well-to-do Ṣūfī marabouts (clerics), Sheikh Amadu Bàmba Mbàcke – whose Arabic name was Aḥmad Ibn Muḥammad
Ibn Ḥabīb al-Lah – lived from roughly 1854 to 1927. Through his emphases on piety, hard work,
singular devotion to God, the corrupting potential of governmental power,
mystical pedagogy, and principled nonviolence, Bàmba effectively (and of
secondary interest if not unwittingly) led the black Sénégalese population to de facto political and economic
The Guatemalan people have endured numerous hardships throughout the years, but none more tragic than those perpetrated by the Guatemalan government and military during the country’s thirty-six year civil war. The Guatemalan civil war began in 1960, when a group of insurgents sought to depose the US-backed military government. The military had obtained complete authority in Guatemala by overthrowing the democratically elected President Jacobo Árbenz in 1957.
The 1996-1997 protests in Serbia were an important step forward in the expressing the voice of the Serbian people and laid the groundwork for a broad, popular nonviolent movement that would eventually lead to the overthrow of longtime Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic. The campaign, which stretched from November 1996 to February 1997, was a public condemnation of Milosevic’s annulment of an opposition party victory in the November 1996 parliamentary elections.
In the mid 1950’s hundreds of loggers were employed by the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company (AND). Many of these workers were employed out of Grand Falls, near the town of Badger, Newfoundland, Canada. These particular workers soon felt that they were not being treated as they should be, and became increasingly frustrated with the low wages and uncomfortable living situations in the bush camps. These camps had cramped, cold, uncomfortable sleeping areas and lacked both showers and heaters for warmth.
Dissatisfied with lack of democracy and the Soviet Union’s influence on their country, Ukrainian university students in L'viv established the Student Brotherhood in March of 1989. In December students in the capital city of Kiev formed the Ukrainian Students Union.
In 2011, the Independent Electoral Commission of Benin organized a new electronic voting system for the upcoming presidential election, which would require voters to be pre-registered in order to fill out their ballots. The Commission registered people by going door to door in 77 different Beninese counties. This method didn’t prove to be effective enough however, as around 1.3 million Beninese citizens were still not registered to vote. Many questioned the credibility of the voters role when such a large number of voters were unregistered by the end of February (close to election time).
Apartheid, the legalized segregation of blacks – and other people of color – and whites, was actively employed in South Africa. Black South Africans experienced discrimination in facilities, workplaces, educational institutions, medical care, and public services. However, organizations and individuals began rising up and demanding the end of apartheid. The African National Congress (ANC) was founded in 1912 and was the primary organization through which black South Africans began actively pursuing their rights through legal means.
When Dr. Jerry Lee, the sixth president of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. announced his plans to step down from the position on August 24, 1987, the Board of Trustees at the University quickly arranged a Presidential Search Committee that would begin looking for candidates to become the new university president. Ultimately, the Search Committee submitted the names of three finalists to the Board of Trustees on February 28, 1988. The Committee had selected: Dr. Harvey Corson (a deaf superintendent of the Louisiana School for the Deaf), Dr. I.
In South Korea, President Rhee Syngman of the Liberal Party won the March 1960 election with 88.7% of the votes. This implausible result was the result of election fraud: the day of the election the Liberal Party had stuffed ballots, switched ballots, and removed opposition ballots. On the eve of balloting, the police had also fired upon a group of Democratic Party supporters, killing eight. South Koreans in the city of Masan protested against the fraudulent election.
Increased prosperity and the expansion of electoral rights at the turn of the century in Argentina precipitated significant growth in the middle class, a population shift with the majority now living in urban centers, and broader enrollment in universities, as newly prosperous families were able to send their children into higher education. The universal suffrage law of 1912 (granted to men over 18) was first applied in 1916, when Hipolito Yrigoyen of the Radical Party was elected with support from the middle and working class.
In 1989, Bulgaria was part of the "wave" of nonviolent revolts against domination by the Soviet Union and its Communist-led governments in Eastern Europe (see Bulgarians campaign for democratic reforms and multi-party rule, 1989-90).
On 19 March 2006, Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko won his third term in office. The citizens of Belarus, however, did not meet the announcement of Lukashenko’s 82.6% majority win with cheers. Rather, immediately after the Sunday election, oppositional forces organized by presidential candidates Alaksandar Kozulin and Alaksandar Milinkievič claimed that the Belarusian government had rigged the vote. Citizens came to a mass rally in October Square in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
The Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) came to power in 2001. Since 2003 some Moldovans were in conflict with the government with regard to issues such as national identity and foreign policy. Many Moldovans still identified as Romanian, creating confusion and division as to which nationality was historically more accurate. Due to constant shifts in rulers and boundaries, there has been debate over whether the Moldovan or Romanian identity should be recognized by the government.
In 1992, Joseph E Estrada ran for Vice President on the National People’s Coalition ticket. Although the party’s presidential candidate, Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr., lost the election to Fidel Ramos, Estrada won the vice presidential contest. He served as Vice President for 6 years leading the Anti-Crime Commission and was also responsible for a number of high-profile crime arrests in the Philippines.
Mexico’s political atmosphere has long dealt with corruption. For over 70 years, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) retained strict control over the government, manipulating elections in its favor. In 2000, Vincente Fox, of the National Action Party (PAN), gained presidential office. This election shocked the nation, as it broke the PRI’s uninterrupted rule. To Mexico, the 2000 elections marked a change in the government; Fox’s victory represented free and fair democratic elections.