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.
Beginning in 1931 Jorge Ubico ruled Guatemala with an iron fist with the help of the vicious secret police. He admired Hitler’s tactics. By the summer of 1944, a similarly brutal dictator, Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, was overthrown in the face of a widespread nonviolent campaign in nearby El Salvador. This campaign served as a template for Guatemala’s own movement.
In the 1940s, Nazi Germany under the government of Adolf Hitler was advancing its conquest of Europe during the Second World War. By May 1940, Luxembourg, a small neutral country bordering Germany, was placed under military occupation by forces of the Third Reich. The meager resistance made by local police forces and customs officers at the border crossing was quickly crushed by the German Wehrmacht, the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Regarding the First Intifada as "nonviolent" is controversial because of the violence that accompanied the campaign. Aden Tedla's narrative does not try to hide the violent dimension. Three considerations lead us to include the case in this database. First, a significant part of the campaign leadership worked very hard to keep the campaign nonviolent. Second, the masses participated in the nonviolent methods, not in the violence. Third, other scholars in the field of nonviolent action include the Intifada, although acknowledging its ambiguities.
The plebeians made up the majority of the citizen population of Ancient Rome and occupied the economic range anywhere below the ruling Patrician class and above the slave class. A Senate made up of 100 men from traditional patrician families and 200 conscripti, selected from other wealthy families, ruled the Roman Republic, which began in 509 BCE. The Senate elected two Consuls with executive authority to oversee the city’s day-to-day governance for a one-year period.
The Brisbane tramways, located in Queensland, Australia, were owned by General Electric Company, a private British company. Joseph Stillman Badger, an American, was its manager. He refused to allow the formation of any industrial union among the company employees. In other parts of Australia, tramway employees in Melbourne and Adelaide faced similar opposition and they were forbidden to wear any sign of membership of the union. The higher authority claimed the wearing of badges by unionists would intimidate the non-badge-wearers.
In 1957, Haitian elections put Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier in power as “president-for-life.” When he died in 1971, his son, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier took over. There were no elections during either regime, and both presidents used force to keep the populace subservient. Papa Doc was dependent on his secret police, the Ton-Ton Macoutes (Haitian Creole for Bogeymen), to use violence against the people. Although Baby Doc formally disbanded the Macoutes, the group continued throughout his regime as the Volunteers for National Security, and maintained the same violent presence.
In the beginning of November 1996 and for the next several weeks, high school students boycotted classes to demand the establishment of a registry, improved study conditions, and the means for obtaining a good education. Students also protested the lack of job prospects. The Trade Union of Education Workers of Guiana (UTG) declared its support for the students.
The strikes and demonstrations that deposed President Gustavo Rojas Pinilla of Colombia were planned somewhat day to day and began as reactionary actions in response to Rojas’s attempts to hold power indefinitely. The opposition to Rojas had a wide base, across social classes and political party lines, and varied spokesmen, from students to political leaders to the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. This was a result of the growing discontentment with the direction of the Rojas regime.
In Cameroon in 1989, attorney and Duala chief Yondo Black formed a new major political party, initiating a significant change in the national political climate towards support for a multi-party system. The ruling party of Cameroon was the Cameroonian People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM), and at its helm was President Paul Biya. One of Black’s aims was to challenge the rule of Biya, who had been in office for nine years at that point. Biya and the party have been able to maintain a stronghold on national governance largely due to significant external support from France.
Beginning in 1981, Hosni Mubarak ruled Egypt for over twenty-nine years. Though he ran for
presidential reelection several times, elections were marked by widespread
fraud, and opposing politicians were legally prohibited from running against
Mubarak until 2005. Virtually all key officials in government were from
Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP). Mubarak constructed a vast security
apparatus to control public dissent; in the 1990s, citizens would only whisper
his name for fear of reprisal. For his entire tenure as president, Egypt was in
Madagascar was officially proclaimed a colony of France in 1896, and gained independence in June 1960. For the first couple decades following independence, one-party rule and political turmoil, including violent and nonviolent struggle, characterized the country.
Before the start of the 20th century, there were about 62,000 Indians living in South Africa, including the British colonies of Natal and the Cape, and the Boer republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State (OFS). Most Indians were indentured laborers or newly freed laborers.
Ghana was the first African country south of the Sahara to gain its independence. The process aimed at African representation had begun as early as the 1920s and under the post-World War II Constitution African parties were allowed to contest elections. But the British tended to favor cooperation with conservative African chiefs and a small intellectual elite, who no longer represented the people as a whole.
