List of civil wars

List of civil wars

Military history

Portal  v · d · e

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 intestine war and domestic war are often used interchangeably with "civil war", but "intestine 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 intestine 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 "intestine war"), creating terminological overlap with insurgencies or coups d'état.


Past civil wars

Ancient and medieval

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)

Modern (1800–1945)

Post-WWII (1945 to present)

Ongoing civil wars

The following civil wars are ongoing as of 2011. 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.


  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. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]

See also

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • List of Spanish wars — List of Spanish wars* 218 BC 17 BC Roman Conquest of Hispania* 711 718 Umayyad conquest of Hispania* 722 1492 Reconquista* 1494 1559 Italian Wars* 1546 1774 Arauco War* 1568 1648 Eighty Years War* 1585 1604 Anglo Spanish War (1585)* 1618 1648… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Roman wars — The following is a List of Roman wars fought by the ancient Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire, organized by date. 4th century BC*First Samnite War (343 341 BC) *Latin War (340 338 BC) *Second Samnite War (326 304 BC)3rd century… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Finnish wars — This is a list of wars fought by independent Finland between 1917 and 1945:*The Civil War (1918) *The kinship wars ( Heimosodat ) fought by Finnish volunteers **The Estonian War of Independence (1918 1920) **The Viena expedition (1918) **The… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Polish wars — Below is a list of military conflicts in which Polish armed forces participated or took place on Polish territory. Piast Poland During the Middle Ages, the Polans ever since first being established as Dukes, starting with Mieszko I, then Boleslaw …   Wikipedia

  • List of English wars — This article lists the wars fought by England prior to the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain via the Act of Union 1707.13th century1215First Barons War (1215 1217) (Civil war)1264Second Barons War (1264 1267) (Civil war)1296First Scottish… …   Wikipedia

  • List of proxy wars — This is a list of proxy wars.Pre World War 1*American Revolutionary War, 1776 1778 *Samoan Civil War, 1898 1899Interbellum*Finnish Civil War, 1918 *Spanish Civil War, 1936 1939 *Chinese civil war, 1927 1950Cold War*Greek Civil War, 1946 1949… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Georgian wars — The article is about the military history of the country of Georgia.Mid 8th cent. B.C. The oldest Georgian state of Diaokhi destroyed by the Urartians.The 720s B.C Western Georgian power of Colchis fell under Cimmerian incursions.The end of the… …   Wikipedia

  • List of English civil wars — Several military conflicts are considered English civil wars:*The Anarchy (1135 ndash;1154). *The Revolt of 1173 ndash;1174 by Henry the Young King against Henry II. *The First Barons War against King John (1215 ndash;1217). *The Second Barons… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Star Wars planets (A–B) — Contents 1 Aar 2 Aargau 3 Aargonar 4 Abonshee …   Wikipedia

  • List of Star Wars planets (C–D) — Dorin redirects here. For the wine grape that is also known as Dorin, see Chasselas. Contents 1 Caamas 2 Cadomai 3 Callos …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”