List of civil wars

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The following is a list of civil wars, fought between organized groups within the same state or country. The terms "intrastate war", "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.[citation needed]


The Latin term bellum civile was used to describe wars within a single community beginning around 60 A.D. The term is an alternative title for the work sometimes called Pharsalia by Lucan (Marcus Annaeus Lucanus) about the Roman civil wars that began in the last third of the second century BC.[1] The term civilis here had the very specific meaning of 'Roman citizen'.

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]

Past civil wars[edit]

Ancient and medieval[edit]

This is a list of intrastate armed conflicts that fulfil the definition set by this article: civil. Note that some conflicts lack both an article or citation. Without citation, they have not been guaranteed to have happened.

Early modern (1550–1800)[edit]

Modern (1800–1945)[edit]

Since 1945[edit]

Ongoing civil wars[edit]

The following civil wars are ongoing as of February 2021. 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lucan | Roman author". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  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. ^ Bøgh, Anders (26 May 2015). "The Civil War periode 1131–1157". (in Danish). Aarhus Universitet. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  4. ^ Early Modern Wars 1500–1775. Amber. 2013. ISBN 9781782741213.
  5. ^ F. Warner, 1768
  6. ^ 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.