In March 1920, Walther von Lüttwitz, a commanding general in the German army, and Wolfgang Kapp, a German provincial official (with the help of a few other German officials, such as Chief of Staff, General Hans von Seeckt and his collaborators in the Ministry of Defense), attempted a coup d'état (called the Kapp Putsch). The conspirators had two main aims in mind: to avoid the implementation of certain articles in the Treaty of Versailles (such as the reduction of the German army) and to replace the government of the Republic with a Rightist regime.
The 2006 general strike in Nepal was part of a larger democracy movement in the country. Nepal has had a historically monarchal government dating back to the mid-eighteenth century. In the 1940’s, political opposition rose, critical of the enduring, often unstable, autocratic rule and calling for democratic reforms. In 1951, Nepal instated the Nepali Congress Party, dissolving some of the monarchic hegemony.
Sierra Leone is a West African country of 6 million people. Now a constitutional democracy, dictators and one-party governments ruled for decades and the people endured periods of civil war.
In 1996 the country had its first multiparty elections and freely elected its first civilian government in 34 years. Hope soared. The following year, on May 25, a group of young military officers led a coup that overthrew the government. The new government called itself the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).
In December 1950, the municipal authorities in Barcelona increased the cost of tram fare by 40%. Working class families were outraged. The cost of living had been rising and the price of food was at an all-time high. On February 8, 1951, an anonymous leaflet circulated throughout Barcelona, calling for a boycott of the city’s trams to begin on March 1 until the fares were returned to their regular price. As the date of the boycott approached, citizens from across the city began to make their anger known. On February 22, groups of individuals united in protest a
French-occupied Syria was facing darkening hopes for more independence from France at the end of 1935. The major Syrian nationalist party, the National Bloc, was losing power, the Syrian Parliament was adjourned and the government in power was under the unpopular Shaikh Taj al-Din al-Hasani. France was also refusing to negotiate a new treaty with Syria. In a move to squash the National Bloc altogether, the French authorities closed the office of the National Bloc in Damascus on January 20, 1936, and arrested two leaders from the Bloc: Fakhri al-Barudi and Sayf al-Din al-Ma’min.
For two years prior to this campaign there was a violent struggle to oust dictator Gerardo Machado: running gun battles, bombings, political assassinations. The leading violent group agreed to a ceasefire in July 1933 to allow for mediation, but smaller groups continued with some attacks.
In the 1930s, many South American countries experienced great upheavals. This was due mostly to the fact that there were many dictators in the majority of the countries there. These upheavals came in many forms and leaders used many different tactics, however they often resulted in the government being overthrown. One such overthrowing was attempted in Ecuador in 1933 during the regime of President Jean de Dios Martinez Mera.
In a shooting incident on May 30, 1925, Sikh police under British command opened fire on Chinese protestors in the International Settlement of Shanghai, killing nine demonstrators and wounding many others. News of the incident spread across China, triggering an outburst of nationalism and prompting protests all over, but especially in Shanghai and Canton (Guangzhou) – two cities with concentrated British interests.
Agitation in Iran was visible by May 1977 in predominantly intellectual circles. A group of lawyers—upset by the government’s interference in the judiciary—drafted a strongly worded manifesto chronicling the legal abuses that had occurred under the Shah’s regime. Poets formed a Writers’ Association to call for an end to censorship and the activity of SAVAK, the Shah’s secret police. A National Organization of University Teachers began fighting for academic freedom while university and seminary students called for academic freedom in the schools.
Spain experienced an economic downturn in the early 1990s due to the global recession that affected it and many other countries. In 1993, the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE, Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) won the national elections for the fourth straight time, having begun its rule with the 1982 election. However, the party, led by Felipe Gonzalez, lost more popularity with each of the elections and alienated a substantial part of the working class. Gonzalez was accused of moving to the right, failing to create jobs, and putting business interests ahead of the workers.
General Paul Eugène Magloire was elected President of Haiti in 1950 with ninety-nine percent of the vote in an army-monitored election and the official support of the army, church, elite, and American embassy behind him. He implemented a successful economic program and oversaw a period of the best economic growth in Haiti in a century, reforming the banking system, attracting foreign investment, fostering tourism, and instituting a Five Year Plan in 1951 to boost agricultural expenditures.