25 Strangest Facts about History’s Famous Rebellions

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1 Ciompi Revolt

Ciompi Revolt

A revolt of textile workers in 14th century Florence led to the son of a washerwoman becoming president when he entered the palace barefoot and overthrew the oligarchic government. For 4 years the republic was ruled almost entirely by middle-class artisans and shopkeepers.

2. The first student protest in the United States happened at Harvard in 1766 when a student yelled out “Behold, our butter stinketh!— give us, therefore, butter that stinketh not.” This sparked The Great Butter Rebellion.

3. During the American Revolution, many untrained American soldiers used bayonets to cook meat over fires rather than using them for close combat. After receiving bayonet combat training from a Prussian general, the American Army was able to win an entire battle without firing a shot.

4. During the Industrial Revolution some children were so poor their schools had to lend them shoes – and stamp them with a warning not to pawn them for money for food.

5. The only coup in US history occurred in North Carolina in 1898. A mob of white supremacists armed with rifles and pistols marched on City Hall in Wilmington and overthrew the local government, forcing both black and white officials to resign. The leader of the mob was later elected as mayor.

6 French Revolution

French Revolution

During the Reign of terror in the French Revolution, suspected royal sympathizers were rounded up in groups of 300-400 people. They were hogtied and placed on ships which were sunk at sea. This was known as Republican Baptisms. About 9000 people, mostly clergy, were estimated to have met this fate.

7. In 131 A.D., the Jews revolted against Rome for the second time in 50 years. Emperor Hadrian put down the Bar Kokhba revolt. He slaughtered 580,000 Jews and sold the remnants into slavery, starting a diaspora that would not be reversed for roughly 1800 years.

8. The German Coast Uprising of 1811 was the largest slave rebellion in U.S. history. It resulted in the death of 2 white men. In total, 95 black people were hanged and mutilated with their heads used to decorate New Orleans.

9. On August 25, 1921, the largest civil uprising in US history since the Civil War occurred when 10,000 Coal Miners battled 3,000 cops and “strikebreakers”. The coal miners were attempting to unionize the coal mines of West Virginia. US Troops were eventually brought in by Presidential Order.

10. A slave rebellion broke out on slave ship La Amistad in 1839, resulting in two deaths. The slaves were captured and stood trial. It was ruled that they acted as free men, and were entitled to take any measures necessary to ensure freedom, including force. They were all returned to Africa.

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11 1857 Indian Rebellion

1857 Indian Rebellion

The Indian rebellion of 1857 started because the East India Trading Company was asking its soldiers to bite the seal off their ammo cartridges, which were sealed with pork and beef animal fats (against Muslim and Hindu beliefs).

12. During the Hungarian Uprising, Radio Bucharest was raided by the Soviets in early October 1956, leaving only one western recording for the station to play: “My Boy Lollipop” by Barbie Gaye. The station played the song non-stop for over a month, making it very much the song of the revolution.

13. In 570 B.C., during a rebellion against Pharaoh Apries, one of his generals, Amasis, joined the rebels. Apries sent a messenger to try and convince Amasis to return. After listening to the messenger, Amasis raised his leg, farted, and told him to take that back to the Pharaoh.

14. During the American Revolution, a young Andrew Jackson was ordered by a British officer to clean his boots. When he refused, the officer slashed his sword at him, resulting in cuts on his hand and cheek. This left him with resentment towards all things British until his conversion in 1842.

15. During an English peasant revolt, a rebel leader nicknamed Captain Pouch promised to protect the rebels by the contents of his pouch. When the rebellion failed and he was captured, all that was found in his pouch was a piece of green cheese.

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16 Dazexiang uprising

Dazexiang uprising

During the Dazexiang uprising, in Qin China, 2 generals were late for a battle. Given that the penalty for being late for a government job was death, they decided to take their soldiers and start a rebellion to fight for their freedom, as the punishment for rebellion was also death.

17. During the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, President George Washington became the only sitting president to ever lead troops in the field.

18. During the French Revolution, radicals tried to introduce two competing religions to replace Christianity: the atheist Cult of Reason and the deist Cult of the Supreme Being.

19. During the Batavia mutiny of 1628, 340 survivors of a wreck were stranded on an island off the coast of Australia. A pharmacist leading the survivors had dozens massacred and by the time rescue arrived, there had been a battle for a makeshift fort built by survivors and over 100 people were dead.

20. During the 1916 Umatilla Petticoat Rebellion, a stealth write-in campaign by newly enfranchised women voters elected female candidates to every open seat of an Oregon town government, with the mayor losing office to his wife.

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21 Vienna uprising

Vienna uprising

During the 1848 uprising in Vienna, Emperor Ferdinand I asked Chancellor Metternich, upon seeing the protesters from his palace, what they were doing to which Metternich replied “They are making a revolution” to which the Emperor asked, “But are they allowed to do that?”

22. During the 2014 Thai coup d’etat, sandwiches were used as an anti-coup symbol, and a group of students were charged with “possessing sandwiches with ill intent.”

23. During the Easter Uprising in 1916 British Soldiers and Irish Volunteers held a cease-fire so that the groundskeepers could feed the ducks on St. Stephen’s Green.

24. During the Nian Rebellion over 100,000 people died when young men frustrated over the massive lack of women to marry rebelled against the Qing empire.

25. The Taiping Rebellion which led to the death of over 20-30 million people was started by a guy in China who thought he was the brother of Jesus Christ.

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