Every country and every age has had its pariahs, rejected either by the majority of the population or by those in power. A motley crowd, with no general bond of solidarity among themselves, those "undesirables" have always included--aside from the underworld of crime and the lower depths of slum misery--the racial, ethnical and religious minorities, on the one hand, and those who might be designated as déclassés, on the other.
One way or another, all of these groups have played their part in the political history of the world. In times of turmoil the social scum has had its hand both in the overthrow of old tyrannies and in the establishment of new ones. Ethnical minorities have played the same role. Irishmen supplied prominent leaders to England's nineteenth century radicalism, to mention only such names as Feargus O'Connor, the top leader of the Chartist movement of the first half of the last century, and Bronterre O'Brien, one of its prominent theorists. Polish refugees and exiles, Mieroslawski, Bem, Dombrowski, Wroblewski, headed the armed forces of various German, Austrian, Hungarian and French uprisings in 1848 and 1871. The large proportion of Polish, Ukrainian, Latvian, Armenian and Georgian intellectuals, as compared with the Russians proper among the rebels against the tsariat regime, offers a further illustration of this phenomenon. On the other hand, the Czechs of Austria and the Croats of Hungary because of their justified grievances against the Austrian Germans and against the Magyars (Hungarians), contributed in 1848 more than their share in the suppression of the democratic revolution in the Habsburg monarchy.
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Publication information: Book title: Aspects of Revolt. Contributors: Max Nomad - Author. Publisher: Bookman Associates. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1959. Page number: 147.
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