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A rebel is a person that stands up for their personal opinions regardless of what society perceives. Rebels stand up for what they believe is right, not what is approved by society. “A little rebellion here and there is considered as a good thing as it results in major changes,” says Thomas Jefferson. Rebels and rebellions are embraced in Modern America. Jefferson advocated for mild punishment so as not to discourage the rebels. Abraham Lincoln echoed Jefferson’s words when he stated that America’s inhabitants had the radical right to resist and rebel a government. Additionally, Ulysses Grant declared that the people of America have the right to revolution if they feel oppressed by the existing government (White). This acceptance is backed by the history of the results yielded by the rebellion of great rebels like Spartacus, Martin Luther, and George Washington.
Martin Luther was a German religious leader who acted as a catalyst to the Protestant reformation in the 16th century. He utilized his words and actions to precipitate a movement that split between the Roman Catholic traditions and the Protestants Traditions (Hillerbrand). They were such as Lutheranism, Anglican Communion, and Calvinism. He is among the most influential people in the history of Christianity.
Luther’s name quickly became a household name in Germany in the fall of 1517. This was after he had dispatched the Ninety-Five Theses to his superior to stop Johann Tetzel’s extreme preaching on sins’ forgiveness. In the theses, he provocatively questioned several aspects of the church and the Pope. For example, he asks why the wealthy Pope couldn’t put up the Basilica rather than depending on poor believers’ contributions to construct it. According to most scholars, Luther’s conversion to a new comprehension of the gospel was a lengthy process influenced by the indulgence controversy that was full-blown in the spring of 1518 (Hillerbrand). By the end of that year, Luther had attained a new understanding of the central Christian notion of reconciliation with God. As per the church, one attained salvation by going good deeds and works that would appease God, who would forgive their sins. Luther asserted that the restoration of humans was mainly a function of divine grace.
Some people believed in the reforms that Luther was advocating. After several formal hearings in Rome, Luther was condemned and excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. He managed to control the course of the reform that he had started. His influence remained strong. The primary reason for the reform was a theological one, but it became a political struggle. At around 1524, there were a series of peasant uprisings that addressed economic and political grievances. Luther’s reform proposals inspired them (Hillerbrand). They referenced Luther’s teachings that the Bible is the sole compass on matters about morality and beliefs when writing the “The Twelve Articles of the Peasants.” It indicated a shift in the people’s way of thinking concerning community and religious matters.
Spartacus symbolized a revolution against political corruption and moral insensitivity. He is still considered a hero in the present day. He was born an ordinary family that did not have either wealth or power. He studied in gladiator schools where discipline was strict, and he was trained on how to fight using different weapons. Gladiators were perceived as the most valueless and worthless of all the slaves (Chandler). The masters made their slaves gladiators due to the lack of an alternative way to generate income from them. When a gladiator won several consecutive fights, he would become famous and could accrue his slaves. During fights, they wore helmets that hid their faces. They were only recognizable in their fighting attire.
The fact that most gladiators lived short lives made Spartacus and other gladiators escaped from the school. They became an equivalent of an armed gang after hijacking a caravan that had carried lots of gladiator weapons and armor. Spartacus was their initial leader (Chandler). They trained themselves for the war on Mount Vesuvius while periodically invading the surrounding communities. When Spartacus and his men won the war led by Claudius Glaber, it was historical, and it ignited a spark of hope to slaves. Many slaves, both men, and women, joined the revolution. They fought fearlessly and later won more military attacks. This scared the Rome leaders, who realized that they had to find a way to kill Spartacus.
Even though Spartacus was eventually killed during the battle and his army crushed, significant reforms followed. The government forced the elite in society to be keener on the lower class’s desires and situations (Chandler). The reforms brought about an era of new politicians who combined their popularity with military success to cause the Roman Republic’s downfall. Spartacus is admired for his bravery. In the present day, Spartacus represents the cry of frustration in an unfair world by people who have given up and are willing to follow anyone who fights for them.
George Washington started as a Virginia farmer and became the American General. Despite him not having any English Education, he was dedicated to self-improvement. He started with ten slaves and a Ferry Farm that he had inherited from his father. His mother instilled in him lasting sensitivity to rejection. Gradually, he managed to accumulate wealth. His brother’s death left a vacancy in the position of adjutant general in Virginia. Washington pursued the position even if he did not meet the qualifications (Mayer). He was appointed through connections, and he also joined the Mosaic lodge to boost his social position.
The new military post and ambitions put George at the limelight of the French and Indian war. George documented this and distributed the article. It made him famous in the Atlantic. After some time, he was promoted to be the Lieutenant Colonel in the region. He lost several battles but learned from his mistakes. He learned how to create, train, discipline, and maintain an army and win the war against troops that imposed heavy taxes on them. He resigned when he became sick, but his career kept on grew beyond the military (Mayer). He was elected to the House of Burgesses. George fancied land as he tried planting different crops. Also, he started milling and fishing businesses. He formed political alliances as a legislator and led the shift from formal protests to more direct techniques like boycotts and economic independence. He was voted into the First Continental Congress, due to his all-round growth.
Due to these and other historical rebels that resulted in significant changes, most modern-day rebels are openly embraced. The figures discussed in the article are globally relevant in that. Spartacus brought about hope to the slaves, Luther brought about social and economic reforms, and Washington led a revolutionary war that captured the colonialist troops. These rebels have led political and social changes. They stimulate a fearless spirit amongst people and a communal faith that they will succeed. A modern-day example of rebellion is the Black Lives Matter Movement that seeks to attain better treatment of black people and to end police brutality against the blacks. The media is freely at the disposal of the marginalized if they need it to air their grievances. Conclusively, the revolutionary movements led by rebels are highly encouraged and embraced in America.
Chandler, Nathan. “Spartacus Was A Real Gladiator And The Baddest Rebel Leader In Rome.” Howstuffworks, 2020, https://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-figures/spartacus.htm.
“George Washington’S Rise To Rebellion.” American Battlefield Trust, 2020, https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/george-washingtons-rise-rebellion.
Hillerbrand, Hans. “Martin Luther | Biography, Reformation, Works, & Facts.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 2020, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Martin-Luther.
Mayer, Francis. “George Washington.” History.Com, 2020, https://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/george-washington.
White, Micah. “‘Real Americans’ Have Always Been Rebels: A Guide For Progressive Patriotism.” The Guardian, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/14/progressive-patriotism-rebels-revolution-micah-white.
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