What is the difference between revolution and revolt

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Change the state order

When people feel oppressed or treated unfairly by their government or their rulers, they often want to change that. Sometimes they band together with other people and often use violence to fight the existing order. Such action is called a "revolution". The term comes from French and means "upheaval".

Violent revolutions
The most famous upheaval in history is the French Revolution of 1789. At that time, the king was overthrown by a great popular uprising. With heavy sacrifices, a new political order emerged in which the power was no longer held by the king, but by the people. Another revolution with great and long-lasting effects was the Russian October Revolution of 1917, in which the insurgents killed the then ruler of Russia, the Tsar, and his family, and for a long time established the rule of communism in Russia and other countries. Sometimes governments, kings or other rulers are overthrown not by the people but by the military. Then it is called a revolt of the military or a "military revolution".
The peaceful revolution in the GDR

In contrast to the mostly violent coups described above, there is also the term “peaceful revolution”. An example of this is the end of the GDR and German reunification in 1990. This happened without a single shot being fired through the peaceful protest of the population of the former GDR, who took to the streets in large numbers.


Rapid development in science and technology is also called a "revolution". For example, the invention of the steam engine by James Watt in the 18th century triggered the industrial revolution. The invention of the railroad heralded a transport revolution. The changes in the economy and society that have occurred through the invention of the computer, the Internet and the new information media are also referred to as "revolutionary".

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