Protests That Changed the World

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- A glance at the map of Occupy Wall Street protests hints at how worldly the movement has become.

Outrage in the United States has spanned from lower Manhattan to Oakland, which witnessed a fierce clash between demonstrators and police earlier this week.

Nationwide protest isn't a novel concept in this country, nor is it an unfamiliar tool anywhere else.

Click through TheStreet's collection of important protests that moved masses around the globe during the last century.

Women's Suffrage

The day before Woodrow Wilson's inauguration on March 3, 1913, more than 5,000 people marched down Pennsylvania Avenue "to protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded."

It was a grievance that had organized in July 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention, and it serves to remind people that change doesn't always immediately occur.

Prohibition

The United States ratified the 18th Amendment of the Constitution and the country went dry. Though legislators and states passed the amendment with the best intentions, in practice it caused headaches.

Americans wanted their booze back, and a good ole we-want-beer protest was just one of many ways that citizens displayed their consternation with Congress.

Bootleggers like Al Capone made a fortune off the government's folly. Capone earned $60 million annually during Prohibition, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica. Prohibition was repealed in 1933.

Civil Rights Movement

Some 200,000 people congregated on Aug. 28, 1963, and marched on Washington to show support for civil rights legislation. The march was officially called "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom," but was remembered most for a speech that highlighted the event.

It was the day Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. The speech and the event catalyzed other protests that followed the March on Washington, and within a year Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Vietnam War Protests

The Vietnam War sparked massive protests in the United States as the country entrenched itself in long and costly conflict that left more than 58,000 U.S. servicemen and another 2 million civilians dead.

Major protests against the war started in the mid-1960s and ended the next decade, in part due to student protests after the Kent State shootings that set in motion President Richard Nixon's decision to officially withdraw troops from Vietnam.

Tiananmen Square

The June Fourth incident was the culmination of student protests that had swept through China in 1989 (and had been brewing since late 1986) after the death of former Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Hu Yaobang.

Hu was forced from his post in 1987. He had been integral to reform of ideologies enforced by former Chairman Mao Zedong. Hu's controversial views on more open governance led to his dismissal, which outraged Chinese from the universities. General government discontent spread to the countryside.

On June 4, 1989, the government cracked down on protestors with armed troops and tanks. The event is often remembered in the image of the " Tank Man ."

Collapse of the Berlin Wall

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," President Ronald Reagan declared on June 12, 1987. The actual fall didn't begin until 1989, when in September that year East Germans took to the streets to protest Berlin's split.

The wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989, and the protests continued into 1990. It was one of the many catalysts that foreshadowed the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Tea Party Protests

A conservative populist movement began in 2009 as a way to protest excessive taxation, federal intervention and immigration. The demonstration was born from a rant by CNBC commentator Rick Santelli. Santelli was surrounded by a group of traders on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange who cheered for the journalist when he decried bailout practices.

"They're like putty in your hands," CNBC host Joe Kernen said. Santelli shot back: "No they're not Joe, they're not like putty in our hands. This is America. How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage -- that has an extra bathroom -- that can't pay their bills? Raise your hand." Boos rang out from the traders.

Tea Party supporters marched on Washington in September 2009, and participant numbers ranged from 200,000 to 800,000.

The Arab Spring

Pro-democracy movements broke out in the Middle East and North Africa in December 2010 after 26-year-old Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest Tunisian government corruption. The incident elicited a visceral response from other citizens and soon spread to Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Syria.

The protests toppled regimes in Tunisia and Egypt in early 2011 and culminated in the recent ousting and killing of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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