Reactions to Economic Unrest

World War I had a tremendous impact on the Russian economy. Prices skyrocketed due to the expenses of Russian efforts and there was a paucity of food. There was a lack of sufficient transportation, which caused much of the food to spoil because it could not be delivered quickly. These conditions led to chaos and disorder in Petrograd (St. Petersburg), creating an environment in which people became unhappy, and as a result, desired change. This created conditions that led in part to the February Revolution. Russia in the early 20th century to today, I find that many countries are experiencing the same sort of chaos due a poor economy. According to the Los Angeles Times, 26.02% of people inhabiting Spain are unemployed, which is approximately 5.9 million people who do not have jobs. This is a higher unemployment rate than during the Great Depression in the United States. Because there are minimal employment opportunities in Spain, Spaniards are leaving the country to find work and prosper elsewhere. Obviously, people are not happy. Another example is Greece, where, according to BBC news, 26.8% of people are unemployed. Could this economic unrest in either Spain or Greece lead to a revolution? What do you think will be the reaction to this economic hardship?


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3 Responses to Reactions to Economic Unrest

  1. dharbeck says:

    I don’t see a revolution happening in either Greece or Spain, the Russian Revolution focused on a change in government and Greece and Spain’s problems do not originate from their form of government. The United States did not have a revolution after the Great Depression, Greece and Spain just need aid from other countries and they will eventually rise above their economic problems.

  2. Dr. K says:

    There currently aren’t signs (so far as I can tell) of revolution in either Greece or Spain, despite the economic difficulties that Madison points out. David, your comments suggest it’s because certain kinds of government are less vulnerable to revolutions. Madison’s point about people leaving, however, suggests more generally that there needs to be some kind of “safety valve”? Which do you think it is?

    • Madison says:

      Hi Dr. K,
      I agree with you that is not yet a revolution in Spain, but it is interesting to note that today, Saturday February 23, “tens of thousands” of Spaniards are gathering in major cities such as Madrid, Seville, Barcelona, and Zaragoza to protest the economic conditions of their country. These protests across the nation are known as the Marena Ciudadana, meaning Tide of Citizens. Protestors blame the government for the poor economic conditions, such as the high unemployment rate. Young people are especially unhappy because they have no job prospects – 55% of people between the ages of 16 and 24 do not have jobs. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes of these protests. Please see the following links for an informative video and more information:

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