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The Orange Revolution

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A. The rise of imperialism by Portugal was due to the pursuit of exploration and trade. Imperialism is the acquisition of territory by either political or military force, while colonialism is sending citizens to inhabit and populate a new territory. Portugal landed in Brazil on April 23, 1500 and began setting up trading stations called “feitorias”.(Skidmore, 1999) Portugal did not have the population to colonize the new land and these stations were minimally staffed but secured by military means. The Portuguese used “bandeirantes” or armed groups to explore the land capturing Indians for labor and to look for precious metals. The religious order of Portuguese Jesuits was an aggressive mission network that used Indian labor on ranches and vineyards to subjugate the Indians. They also assimilated the Indian people by establishing Christianity. (Skidmore, 1999) Intrusions by the French and Spanish made Portugal resort to trying to establish a greater hold on Brazil by using a semi feudal system giving hereditary land grants to nobles in hopes that they would use the natural resources for their own profit while serving the crown.

This is when colonization of Brazil began. The nobles would not risk their personal assets, so in 1550 a governor-generalship was created and Governor Tome` de Souza was appointed. (Skidmore, 1999) Portugal’s imperialism in Brazil began as an expansion of trading eventually leading to a governed new land. 1. The Indians of Brazil reacted by trying to resist the Portuguese but they were not as civilized as the city building Indians of Mexico and the Andes Mountains. (Skidmore, 1999) They did not have the armies or fighting forces so they were forced into labor. Some did retreat to the inland, here it was difficult for the Portuguese to follow and capture them due to the heavy vegetation of the rain forest.(Skidmore, 1999) This gave them the advantage in protecting themselves. This led to a decline in the population of native people from maltreatment and European disease they did not have immunity to resist.

B. The American Revolution beginnings started around 1763 at the conclusion of the French and Indian War. The British had spent a great deal of resources during the war and with the Indian threat felt they had to keep an Army in the American colonies. Great Britain decided that the American colonists should help pay for the cost of the war and keeping an army in the colonies. (“Annenberg Learner,” 2013) The taxes that the crown would try to implement on the colonists would be the root cause for the revolution. The first tax on molasses was met with little opposition but the Stamp Act of 1763 brought a backlash that Great Britain did not foresee. Taxes in Great Britain were considered a gift from the people and were given with their consent. The colonist had no representation in parliament and believed that the taxation without representation was unfair. The stamp tax included American legal documents, newspapers, pamphlets, dice, and playing cards.(“Annenberg Learner,” 2013) With the push back against the taxes, two regiments of troops were sent in to protect the British royal officials. On March 5, 1770 British troops fired their muskets into a crowd of colonists protesting their presence and five people were killed in what became known as the Boston Massacre. (“Annenberg Learner,” 2013)

This also made the colonists distrust the government because they believed that free people were not governed at the point of a gun. The original goal of the colonist was to live as free men under the British flag. The goal changed over time when reconciliation with the British government became apparent and the colonists became to distrust the government. The colonists wanted independence from Great Britain and made this known with the Declaration of Independence in 1776. They achieved their goal after Ben Franklin and John Adams help negotiate their independence in Paris. (“Annenberg Learner,” 2013) The strategies employed by the colonists to gain their independence took the form of documents and actions. The colonist boycotted British goods after the government imposed taxes on them. After the announcement of the Stamp Act, colonist hung an effigy of the Massachusetts stamp distributor Andrew Oliver in a tree and later burned it in a bonfire. (“Annenberg Learner,” 2013) First Oliver and then all the stamp distributors resigned and the stamp tax could not be forced. Petitions were sent to the king to ask him to act in behalf of the colonists.

A farmer, John Dickinson, wrote a series in the newspapers called “Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania” urging colonists to resist buying goods with duties on them.(“Annenberg Learner,” 2013) When tea was the only thing left with a duty on it Bostonians border a ship with a large tea shipment and dumped it all into the Boston harbor, this was the famous “Boston Tea Party”. In the beginning of 1776 Thomas Paine wrote “Common Sense” telling the colonists it was time to depart ways with Great Britain and that the problem was the British government of monarchy and hereditary rule. Paine believed that they needed to govern themselves to have the freedom they desired. (“Annenberg Learner,” 2013) Then on July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed. War was the final outcome. The colonists used many tactics from bands of home/land owners to eventually a paid army. After winning the battle of Saratoga in 1777, the Americans were able to create an alliance with France that gave them an advantage. The colonist also used guerilla warfare which led to the defeat of British Commander Cornwallis at Yorktown, Va.(Joes, 1996)

This broke the will of the Crown which eventually led to Ben Franklin and John Adams negotiating the independence of America and granted them the land from the Canadian border to the northern border of Florida.(“Annenberg Learner,” 2013) The Orange Revolution in Ukraine began due to years of a corrupt government following its independence from the Soviet Union. The Ukrainian people were also very dissatisfied with the direction of post-Soviet Ukraine. The people wanted a more western style democracy and President Kuchma ruled with a style closer to the old Soviet Union. (“Soomo,” 2013) In 2000 President Kuchma was also suspected of having, Georgi Gongadse, a journalist who worked to expose corruption executed. A small protest began at this time called “Ukraine without Kuchma”. Then Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was removed from her post by Kuchma who did not agree with her proposed energy sector reforms. This sparked further opposition in forming the “National Salvation Forum” with Tymoshenko becoming an opposition leader. (Fritz, 2007) Protest now gathered up to 10,000 in opposition. Prime Minister Victor Yushchenko was pushed out of office for in his words not paying for political votes. (Fritz, 2007)

More corruption took place heading up to the 2004 presidential elections. The elections pitted Victor Yushchenko, leader of the opposition, against Victor Yanukovych who was backed by Kuchma. After a fraudulent election declaring Yanukovych the winner when all exit polling showed Yushchenko winning. Tymoshenko called for a general strike and the day following the elections 100,000 people were on the streets of Kyiv. A youth movement set up a tent city in Kyiv. The protesters wore orange, the color of Yushchenko’s campaign, thus giving it the name “Orange Revolution”. The crowds of protesters would grow to 1million. After a repeat vote on December 26 ordered by the Supreme Court and pressured by western governments, Yushchenko was declared the winner.(Fritz, 2007) The dawn of a new day that Ukranians were anticipating may have went unknown because Yushchenko would be an ineffective president and end up losing to Yanukovych in the 2010 elections. (“Soomo,” 2013) The government would move back to a more eastern style. The short term goal of ending the corruption of the Kuchma government and having free elections were realized but corruption from the leaders of Ukraine still exist.


Fritz, V. (2007). State-building: a copmparative study of Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, and Russia. [ebrary book]. Retrieved from http://lrps.wgu.edu/provision/8541878 Joes, A. J. (1996). Guerilla warfare: A historical, biographical and bibliographical sourcebook. [ebrary book]. Retrieved from http://lrps.wgu.edu/provision/8541499 Skidmore, T. E. (1999). Brazil: Five centuries of change. [ebrary book]. Retrieved from http://lrps.wgu.edu/provision/24123882 Soomo (2013) The Orange Revolution. Retrieved from http://courses.soomopublishing.com/context/76e753bf-b666-40dc-a665-503595c0b665/tocs/51db14842e0b830002000001/chapters/51ddba66e190ac4d960002a4 The coming of independence. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.learner.org/biographyofamerica/prog04/index.html

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