Are there any sucessful historical examples of top down social engineerinh


Ad Honoris
May 2014
BTW, I'm really not sure if this would count, but what about the U.S. Supreme Court's various rulings starting from Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 that have significantly reshaped American society?


Ad Honoris
May 2014
Successive French governments in the 19th century forced the local languages/dialects to die out and be replaced with standardised French, does that count? The bigger program of removing local (ie, Normand, Aquitaine, etc...) identities and replacing with a wider French one was very successful.
Which other countries also engaged in this? I know that Hungary did between 1867 and 1918, but anyone else?


Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
There are many examples in history.

For example, in the early 19th century the right to vote was extended to all free adult males in most parts of the USA, And later in the 19th century most states in the USA established free, compulsory, and universal education. The South was the region where those efforts were least successful.
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Ad Honorem
Jul 2009
The most extreme widespread "social engineering" examples often appear to have been failures.

The Commonwealth in Great Britain was short lived.

The French Revolution resulted in 25 years of warfare that (it could be argued) exhausted France as a powerful hegemon. The social aspects of the F.R. were more evolutionary I think - often by accident.

The Russian Revolution and the myth of "Soviet Man" was a catastrophe. Russia in the 21st century keeps making the same mistakes Russia has made before. In many ways Russia is no different today than it was 100 years ago.


Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
Welsh Marches
One could surely point to Augustus, and to the introduction of the Tokugawa shogunate.
Oct 2016
Ivan the Terrible's attempt to bring Russia into the modern world?

Imperial Germany creating a modern European country out of a bunch of semi-feudal minor states?
I read somewhere that this was Bismarck's doing

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
or the process of Romanization of formerly barbarian lands like Gaul and Hispania?
That's a quit often heard misconception: Romanization wasn't a "top down" process. Romans didn't latinized, not in the sense of a latinization policy.