Using Brinton’s Fever Model for the Chinese Revolutions

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Name: Timur Berilo Block: 4 Date: 5/20/14

Using Brinton’s Fever Model for the Chinese Revolutions:



Examples from the Chinese Revolutions:


this stage would involve the political, social, intellectual, or economic causes

  • Corrupt government

  • Famine/ Food Shortages

  • Overpopulation

  • Peasant Unrest

  • Ineffective government

  • The oppression of foreigners following the Opium War with Britain

  • The oppressive government of Chiang Kai-Shek

  • Japanese brutality during WWII


This stage would be the first to involve direct action resulting from the social, political, intellectual, or economic causes of the incubation stage. This stage might involve the publication

of works calling for a change, street level riots by the common people, or more direct attempts at changing the society

  • Revolution of 1911

  • The “Tank Man” of Tiananmen Square

  • The Long March/ Massacre of Communists in 1928

  • Tiananmen Square student protests

  • The formation of Mao’s Red Guard

  • Only very little westernization of China


It may involve conflict where sides for and against the revolution compete. This competition could take the form of debate or full-scale war. Successful revolutions survive this stage.

Those that do not are usually considered failed rebellions

  • The War of 1927 (Revolutionary Army)

  • The Tiananmen Square Massacre

  • The Chinese Revolution of 1949

  • The exiling of the Nationalists to Taiwan

  • The death of millions at the hands of Mao’s plans


This stage would involve recovering from the extreme disruptions of the crisis stage. In general, the political, social, intellectual, or economic causes of the revolution must be addressed in some way, though not necessarily to the satisfaction of all revolutionaries.

  • The Great Leap Forward

  • The Communist Revolution

  • The stripping of private landownership from individuals

  • The Cultural Revolution of 1966

  • Women were granted equality to men/ foot-binding was abolished

  • Reeducation according to Mao’s “little red book”

What problems did you encounter when trying to apply the Fever Model to the Chinese Revolution? Explain.

The main, almost overwhelming problem that I faced when trying to apply the Fever Model to the Chinese Revolutions was that the events of the revolutions didn’t coincide perfectly with the stages of the Fever Model. Over the course of the 20th century, China had many crises that didn’t necessarily all come after a single period of symptoms. When trying to order and classify each event as one of the four stages of the Fever Model, I had to account for whether the event led to anything or whether it created a dud. Furthermore, some events were so broad that they could have fit into multiple areas of the Fever Model, such as the Great Leap Forward: it could be a crisis and a convalescent event. With the multiple revolutions that occurred during the 20th century in China, confusion about the order of stages and events was prevalent when trying to fill out this Fever Model.

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