A revolution may only occur once in a lifetime, that is, if we are privileged enough to witness one. Sometimes it does not occur at all, but like life it is a fact of our existence. Without revolutions we would be mere drones, hurrying to and fro without feeling. During revolutions all of our most volatile emotions come to the surface; love, anger, frustration and yes, even hate. When such turbulent and fast-paced times do descend upon humanity, a select few individual figures arise from the rabble of the masses to chart a course of the latter's feelings, hopes and dreams. Most are tragically cut down in their prime by reactionary forces seeking a return to the bygone era of conservatism, or by the very people and institutions they sacrificed so much to help. Like the ideals of a revolution, the central figures themselves are often betrayed, their idealism trampled on and forgotten in the post-revolution race for power and prestige.
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5 Michael Collins
Michael Collins was the father of the modern Irish Independence movement. Born in 1890 to a well to do family, Collins quickly distinguished himself as an intelligent and caring individual. As Collins entered adulthood his native land of Ireland was going through a tumultuous period in its history. Although a part of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Irish never submitted to British rule and resisted whenever possible. By the time WWI dawned on the continent and the British were overstretched in dealing with a costly stalemate against Germany, the people of Ireland decided to rebel in 1916, known as the Easter Uprising, due to the time of year it took place. Although the uprising was put down by ruthless and brutal methods, Collins' star among the rebels skyrocketed. A skilled orator he galvanized the crowds and as an even better skilled negotiator he got the various warring factions of the independence movement to unite and fight for Ireland. What cemented Collins' legendary status was that of spymaster for the IRA during the War of Independence, successfully infiltrating and thwarting several British Intelligence operations directed personally against him and the movement. A post-WWI world saw the British Empire weakened and in 1922, after three years of war in Ireland, the British decided to give in....with a catch. Northern Ireland was to remain a part of Britain. Always the pragmatist, Collins agreed to the deal knowing 90% of Ireland independent was better than nothing, subsequently angering the more radical factions of the IRA. On the night of August 22, 1922 Michael Collins while travelling by car with several companions was ambushed and killed. While his death was quite mysterious, and with no autopsy performed, suspicion lay with the extremist factions of the IRA, angered by Collins' decision to negotiate with the British.
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2 Mahatma Gandhi
1 Martin Luther King Jr.
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