Created By: evil_cucumber on November 7, 2012 Last Edited By: xboxington on November 22, 2012

Revolving Door Revolution

When a country changes its government so often, they might as well install revolving doors.

Name Space:
Page Type:
"France changes it's government so often it might as well install revolving doors in the Palace of Versailles"
Old joke

Sometimes a nation undergoes a major revolution, and completly changes it's style of government. Sometimes people loose faith in the new style of government, and have a new revolution soon after. When this happens enough, you get a Revolving Door Revolution. The reasons for this can be complex. Maybe the nation in question is extremly polarised in popular oppinion? Maybe the successive governments aren't stable, or effective enough to last? Maybe the writters just think it makes for better drama?

  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe tells us that although the Old Galactic Republic lasted for thousands of years, after the Clone Wars, the Galaxy went through a period of this. First the Galactic Empire, then the New Republic, then the Yuuzhan Vong Empire, then the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, then the Fel Empire, then the Krayt empire...all in the span of just over a century.

Real Life
  • For about 100 years from 1789, to 1870, the French under went repeated revolutions and counter revolutions as Republicans and Monarachists (divided into three factions, each supporting a different royal family) battled for control of the government. First came the Ancien Regime, then the First Republic, then the Reign of Terror, then the First Empire under Napoleon, then the First Bourbon Restoration, then the 100 days, then the Second Bourban Restoration, then the July Monarchy, then the Second Republic, then the Second Empire, before finally settling on the Third Repubilic which remained in place until WWII.

Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • November 7, 2012
    • Referenced in Quantum Of Solace regarding Central and South America:
      Felix Leiter: Regimes change once a week around here. Medrano'll be no dirtier than the next guy.
  • November 7, 2012
    Since this is intrinsically a political trope, it might need to be No Real Life Examples Please. Maybe. I'm not sure how potentially flame-baity it is.
  • November 7, 2012
    I don't think the No Real Life Examples Please tag is necessary unless it ends up starting Flame Wars. For example, for a period during the Roman Empire, there was a string of leadership changes because they kept assassinating each other.

    • San Theodoros in Tintin continually has revolutions that switch between dictators General Tapioca and General Alcazar. This is especially illustrated in Tintin and the Picaros.
  • November 7, 2012
  • November 7, 2012
    Question, is this a government completely changing how it is run? Or is it when a government stays as it is, but keeps replacing the leaders, just like what Argentina went through a few years back where they ended up changing presidents once every 2 weeks or so just because each one was just that horrible at running the country?
  • November 7, 2012
    I think it's only Full Circle Revolution when the new regime ends up being exactly the same as the old except for a few minor changes. Revolving Door Revolution implies various different systems of government. It could be both. For example, Napoleon is and example of a Full Circle Revolution when compared to the Ancien Regime, but not compared to say, the Third Republic.
  • November 7, 2012
    The French comic Benoit Brisefer features a Banana Republic with three quarreling generals, each of which is so spectacularly inept they can't stay in power for more than a week. The inhabitants have grown so used to it they barely pay attention to who's in charge at the moment, charging extra for food that doesn't have bullet holes in it.
  • November 7, 2012
    • The Avengers: Natasha Romanov claims this of her old country.
      Natasha: Regimes fall every day. I tend not to weep over them; I'm Russian. Or rather, I used to be.
  • November 7, 2012
    • Haargoland is described this way in Tom Swift and His Ocean Airport, having two factions that overthrow each other every couple of years, and are fundamentally interchangable except for their export policies. Tom is gulled into funding the premature overthrow of the current party to obtain needed supplies. which backfires on him because the man who suggests this actually works for the first party and arranges a deadly counter-coup.
  • November 8, 2012
    I think the France example is a bit insulting in the way it's worded, starting for the name of the trope. If you're going to have a trope about regimes that change frequently, you might want to change the title to something more descriptive and neutral. Those regimes lasted anything from five years to three decades or more. It's also hardly exceptional for regimes to change that often in Europe at any time, but especially during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Heck, we had an entire wave of bloodless revolutions in Eastern Europe in The Noughties!

    Also, separate changing leadership from changing regime; the rule of thumb for the latter is that a new constitution is penned and ratified when that happens.
  • November 8, 2012
    In The Order Of The Stick, the Western Continent's empires rarely last a year, constantly getting overthrown by someone who sets up their own empire.
  • November 10, 2012
    i.e. Full Circle Revolution is "crap... coup! hurrah! crap... coup! hurrah! crap... coup! hurrah!". This is "coup! coup! coup! coup! ...yawn..." :]
  • November 10, 2012
    @TheHandle: Those bloodless revolutions you speak of happened in individual countries (and I don't think Romania qualified as bloodless BTW). That doesn't qualify them for this trope.
  • November 10, 2012
    Compare Meet The New Boss.

    Tabletop Games
    • The Border Kingdoms region in the Forgotten Realms setting is composed of a slew of small baronies ruled by powerful adventurers, each seeking to carve out a scrap of land and rule it as they see fit. Then another adventurer comes along, bumps them off, and sets himself up as the new baron, et cetera.

    This might've been part of the inspiration for OOTS's Western Continent, now that I think about it...
  • November 13, 2012
    @Speedchesser the OOTS example may also count as a subverssión. yes the western continent geo-political map changes so often that most people don't remember the name of their nation three tyrants ago, but also since Tarquin and his group all act as the Evil Chanelors of three of the main nations regardless of who's in charge at the momment, you could say that they had been a stable Shadow Government for years
  • November 21, 2012
    I was going to say something about micronations (non-recognized countries) that constantly get reformed - sometimes as much as four or five times in a few months - but then it said no real life examples....

    Bump, anyway.
  • November 22, 2012
    • In an episode of The Simpsons, the Simpsons visit a fictitious African country. The country is renamed twice during their journey there, and by the time they leave, their former flight attendant has become president, and the former president is serving their drinks on the plane home.

    I have another example, but I can't remember where it's from! A sketch show I think. A junior diplomat is working in an office with a presidential portrait on the wall. He hears a gunshot, looks out the window, then uninterestedly turns the portrait around, revealing a portrait of a different man on the back, and goes back to work.