Difference Between Civil War and Revolution

Every human is born with basic rights like the right to freedom and freedom of speech, but sometimes people are suppressed, and their basic rights are taken away.


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Then people start showing their true colors, and this may sometimes lead to Civil Wars, fought between two groups, or when government passes such laws or activities that are not appealing to the people, then people come together to go against the government united leading to a series of Revolution s marking the history of changes.

Both the terms, Civil War, and Revolution s are sometimes used interchangeably, but there’s a vast difference.

Key Takeaways

  1. Civil war refers to a violent conflict between two groups within a country, while a revolution is a political upheaval to change a government or system.
  2. Civil war typically involves using military forces and is fought over control of the existing government, while a revolution aims to overthrow the government.
  3. Civil wars are often fought along geographic or ethnic lines, while revolutions can involve various social and economic issues.

Civil War vs Revolution

The difference between revolution and civil war is that the Civil War is generally fought between two different ethnic and social groups, both with different ideologies.

Civil Wars are fought with violence leading to bloodshed, but Revolution is generally fought without violence.

Civil War vs Revolution

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For example, the American Civil War was fought between slavery and non-slavery groups.

Revolution s are fought between the people and the government when some acts or laws that govern them are found obstructing and taking some basic rights, leading to protests,

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCivil WarRevolution
DefinitionA war fought between two different ethnic groups within the same country.Protest against the government by the people opposing any law or act
LengthNo specified length can exceed for decadesIt comes to rest within a year as government has to take steps to maintain the economy.            
ViolenceViolence and use of weapons are involvedViolence is generally not involved
Parties InvolvedDifferent socio groupsMobilization of citizens of the country against government
ResultBrings a drastic change in political economic system of the country.Brings a drastic change in the status quo of the country and people getting their rights.

What is Civil War?

The Civil War is also known as intrastate war by the other names. Is a war that is fought between the different social, ethnic, or religious group with different opinions to achieve a particular goal.

Civil War isn’t a very defined term in the books of history.

Still, one of the possible definitions that were given by James Fearon is Civil War is a violent conflict within a country that is generally fought among organized groups such groups in a changing the existing government policies act or any law that they might feel opposed towards.

The intensity of any Civil War between the countries is calculated by the kind of damage caused to the economy or the country itself and to whom the rights were allotted in the end.

 Civil War causes a lot of disturbance in the system in the working of any country as it leads to bloodshed, violence, and the killing of thousands and thousands of people.

There are many possible explanations and reasons why a Civil War takes place. The very evaluated reasons are the greed that is individual seeking to maximize the profits.

The grievance is a social and political unstable equilibrium. And opportunities are social inequality and poverty operation.

 The ultimate achieving goal for a Civil War is different for every ethnic group that has ever fought, for example, the American Civil War that was fought between the slavery and non-slavery groups to abolish slavery.

 Civil War starts with the spark when two groups with differences meet. That ultimately leads to the spark growing and growing lead into politically unstable equilibrium falling economy, bloodshed, violence, and even deaths.

civil war

What is a Revolution?

Revolution has always been a very complicated term and has never been explained very well, but one of the most distinct definitions of Revolution is.

this hard define term was very well explained by Aristotle, who was a Greek philosopher.

He defined Revolution as the fundamental change in the state organization that takes place in a short period.

And revolt of the population against the authority or the government, according to him, a political Revolution could lead to modification of the existing constitution or could entirely change the political system that has in governing the country for decades.

Their results include major changes in the cultural economy—social-political standards.

A Revolution can start with either violence or non-violence, but Revolution s were generally without violence in history. The Revolution is formed between the country’s general citizens and the government, forming particular laws or acts.

Revolution generally exists within a year and doesn’t go beyond it.

The Revolution comes up with the two possibilities of either government changing the laws, acts, or sometimes even abolishing the constitution due to the kind of violence that started taking place in the country or the government winning with the with opposing them with many factors like the use of the military.

Revolutions in a dictatorship are widespread because a dictator always works against the people’s will. Democracies that exist in the past or at present have seen very few Revolution s occur.

History has seen many Revolutions like the American Revolution war, the French Revolution the European Revolution, the Russian Revolution etc.


Major Differences Between Civil War and Revolution

  1. The Civil War was fought between two religious or socio groups, whereas Revolution took between citizens of a country opposing any law or act passed by the government.
  2. The Civil War always turned out to be violent that included weapons leading to bloodshed and millions of deaths, whereas the Revolution was considered non-violent. For instance, the satyagraha that was lead by Mahatama Gandhi opposing the laws set by the British government
  3. Civil War always ended with one of the groups attaining victory, but that victory also resulted in political instability, bloodshed, and violence, whereas Revolution was either won by citizens and laws and acts, were taken by in some cases dissolving of constitution or government winning and laws being in power
  4. Civil Wars sometimes even last for decades, whereas Revolution s lasted a year to maintain political stability.
Difference Between Civil War and Revolution
  1. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jel.48.1.3
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