Revolutions on Trial

This is how I solved the driving question for the Revolutions on Trial Humanities project.  The driving question for this project is: how might we as legal teams determine the effectiveness of a revolution.

I will write the answer to this at the bottom of my post.  For this project we had to create a mock trial about whether our revolution was successful or not.

This is my review and process of our project.

I think that if I were to do it again then I would find more data that supports our case for the affidavit.

I think that the presentation turned out well, and I am proud of the final result.

The steps that we took to complete this project were:

Nation X:

In Nation X we were split into two different groups, and each group went into a different room. 

Each group was split again 4 times. There was class D, class C, class B, and class A. The classes represented the hierarchy of our “Nation.” I was in class A, the lowest class. Class B was the largest class and they got paid 2$ daily, whereas us class A’s only got 1$ daily. The class C’s got 5$ daily, and the D’s got 10$ daily. We all had out individual jobs, and we completed them to get paid. There was one person in class D that was the King. The King got paid 20$ a day, and could create a law out of thin air for no reason. Our king didn’t do much and had an assistant in class D that basically had all the power. The D’s and C’s could vote, but the B’s and A’s could not. There were also foods and goods sold by some of the B’s that could be bought. We A’s got pretty restless after the second day but I’ll come back to that later. The C’s job was to be enforcement officers and they could just arrest A’s and B’s for no reason, as long as the King was not opposed to it or did not know about it. Did I forget to mention that the A’s and B’s were not allowed to talk to the C’s and D’s without permission? Some of the lucky B’s were promoted to the C category, as they the C’s did not have enough to officers.

Here is a newspaper from day 2 of our simulation:

So you can probably see by now that the society was pretty unjust for the B’s and A’s, and some of us got mad about it. We in group A had a solution: revolt. So we passed around a piece of paper in group B and A to see who wanted revolution, and of course almost everyone did. So on the night of day 2 we stormed the upper classes, and one person from our group took half of group D’s money and all of group C’s money. No one was pretend killed in the revolution, as it was stopped midway when the King’s assistant paid everyone to stop revolting and gave us the voting rights. Afterwards the King was broke and sold the crown to the goods shop at group B. Group A bought the crown for 50$. On day 5 some group B’s had an idea for a more just society: A council where 2 people from each group would sit and have equal voting rights. This council was put in place just before the simulation ended. Afterwards we were told to write about how are simulation went, did we create a just society in the end, and how we thought it would relate to real revolutions.

Animal Farm:

Animal Farm is supposed to be and analogy about the Russian Revolution. It was written by George Orwell in 1945, and was made into two different movies, one animated, one live action. In this part of the project we read the book, and made notes on each chapter as we read through it. We had to do a test on how the revolutions in the book relate to Crane Brinton’s theory, which is an anatomy of a revolution. I will put the link to my written response/test here.

Here is the Anatomy of a Revolution from Crane Brinton:

Look at the written response if you want to know about the Russian Revolution and Animal Farm. 

The Mock Trial:

For the Mock Trial we were split into groups, and my group was the prosecution for the Xinhai Revolution, and we had to create an affidavit that contained useful information to support our claim. To gather information for our affidavit, we had to search the internet for quotes, articles, and images to support our claim that the Xinhai Revolution was ineffective. An effective revolution has to have:

  • Political reform aligning with the voice of the people.
  • Increased rights, freedoms, and liberties for the people.
  • Removal of a dictator with full control in all matters.
  • Financial stability achieved.
  • Standard of living improved.
  • Removal of internal conflict.

Our group found it difficult to find information against the revolution, as China is known for censorship and they were for the revolution, so they would remove information against the revolution and the public image is very important to China. Once we gathered the information to support our opinion we put it into our affidavit and filtered out the ones that best supported our claim. I will leave the link to the affidavit here.

Once we finished the affidavit we went on to make the script template which took quite a long time and I will leave the link to here.

The script template was made by us choosing roles, as we had lawyers, and the witness. Our witness was Zhang Gang, a man who was for the revolution at first, but then was against it once he realized that it was not as fair and just after the revolution as the revolutionaries said it would be. In the presentation part of this, we did end up losing to the defence, but I feel that we still had a good argument nonetheless. I do think that this revolution was effective, even though I was placed on the prosecution team. If you want to see all the presentations I will leave the link the the videos here.

Here is the video of our mock trial

I learned a lot about how to prepare for arguments for different sides of an opinion. Even though I did not agree with the side I was on, I still argued for it. I think that lawyers would sometimes also have to do the same.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and have a great day.

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