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Civil rights (or pariah) movements
The concept of civil rights in modern times was created
by the medieval peace movement when they proclaimed the municipality
as a local resident who jointly defended the peace against predatory
lords. For a long time, the concept of citizenship was linked to
the city. Only with the French Revolution was it linked to the whole
country, and from the UN Declaration of Human Rights (a result of
the success of labor and anti-colonial movements) one can begin to
think of a global citizenship.
The demands for universal and equal civil rights were one of the great popular movement themes of the 19th century. They were run by different marginalized groups with different purposes.
On the one hand, the excluded or marginalized in the industrialized countries, mainly workers and women, who tried to break the bourgeoisie’s monopoly on state power. In addition, they fought for a broader concept of citizenship, one that corresponded to the membership of the pre-industrial village, which included social rights. In many countries, they were more or less supported by middle classes who saw themselves pressured by the arrogant demands of power of the upper class.
On another hand, the inhabitants of occupied countries in the South, who tried to break the colonial power’s racist discrimination and oppression. That movement got off to a violent start already in connection with the French Revolution when the slaves in Haiti applied for citizenship. But in general, it was not until 1900 that people in the South began to define their demands as equal rights. Due to the fact that independence soon became an obvious focus in their movements, the demand for a long time tended to be exclusively directed against the North, but as the domestic elites increasingly move the affairs of transnational businesses, civil rights demands are now generally waking up at home as well.
On yet another hand, broad popular alliances in cases where power in a state has been conquered by a small coterie, e.g. the military or a minority party. Often such a coterie can come to power because it is good at playing on conflicts, which is why it is extremely difficult to gather resistance. But when it succeeds, as in Iran in 1978 or in Brazil in 1980-83 or in Eastern Europe in 1989, development will be rapid.
Today, there are four focuses for civil rights movements
and movements of the marginalized.