How Global Was the Age of Revolutions? The Case of Mount Lebanon, 1821

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This article addresses the question of the geographical scope of the ‘age of revolutions’ (c.1750–1850) through the case of a peasant uprising in Mount Lebanon in 1821. This uprising had similarities with recent and contemporary revolutions and rebellions, which have led some to suggest the influence of the ideas of the French Revolution of 1789 or the Greek Revolution of 1821. This article argues that influence at the level of ideas was unimportant, but that the similarities can plausibly be traced to similar and connected contexts at the level of political economy, as the expansion and crisis of military-fiscal states provoked opposition ‘from below’ and renegotiations of sovereignty. This focus on political economy rather than genealogies of ideas can then help define an ‘age of revolutions’ extending beyond Europe and the north Atlantic into the Ottoman empire, Latin America, and other regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-84
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Global History
Issue number1
Early online date3 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


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