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Definition of REVOLUTION
a (1): the action by a celestial body of going round in an orbit or elliptical course; also: apparent movement of such a body round the earth (2): the time taken by a celestial body to make a complete round in its orbit (3): the rotation of a celestial body on its axis
b: completion of a course (as of years); also: the period made by the regular succession of a measure of time or by a succession of similar events
c (1): a progressive motion of a body around an axis so that any line of the body parallel to the axis returns to its initial position while remaining parallel to the axis in transit and usually at a constant distance from it (2): motion of any figure about a center or axis <revolution of a right triangle about one of its legs generates a cone>(3):rotation 1b
a: a sudden, radical, or complete change
b: a fundamental change in political organization; especially: the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed
c: activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation
d: a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm <the Copernican revolution>
e: a changeover in use or preference especially in technology <the computer revolution><the foreign car revolution>
In politics, fundamental, rapid, and often irreversible change in the established order. Revolution involves a radical change in government, usually accomplished through violence, that may also result in changes to the economic system, social structure, and cultural values. The ancient Greeks viewed revolution as the undesirable result of societal breakdown; a strong value system, firmly adhered to, was thought to protect against it. During the Middle Ages, much attention was given to finding means of combating revolution and stifling societal change. With the advent of Renaissance humanism, there arose the belief that radical changes of government are sometimes necessary and good, and the idea of revolution took on more positive connotations. John Milton regarded it as a means of achieving freedom, Immanuel Kant believed it was a force for the advancement of mankind, and G.W.F. Hegel held it to be the fulfillment of human destiny. Hegel's philosophy in turn influenced Karl Marx. See alsocoup d'état.