List of civil wars

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The Latin term bellum civile was first used of the Roman civil wars of the 1st century BC. The term civilis here had the very specific meaning of "Roman citizen". The English term civil war was first used in 1651 to refer to the English Civil War.[1] Since the 17th century, the term has also been applied retroactively to other historical conflicts where at least one side claims to represent the country's civil society (rather than a feudal dynasty or an imperial power).[2]

The terms internecine war and domestic war are often used interchangeably with "civil war", but "internecine war" can be used in a wider meaning, referring to any conflict within a single state, regardless of the participation of civil forces. Thus, any war of succession is by definition an internecine war, but not necessarily a civil war. In modern geopolitics since 1945, "civil war" is also used in a loose sense to refer to any large scale military conflict within a single country (i.e. used as a strict synonym of the generic term "internecine war"), creating terminological overlap with insurgencies or coups d'état.

Past civil wars[edit]

Ancient and medieval[edit]

Only civil wars involving popular or civil forces are listed here. Not covered are wars between clans, warlords or dynasties, wars of succession, etc. Such wars of succession are sometimes also described as "Civil Wars" in modern literature, see e.g. Ottoman Civil War or Islamic Civil War.

Early Modern (1550-1800)[edit]

Modern (1800-1945)[edit]

1945 to 2000[edit]

Since 2000[edit]

Ongoing civil wars[edit]

The following civil wars are ongoing as of 2014. Only ongoing conflicts meeting the definition of a civil war are listed. See list of ongoing military conflicts and lists of active separatist movements for lists with a wider scope.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan: "Sidney Godolphin, who [...] was unfortunately slain in the [...] late Civill warre" (p. 390).
  2. ^ OED: "war between the citizens or inhabitants of a single country, state, or community". Early use of the term in reference to neither the Roman Republic nor the English Civil War include the War in the Vendée (1802) and the civil war in Portugal (1835, 1836).
  3. ^ F. Warner, 1768
  4. ^ Milner-Gulland, R. R.; Dejevsky, Nikolai J. (1989). Atlas of Russia and the Soviet Union. Phaidon atlases of world civilizations. Phaidon. p. 108. ISBN 9780714825496. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 1774 [...] the civil war against Pugachov reached its climax. 

See also[edit]