Coup d'état  

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"The sudden overthrow of a government, differing from a revolution by being carried out by a small group of people who replace only the leading figures."--Sholem Stein

This page Coup d'état is part of the politics series.Illustration:Liberty Leading the People (1831, detail) by Eugène Delacroix.
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This page Coup d'état is part of the politics series.
Illustration:Liberty Leading the People (1831, detail) by Eugène Delacroix.

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A coup or coup d'état (literally "blow of state"; plural: coups d'état, pronounced like the singular form; also known simply as an overthrow, takeover, or putsch) is the removal of an existing government from power, usually through violent means. Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a political faction, the military, or a dictator.

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